Jan 24, 2014

10 Things to do with Kids in AZ

Wow, it's reeeealllly been a while since I've posted anything. I've been keeping up more with Facebook than the blog I guess!  Here's  quick run-down on fun kid's activities that we like. Our girls are currently 7 and 3 and they enjoy all of these things here.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park - A large park, two playgrounds, a miniature train ride, a carousel, and a train museum, plus it's cheap! Tickets are $10 for 12 as of right now and the train and carousel each take 2.

Hiking - White Tanks Waterfall Trail - there may or may not be an actual waterfall (usually not since it only rains 7" a year here), but there's usually at least a small pool at the the end of the trail, plus great views of the Phoenix area. There are hieroglyphs along the very wide trail with good explanations of everything along the way, plus a chance to see desert plants up close and personal.  The trail is pretty easy and you could even take a jogging stroller 3/4 of the way if really necessary.  There's a large playground near the trailhead and plenty of picnic areas as well. The trail itself is about a mile long (so two miles round trip). Our oldest walked the entire trail with no problem by age 5.  Enter off Olive Road in the far west valley. Here's a map.

Children's Museum of Phoenix - Fun for all ages. Huge 3 story indoor climber plus tons of other activities. Our kids LOVE this place. Good for all ages as there is a baby play area in most rooms as well.  They are usually closed on Mondays.

Arizona Science Center - Good for ages 6+. Most activities are too advanced for the littles but it's even interesting for adults. They do have a few areas geared toward smaller kids and the outdoor ball and water feature is pretty neat.

Zoos - The Wildlife World Zoo and the Phoenix Zoo are both popular. You can get a bit closer to the animals at the Wildlife Zoo but it's further out on the west side of town, plus most of the paths are dirt, if that bothers you.  The have a pretty cool new aquarium complete with penguins and a shark tunnel that you walk through, plus a decent BBQ restaurant on site.  If you have time, I recommend driving about an hour and a half out of town to Camp Verde to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. It's not a traditional zoo and is definitely worth the trip.

Summer fun - Yep, it's HOT in the summer but there's many public parks with splash pads for the little ones now. We also have a couple large water parks for those that are a bit older. Generally the water parks and splash pads open on Memorial Day and close on Labor Day.  For a nice break, stay at one of our resorts that has a water park included. Try The Arizona Grand, The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, or the Westin Kierland. The first two are all-suite resorts so even the standard rooms will have a separate bedroom and living room. Always handy when you have kids along!