14 Things To Do with Kids in Phoenix

14 Things To Do with Kids in Phoenix | If you're traveling with the family to Arizona, and need family-friendly things to do in Phoenix and the surrounding area, we've got you covered! Whether you're visiting in summer, fall, winter, or spring, there are so many fun and unique things to do in Scottsdale and beyond - and many are free. Learn when to go, where to stay, what to pack, kid-friendly restaurants, and the top activities for all ages - even teens!

Offering year-round sunshine, Phoenix has all the key ingredients for a perfect family vacation. You can easily spend days exploring everything from museums and parks to amusement parks and animal experiences.

We have plenty to share with our list of 14 things to do with kids in and around Phoenix, Arizona.

Travel Considerations

  • If you want sunny days, but mild temperatures, plan your trip from November to March. But know that January through March are considered the high season so hotel rooms might be harder to come by.
  • If triple digit heat is your thing, schedule a visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • You’ll want to rent a car if you’re traveling around Phoenix and the surrounding areas. There is very limited public transportation. If you prefer, Uber is always a good choice to get around.
  • There are two airports to choose from, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Phoenix Sky is your best choice because it offers the most commercial flight options.

What to Pack

  • Sun protection – The sun in Arizona is strong throughout the year, so sun protection is a must. Pack plenty of sunscreen as well as lip balm with SPF, and don’t forget wide-brimmed sun hats and sunglasses.
  • Swimwear – Make sure to bring more than one swimsuit for each person. Rashguards are the perfect choice to protect your skin in the sun while you’re splashing in the water.
  • Heavy-duty filter water bottle – The water in Arizona is known for its high mineral content, which means it is not the best tasting water, but it’s also hard on sensitive bodies. Make sure to pack a water bottle that purifies your water and filters out all the things you don’t want.
  • Two pairs of shoes – You’ll want two pairs of shoes if you’re exploring Phoenix, one pair of sturdy hiking shoes or sneakers, and one pair of casual shoes that are open toe in the warm months and closed toe in the colder months.
  • Daypack – Don’t forget a daypack for all your outdoor activities. You’ll want a place to carry your water, snacks, and sunscreen.
  • The right clothing – Spring and summer means plenty of t-shirts and shorts, but you’ll want to make sure to pack a light jacket for evenings. In the fall and winter, you need to pack plenty of layers including a fleece or puffer jacket.

3 Must-Stay Hotels in Phoenix

Kids and parents will love these 3 must-stay Phoenix-area hotels.

  1. J.W. Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa – This luxury resort hotel offers plenty of amenities. Splash in the fountains, explore the resort grounds, or relax by a fire pit. Their water park has four acres of sparkling waterways. Adults will enjoy the restaurants, spa salon, and the championship golf course.
  2. Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort – This hotel is both exciting and relaxing with an onsite water park and entertainment center. Enjoy the lazy river, 18-hole mini golf course, and lots of kid-friendly dining options. You’ll appreciate that the staff can help with scheduling a long list of guided tours.
  3. The Phoenician – Expand your adventure and stay outside of Phoenix in Scottsdale. Kids 5-12 can join the Funicians Club for arts and crafts, outdoor sports, video games and board games, and a cactus garden tour. Adults will love dining at the J&G Steakhouse, playing a round of golf, or scheduling a treatment at the Phoenician Spa.

6 Kid-Pleasing Dining Options in Phoenix

These restaurants are perfect for picky eaters and restless kids alike with one-of-a-kind dining experiences.

  1. The Teapot – This family-friendly coffee shop serves healthy foods with a British twist. You can dine and play in their front or back garden. The staff is funny and friendly, and kids will love the bikes, games, and 2-story playhouse.
  2. Rustler’s Rooste – You’ll want to come hungry to this western-themed steakhouse. Enjoy live country music and panoramic views of the city. Kids will enjoy the indoor slide and Western playground as well as the roaming magician and cotton candy in a bucket.
  3. Ollie Vaughn’s Kitchen & Bakery – Take the whole family to this go-to breakfast spot. The kids menu is impressive and they are known for their ricotta pancakes and biscuits and gravy. The kids will enjoy the small wooden playhouse complete with plastic food and flower boxes.
  4. Luci’s at the Orchard – This restaurant is a great place to enjoy dinner. Kids can have fun running around on the grass or splashing on the tiny splash pad. Parents will love that the kids menu offers plenty of nutritious choices.
  5. Joe’s Real BBQ – The whole family will love eating at Joe’s. Relax at the picnic tables while the kids run on the grass and admire the antique John Deere tractor. The pulled pork is a must-try, and they’re open for both lunch and dinner.
  6. Ocotillo Restaurant – You’ll love this casual dining restaurant that offers modern architecture and places to dine inside and out. Kids will love the play area and the blue corn pancakes. They also offer craft beer, live music, and a fun coffee bar.

14 Things To Do with Kids in Phoenix

  1. Desert Botanical Garden – Home to thousands of species of trees, flowers, and cactus from all over the world, it’s the perfect spot to explore the beauty of the desert. Throughout the year, you can take classes, enjoy story time, or take in a live show.
  2. OdySea Aquarium – Located just 20 minutes from Phoenix in beautiful Scottsdale, this aquarium is worth the drive. Get up close and personal with sharks, penguins, and sloths. Older kids will love the helmet diving tour where fish will swim right up to them. Younger kids will love riding the Deep Ocean escalator.
  3. Castles N’ Coasters – Video games are a hands-down favorite of just about any kid. This amusement park with an edge is made for all kinds of thrill seekers. You can also play a round of mini golf on one of four courses, or ride the go carts or bumper boats. Or you can play one of over 150 arcade and pinball games.
  4. Singh Meadows – Get outside at this former golf course that has been turned into an amazing 72-acre park. Stretch your legs and go for a walk, throw a ball, or fly a kite. Visit the indoor farmers market or grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants.
  5. Arizona Science Center – There are plenty of activities and hands-on learning opportunities that will both teach and entertain. Stare at the stars in one of the largest planetariums in the U.S. or visit the theater to see amazing documentaries on wildlife, space, and the oceans.
  6. Children’s Museum of Phoenix – With hundreds of interactive exhibits, this museum is sure to capture your child’s attention. Build massive forts, play in a forest of foam noodles, get creative in the art studio, or go shopping in the market.
  7. Ride a Hot Air Balloon – Fly up, up, and away over the rugged desert landscape, while enjoying scenic views and local wildlife. You can catch a cool breeze on a hot day while taking amazing photos from the air.
  8. Phoenix Zoo – With over 3,000 animal species and exotic creatures, this zoo will not disappoint. Kids can pet and brush goats in the Red Barn, ride the carousel, or wander through the Monkey Village. They can also explore four different water play areas and playgrounds.
  9. Legoland Discovery Center – LEGO lovers young and old will have a blast building race cars and fighting off fantastical creatures at Kingdom Quest. Kids can also meet LEGO characters and pedal an enchanted cart on Merlin’s Apprentice Ride. It is the ultimate LEGO playground!
  10. i.d.e.a Museum – This museum is truly unique. Children of all ages can enjoy a variety of exhibitions and activities that will stimulate their minds and their imagination. Build sculptures, create digital art, climb and explore, and even draw on walls!
  11. Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting – Explore almost an acre of fire history exhibits as well as more than 100 fully-restored pieces of fire apparatus that make up the world’s largest collection of firefighting equipment. Kids will love dressing up like a real firefighter in coats, hats, and gear as well as climbing onto a real fire truck.
  12. Enchanted Island Amusement Park – This amusement park has attractions for everyone, from the thrilling to the tame. Younger kids will love the Dragon Wagon and C.P. Huntington Train. For those that love the water, you can rent a pedal boat or canoe or get wet in the Splash Zone. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, make sure to ride the Parachute Tower.
  13. Goldfield Ghost Town – You can spend an entire day at this ghost town that is rich in wild west history. Explore shops and historic buildings, tour the Mammoth Gold Mine, or visit the Goldfield Museum. Kids will love panning for gold and riding the Superstition Narrow Gauge Railroad.
  14. Sporting Events – If your family loves sports, you’re in the perfect place. Phoenix is home to four major sports teams: the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, and the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

It’s no doubt that Phoenix should be your next family vacation spot. With gorgeous weather and exciting adventures, you can’t go wrong.

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14 Things To Do with Kids in Phoenix | If you're traveling with the family to Arizona, and need family-friendly things to do in Phoenix and the surrounding area, we've got you covered! Whether you're visiting in summer, fall, winter, or spring, there are so many fun and unique things to do in Scottsdale and beyond - and many are free. Learn when to go, where to stay, what to pack, kid-friendly restaurants, and the top activities for all ages - even teens!

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