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Top Things To Do with Kids and Toddlers in the Phoenix Area

Updated on August 12, 2014

The greater Phoenix area features many great places to take your kids and toddlers

The Greater Phoenix Area of Arizona has so many places to take the kids for a fun family day. Get out and enjoy the sun or stay indoors to cool down there are plenty of choices of places to go and things to do. Whether you live in or are visiting Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale or any other Valley City there's sure to be something close by and convenient that your children and toddlers will love.

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Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center is a wonderful place to take children and toddlers of any age. Adults will have fun too. The museum features an Imax theater (which sometimes features 3D movies) as well as a planetarium. The science center periodically changes their exhibits but it's always very hands-on in seven themed galleries. It draws kids in and helps them to learn in a fun and involving environment.


Daily from 10am-5pm


600 E Washington St

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: 602-716-2000

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Encourage the love of science in your child

These great science related toys will be fun and educational at the same time.

The Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo has a lot to offer children and families alike. Aside from the wide variety of zoo animals to observe there are other fun activities including: tours, carousel rides, camel rides, petting zoo, pedal boat rentals, splash pads, play grounds, concessions, train rides and more!

The Phoenix Zoo also always seems to have some special event going on. They'll have new animal previews, Winter in July where they bring in real snow for the kids to play with, concerts, 4th of July specials and more. My personal favorite is Zoolights which is held every holiday season. The zoo is transformed into a walking lights display with the crowning display featuring lights changing to music which reverberates throughout your body. It's a breathtaking experience.


Vary depending on the season so please check before you go


455 North Galvin Parkway

Phoenix, AZ 85008

Phone: 602-273-1341

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale

The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a very fun way to spend a family day. This prime Scottsdale location offers train rides on the Paradise and Pacific Railroad, museums, several parks with equipment and adobe play buildings, open fields for sports play or kite flying, ramadas and grassy areas perfect for picnics, rides on an antique carousel, shops and food.


The park is open everyday and admission to the park is free.

Train & carousel rides and the museum's hours vary depending on day and time of year. Please call Railroad Park to confirm.


7301 E Indian Bend Road

Scottsdale, Arizona 85250

Phone: 480-312-2312

Sea Life Aquarium in Tempe

The Sea Life Aquarium is geared specifically towards kids. There is a massive amount of fish to view from sharks to to sting rays to tropical fish. It's even possible to interact with some at the touch pools. Kids can follow the interactive quiz trail, watch fish feedings and more.


Monday-Saturday 10am-7:30pm

Sunday 10am-6pm

Note: Admission closes 1 hour prior to closing


5000 South Arizona Mills Circle #145

Tempe, AZ 85282


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Water Parks

There are two main water parks in the valley of the sun that offer a bit to do for the younger set (as well as old). One is located on the East side in Tempe and the other on the West side in Glendale. Both offer season passes which can make a lot of sense if you plan to go often. Particularly with small children it's nice to have a season pass so you don't feel obligated to stay for a long time to get your moneys worth. You can just stop by for a couple hours and come back whenever you please.

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Wet'n'Wild Phoenix Water Park

This park has a multi-level complex for small children that is over 10,500 square feet! It features a giant tipping bucket, nine slides and more. There is also a spray playground for the young kids that is also tons of fun. The water park also has a lazy river, wave pool and some very exciting rides for older children and adults.


Days park is open and operating hours vary depending on season so please check with the park


4243 W Pinnacle Peak Road

Glendale, AZ 85310

Phone: (623) 201-2000

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Big Surf Water Park

The top attractions for toddlers and young children include: Otter slides for children 48" and under, a toddler area called Captain Cook's Landing which is shallow with a beach entry, water guns, several small slides and animals to ride on and more. This water park also has a wave pool and offers many larger slides for older children and adults.


Operating hours and days open are seasonal so please check directly with the park


1500 N McClintock Dr

Tempe, AZ, 85281

Phone: 480-994-2297

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Swim Diapers

Most pools, water parks and splash pads require that babies and toddlers that are not yet potty trained must wear a swim diaper.

Splash Pads

A splash pad might not be as exciting as a water park but it's still fun, convenient (they're all over the valley), and best of all most of them are totally free. Some of my family's favorites include (all of which are free):

Tempe Splash Playground

Features streams and canals of water, a sandy beach, toy whales, water guns, water slides, and more. This is probably the most elaborate free splash pad I've ever seen.

Located at Tempe Town Lakes at the Beach Park. It's near Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue. 480-350-8625

Scottsdale Quarter Fountain

This is unique because it's actually a water fountain with jets that allows kids and adults alike to jump in and cool down.

Located at 15279 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. 480-270-8123

Fountain Hills Splash Park

Great splash pad because it's near the famous Fountain Hills Fountain which you can see go off every hour from the splash pad. The play area is nautically themed with a dumping bucket, water cannons, water tunnels, and 21 spray features.

Located at 16705 East Ave of the Fountains Fountain Hills, AZ. (480) 816-5151

City of Glendale Aquatic Playground

This splash pad is 8,500 square feet of fun. It features 30 different water features like buckets, geysers and cattails.

Located at 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road. 623-930-2820

Espee Park Spray Pad

Amenities include a water tower, 3 fun showers, spray rings and ground sprays.

Located at 450 E. Knox Chandler, AZ. 480-782-2750

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Children's Museums

Children's museums are the perfect combination of fun and education. They help expand a child's mind in an engaging and entertaining manner. The Arizona valley has two children's museums, one located in Phoenix and one in Mesa. Both are well worth a visit.

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Children's Museum of Phoenix

This children's museum has so many fun exhibits to offer that it would be hard to see it all in one day. A sampling of some of the choices includes an art studio, a building center, a grand ballroom, a marketplace, noodle forest and more. They have a specially designated area for children 3 and under as well.


During the summer they're open everyday 9am-4pm. During the winter months they'll often reduce their hours so call ahead.

Every first Friday of the month the museum is open from 5pm-9pm and is free to attend.


215 N 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Phone: 602-253-0501

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa

Half of this museum is dedicated to rotating exhibits that cover a specific changing theme. The other half is filled with hands-on fun activities for children and toddlers. Some of these activities include: Artzone, classes, a child-sized theater, a section for babies, large building blocks, fun with food, pretend play and more.


10am-4pm Tue-Sat, 12-4pm Sun, Closed Mondays

The 1st Sunday of every month the museum is free and is open for extended hours until 5pm


35 North Robson, Mesa, AZ 85201

Phone: 480-644-2467

Photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Toys you might find at a children's museum

These high quality educational toys that stimulate a child's mind are similar to those that you would find in a children's museum.

Where would you most like to take your kids in Phoenix?

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Which featured thing to do in the arizona valley sounds the most fun?

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Where do you like to take your kids and toddlers for family fun?

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    • BodyHairRemoval profile image


      4 years ago

      I always wanted to visit Arizona.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      5 years ago

      I love to travel in AZ and there are a lot of fun things to do in and around the Phoenix area. Great recommendations.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Good info. I noticed this lens is jumping up and down and this sometimes makes difficult to participate in polls or even read the text. If you want to stop jumping, you can resize the photos used in both Photo modules to the same height and upload them again. I hope it helps:)

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image


      5 years ago

      This great:) Good ideas for children. A lot of fun places.

    • Diva2Mom profile image


      5 years ago

      Wow, awesome lens! Sounds so inviting! I love your great images and great tour. I wanna go to Arizona now, haha! Thanks so much for sharing! I enjoyed my visit very much! God bless you and your beautiful family!

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      5 years ago

      Great information! Thank you

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 

      5 years ago

      Nice lens and great pics of your cute kids. Blessings.

    • Melissa Miotke profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Miotke 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      @JoshK47: Thank you so much!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Quite an excellent guide! Thanks so much for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Gee, I almost wish my kids were little again so I could take them to Valley of the Sun. Looks like you had fun! :)


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