A Peek at the Fun: Are you planning a trip to the Phoenix area anytime soon? If so, we have so many fun things to do in Phoenix with kids. So let’s start planning your perfect family vacation.
~Written by Danetta~
Are you looking for a fun vacation with your kiddos? That’s where we found ourselves this year as spring break started to creep up. I knew I wanted to take my family somewhere, but wasn’t quite sure where? I can tell you we ended up making the best choice for our family…the Phoenix area was so fun and my family had a blast.
If you are looking for a fun and simple vacation, put Phoenix on your list! Seriously, my family found so many fun things to do in Phoenix with kids we couldn’t fit everything into our week.
Things to do in Phoenix with Kids:
We went to Phoenix without much of a plan, we knew we wanted some warmer weather (we went in the beginning of April and the temps hovered in the 80’s), plenty of chill time, and some new adventures for our family. With this in mind we set out to make it happen. We started off by renting a house with a pool in the backyard. We found lots of options with private pools, so it’s pretty simple to find the perfect place for your specific needs. And let me just tell you, having a private pool is AMAZING!! So fun! I would highly recommend it if you have kiddos who love to swim…or if you love to sit by the pool sippin’ on a Diet Coke (or your personal favorite). The pool was such a fun addition to this vacation.
So, as we planned our days we tried to keep things simple and find a good balance of being busy and having our down time. I think we nailed it. This vacation was really so nice and truly felt like a vacation, which isn’t always easy on a family vacation.
Here’s some of our favorite things to do in Phoenix with kids!
Let’s start with one of our favorites! The Odysea Aquarium was soooo much fun! To be honest, usually aquariums aren’t my favorite but my family all voted on what they wanted to do and this was one of the activities that won. I’m so happy it did, because the Odysea Aquarium is amazing.
They had so many fun exhibits and shows, there was always something happening. They had huge tanks with larger fish, sharks, and sting rays (among many others). Even riding the escalator to the lower level was an adventure as we passed through one of the large fish tanks. And I don’t think I’ve ever recommended that our readers use the bathrooms, but in this case I’m making an exception. Use the main bathrooms…I promise you will love them!!
Let’s talk about some specifics.
- You will want to plan 2-4 hours for this event. It really depends on how long you think your kiddos will want to look at each exhibit.
- They have a cafe in the aquarium to get some snacks and drink. The Odysea Aquarium is located in the middle of several fun restaurants so you can plan to grab lunch or dinner before or after the aquarium.
- If you order tickets online 24 hours in advance you can get discounted tickets. It saved us a solid amount, plus we got $5 per ticket to use at the cafe or gift shop.
We had 10 people in our group with kids ranging in age from 11 to 17 and the aquarium was a hit with all of them. Definitely one of the amazing things to do in Phoenix with kids.
We spent an afternoon at the Phoenix Zoo. If you plan to visit this zoo I would recommend going early. We arrived mid-moring and the temps were around 80 and the animals were already too hot and spent their time sleeping in the shade…can we blame them!? 🙂 So hit this one early to get your best shot at seeing the animals.
This zoo seemed fairly typical as far as zoo’s go, pretty much what you would expect. They did offer a fun 4D ride that was fun, but was an additional cost.
Let’s talk specifics:
- Bring water. They have food at the zoo, but you can also bring in your own.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Go early if it’s going to be warm the day you’re going.
- Wear good walking shoes…it’s a lot of walking with hills.
Overall, this was a one time thing for us. We weren’t blown away by the animals or the zoo, but if you love seeing animals it’s worth the visit.
Bowling in Phoenix:
A friend of ours told us about Bowlero and I’m really glad he did. If you like bowling, this is a definite must go. It’s a fun bowling experience for sure. They have huge TV screens lining the back wall, so they always have something to watch in between frames. They also have a yummy menu so I would recommend going a little hungry.
Looking for more fun things to do in Phoenix with kids? Good, because I’m just getting warmed up!! 🙂
If you are interested in visiting the Grand Canyon, you will want to plan a full day. It’s about a 3 hour drive from Phoenix to the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon and you have the time it’s worth the trip.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Where good shoes, there’s a lot of walking and some great hikes.
- Bring a jacket, it’s definitely cooler at the Grand Canyon than Phoenix. If you are traveling in the middle of summer you may be okay, but check the weather to make sure.
- Plan plenty of time to check out the visitor center. They have maps and tons of information about Grand Canyon, including a couple of videos.
- If you have the National Parks Pass don’t forget to bring it. You will gain free entry to the park with that pass.
They had several Segway tours available in the Phoenix area. One of the tours that looked interesting to us included a tour through Old Scottsdale. Old Scottsdale is a really fun place to go and look around, and riding through on a Segway is just fun! This activity is only for ages 12 and up, so if you have younger kiddos this isn’t your activity.
Have you ever heard of the town of Tombstone? You may be thinking of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and you’d be right! Tombstone gives you the chance to walk the very same streets as Wyatt Earp and his brothers. You get to step back in time and visit the old west, complete with gun fights, stage coaches, and a visit to the local saloon. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive from Phoenix, so if you can spare the day and you think your kiddos will love it, I’d say go for it! Such a fun and unique experience!
We hit a Phoenix Suns game while we were in town, and as it turns out they were playing our home team…the Utah Jazz. It was so fun to watch these two teams play, and a fun way to spend an evening.
In addition to professional basketball, they have spring training that happens every year for baseball. All of the professional baseball teams come to Phoenix for training and you can get tickets to watch. Phoenix is definitely busier during spring training, but if you’re there during the training be sure to get your tickets.
Best Restaurants in Phoenix:
Can we take some time to talk about the food we had in Phoenix…because it was AMAZING!! Seriously, every place we tried was so yummy. Phoenix knows how to eat! And what was even better was the service. Everyone was so friendly and helpful it made our dining experiences simply the best! I’m convinced you can hit almost anywhere in Phoenix and be fed a yummy meal, but I will help narrow your options by telling you where we loved.
If you are in the mood for an amazing hamburger, this is the place for you! Let’s start with location…we went to the Zinburger located in Scottsdale Quarter and it was fantastic. The location could not have been more beautiful, such a fun and trendy atmosphere.
There was a bit of a wait when we got there, but it was not biggie with the kiddos because there was so many shops to explore while we waited. One of the shops was a candy store full of fun and unique candies…so darling!
Once we were seated the real work began…what to order!!?? It all looked so tempting, we couldn’t decide and ended up ordering almost everything from the menu to share. Our kiddos absolutely loved it. And here’s where this restaurant shined…my son’s hamburger took a lot longer than everyone else’s food so they brought him out a shake of his choice while he waited! Now that’s service. And after they brought him the shake they even took the burger off our ticket. I’m telling you, they know good customer service!
This is a little glimpse into the Scottsdale Quarter…such a fun atmosphere.
They have a Zinburger in Phoenix and Gilbert as well.
Old Town Tortilla Factory:
We wanted to go to Old Scottsdale because we heard it was a fun place to visit, so we picked this restaurant to try out. The Old Town Tortilla Factory was a definite win, it was delicious and such a cool atmosphere. We had come from Utah where the temps were still cold so when we saw that they have 1400 square feet of patio space we were sold. Eating outside under the twinkle lights was dreamy.
My 17 year old son had friends in Arizona at the same time as our visit so we took them along with us to dinner. The Old Town Tortilla Factory was a hit with all of the teens and our younger kiddos too. It’s southwestern flavor with a Mexican twist…and it’s perfection!
This restaurant is located in the art district of Old Scottsdale, so plenty to see while you’re in the area. Come early and take the chance to walk around and explore…it’s a very cool vibe.
While we were in Arizona my brother in law had a birthday which was the perfect excuse for an adult only dinner. Hand Cut Burgers and Chophouse won the evening. We had the flank steak and a burger with lots of the sides…all were absolutely delicious!
We loved the chill vibe here at this restaurant, easy going yet nice! It is located next to an ice cream shop, so save room for dessert!
We were told we had to try Spinato’s Pizzeria, so on our last day we set out to find it. Turns out it was less than a mile away from where we were staying but they have several locations. This was another restaurant win for our family. We ordered several pizzas, and cheesy bread, and a couple of pasta dishes. They were all fabulous. I would recommend ordered plenty of the cheesy bread…it went fast. But we had plenty of pizza left over. They don’t skimp on the toppings so we couldn’t eat as many pieces as we thought. This is a definite family win.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers:
If you are looking for a quick and simple meal, this is the place! It’s a popular fast food chain, and it’s really good. They have perfected the art of chicken fingers, they are really good. But just a heads up…they only do chicken. So make sure you’re in the mood for chicken before you head to Raising Cane’s, but I recommend that you do! It’s delicious.
Have I convinced you to take a vacation to Phoenix, Arizona yet? I sure hope so, because it was fabulous. If you go, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your favorite places to hit.
Have FUN finding fun things to do in Phoenix with kids!
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