High Five to Yuma, Arizona!


The City That Celebrates Its Parks & The Arts!
Compiled by Lisa D. Smith & Nancy J. Reid


Featured Yuma Parks & Rec guests on Big Blend Radio include: Debbie Wendt, Lindsay Benacka, Esther Markle and Drew Smith.


The ‘Gateway to the Great Southwest’ welcomes you to step back into old west history, rejuvenate in the great outdoors, feel the rush of athletic competitiveness, and delight in seasonal shopping, local flavors, festive community events and artistic celebrations.

Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. It’s a historic, cultural and outdoor adventure destination with attractions that include the Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Colorado River State Historic Park (formerly Quartermaster Depot), Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants.

Celebrating its listing in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, and boosting quality of life for Yuma’s local families and visiting communities, the City of Yuma’s Parks & Recreation Department manages over 600 acres, and over 30 parks that include neighborhood basin parks, athletic complexes, golf courses, a gymnasium, outdoor basketball courts, and volleyball courts.

Events are also a big component in keeping Yuma’s fun meter running on high. From art classes and youth sports activities to festivals and parades, the City of Yuma hosts a full calendar of educational, athletic, and family-friendly community events that celebrate the region’s culture, the arts, and local sporting opportunities.

Five Yuma Parks & Sites to Put on Your Fun List:

Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre: Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Yuma, the Yuma Art Center is host to a number of visual and performing arts events, shows, and educational programs. The Center is comprised of the Historic Theatre, four art galleries, a pottery studio, black and white photography dark room, multi-purpose classrooms and artist studios, and an artisan gift shop. In operation since 1936, the newly restored Historic Yuma Theatre hosts a full calendar of events including stage and variety productions, film screenings, community theater productions, children’s matinees, jazz festivals, art symposiums, education workshops, as well as special events and presentations in connection with Downtown Main Street.

East & West Yuma Wetlands: Both the East and West Wetlands have walking and bicycle trails, shaded picnic areas, play areas for kids, and access to the Colorado River. In fact, the City of Yuma hosts guided group kayak and canoe tours along the River. A popular bird watching destination, the East Wetlands features a 3-mile loop that circles around a lush riparian area, as well as an unpaved ½-mile trail that runs along the lower Colorado River.

The 110-acre West Wetlands Park is home to the Ed Pastor Hummingbird Garden, a Butterfly Garden with a statue honoring the Mormon Battalion, as well as a boat launch and boat trailer parking area at Centennial Beach, the new Playa Linda Beach, a 15ft stocked fishing pond, the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground, and the Arizona Public Service Solar Demonstration Garden.

Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex (PAAC): Yuma’s elite tournament complex, the brand new PAAC is a 50-acre multiuse sports project that’s perfect for year-round leagues, tournaments and special events for all ages. With a total of 10 fields for play, the PAAC is within 10 miles of 5 other major sports complexes, and is conveniently located near hotels, shops and restaurants, as well as the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area and Historic Downtown. It also connects to the East Wetlands walking and biking trails along the Colorado River.

Desert Hills Golf Course: Adjacent to the Yuma Civic Center, the Desert Hills Golf Course is an award-winning 18-hole, par 72 championship course that features 6,800 yards of challenging topography and scenic views, plus, the popular Patio Restaurant & Bar. Practice areas include a driving range, pitching, and putting surfaces. Desert Hills Golf Course welcomes tournaments, hosts a series of programs and lessons, and has a Golf Pro Shop. It’s also a destination for foot golfers!

Yuma Civic Center: Adjacent to the Desert Hills Golf Course and Ray Kroc Sports Complex / Desert Sun Stadium, the Yuma Civic Center is Yuma’s favorite event space, and host to a wide variety of annual community events such as the Midnight at the Oasis car show, Tunes & Tacos Festival, 4th of July All American BBQ & Fireworks Spectacular, Fiestas Patrias, Relay for Life, Frontera United Professional Soccer, Yuma Storm Minor League Football, and more. Featuring over 43,000 square feet of flexible event space, it’s a popular and affordable venue featuring beautiful indoor and outdoor facilities, catering services, golf course views, and free parking.

Yuma is active community that plays outdoors, cares about its history, culture and the arts, and loves a good festival! For a full list of the City of Yuma’s park facilities and events, visit www.YumaAZ.gov.

The Peanut Patch


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