Phoenix has a tendency to fall off the radar in terms of family vacation destinations, but it’s truly a fantastic large city with all the usual amenities for family fun. Looking for things to do in Phoenix with kids? You’ve come to the right place…
1. Camelback Mountain. If your family lives for the outdoors, hike Camelback Mountain. With an elevation of 2,704 feet, the beautiful views of Phoenix and the land beyond it are worth the trek up. Go it alone on one of two trails or schedule a guided hike. You can even post your climbing time and take a look at how other hikers are doing.
2. Arizona Cardinals Football Training. You may have missed it this year, but it’s worth making a note for your next Arizona vacation. If you and your kids are Cardinal football fans, watching a practice session is definitely a great way to spend time together without the crowd. Register your sons and daughters for participation in the competitive activities held at the north end of the stadium. Drills include an obstacle course, quarterback toss and various exercises designed to ramp up enthusiasm for the sport.
3. Oasis Water Park at Arizona Grand Resort. Made popular by The Travel Channel’s feature on water parks, the Oasis was voted among the top 10 in the country. For good reason too, a gigantic wave pool offers endless surf plus an 8-story tower houses the starting point of three thrilling water slides. Sure, you have to book a night at the hotel to enjoy Oasis Water Park, but it’s absolutely worth doing.
4. If you’ve got little ones or need something fun to do indoors, check out Stuffington Bear Factory. Guided mini-tours for groups under 10 are free Monday through Saturday at 1 pm. There is no better way to learn about manufacturing and the history of the beloved toy teddy bear than to see the process in action.
5. Desert Botanical Garden. The activities planner here deserves kudos for going above and beyond with extraordinary events. The”Fish Out of Water” exhibit is here daily until January 4, 2015. Another event known as “Monarch and Milkweed Saturdays” begins at the end of September until early November. You can also bring your four-legged friends for a walk on Dogs’ Day on November 16. Admission is $4 per pet with proceeds going to the Arizona Humane Society.
6. Holiday Ice Skating returns in late November and runs until early January at the Phoenix Holiday Ice Rink. Polish your blades and practice your balance on the ice for a fun-filled afternoon of exercise and fresh air.
7. Arizona Hummer Tours. What better way to see the Sonoran Desert than riding in a Hummer? Grab the kids and explore a 1000-year-old Indian Fort, ghost towns and other Native American ruins while taking in the gorgeous views of the desert. The average tour length is just under three hours and exciting for everyone, especially those interested in Native American history.
8. For the aspiring fire fighters and future heroes, the Hall of Flame Fire Fighting Museum is not to be missed. Over 90 fully restored pieces of equipment, from the 1700’s to the 1960’s, are on display as well as a gallery devoted to the history of wild land fire fighting. This museum is the largest of its kind and will have your young daredevil ready to tame the flames.
9. Not too far away in Scottsdale is Crackerjax Park, famous for having a little bit of everything, and all of it fun. Play Alien Invasion Laser Tag, Water Wars, volleyball or golf. Test your skills in bumper boats, go-karts, batting cages or chill out in the arcade. With something to please everyone, even the most adventurous child will be happy all day.
10. For those with happy feet, attend Ballet Arizona’s Nutcracker Festival on November 16, 2014. Holiday festivities and performances are sure to delight any budding ballerina. All proceeds from this event support the programs and students of The School of Ballet Arizona.
Got any family favorites in Phoenix? Leave them in the comments!