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12 Fun Things to do in Phoenix with Kids

If you are looking for fun things to do with your kids to help keep them off of the couch, then look no further, we have put together a list of 12 fun things to do in Phoenix with kids.

Riding the Kiddie Cars at the Enchanted Island Amusement Park Photo Credit:
Riding the Kiddie Carts at the Enchanted Island Amusement Park Photo Credit:
  1. Arizona Science Center

600 E. Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85004

No matter your age, be prepared to be motivated, entertained, and educated by the wonderful world of science. There are over 300 hands-on exhibits at the Arizona Science Center, a state-of-the-art Dorrance Planetarium, and an IMAX theater. The Arizona Science Center has permanent exhibits, but also hosts special limited time exhibits every few months or so making every visit unique. The Center is located in Heritage and Science Park in the heart of downtown Phoenix.

The Arizona Science Center is open daily from 10am-5pm. Adults ages 18 and older can get in for $18, Children ages 3-17 get in for $13, and Children ages two and under are free. Arizona Science Center’s general admission includes entry to the 300+ hands on exhibits and the center itself. Additional fees apply for IMAX® Theater, Dorrance Planetarium and traveling exhibits.

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  1. Butterfly Wonderland

9500 E Vía de Ventura

Scottsdale, AZ 85256

The Butterfly Wonderland is actually located a little outside of Phoenix, in the beautiful city of Scottsdale, but it is close enough to give mention, and also a totally neat place to visit with kids. Butterfly Wonderland is currently the largest butterfly conservatory in North America.  Visitors get to experience 3D theater that shows a neat educational film on butterflies, a Chrysalis Lab and a lush, rainforest atrium where thousands of exotic butterflies fly freely. People love having their pictures taken with the colorful butterflies that land on them. Also at the Butterfly Wonderland, a honey bee exhibit, a live ant exhibit, and a stingray touch tank in the “Rivers of the Amazon.” Adjacent to the Butterfly Wonderland is the Odysea Mirror Maze and laser maze that kids and their parents can enjoy for an additional fee. Opening in July 2016, next to the Butterfly Wonderland is the Odysea Aquarium, once open, it will be the largest aquarium in the Southwest.

The Butterfly Wonderland is open seven days a week 9am-5pm. Adult tickets are $19.95, Children ages two and under are free, Children ages 3-11 tickets are $12.95, and Senior/Military/Student tickets are $17.95. There are packages available for purchase as well that include the mirror maze, and they offer memberships also.

  1. Castles N’ Coasters

9445 N Metro Pkwy E

Phoenix, AZ 85051

There are a lot of rides and good food to enjoy at Arizona’s “finest family fun and thrill park.” Enjoy the enchantment of the old fashioned carousel, and the trill of the roller coaster or enjoy the exotic world-class miniature golf courses. Explore their website for detailed information on all of the exciting rides and adventures they have available and to purchase tickets.

Hours change seasonally and over different days of the week, so check their website for the hours they are available the day you plan to visit. Prices range from $25 to $35.

  1. Challenger Space Center

21170 N. 83rd Avenue

Peoria, AZ  85382

Located a little outside of Phoenix is a unique facility that was designed by 5th graders when asked what they would like to see in a space center. Visitors get to see various meteorite exhibits, a Atlantis Space Shuttle model, a space shuttle landing gear tire, a Iridium Satellite model, a Columbia Shuttle memorial display and Lowell Observatory display. On select Saturdays, Challenger Space Center hosts Family STAR Nights, an interactive astronomy night that is fun for the whole family.

The Challenger Space Center is open Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm and is closed on Sunday’s. Children ages 3-12 get in for $6 while ages two and under are free. Adults get in for $8 and Military and Seniors are $7. They offer yearly memberships as well.

  1. Children’s Museum of Phoenix

215 N. 7th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85034

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located in the historic Monroe School Building. It is home to more than 300 play experiences where kids are encouraged to touch everything and explore their imagination. Children can explore the many different exhibits, including the Art Studio, Texture Café, Book Loft, Building Big, and Noodle Forest. This museum is a blast for babies on up to ten year olds.

The Children’s Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9am-4pm. Tickets are $11 per person with babies one and under being free.

  1. Desert Botanical Gardens

1201 N. Galvin Parkway

Phoenix, AZ 85008

The Desert Botanical Garden has more than 50,000 species of plants, making it the home of the world’s largest collection of desert plants. There are five thematic trails the Desert Discovery Loop Trail, Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail, Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail, Center for Desert Living Trail, and the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail. The Desert Botanical Garden has children’s programs that provide children with the opportunity to discover the Sonoran Desert in a safe and stimulating environment while integrating a place-based focus on science, art, music, literature and social studies into all of their programs.

The second Tuesday of every month, the Desert Botanical Garden offers free admission. On Thursdays and Saturdays from the end of May through September you can tour the garden at night on their Flashlight Tours from 7pm-9pm. Desert Botanical Gardens is open daily from 7am-8pm. Adult tickets are $22 each ages 19-59, Seniors are $20 each ages 60 and over, Children ages 13-18 are $12, Children ages 3-12 are $10, and Children under the age of three are free.

  1. Enchanted Island Amusement Park

1202 W. Encanto Blvd.

Phoenix, AZ 85007

The Enchanted Island Amusement Park is located in the heart of Phoenix’s picturesque Encanto Park. It offers nine rides and a variety of popular attractions geared especially toward children aged 1 to 10. Be sure to ride the historic Encanto Carousel and pedal-boat across fish-filled lagoons. Test your skill on the arcade games, and share some laughs over a ball of cotton candy. You can host a fun company picnic or a child’s birthday party here as well. Check their page for special events that they often host.

There’s never a charge to enter Enchanted Island, but you pay for the rides you want to ride on, the games you want to play, and the food you want to eat. Ticket and all day pass prices can be found on their webpage as well as hours, as they vary.

  1. Hall of Flame Fire Museum

6101 East Van Buren St.

Phoenix, AZ 85008

If you have a little one who dreams of becoming a firefighter, this is the place to take them. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, has almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. Most of the exhibits are American, but there are some pieces from England, France, Austria, Germany, and Japan as well.

The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5, and Sundays from Noon to 4. Admission is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for students 6-17, $2.00 for ages 3-5.  Children under age 3 are admitted free of charge.   Admission is $6.00 for visitors over age 62.

  1. LEGOLAND Discovery Center

5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle

Tempe, AZ 85282

LEGOLAND is a new attraction that has opened up in the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe, a little outside of Phoenix. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, where families with children aged 3 to 10 can enjoy a world of creativity, color and building fun in the ultimate indoor LEGO playground. With features including global and local landmarks made from over a million LEGO bricks in MINILAND® to fun and exciting LEGO themed rides: Kingdom Quest and Merlin’s Apprentice. Watch as your favorite LEGO characters come to life in the 4D Cinema. Then get hands-on with the thousands of LEGO bricks in themed build and play areas where kids’ imaginations can run wild with the endless possibilities that LEGO offers.

LEGOLAND is located next to the SeaLife Aquarium, and when you visit their webpage you can purchase combination tickets. Tickets for LEGOLAND on its own are $22 ages three and up, under three gets in free. They are open Monday-Saturday from 9am-7:30pm and Sunday from 9am-6pm. Last admission to the Center is 5:30pm Monday through Friday and at 4pm on Sunday, they recommend that you allow a minimum of two to three hours for your visit to really get the whole experience.

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  1. Phoenix Zoo

455 N. Galvin Parkway Papago Park

Phoenix, AZ 85008

The Phoenix Zoo, one of the nation’s largest non-profit zoos, is home to over 1,400 animals and centrally located in beautiful and scenic Papago Park. Watch as Sumatran tigers roam the savanna; feed towering giraffes at the giraffe encounter; get up close and personal with Squirrel monkey’s in the Monkey Village. The zoo also features a carousel, safari train, a 4D theater and Stingray Bay where you can touch and feed rays. Kids can even splash around in the Yakulla Caverns or Leapin’ Lagoon splash pads from March-October. There are often fun events held at the zoo so be sure and check their webpage.

General admission to the Phoenix Zoo is $20 for adults (ages 14 and up) or $14 for children (ages 3-13). Children ages two and under get in for free. There are added costs for some of the attractions such as the safari train and the 4D theater once you enter the zoo, however they offer ticket packages that are more inclusive should you desire to partake in these attractions at a slightly lower cost, see their webpage for details.  If you love the zoo, a membership may be the way to go, as usually only two trips to the zoo will cover its cost. Zoo hours vary by season. January 9 – May 31 hours are 9am-5pm, June 1 – August 31 hours are 7am-2pm, September 1 – October 31 hours are 9am-5pm, and November 1 – January 8 hours are 9am-4pm. The zoo is open seven days a week unless otherwise stated on their website.

  1. Pioneer Living History Village

3901 W. Pioneer Road

Phoenix, AZ 85086

Located in North Phoenix, you’ll visit over 90 acres of an old 1800’s town, with no cars or smog! You will find authentic buildings and historically accurate reproductions. See the Opera House where Lilly Langtry sang; look through a rifle port in the actual cabin that survived Arizona’s bloodiest range war; laugh your way through a “melodrama”; or browse through an 1890’s dress shop. All of this, plus a blacksmith shop, sheriff’s office and jail, complete ranch complex, and costumed interpreters including cowboys, lawmen, and lovely Victorian ladies – await you at Pioneer Living History Village, Arizona’s most authentic Old West town.

The Village hours are Wednesday-Sunday, June 1 – September 5, 7am-11am and September 6 – May 31 9am-4pm. Children under the age of five get in free. Children under the age of 18 get in for $7. Adults get in for $9, while seniors and veterans get in for $8.

  1. SeaLife Aquarium Arizona

5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle Ste. 145

Tempe, AZ 85282

Located in Tempe, a short drive from Phoenix guests can interact with creatures at the touch pools and encounter over 5,000 sea creatures, including sharks, rays, seahorses and tropical fish at the SeaLife Aquarium. There is even a 360-degree ocean tunnel that will give you an experience unlike any other in the desert. Make sure to check the feeding and talk times online so you can get the most out of your experience. If you have a child under the age of four, join the aquarium for Toddler Tuesdays certain months out of the year. Toddler Tuesday tickets provide free admission for one child age 4 or younger with the purchase of an adult ticket and are available for all day admission.

The aquarium is open Monday – Saturday from 10am-7:30pm and Sunday from 10am-6pm. Last admission is one hour before close. Ticket prices start at $10 online, view their webpage for details. The new LEGOLAND Discovery Center has opened next door, so visitors have the option to purchase combination tickets as well.

We hope this list gives you a few ideas to make some lasting memories with your children! Now go have fun!