Turning Sunday into “Funday” at the Valley of the Sun JCC

Looking to escape the heat and travel to a place where responsibilities are nowhere in sight? You might be surprised to find the answer right here in the Valley. This summer, the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center at 12701 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale is kicking off their first year of the Jcation Staycation Summer Splash Series. The alliterative event is a family-friendly pool party and offers tons of outside entertainment every Sunday through the end of July. Each themed week has a live DJ playing hit music from the 80s to present day, as well as an accompanying activity and fitness class. I stopped by this past weekend to see what all the talk was about and “Splash Down” for this week’s theme.

As a kid growing up in Arizona, your number one priority is to cool off. The J fully understands this and provides ample resources to do so. They are home to two sparkling pools – one of which includes laps for parents or older kids – as well as a splash pad. The splash pad was quite the hit when I arrived, as kids of all ages loved the assortment of water-based activities. Water sprayed out from colorful mushrooms, poured out of a water tank and shot out of adjustable hoses. Unique to the Jcation Staycation event is an inflatable “Bubble Wash” that mimics a car wash and allows for kids to pretend they’re a car getting cleaned up. The J even brought this excitement over to the pools by providing bouncy balls, swim noodles and other pool toys.

Photos by Rose Capin.

If your kids aren’t the biggest fans of splishing and splashing, there are tons of other activities, too. Right around the corner from the splash pad stands a 26-foot rock climbing tower. The tower allows for five people to climb at once, so kids can engage in some friendly competition or simply brush up on their climbing skills individually. This shady area also has ping pong and foosball tables, where kids can continue their summertime competition. More hands-on activities are available in the shade near the entrance. Each week, The J offers a different art project to pair with the theme. This week, the kiddos embraced their creativity by making one-of-a-kind T-shirts.

The event prides itself on having something for everyone, and that is certainly true. The J provides ample space for parents to recline and relax, leaving only the question of “to tan or not to tan?” The event also includes a different complimentary fitness class. This week’s offering was an Indo Board class, which utilized a small paddleboard-type instrument to stretch and burn calories effectively. Although these classes may be indoors, you don’t need to worry about leaving your kids outside. The staff at The J is phenomenal and didn’t take their eyes off of the children for a second. On top of that, every lifeguard and staff member greeted at least one child and their family by name, truly embodying the community at The J.

Overall, the Jcation Staycation event was a great way to spend the afternoon and I highly recommend it. Aside from the extensive amount of activities, The J also provides complimentary sunscreen and water and has food, drinks and popsicles available for purchase. Did I mention they even deliver the food to your outside table? Next Sunday, stop by the Valley of the Sun JCC and keep everyone entertained and happy.

The Jcation Staycation event runs every Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, through July 30. It is free for member and children under 2. The cost for guests is $3 for adults and $2 for children. Visit vosjcc.org/summersplash for more information.

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