Mar 28, 2008

Play Places

Makutu's Island
6919 W. Ray Road ~ Chandler, Arizona 85226 ~ 1-877-MAKUTUS

Makutu's Island is a 20,000 square foot, multi-level indoor playground made for children and adults (yes, you can play too). While Makutu's Island can get loud, there are places for parents to sit back and watch. You know your kids are safe climbing the multi level play structures with attendants on hand and coded wristbands. So let them climb, slide and race while you relax. Or you can join in on the fun. Admission $8.50 children (1-18), $3.50 adults (18 and over).

Tours and Towns

Shamrock Farms Tour
40034 W. Clayton ~ Stanfield, AZ 85272 ~ 602-477-2462

Shamrock Farms is the largest family-owned and- operated dairy in the Southwest. When you tour the working dairy farm, you’ll see firsthand the pride that is put into everything Shamrock makes. Reservations are required. Children 2 and under are free. Admission $9 adults, $6 children, $7.50 seniors.

Rawhide Western Town
5700 West North Loop Road ~ Chandler, AZ 85226 ~ 480-502-5600

Anyone who grew up in Arizona has fond memories of this 1880's-inspired western town. Rawhide's new location at Wild Horse Pass might throw some of us old-timers off, but the fun is sure to be the same. Take the kids on a stagecoach or train ride or watch a live showdown on Main Street. Burro rides and panning for fool's gold will give the buckaroos something to talk about for months. Admission is free but attractions require tickets at $4 each. One day unlimited passes are $15 per person.

Science and Museum Fun

The Arizona Science Center
600 E Washington Street ~ Phoenix, AZ 85004 ~ 602-716-2000

Located in downtown Phoenix, the Center features an IMAX theater, over 300 hands-on exhibits, and a 200 seat digital planetarium. Explore more than 300 hands-on exhibits in five themed galleries. Check out Preschool Science, specifically for children ages 3-5! Children ages 2 and under are free with a paying adult. Admission is $9 adults, $7 children, $7 seniors.

Challenger Space Center
21170 N 83rd Ave ~ Peoria, AZ 85382 ~ 623-322-2001

The Mission of the Challenger Space Center is to inspire, excite and educate people of all ages about the mysteries and wonders of space, science and the universe in which we live. Check out the preschoolers program, Public Space Place. General admission prices - children 5 and under are free, $6 adults, $4 students and seniors.

Phoenix Area Zoos

The Phoenix Zoo
Voted one of the nations top 5 zoos for kids!
455 North Galvin Parkway ~ Phoenix, AZ 85008 ~ 602-273-1341

Visit this 125 acre zoo, home to over 1,300 animals, and also see over 1,200 varieties of plants! Enjoy 2.5 miles of walking trails, playgrounds, and shops. An interesting note about the Phoenix Zoo - it was started by the famed appliance family member Robert Maytag in 1962. Children under 2 are free with a paying adult. Admission is $14 adults, $6 children, $9 seniors. Summer rates may be reduced. Check the Phoenix Zoo website for details. Coupon

The Wildlife World Zoo
16501 W. Northern Ave ~ Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 ~ 623-935-WILD

As one of only a few nationally accredited, privately owned zoos in the United States, the Wildlife World Zoo features Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals with over 2,400 individual animals representing more than 400 exotic and endangered species. Visit the zoo babies including the baby white tigers and see an all-white albino alligator! A personal note, most of the zoo's trails are dirt or gravel so expect to be a little dusty when you get home! Children under 2 are free with a paying adult. Admission prices are $16.99 + tax adults, $8.99 + tax children. Coupon

Out of Africa Wildlife Park
3505 West Highway 260 ~Camp Verde AZ 86322 ~ 928-567-2840

Although Out of Africa Wildlife Park is NOT located in Phoenix, it is about a 90 minute drive north to the small town of Camp Verde. Out of Africa Wildlife Park is an opportunity to see animals from all over the world, especially Africa. Visitors enjoy an authentic replica of a real African Safari in the Serengeti. Out of Africa is home to over 400 wild-by-nature, animals. The park is only open Wed-Sun 9:30am-5pm. Children under 3 are free with a paying adult. Admission is $32 adults, $20 children, $28 seniors. Coupon

Parks for Family Fun

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
7301 E. Indian Bend Road ~ Scottsdale, Arizona 85250 ~ (480) 312-2312

Take a ride on the miniature train, the carousel, or just enjoy the park, playgrounds, and shops. We love visiting this park because it's so much fun for the kids (and adults too!) Admission is free, children under 3 ride free with a paying adult and ride tickets are just $1. The train ride is 2 tickets and carousel is 1 ticket. You can't go wrong with a train ride for just $2! Our daughter really enjoyed the long ride around the park's playgrounds and the sound of the train's whistle as we crossed the sidewalks.

The Desert Botanical Gardens and Spring Butterfly Exhibit
1201 N. Galvin Parkway ~ Phoenix, AZ 85008 ~ 480-941-1225

The Spring Butterfly Exhibit runs through May 11th and highlights the beauty and diversity of North America’s butterflies. Expect to see Giant Swallowtails, Great Southern Whites, Zebra Swallowtails, Queens, Julias, Painted Ladies and Malachites among others. Friendly Garden volunteers, or “flight crews” will be on hand to answer questions and share information about the butterflies and plants. There are special display areas featuring butterfly host plants and a Discovery Station where you have the chance to see our scaly-winged friends up close.