There are plenty of fun things to do in Phoenix, Arizona, even if you’re traveling with kids. Phoenix is known for its year-round dry, hot weather.
So, there’s plenty to do outside, but of course, there are also indoor, air-conditioned activities too.
Here are 18 unique things to do in Phoenix with kids, no matter what your preferences are.
#1 – Phoenix Zoo
Kids love seeing the many animals at the Phoenix Zoo, including elephants, lions, and bears. You’ll also find an aquarium and a tropical bird aviary. The zoo is home to over 1,400 animals and 30 endangered species that are in breeding programs. In addition to the animal exhibits, kids can also enjoy the splash pads, carousel, train ride, and interactive animal feeding experiences.
#2 – Enchanted Island Amusement Park
Enchanted Island is the perfect family-friendly theme park. It’s full of cute cartoon characters, making it ideal for any kids 6 and up. At this amusement park, you’ll find attractions like arcade games, a carousel, pedal boats, a train ride, a splash pad, bumper boats, and a small roller coaster. Plus, this park even has beautiful views of the Phoenix skyline.
#3 – Children’s Museum of Phoenix
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is an interactive wonderland for kids ages 10 and under. It has 48,000 square feet of space, which takes up three floors. There are over 300 exhibits that can teach children educational topics in fun, hands-on ways. Some exhibits include a climbing area made of recycled items, a “Noodle Forest” that provides a sensory adventure, and an art studio where kids can get creative.
#4 – Arizona Science Center
The Arizona Science Center is another great interactive experience for children. It was established in 1980, and it currently has over 300 permanent, hands-on exhibits. Some topics kids will experience and learn about are space, nature, and weather. This attraction also has a planetarium and a 5-story IMAX theater to add to the excitement.
#5 – Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix
Due to the consistent heat, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is one of the best things to do with kids in Phoenix. It sits on about 35 acres of land, so it’s the largest theme park in Arizona. It has a wide range of water attractions, including slides, a lazy river, wave pools, and a shallow kid area. It’s the perfect spot to relax and soak up some sun while your kids splash around to their heart’s content.
#6 – Desert Botanical Garden
Not every kid-friendly attraction has to be busy and chaotic. The Desert Botanical Garden is a peaceful Phoenix attraction that kids are still sure to love. It’s a beautiful cacti garden, and it’s known for having the largest collection of desert plants in the entire world. It has plenty of walking paths, surrounded by over 50,000 plant displays. There are also many guides who are happy to answer any questions you have.
#7 – OdySea Aquarium
The zoo isn’t the only place where your family can admire animals. The OdySea Aquarium is a more modern attraction, which opened in 2016. It has over 65 exhibits, but the most famous part is the jaw-dropping 2-million-gallon aquarium. There are plenty of unique ways to view the animals too, such as a submerged elevator and a sea carousel. Some animals that you’ll find at this aquarium including sharks, otters, penguins, and sting rays.
#8 – Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
This attraction is located on 1,500-year-old archaeological site. So, kids will love exploring the space and learning some history in the process. It’s a National Historical Landmark that has lots of outdoor paths for families to walk on. During your visit, you can take a tour of the prehistoric Hohokam village and learn more about their culture. There are even plenty of hands-on activities to keep young children entertained.
#9 – Phoenix Art Museum
An art museum might not be the first choice for a kid’s vacation, but many kids enjoy seeing the unique artwork and partaking in kid-friendly activities. The museum was founded in 1959, and it currently holds over 18,000 works of art. You’ll find pieces from many well-known artists, such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. At the front desk, you can get a scavenger hunt guide to turn the educational experience into a fun game too.
#10 – Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is one of the best things to do in Phoenix, even with kids. It’s the only global instrument museum in the world, and it has over 15,000 instruments and artifacts for guests to view. These instruments even come from 200 different countries. You’ll find several famous instruments from musicians like Elvis Presley, Taylor Swift, and John Lennon. This experience might even inspire your kid to try learning a new instrument.
#11 – Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
The Wildlife World Zoo has the largest animal collection in Arizona. It’s an animal sanctuary that takes up 215 acres, 15 of which are a safari park. The safari park has a variety of African animals, including lions, hyenas, ostriches, and warthogs. There’s also an area called “Dragon World,” dedicated to impressive reptiles like alligators, pythons, and Gila monsters. Some kid-friendly attractions include train rides, playgrounds, a carousel, and a petting zoo.
#12 – Valley Youth Theatre
The Valley Youth Theatre has been around since 1989, and it hosts some of the most family-friendly shows. This theatre puts on six shows each season, so there’s plenty to see. These shows focus on helping kids achieve future acting dreams. This location has even helped launch careers for famous actors like Emma Stone. Check out the upcoming events to see if there are any shows that your family would be interested in.
#13 – LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Even if your kids aren’t obsessed with Legos, Legoland is an exciting attraction for all ages. It’s like an indoor playground, which includes a few rides, a 4D cinema, 10 Lego building areas, and plenty of amazing Lego sculptures throughout. You can even take a Lego Factory tour to learn all the secrets about how these one-of-a-kind toys came to be.
#14 – Butterfly Wonderland
Butterfly Wonderland is known as the largest rainforest conservatory in the United States. The best part of the attraction is the butterfly habitat, where you can get close to over 3,000 butterflies flying freely. There is even a spot where you can watch the butterflies go through metamorphosis and fly for the first time. Some other exhibits at this attraction include other animal habitats, interactive exhibits for kids, and a 3D movie theater.
#15 – Castles N’ Coasters
Castles N’ Coasters is another Phoenix amusement park that you won’t want to miss. It has plenty of thrill rides for older kids and teens, such as a free fall ride and a looping roller coaster. There are also plenty of attractions more suitable for younger kids, such as a carousel, mini golf course, and an arcade. So, if you bring the whole family, you’ll all be able to find activities to enjoy.
#16 – i.d.e.a. Museum
“i.d.e.a.” stands for imagination, design, experience, art. So, this museum is a unique attraction that’s perfect for creative individuals of all ages. It has lots of art-inspired activities for kids to enjoy, which will help them learn about topics like science, engineering, imagination, and design. Some unique exhibits include building inventions, creating music through sounds and lights, and exploring a “village” area made specifically for kids.
#17 – Wet ‘N Wild Phoenix
Wet ‘N Wild is an excellent place to cool off on a hot day, especially since it’s labeled Phoenix’s largest waterpark. It has over 30 thrilling attractions, including racing water slides, a wave pool, a massive drop, a lazy river, and an interactive play structure for kids. Plus, there are plenty of dining options on-site, so your family can spend the whole day there if you’d like.
#18 – Goldfield Ghost Town
This might sound too scary for younger guests, but it’s actually a fascinating and educational experience. Goldfield is a reconstructed mining town from the 1800s. While exploring this popular “ghost town,” you can stop in the museum, take tours of the mines, take a train ride, and experience a reenactment of a gun fight. It’ll be like you stepped right into your own Western film.
Kids are sure to fall in love with the many vibrant, unique attractions throughout this city. So, use these 18 great attractions to help you start planning your vacation. There’s no shortage of things to do in Phoenix with kids, so it can make an excellent family vacation destination.