It’s Parks & Recreation Month across the nation, and we couldn’t let the month go by without a nod to Glendale’s awesome recreational amenities available to residents and visitors alike, year-round. Parks & Recreation opportunities are an essential part of any community. From cultural attractions to physical fitness to hobbies, a happy and healthy life is one with activities that contribute to our overall well-being.
Whether you’re here on a week-long vacation or make your home in the Valley, make sure to put these spots on your to do list!
1. Sahuaro Ranch Park
This historic ranch, a total of 80 acres, dates back to 1886 and ties to the community’s agricultural roots, at one time home to citrus, fig, date and olive groves. Today, visitors can enjoy tours of the property, including a dozen buildings, as well as the orchard and rose garden. In addition, visitors love to check out the peacocks that roam the property. The peacocks actually have been in residence since the 1890’s, many of them descendants from the original birds. When you’re done exploring the ranch site, head over to the park to enjoy a picnic, playgrounds, soccer, softball, volleyball and more.
2. Thunderbird Conservation Park
If connecting with nature in the great outdoors is your thing, you have to visit Thunderbird Conservation Park, a Thunderbird Conservation Park, a 1,185-acre park in the Hedgpeth Hills, is a natural Sonoran desert space dedicated to preserving the environment. A popular spot for hikers, the park features about 15 miles of multi-use trails. Other park activities include picnicking, horseback riding, mountain biking, jogging and bird watching. In fact, more than 50 species of wildlife occur in this environment, including birds, mammals and reptiles. The park also features viewing blinds to catch a glimpse of the wildlife attracted to a water basin area. To see a video on the blinds, click here. Bring your binoculars!
3. Dog Parks
Glendale is home to three dog parks, one in each area of the city. If you travel with your dog, or just hang out with your four-legged friend every moment of the weekend, you will want to hit these parks designed just for the canines. Two of them feature an agility course, perfect for training and exercising. These parks are also complete with water fountains and lots of green grass – yes, we do have grass in the desert!
4. Sk8 Parks
For those on the adventurous side, check out one or both of Glendale’s skate parks, one of which will accommodate not only skateboards and in-line skates, but also BMX bikes. Dubbed the X-Court, this free 26,000-square-foot, concrete multi-use facility was designed to challenge skaters and bikers of various skill levels. The perfect balance of bowls, banks, transitions and street components make the design fun and wide open for both bikes and boards. From the basic Ollie or Bunnyhop to perfecting the 9-foot bowl, there is no doubt the X-Court will be a must-visit for your crew.
5. Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center
This state-of-the-art recreation center offers everything under the sun in fun! In summer months, the aquatics center is open for swimming and diving but also features two water slides, a lazy river and an aquatic playground for the little ones. Indoors, you’ll find a rock-climbing wall, a track, full gymnasium, racquet ball courts, a recreational game room. The center even offers child care. Day passes are available, so if you’re in town a short time or just want to try it out, come by and take a tour.
This is just a sampling of Glendale’s recreational amenities. To find out more, visit www.glendaleaz.com/parksandrecreation.