20 Things to Do in Arizona with Kids in 2024

When it comes to family vacations, Arizona is a treasure trove of adventure and fun. From the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon to the vibrant cultural scene in Phoenix, there are endless possibilities for families to create memories together. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, interactive museums, or a glimpse into Native American history, Arizona has it all.

1. Visit the Grand Canyon National Park

 Grand Canyon National Park

 

No trip to Arizona would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park. This natural wonder is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States and offers breathtaking views and unique experiences for families.

From hiking along the rim to taking a helicopter tour or even camping overnight, there are plenty of ways to explore this majestic place. The Grand Canyon is truly a great place for families to connect with nature and create cherished memories.

2. Explore the Arizona Science Center

 Arizona Science Center

 

For a day of interactive learning and family fun, head to the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. This state-of-the-art science center features over 300 hands-on exhibits, a five-story IMAX Theater, and a state-of-the-art Dorrance Planetarium. With exhibits that cater to children of all ages, the Arizona Science Center is the perfect place for families to explore and discover the wonders of science.

From the Experience Gallery where guests can play instruments from around the world to the Art Studio where kids can unleash their creativity, there’s something for everyone at the Arizona Science Center.

3. Fun at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona

 LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona

 

If you have LEGO-loving kids, a visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona is a must. This indoor playground is filled with massive LEGO reproductions of global landmarks, rides, and thousands of bricks for kids to get creative with. From the LEGO Factory Tour to the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, there are plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona is a great option for families looking for a day filled with LEGO-filled adventure, especially for younger kids.

4. Experience the Phoenix Zoo

 the Phoenix Zoo

 

For animal lovers, a visit to the Phoenix Zoo is a must. Located in the heart of the Valley of the Sun, this zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world. Families can ride the safari train, explore the monkey village, and even have a close encounter with giraffes.

The Phoenix Zoo also plays an important role in conservation efforts, with exhibits dedicated to educating visitors about endangered species. A day at the Phoenix Zoo is not only fun but also educational, making it a great family-friendly attraction in Arizona.

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5. Discover SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

SEA LIFE

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium is a great place for families to explore the wonders of the ocean. With over 5,000 sea animals, including sharks, rays, seahorses, and tropical fish, this aquarium provides an immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

The highlight of SEA LIFE Arizona is the 360-degree ocean tunnel, where guests can walk through and get up close with various marine species. From interactive touch pools to educational talks and feeding demonstrations, there’s something for everyone at SEA LIFE Arizona. It’s a great place for family fun and a chance to learn about the diverse sea life that inhabits our oceans.

6. Spend a Day at the OdySea Aquarium

 the OdySea Aquarium

Another great aquarium in Arizona is the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale. This state-of-the-art facility is home to a wide variety of aquatic animals, including penguins, sea turtles, otters, and a variety of fish from around the globe.

The OdySea Aquarium offers exciting ways for visitors to get up-close with aquatic life, such as a submerged escalator that descends through a deep-ocean tank and a Living Sea “carousel” viewing experience.

Families can also participate in educational experiences and interactive exhibits that teach them about the importance of marine conservation. A day at the OdySea Aquarium is not only fun but also educational, making it a perfect destination for families in Arizona.

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7. Adventure at the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

 the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

For a wild west adventure, head to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium in Litchfield Park. This 15-acre safari park is home to over 600 exotic and endangered species and offers a diverse range of wildlife encounters for visitors.

Families can ride the safari train, explore the park’s four-building aquarium, and even visit the Baby Animal Nursery to see the newest resident babies. With fun rides like a tree-top sky ride and a safari train, the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is a great option for families looking for a day filled with animal encounters and family fun.

8. Enjoy the Musical Instrument Museum

the Musical Instrument Museum

 

Music lovers of all ages will enjoy a visit to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. This one-of-a-kind museum showcases musical instruments from around the world and offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors.

Families can explore the museum’s geographic galleries, play instruments from different cultures, and even create their music in the art studio. The Musical Instrument Museum provides a unique and educational experience for families, allowing them to immerse themselves in the world of music and learn about different musical traditions.

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9. Immerse in Culture at the Heard Museum

the Heard Museum

 

For a deeper understanding of Native American culture, a visit to the Heard Museum in Phoenix is a must. This world-renowned museum showcases the diverse history, culture, and modern art of American Indians of the Southwest.

Families can explore the museum’s galleries, which feature exhibits of Native American art, history, and cultural experiences.

The Heard Museum also offers hands-on activities for kids, such as the It’s Your Turn: HOME Studio, where children can create crafts based on museum exhibits. A visit to the Heard Museum is not only educational but also a chance to appreciate the beauty and significance of Native American art and culture.

10. Visit the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeology Park

 Pueblo Grande Museum

 

Step back in time and explore ancient cultures at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeology Park in Phoenix. This museum is incorporated into a 1,500-year-old archaeological site, making it a unique destination for families.

Visitors can walk along a trail that takes them through a prehistoric Hohokam village, featuring an excavated platform mound, ballcourt, and replicated prehistoric houses.

The Pueblo Grande Museum offers educational experiences and hands-on activities for kids to learn about the science of archaeology. It’s a great place for families to engage in interactive learning and discover the rich history of ancient cultures in Arizona.

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11. Experience the Sonoran Desert

the Sonoran Desert

 

No visit to Arizona is complete without experiencing the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Families can explore the desert’s diverse ecosystem at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

This botanical garden is the world’s largest collection of desert plants and features five thematic trails that showcase the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. From beautiful desert wildflowers to desert living exhibits, there’s plenty to see and learn about in the Desert Botanical Garden. Families can also enjoy nature trails and participate in outdoor activities that highlight the beauty and importance of the Sonoran Desert.

12. Visit the Papago Park

 Papago Park

 

Papago Park in Phoenix is a great destination for families looking to enjoy outdoor activities and stunning scenic views. The park offers hiking trails that wind through the desert landscape, providing opportunities for families to explore and enjoy nature. With its unique rock formations and picturesque vistas, Papago Park is a favorite spot for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Families can also visit the nearby Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden, which are located within the park. Whether you’re hiking, picnicking, or simply enjoying the beautiful surroundings, Papago Park is a great place for family fun and outdoor adventures.

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13. Discover the Red Rocks of Sedona

 Red Rocks of Sedona

 

For a truly magical experience, head to Sedona and discover the stunning red rocks that have made this town famous. Sedona is known for its natural beauty and spiritual energy, making it a popular destination for families seeking outdoor adventures. Families can hike through the red rock formations, take jeep tours to explore off-road trails, or even go on a hot air balloon ride to see the landscape from above.

There are also several family-friendly hikes in the area, such as the Cathedral Rock Trail and the Bell Rock Pathway. A visit to Sedona is a chance for families to connect with nature and experience the natural wonders of Arizona.

14. Cool Off in Arizona’s Desert Lakes

Arizona’s Desert Lakes

 

Despite being known for its desert landscape, Arizona offers several lakes where families can cool off and enjoy water activities. Lake Havasu, located on the Arizona-California border, is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Families can go boating, water skiing, or tubing on the lake’s crystal-clear waters.

Lake Powell, located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, is another great option for families. This narrow lake is surrounded by painted desert canyons and offers opportunities for camping, boating, and fishing. Cool off in the desert heat and enjoy a day of family fun at Arizona’s desert lakes.

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15. Enjoy a Day at the Desert Botanical Garden

 Botanical Garden

 

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the desert at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. This botanical garden is home to the world’s largest collection of desert plants, with over 50,000 specimens on display. Families can explore the garden’s five thematic trails, which highlight the conservation, beauty, and diversity of desert plants.

Kids will love the interactive exhibits, such as the Noodle Forest, where they can explore and learn about different plant species. The Desert Botanical Garden also offers educational experiences and programs for families, making it a great destination for both fun and learning.

16. Visit Enchanted Island Amusement Park at Encanto Park

Enchanted Island Amusement Park

 

For a day of old-fashioned amusement park fun, head to Enchanted Island Amusement Park at Encanto Park in Phoenix. This charming park offers a variety of rides and attractions for families to enjoy. Kids can ride the historic Encanto carousel, go bumper boating, or play a round of miniature golf.

Families can also rent pedal boats and explore the park’s scenic lake. Enchanted Island Amusement Park is a great place for families to spend a day together, enjoying classic amusement park rides and creating lasting memories.

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17. Experience Goldfield Ghost Town

 Goldfield Ghost Town

 

Step back in time and experience the Wild West at Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction. This historic town offers families the chance to learn about the past and enjoy some great entertainment. Kids can witness an Old West gunfight performed by the Goldfield Gunfighters, pan for gold, or take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train.

There are also underground guided tours through the mines and jeep tours across the scenic Apache Trail. Goldfield Ghost Town is a great option for families looking to have fun while learning about Arizona’s history.

18. Enjoy iFly Indoor Skydiving

 Indoor Skydiving

 

For a thrilling family adventure, try indoor skydiving at iFly in Scottsdale. This unique experience allows people of all ages to experience the sensation of skydiving in a safe and controlled environment.

Families can enjoy the thrill of freefalling and flying in a wind tunnel, without the need for a parachute or jumping out of an airplane. iFly provides a safe and exciting way for families to experience the adrenaline rush of skydiving. It’s a great option for families looking for a unique and thrilling activity in Arizona.

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19. Have Fun at Octane Raceway

 Octane Raceway

 

For a day of adrenaline-pumping fun, head to Octane Raceway in Scottsdale. This entertainment destination offers go-karting, arcade games, and laser tag, making it the perfect place for families to have fun together.

Kids can race against each other on the fast and exhilarating go-kart track, challenge each other to arcade games, or engage in epic laser tag battles. Octane Raceway provides a safe and enjoyable environment for families to bond and create lasting memories. It’s a great option for families looking for an action-packed day of family fun in Arizona.

20. Ride the Rails at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

McCormick-Stillman

 

For a nostalgic train ride and family fun, visit McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. This park is home to a miniature train ride that takes families on a tour of the park and offers a chance to ride on historical trains.

Kids will love the beautifully carved and restored Scottsdale Charro Carousel, and the park also features railroad engines, a machine shop, and a 10,000-square-foot Model Railroad Building filled with artifacts. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a great place for families to enjoy a day of train rides, explore park attractions, and immerse themselves in the history of rail transportation.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Arizona offers an abundance of educational and entertaining activities for families. From the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon to the diverse wildlife at the Phoenix Zoo and the interactive Arizona Science Center, the state provides a perfect blend of fun and learning.

Whether it’s exploring the desert botanical gardens or enjoying the thrilling iFly Indoor Skydiving, Arizona caters to kids of all ages. With its unique experiences and diverse attractions, Arizona is undeniably a top destination for family-friendly adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some family-friendly attractions in Arizona?

Things to Do in Arizona with Kids, Some family-friendly attractions in Arizona include the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Zoo, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Families can also enjoy local dining, free things to do, and a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden.

Are there any outdoor activities suitable for kids in Arizona?

Things to Do in Arizona with Kids, there are plenty of outdoor activities suitable for kids in Arizona. Families can explore the Sonoran Desert, go hiking in Papago Park, discover the red rocks of Sedona, and enjoy water fun at the desert lakes.

Are there any educational experiences to consider when visiting Arizona with kids?

Things to Do in Arizona with Kids, there are many educational experiences to consider when visiting Arizona with kids. The Arizona Science Center, SEA LIFE Arizona, Desert Botanical Garden, and Heard Museum all offer interactive exhibits and educational programs for families.

What are some tips for traveling to Arizona with children?

Things to Do in Arizona with Kids, Some tips for traveling to Arizona with children include keeping track of places to stay and visit with the Visit Phoenix app, visiting water parks like Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, and enjoying family-friendly activities like Butterfly Wonderland.

 

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