From entire families to those looking to get in touch with their inner kid, Phoenix offers tons of fun for everyone. Every member of the family can cool down at waterparks, feed giraffes at the zoo, sample delicious ice cream, and explore one-of-a-kind museums.
Here are nine of the best places in Phoenix to keep kids (and their parents) engaged and entertained.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is a popular attraction for families, and for good reason. Designed especially for kids from ages 1 to 10, this museum is jam-packed with child-friendly activities that will help small ones learn through play. From the art studio and book loft to the outdoor playground and market, there’s something for every kid here. Adults will likely find themselves enchanted by the whimsical atmosphere—and are welcome and encouraged to explore alongside their children.
Described as “a wonderful place where fans of all ages come together and rivalry doesn’t exist,” ComicX opened its first location in Phoenix with a mission to “unite all comic book lovers in a wondrous experience you’ll want to repeat over and over.” The restaurant, which has 36 locations in Mexico, offers a kid-friendly menu that includes nachos, burgers, and twists on local favorites from churros to chimichangas in a space packed with superhero (and super villain) statues, props, memorabilia, and photo ops.
Billed as “Arizona’s most thrilling water park,” Phoenix’s 35-acre Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, is also the state’s largest theme park. Offering high-speed water slides, lazy rivers, snacks (including local favorites such as tacos and fry bread), shops, and more, Six Flags is the perfect place to make a splash with the entire family this season.
No matter where this itinerary lands you, an ice cream stop is never a bad idea. Sweet Republic, an artisan sweet shop with locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, features a wide variety of delicious flavors, including Almond Buttercrunch, Brownie Swirl, Milk ‘n Cookies, and Strawberry Buttermilk. The shop also offers non-dairy sorbets, which come in tasty varieties like Chocolate, Basil Lime, and Mango Margarita. Fresh-baked cookies and brownies also serve as the foundations for building epic sundaes and ice cream sandwiches.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) features a massive display of more than 6,800 musical instruments and objects from around the globe. In addition to instruments, MIM takes you on a journey deep into the heart of human creativity, where visitors can learn about the world’s music and cultures. The top-rated museum provides headsets for guided audio tours, but kids will really love the interactive experience room, where visitors can try their hand at some of the instruments, and maybe even unleash their own inner musical prodigy.
From Monkey Island to a special exhibit on animals native to Arizona, there’s a lot to see at the Phoenix Zoo. Home to more than 3,000 animals, including 30 endangered or threatened species, the zoo offers visitors the chance to pet stingrays, feed goats, and see many of their favorite animals up close. The park is laid out in a circle, so it’s easy to navigate; a carousel and giraffe encounter make for fun memories as well. We recommend that you try to get to the zoo when it opens to beat the crowds. Season permitting, the zoo’s splash pad invites little ones to get soaked like the elephants—just bring a towel for your kids to dry off.
Offering top-of-the-line spa treatments, a state-of-the-art gym, and a golf course with a stunning stretch of holes running alongside the beautiful South Mountain Park and Preserve, the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa has plenty to keep you busy. With a family-friendly atmosphere and recently-renovated modern rooms, this resort is the perfect choice for a family getaway. Don’t miss out on the Oasis Water Park, which includes a 25-person hot tub, an 8-story Slide Canyon Tower with three adrenaline-pumping slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river.
For some hands-on fun, head to the Arizona Science Center. Older kids (and adults) will have a blast riding the SkyCycle, scanning the universe at the planetarium, and checking out features at the IMAX theater, while littler ones will enjoy the interactive exhibits on the forces of nature, the human body, technology, and more. When you arrive, make sure to check out the schedule of daily demonstrations teaching kids how to dig up dinosaur bones, how to dissect sea creatures, and how to freeze things with liquid nitrogen.
Space fans of all ages will definitely appreciate a visit to the Arizona Challenger Space Center, the only science museum in Arizona dedicated entirely to space and space exploration. The museum is home to a large collection of NASA artifacts, as well as an indoor planetarium, but the space flight simulators and wind tunnel really set this place apart.
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