Things to Do with Kids in Phoenix: 13 Fun Activities

Enchanting desert beauty, towering Saguaro cacti, and more days of sunshine than any other U.S. city. Arizona’s beating urban heart bears all the markers of a cosmopolitan city, plus loads of outdoor recreation, adventure, and family-friendly activities.

Follow along to uncover the 13 best things to do with kids in Phoenix.

More than just upscale golf courses and luxury resorts, the Valley of the Sun boasts a bountiful array of things to do with kids in Phoenix.

Get wet and wild at water parks featuring pipelines, typhoon twisters, and gushing falls. Or seek to inject some educainment into your vacation with a stop at the Arizona Science Center.

Embrace the biodiversity of all creatures big and small at the Phoenix Zoo, or craft epic LEGO creations with the help of master builders at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

Pre-teens will have a blast finessing their hiking skills with a trek through the stunning Antelope Canyon or satisfy the entire family’s craving for competition with some spirited rounds of mini golf or arcade games.

No matter your family’s desires, the Grand Canyon State is just begging to be discovered.

View of Downtown Phoenix at Dusk - Phoenix, Arizona, USAPhoenix Vacation Packages

Before we kick off your kid-friendly getaway to Arizona’s capitol, why not consider one of our premium Phoenix Vacation Packages? Double down on fun things to do in Phoenix with kids and save some serious change when you bundle your attractions.

Choose to combine your Phoenix Zoo tickets with entrance to Sea Life Arizona or LEGOLAND Discovery and enjoy maximum entertainment at a fraction of the cost. From observing a Giant Octopus up close to acting as Merlin’s apprentice, there’s no telling what shenanigans you can explore.

Fun Things to Do With Kids in Phoenix

Heading to Phoenix with some extra special little passengers in tow? In between scarfing down amazing southwestern eats and conquering Camelback Mountain hikes, make sure you are finding time to take on the best child-approved Phoenix attractions and activities.

Whether your brood is looking for an indoor aquarium reprieve or wants to construct creative masterpieces in the Children’s Museum’s art studio, you’ll be amazed by all there is to do in the Apache State.

Sea Life Arizona

Ready for 360 degrees of ocean-centered excitement? Make a splash when you enter the watery world of Sea Life Arizona. Home to over 250 species, an ocean tunnel, and a Dive Adventure Trail, curious sea creatures of all ages will be in awe of the aquarium’s immersive exhibits and interactive experiences.

Peek at a prickly seahorse, come face to face with a shark, or watch a keeper feed a sea turtle. Try to spy the sulking clownfish, or swing by the tropical Bay of Rays and watch these intelligent animals bury themselves in the sand to hide from predators.

Learn about venomous species by the Shipwreck exhibit, or take your cranky toddler to the children’s play area to blow off some steam. Don’t forget to take turns at the touch pool to stroke some silky soft anemones. With 26,000 square feet of aquatic animals to cover, there’s more than enough marine madness for everyone to enjoy at Seal Life!

underwater photograph of a stingray in the Sting Ray Bay in Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
photo credit: Phoenix Zoo via Facebook

Phoenix Zoo

Can’t wait to show off your lion’s roar or wolfly howl? Become one with the animals when you pay a visit to the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. For over 60 years the Phoenix Zoo has delighted adults and children alike with over 3,000 creatures spread out over 125 acres of land.

Located in the lovely Papago Park area of Phoenix, this institution of conservation and education is chock full of animal encounters, tours, and wilderness trails.

Swing on by Monkey Village and watch a wide array of primates play and frolic. Pay close attention, as it is the only walk-through squirrel monkey exhibit of its kind in the United States. From Komodo Dragons to Zebras, and Hamadryas Baboons there’s no telling who you’ll encounter. Round out your day of mammals, reptiles, and more with a stop by the Harmony Farm petting zoo and take a photo of Fernando, the famous two-toed sloth.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona

Have the vacation gods inflicted their wrath on you? If the Phoenix weather is less than ideal why not seek refuge in the land of a million bricks? LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona is a bricktacular oasis, ideal for ages 3 and up.

Try building your own formula one worthy LEGO racing vehicle or admire mini brick recreations of Phoenix’s most famous landmarks including the University Stadium, Chase Tower, and the Grand Canyon. Kick things up a notch with a thrilling chariot ride on Kingdom Quest, or time travel back to prehistoric times with a Dino LEGO adventure.

Soar sky high on Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, or settle in for a rollicking good ride with a 4D screening in the LEGO Cinema. All that bricklaying leaving you famished? Fuel up with a tasty snack and refreshing beverage at the LEGO cafe.

father and son building structure with lego in Duplo Village at Legoland Discovery Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
photo credit: Legoland Discovery Center

Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Jump for joy because it’s time to unleash some A+ learning on your little ones. Give your brainy babies a chance to use their noggins when they spend hours at one of the top children’s museums in the country. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is overflowing with more than 300 play experiences designed to inspire creativity, imagination, and fun.

Head over to the Climber for a tactile thrill guaranteed to challenge and stretch tiny muscles. Next, get down and dirty in the Children’s Garden which boasts lush beds full of seasonal vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

Or, snuggle up with a good book in the cozy loft space. Mini Renoir’s can let their passions loose in the Art Studio, where kids are encouraged to express themselves with gobs of glitter, paint, and more. Keep abreast of the museum’s scheduled activities because you never know when a hands-on collage night or scavenger hunt may be taking place.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix

Splish splash! Who’s ready to cannonball into some H20-fueled fun? Phoenix boasts more than toasty temperatures (especially if you visit during summer) so be sure to cool off with some splashtastic thrills. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix delivers equal parts adrenaline and relaxation.

Camp out in a shady cabana with the family and enjoy DirectTV, welcoming waitstaff, and more. Or, float around Hurricane Bay. Round up your rag-tag rugrats for a group white water rafting experience with Big Kahuna, or amp up the action with the extreme speed of the Anaconda slide. Mini minnows can dance around the Soak’em Playground and get hosed down by whimsical pelican and flower sprays.

yellow and red slides over a pool at hurricane harbor in phoenix
Photo Credit: Hurricane Harbor Phoenix via Facebook

Arizona Science Center

What do bubbles, man’s best friend, and the starry night sky all have in common? Figure out the science connection to all of these fascinating topics when you trek on over to the Arizona Science Center. This edifice is on a mission to make tiny ones fall head over heels for science!

Pint-sized inventors, investigators, and learners will be bowled over by the vast array of hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, and traveling exhibitions on display here. Witness the surreal magic of live shows featuring lasers and optical illusions.

Or, get into some sudsy fun when you participate in POP! The Science of Bubbles. Create giant bubbles with special wands and then dig into the science behind concepts like elasticity, surface tension, evaporation, and geometry. Prepare to be dazzled by twinkling stars and the solar system at the Dorrance Planetarium.

Lastly, become one with your mutt when you explore the mysterious world of our canine companions. Dogs! A Science Tail will illuminate a dog’s point of view and pave the way for more fluid communication with our pets.

Things to Do With Older Kids in Phoenix

Phoenix Art Museum

Art can inspire, art can educate, and art can evoke. Revel in the amazing amalgam of cultures, creativity, design, and more when you pursue your artistic passions at the Phoenix Art Museum. Housing more than 20,000 objects from diaspora as far-flung as Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Visitors can spot contemporary pieces from Anish Kapoor in addition to a fashion design collection spanning nearly 500 years. Other notable museum highlights include the permanent illuminating installation of Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirror room, ‘You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies.’ While the museum is always free, special exhibits will require ticket purchases.

Furthermore, four times a year the Museum hosts PhxArt Family Fundays, an all-ages, free-access day with complimentary admission to every gallery and exhibition.

green lawn with red dinosaur sculpture in a red cage at dusk
Photo Credit: Phoenix Art Museum via Facebook

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeology Park

Let your teen channel their inner Indiana Jones when you hike through the pre-Columbian archaeological sites and ruins that make up the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeology Park. This site of sand, artifacts, and stone was once inhabited by the Hohokam culture.

Make your way through the ⅔ mile trail as you stop to appreciate the platform mound, ball court, and replicated houses that make up the target preserved archeological site in Phoenix. Little explorers can even sift through the earth to find archeological clues in the hands-on gallery, while adults can stock up on souvenirs, Native American gifts, art, and jewelry at the Museum Store.

Desert Botanical Garden

Deserts might have a reputation of being dry and boring, but in fact, these delicate ecosystems are just bursting with botanical life. Coax your child’s green thumb when you tackle the trails and nature walks of the Desert Botanical Garden.

From bright wildflowers to succulents, herbs, and more you’ll find a wealth of nature to uncover. Relish dazzling mountain views and an organ pipe cactus forest on the Sonoran Desert Nature Walk or take on the Plants and People Loop to glean knowledge on how indigenous groups and cultures have used native plants for food, fiber, and shelter.

Don’t sleep on the garden’s kid-friendly events, including the Cactus Clubhouse which encourages unstructured play and educational activities.

cacti and plants in the desert with mountains in background at sunset with clouds at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
photo credit: Desert Botanical Garden via Facebook

Musical Instrument Museum

Calling all budding Beethovens! Whether your baby is a master of tickling the ivories or can’t wait to be the next John Mayer, they will be in awe of the Musical Instrument Museum. Named the #1 Phoenix attraction by TripAdvisor, this massive edifice is home to more than 15,000 musical instruments from around the world.

The largest museum of its kind in the world, visitors can check out musical objects and instruments from over 200 countries and territories. Get ready to make some noise in the experience gallery where you can jam out on a Javanese gamelan, a West African djembe, a Peruvian harp, a theremin, and more. Or, visit bagpipes and rare mandolins in the Geographic Galleries.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Brave knights, noble lords, and ladies gather round for a high-flying feast you will never forget! Dine like royalty at the nation’s #1 dinner attraction. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament combines jousting, swordplay, and more for one epic meal. Cheer along with your dining companions as champions compete in epic games of skill and spectacle.

You’ll eat your mouthwatering meal of roasted chicken, garlic bread, and sweet buttered corn sans silverware to remain as authentic as possible. Don’t forget to bring that camera as you’ll want to capture every moment of equestrian feats and medieval glory!

Prince is Captured at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament Myrtle Beach - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USAEnchanted Island Amusement Park

Carnival games, bumper boats, and dizzying rides oh my! Fuel up for a full day of amusement park antics when you bring the whole family to the Enchanted Island at Encanto Park. An epicenter of kiddie attractions, daredevils of all ages (and heights) will find something to tackle here.

Stretch out those legs with a leisurely Pedal Boat ride as you search for various species of geese or swans. Or, take advantage of the 222-acre park’s other facilities which include an 18-hole golf course, playground areas, and tennis courts.

Opt for theme park nostalgia with a cruisy carousel ride, or hold on for dear life on the Rock-N-Roll ride. Introduce your mini one to the joys of their first roller coaster with the multi-looping Dragon Wagon, or battle medieval foes at the Castle Clash.

Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Day Tour

Otherworldly canyon and rock formations in iridescent orange hues. The desert landscape holds many secrets and it’s easy to see why intrepid visitors from all over flock to Antelope Canyon. Slap on that SPF and lace up those hiking boots because it’s time for a full-day affair.

Your Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Day Tour will contain up to 13 hours of hiking, sightseeing, and more. Savor views from Utah to Arizona as you walk up to 2 miles.* Set your peepers on the outstanding Glen Canyon Dam and Antelope Canyon, and learn the fascinating histories of these geological areas from your knowledgeable Navajo tour guide. Your fully inclusive tour will include lunch, snacks, and beverages.

*This tour is recommended for visitors ages 5 years and older.

Red rock mountains, intoxicating sunsets, and miles of serene desert landscape. The Grand Canyon State is undoubtedly awash in natural beauty.


light shinning through slot canyons in Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA
photo credit: pixabay

n addition to hiking, climbing, and golfing the bustling city of Phoenix is paving the way when it comes to family-approved vacations.

Inquisitive minds from 3 to 13 will be enthralled for hours as they visit museums, aquariums, archeological sites, and more.

Come face to fin with Mochi the Zebra Shark at the Sea Life Aquarium, or make sweet, sweet tunes with a Peruvian harp at the Musical Instrument Museum.

Cheer on your valiant knight as you dig into a four-course feast at Medieval Times, or work out some aggression on the Bumper Car arena at the Enchanted Island.

Don’t wait another second to book your kid-friendly Valley of the Sun Vacation!

Tell us, What are Your Favorite Things to Do in Phoenix with Kids?

Did we miss any of the best things for kids to do in Phoenix?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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