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Family Activities in Phoenix

Between its natural beauty, great theme parks, and many museums, Phoenix is a great place for kids and parents alike. Where else can you visit a ghost town, cool off in the first wave pool in the country or indulge your sweet tooth with a tour of a candy factory all within a short drive?

If you’re on the hunt for family-friendly things to do in Phoenix to explore the scenery, beat the heat or avoid breaking the bank, look no further than our list of activities and attractions below.

Explore the Attractions and Natural Wonders

Big Surf Waterpark – Who says you need a beach to hang ten? Opened in 1969 in nearby Tempe, Big Surf is home to the first inland wave pool in America. The park is open all day, but early morning and later in the evening you can grab your surfboard and take it for a spin.

Castles ‘n’ Coasters – A ten-acre amusement park in Phoenix that includes roller coasters, a miniature golf course, and arcade.

Desert Botanical Garden – A 140-acre located in Papago Park with thousands of different kinds of desert plants and over 125 endangered and rare species. The garden often has special events and even lights up during the winter as an “Electric Forest“. 

Enchanted Island Amusement Park – A 7.5-acre theme park at the center of Encanto Park with a train ride, pedal boats and other attractions for young kids.

Goldfield Ghost TownDrive out to this Wild West reenactment spread across a 1890s mining town including gold mine tours, gun slinging duels, and a history museum.

Phoenix Zoo – Opened in 1962, the Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in America home to over 3,000 animals including 30+ endangered species.

Pioneer Living History Village – Also known as Pioneer Village, the 90-acre historical site and living museum includes 30 reconstructed historical buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century.

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park – Explore the prehistoric Hohokam culture and other pre-Columbian peoples in the Phoenix area at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix – The largest theme park in Arizona, Wet ‘n’ Wild is a water park in north Phoenix with a variety of rides, playgrounds and wave pools.

Beat the Heat with Indoor Adventures

Arizona Science Center – The Arizona Science Center is a museum located in downtown Phoenix home to over 350 interactive exhibits that are both entertaining and enlightening.

Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting – Learn about the worldwide history of firefighting from the 1700s to modern times at the National Historic Fire Foundation museum.

I.D.E.A. Museum – The I.D.E.A. Museum in downtown Mesa gives young children a chance to interact with fine art across a variety of exhibits and activities.

Legoland Discovery Center – Everyone’s favorite toys come to life at the Legoland Discovery Center featuring interactive exhibits, movies, and a factory tour.

Musical Instrument Museum – Opened in 2010, the Musical Instrument Museum is the largest museum of its type in the world including a hands-on experience room and kids room.

Odysea Aquarium – Located in Scottsdale, Odysea is the largest aquarium in the southwest covering over 200,000 square feet with over 30,000 different marine animals.

Sea Life Arizona Aquarium – Sea Life Arizona is an interactive aquarium located in Tempe with a 360-degree ocean tunnel and thousands of marine animals.

Free Fun for Everyone

Annual festivals and Events – Phoenix is home to a wide variety of free festivals and community events throughout the year. Check out a list of local events to learn more about what is happening and how to get involved.

Arizona Railway Museum – Train fans rejoice in nearby Chandler at the Arizona Railway Museum, a free museum dedicated to the history and preservation of railways and trains of Arizona and the greater southwest.

The Arizona League – The Arizona League is a rookie-level minor league baseball league with 15 teams that have operated in the Phoenix area since 1988. Games are free to attend and occur from mid-June to late August each summer.

Cerreta Candy Company – Take a guided tour and find out how your favorite candies are made at the family-owned Cerreta Candy Company. Free 30-minute tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Children’s Museum of Phoenix – Dive into educational fun at the sprawling Children’s Museum of Phoenix with over 300 interactive exhibits, activities, and performances for kids of all ages. Admission is free from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

Explore Candy Cane Lane – During the winter months, Phoenix is alive with twinkling lights all over several valley neighborhoods. Between 24th Street and 28th Street, Phoenicians can drive down Pinchot Avenue, which is transformed into a lane of giant candy canes and brilliant light displays.

Heard Museum – Explore the rich culture and history of Native American art at the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix. Admission is free from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

Waterfall Trail – Visit the 1.9-mile Waterfall Trail for an easy hike the whole family can enjoy. The trail is great for beginners and includes views of a picturesque namesake waterfall and beautiful, rocky scenery.

Phoenix has something to offer everyone in the family. There are so many things to do to explore the city so load up the car and get started! Do you need some help navigated the area? Our local experts can help you navigate Phoenix no problem. Contact us today for anything you want to know about Phoenix.