Fun Things to Do with Kids in Phoenix

Phoenix, often referred to as the Valley of the Sun, is more than just a bustling metropolis. It offers an array of activities where things to do with kids in Phoenix aren’t just a query; it’s an invitation to a world of excitement, learning, and pure fun.

phoenix things to do with kids

From enchanting gardens that bloom against the backdrop of a sun-soaked landscape to captivating science centers that ignite the curiosity of young minds, and from thrilling water parks where waves of laughter crash over your little ones to awe-inspiring outdoor wonders bathed in the golden hues of the Arizona sun.

Exploring things to do with Kids in Phoenix on a Budget: Free and Low-Cost Activities for Families

Experiencing Phoenix with your kids doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, the city offers plenty of free and low-cost activities that promise to be both entertaining and educational. Here are some budget-friendly options:

  • Visit the Arizona Science Center: While this is not always free, it does offer discounted rates on certain days. Here, kids can engage in hands-on exhibits related to weather, physics, and biology.
  • Explore the Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park: This is a natural geological formation perfect for a family hike. The short trail leads to a scenic viewpoint of the city and is completely free to access.
  • Attend First Friday’s Art Walk: On the first Friday of every month, you can tour the art galleries of downtown Phoenix for free. It’s a great way to expose kids to local art and culture.
  • Join a Storytime at the Phoenix Public Library: The library hosts regular story times for young children, fostering a love for reading at no cost.
  • Splash around at the Eastlake Park: This park features a free splash pad, playground, and sports fields that the entire family can enjoy.

Remember, fun and learning in Phoenix don’t have to break the bank. By choosing these cost-effective activities, you can create lasting memories with your family without straining your wallet.

things to do with kids in phoenix

Day of Adventure: Visiting Phoenix’s Zoos and Aquariums

Phoenix is home to several remarkable zoos and aquariums, providing families with a unique opportunity to encounter wildlife and marine life up close. These educational and fun-filled attractions are ideal for a day of adventure with kids in Phoenix. Here are a few must-visit destinations:

  • Phoenix Zoo: Known as one of the nation’s top five zoos for kids, Phoenix Zoo offers over 1,400 animals, including 30 species that are endangered. Here, your kids can venture into the Africa Trail to see the African lions, giraffes, and cheetahs, or explore the Forest of Uco where South American animals reside.
  • OdySea Aquarium: This is the largest aquarium in the southwest. OdySea features over 30,000 animals and 500 different species in 50 exhibits. The aquarium offers an interactive, educational journey for visitors of all ages. Penguins, sea turtles, and a variety of sharks are just a few of the marine animals your family will marvel at.
  • Butterfly Wonderland: Located next to the OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland is a unique rainforest habitat housing thousands of butterflies from around the world. Aside from butterflies, it also offers exhibits with honey bees, tropical birds, and a 3D theater..

Family Fun in the Sun: Splashing Around Phoenix’s Water Parks

When the Arizona sun is shining, Phoenix’s water parks offer an exhilarating escape for families. These parks are teeming with exciting water features, from twisting slides and lazy rivers to splash pads and wave pools, designed to entertain everyone from toddlers to teenagers. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a summer vacation, these aquatic playgrounds provide the perfect setting for creating unforgettable family memories. Here are a few of the city’s standout water parks:

  • Big Surf Waterpark: Opened in 1969, Big Surf is home to America’s original wave pool and boasts a variety of slides that cater to thrill-seekers of all ages. The park also has a dedicated area for toddlers, making it a great choice for families with young children. Best visited during the hot summer months, Big Surf offers a refreshing respite from the sweltering Arizona heat.
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix: Now called Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, this water park is one of the largest in Arizona. It hosts a multitude of water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and an interactive water play structure for kids, guaranteeing a day filled with splashy fun. It’s best to visit during the weekdays when the park is less crowded.
  • Golfland Sunsplash: More than just a water park, Golfland Sunsplash offers a unique blend of wet and dry attractions. The park features over 30 rides and attractions including a mini-golf course, race cars, laser tag, and an arcade in addition to its water park. It’s an ideal destination for year-round entertainment, but if you’re looking forward to the water attractions, the summer months would be the best time to visit.
things to do with kids phoenix

Indoor Entertainment: Rainy Day and Hot Weather Activities in Phoenix

Phoenix is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, but it also boasts an array of indoor attractions that provide respite from the scorching summer heat or the occasional rainy day. These family-friendly destinations promise a day of fun and excitement, regardless of the weather. Here are some indoor activities that you can enjoy with your kids in Phoenix:

  • Children’s Museum of Phoenix: This downtown museum features three floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits designed to engage the minds and imaginations of children of all ages. From the Noodle Forest to the Fort Building area, kids can explore, create and learn while having fun.
  • SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium: Located in Tempe, this aquatic attraction provides a thrilling underwater adventure. With thousands of sea creatures and interactive touch pools, your children can learn about marine life in an engaging environment.
  • iFLY Phoenix: Experience the thrill of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane. iFLY’s indoor wind tunnel allows children and adults alike to experience the sensation of flight in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Musical Instrument Museum: Showcasing instruments from around the world, this one-of-a-kind museum offers a universal language that all ages can appreciate. The museum’s interactive exhibits allow children to hear the sounds of different instruments and even try them out in the Experience Gallery.
  • Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park: An ideal spot for burning off energy, Jumpstreet features wall-to-wall trampolines, dodgeball courts, and a mechanical bull. It’s a great place for kids to have fun and stay active, no matter the weather outside.
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center: This indoor attraction at Arizona Mills is designed to inspire creativity with its interactive exhibits, 4D cinema, and thousands of LEGO bricks for free play.

Dining Out with Kids in Phoenix: Where to Eat and Play

Phoenix has a smorgasbord of family-friendly dining options that cater to both children and adults. Here are a few recommendations:

  • The Teapot: Located in a historic home, The Teapot is a family-friendly coffee shop with a play space for kids. They offer a kids’ menu, along with delicious pastries and coffee for adults.
  • O.H.S.O. Brewery & Distillery: This laid-back eatery not only offers a kids’ menu but also allows kids to make their own pizzas at the table. It also has a spacious outdoor area where kids can play.
  • Rustler’s Rooste: For a unique dining experience, try Rustler’s Rooste. This Western-themed restaurant features live country music, a live bull for photo ops, and a tin slide for kids.
  • Pita Jungle: With a comprehensive kids’ menu and coloring activities, Pita Jungle offers a casual, relaxed dining experience perfect for families.
  • Culinary Dropout at The Yard: This restaurant has a large outdoor area filled with games, making it a fun dining choice for families. Kids can play ping pong or cornhole while waiting for their food.
things to do in phoenix with kids

Final Thoughts

Phoenix, Arizona, is undeniably a treasure chest of family-friendly activities. From splashy fun at the city’s water parks, engaging hands-on learning at museums, thrilling indoor adventures, to a variety of dining options catering to both kids and adults alike. It’s a city that promises endless fun and learning opportunities for children of all ages, making it an ideal family vacation destination. Whether you opt for indoor or outdoor activities, Phoenix ensures your family trip will be packed with unforgettable experiences and cherished memories.

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