Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to early childhood development, is excited to announce its inaugural Thrive to 5 Playfest, a day of play and family fun for young children and families across the Valley. The outdoor event will take place during two sessions on Saturday, March 12, from 9-11 a.m. and again from 12-2 p.m. at the SRP PERA Club near the Phoenix Zoo and Papago Park in Tempe.

“Thrive to 5 Playfest is an opportunity for parents and children to engage with their world through rewarding play, creative expression and immersive literacy experiences,” said Louann Phillips, Southwest Human Development’s special events manager. “Not only does Playfest allow us to showcase all we do for supporting children living with disabilities, it’s also a platform for sharing the myriad of other work we do to enhance the lives of families with children from birth to 5 years old.”

Throughout the day of play, learning moments will be built-in so families can create stronger foundations to help children ages 0-5 thrive. Activities include story time and free books for every child, art activities, adults vs. kids yard games, free family photos, stage performances from local groups and many other family-fun activities. Additionally, the Southwest Human Development disabilities team will host a sensory-friendly play area and the mental health services team will help families create calming bottles and share how breathing helps regulate emotions.

“Through play, children learn about the world and themselves and develop social, emotional and physical skills to build upon as they grow,” Phillips added. “Along with our presenting sponsor, the Arizona Coyotes, and supporters like Delta Dental of Arizona and CENTURY 21 Arizona Foothills, we are thrilled to bring the best of all we do to present the day of play dedicated to young children and their families.”

For the health and safety of all attendees, a limited number of tickets are available for the exclusively outdoor event. Masks are requested to be worn by all guests when around other families at the event. Families must register in advance online at for either the morning or afternoon session. Tickets for adults are $10 each and all children attend and play for free!

For more information about Thrive to 5 Playfest, or to register or sign up as a volunteer, visit