Need some sunshine? Phoenix is the place to find it year-round.
Phoenix is among the Top 10 largest cities in the U.S., so it is loaded with activities and amenities. It is a sprawling oasis in the desert. Temperatures are sunny and mild in the winter and incredibly HOT in the summer. When you're in need of warm weather in the winter or screaming off-season deals in the summer, Phoenix is a great destination for families.
My family visited Phoenix for Spring Break last year, and that's pretty much the perfect time to go. Here are the favorite activities we did, plus a few popular attractions that are at the top of my list for our next visit.
Year-round sunshine and warm temperatures mean that Phoenix has more than its share of great resorts and swimming pools. We're talking water slides, splash pads, pool parties and other fun features that you won't find at most resorts. Be sure to build plenty of pool play and relaxation into your vacation itinerary.
We have stayed at The Wigwam and the Arizona Grand resorts. They are both fantastic, with onsite golf, spas and other luxury amenities. Head to The Wigwam for historic character and family-friendly sophistication. The all-suite Arizona Grand has a private water park and a convenient central location.
Every spring, Major League Baseball teams from across the U.S. head to Phoenix for Spring Training. So do their fans. Games are held every day from late February through early April throughout the Phoenix area. Read all my tips for the Cactus League HERE.
Arizona Science Center
The weather was exceptionally warm during our late March trip, and the Arizona Science Center was the perfect air conditioned escape. We laid on a bed of nails, crawled through the digestive system and raced each other in wheelchairs. Read all my tips for visiting the Arizona Science Center HERE.
Children's Museum of Phoenix
The Children's Museum of Phoenix is a slam dunk for families with young children. It's a favorite attraction for both locals and visitors. The Children's Museum of Phoenix is located in downtown Phoenix, across the street from the Arizona Science Center. Get a full review of the Children's Museum of Phoenix from my friend Colleen at TravelMamas.com.
My son is an animal lover, so we visit the zoo nearly everywhere we travel. The Phoenix Zoo did not disappoint. I loved the Arizona Trail, which featured the native plants and animals of Arizona. My kids loved riding a camel! Read my full report on the Phoenix Zoo HERE.
Desert Botanical Center
The acclaimed Desert Botanical Center is uniquely Phoenix. It's a garden featuring the beautiful desert plants of Arizona. It's an outdoor space where kids can be kids, but it's grown up enough for discerning adults.
Save at least one full day for Papago Park. It's home to the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Center. You can also hike to Hole in the Rock, picnic, golf, fish or visit the Hall of Flame firefighting museum.
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park
This private zoo has a lot going on. The Wildlife World Zoo has the largest collection of exotic animals in Arizona. It also has a safari tram, sea lion show and lots of rides that kids will love. Read all my tips for visiting Wildlife World Zoo HERE.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is the #1 Phoenix attraction on TripAdvisor. With a collection of 10,000 musical instruments from around the world, it's a delight for music-loving adults and children. The hands-on section is especially fun for families!
It isn't always fun to dine out with kids, but Rustler's Rooste is the exception. We took a slide to our table and were visited by a magician and balloon artist during our meal. Our steaks were great, as was our view of the city. Try the rattlesnake appetizer, if you dare! Read my full review of Rustler's Roote HERE.
How else can I help?
Save on admission! Many of these attractions occasionally offer discounts on Groupon. Click HERE to explore discounts on things to do in Phoenix.
Need a place to stay? You already know that I love The Wigwam and Arizona Grand. If you want something less expensive, with a cool vibe and fun location near ASU, I recommend The Graduate. Click the button to check rates and read more reviews at TripAdvisor.
taj mahal tour from delhi
such a wonderful places this are i really appriciate your work thank you very much for sharing your great experience
We love heading to AZ in the spring the weather is always lovely and my younger sister lives out that way. We have stayed at the Arizona Grand and loved it. But, we will have to check out Wigwam 🙂
We all loved the Phoenix Zoo! We took our boys when they were toddlers (many years ago). It’s a great facility, and even in September, SO hot!
Sarah Ebner (@sarahjebner)
Would really love a trip here as the area looks beautiful and I’ve heard such wonderful things about that instrument museum!
Kids Are A Trip
All great suggestions for Phoenix. We love it in the spring!
We went to Phoenix Zoo a year ago. Very disappointed. Did a lot of walking and saw very few animals. Omaha Zoo and Oklahoma City Zoo are much better. And Phoenix Zoo was very expensive for what we saw. Looking forward to checking out some different Phoenix attractions in 2 weeks.
I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t have a good experience at the zoo! That would be disappointing. I hope you have a great trip this time. Thankfully, there are many great attractions in Phoenix for families.
If you had to choose, would you pick the musical instrument museum or science or children’s?
Tough question! To be honest, I haven’t yet visited the Musical Instrument Museum or the Children’s Museum, but the musical museum is my #1 must-see for next time because it is unique to Phoenix and so highly rated by other visitors. It was out of our way, and that’s why we didn’t get there the first time.
The science museum was lots of fun – definitely on or above par with others we’ve seen and fun for both older and younger family members. It’s right across the street from the children’s museum in downtown Phoenix, so you could easily do both of those on the same day.
How old would kids need to be to hike Camelback Mountain?
I haven’t hiked Camelback Mountain myself, but I have asked friends in Phoenix about it. There are two main trails on Camelback Mountain: Echo Mountain and Cholla. Neither is very long, but both are rated Extremely Difficult, which means that they are steep with large obstacles. Given that, I would recommend this trail for kids at least 8-10 years old if weather conditions are good.
Not sure when you are planning your hike, but be aware that temperatures are already very hot in Phoenix in May. Expect 100 degrees F or higher during the day. Furthermore, spring is rattlesnake season. Here are the recommendations from locals for families planning to hike Camelback Mountain.
* Hike in winter, or early in the morning for cooler temperatures
* Carry LOTS of water – up to 1 gallon per person – in insulated containers
* Beware of rattlesnakes.
Here is the official Phoenix Parks and Recreation website, which has current information about trail conditions. https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/camelback-mountain
Its Nice, I love the pictures that you captured.
My two granddaughters age 3 &4 are traveling to AZ in June. They have been so many places so I need ideas for the Phoenix/Goodyear areas that would be fun for active kids
Hi Anne. June will be VERY hot in Phoenix, so I recommend a combination of water activities and indoor activities. All the museums on this list are hands on, and appropriate for kids this age. Arizona Science was both indoor and had a water play area, and the Children’s Museum is across the street. Not sure if you need a place to stay, but many top resorts will likely offer off-season rates at that time of year. Both the Wigwam and Arizona Grand had great family pools and family activities. Arizona Grand has its own water park.