Phoenix is an all time favorite travel destination for many around the world for some many different reasons. Specifically for families, there is a wide variety of things to see and do. Ranging from local restaurants, shopping, nightlife, museums and more, you’ll be sure to have a good time here. In this post, we’re giving you ten different things to do with kids while visiting this beautiful town.
The Musical Instrument Museum
This museum is not only one of the newest museums in the Phoenix area but has won multiple awards as well. My children and I visited the MIM a few months ago, and they had an amazing time. I did too – you use a headset to go on a self-guided tour of the museum, and as you walk up to various displays, the instruments at that display start playing! It’s quite a fusion of technology and education. The exhibits are divided into regions of the world, and they have instruments from every country – you can easily spend all day here, so plan on it, if you visit!
Wildlife World Zoo
The Wildlife World Zoo which is technically west of Phoenix is a quite the facility. With a huge aquarium, giraffe feeding, bird feeding, and a huge ‘dragon’ exhibit, this is sure to be a great way to spend the day with your family. As always when outside in Phoenix, bring lots of water, comfortable walking shoes, and SUNSCREEN! Getting sunburnt on vacation is no fun. The Wildlife World Zoo has several rides – a train, a sky ride, and even a flume water ride – to keep things fun.
Old Town Scottsdale
With its multiple art galleries, shops, and fun places to eat, is a throwback to the ‘wild west.’ Scottsdale is probably the most fashionable and trendy part of Arizona, and if you wander the streets of Old Town, you’ll be sure to see beautiful people and gorgeous fashions. And maybe pick up a few things for yourself!
Phoenix Art Museum
While Phoenix may not be known specifically for being an ‘art capital’ of the world, the Phoenix Art Museum certainly boasts an amazing collection that is not just fun for the art aficionados in your family, but also for your children. There are rotating exhibits and a children’s area where children can learn about early drawing methods in Mexico, and use patterns to create their own art to take home. There’s the “Fireflies” exhibit, which my children absolutely love – it’s an installation piece that you can go in and out of over and over again.
If you visit during fall or spring, Schnepf Farms is another great family spot to visit. They have an amazing pumpkin and chili festival in the fall, and a peach-picking festival in the spring. There are rides, a you-pick garden, local vendors, and more. Schnepf Farms is located a bit out of Phoenix, in Queen Creek, but is well worth the drive.
Desert Botanical Gardens
Love the desert? Then you’ll love the Desert Botanical Gardens. The gardens showcase the amazing diversity and beauty that the desert of Arizona contains. Be wowed (and cautious) of the cactus varieties, and explore the replicas of a Native American village. It’s a fantastic spot to learn about Arizona’s eco-system and how it functions. My children enjoyed it, but I think it would be better suited for older children.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
This spot is the furthest – about an hour and a half – outside of Phoenix. But it’s so much fun! Out of Africa Wildlife Park makes you feel like you’ve been transported from Arizona to Africa. You can feed giraffes carrots from the comfort of a re-purposed school bus on the initial tour, then watch the amazing and terrifying “Tiger Splash” show. The big cats – and there’s a lot of them – can be right on the fence. It feels like they’re so close, your heart beats a little faster. Of course, they are in very safe enclosures – you can’t get close enough to touch them! But, if you want to spend another $5, you can actually feed a tiger.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Love shopping? Me too! And the place to do it is Scottsdale Fashion Square (with Biltmore Fashion Park being a close second). With a Barney’s, H&M, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and so many more luxury stores – it’s a beautiful place to window shop or spend some money. There’s a fun play area on the third floor – that’s actually closed off! – and it’s for the smaller kiddos – under 42″. With a movie theater, and restaurants like Kona Grill, Modern Steak, cafes in both Nordstroms and Nieman Marcus, and a whole food court – it would be easy to spend the day here!
Phoenix Children’s Museum
Need an activity that’s just for the kids? The Phoenix Children’s Museum, located in downtown Phoenix, is the single best place to go! And, I’ll admit, it’s fun for families, too. Children can get their ‘monkey-energy’ (as I call it) out on the Climber – a three story tree-house type structure, get arty (and messy) in the art center, race cars, cook in the kitchen, shop for groceries in the store, and have a little down time with the reading nooks scattered throughout the museum. We love visiting this place – it’s a must-visit in the summer or the winter!
Downtown Glendale is a square surrounded by shops and restaurants that are all in former homes. Some of the homes have been there since the early 1900′s! It’s a fabulous spot for antiquing, finding unique gifts, and even having a spot of tea.
I love living here in Phoenix – there are even more amazing spots to visit than these 10 – these barely scratch the surface! If you want to visit, I recommend doing so in the winter – the weather will almost certainly be lovely!
Rachel lives and works in Phoenix She is a writer for AZ Foothills as well as her own blog, Small Steps and Journey and she has been exploring the area for many years! Here are her top places to visit in Phoenix with your family!