If you’ve been following along, our family bought a place in Arizona and have created a Modern Desert Oasis that we rent out when not in town. We escape to this warm, sunny haven to soak up all the vitamin D possible during the winter months. While living in this area we have found a few favorite activities to do as a family, and today I’ll share my top 5 favorite things to do with kids in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ever since having kids, the zoo has become a frequent activity for my family. If we travel and need to find a few events to occupy our time, I always do a little research to see if there is a zoo nearby. I also look at the reviews! It can be hit and miss when it comes to a city’s zoo, but I am happy to report that the Phoenix zoo is one of my top 5 favorite things to do with kids in Phoenix, AZ!
The Phoenix zoo has over 3,000 animals to see, from local to exotic wildlife. It is also one of the largest non-profit zoos, and has over 400 different species to observe. There are 4 trails to experience. The Arizona, Africa, Tropics, and Children’s. Our favorite is the Africa trail! Could you guess that?! One tip I have loved is to have the kids pick the top two or three trails they are interested in, and break those up with snack breaks and lunch. Then if they still have energy, you can finish the remaining trail(s).
Sometimes I can be really ambitious, and want to see and do everything! But I have to keep in mind that my children’s legs are considerably shorter than mine, and it’s okay if we don’t get to it all! If you want to see the zoo but are looking for a super easy way to haul the kids along, they have a great opportunity right now to cruise the zoo! Grab your tickets, roll down the windows and enjoy the views of the zoo from the comfort of your car.
Another great activity for kids is the aquarium! While the recommendation is that it can take about two hours to explore everything, the Phoenix aquarium has the perfect Kids Cove to stop and rest at so you can take your time. Sometimes my kids just need a little break to run around and let loose before continuing on through the aquarium where there is so much to soak up and learn!
The Phoenix aquarium has a super neat exhibit called, Odysea Voyager. The experience begins at the Great Barrier Reef and then takes you through a fun mission learning all about marine life. Even if you don't get to the rest of the aquarium, this exhibit is worth your time!
Where to Shop near Phoenix, AZ - San Tan Village
Okay, am I the only one who travels to a new place and wants to go check out the best malls in town?! Is that so weird? I mean how many different Sephora locations can I really walk through. The San Tan Village, however, is really such a fun and unique spot to shop at. Don’t get me wrong, Love Olive Co. is still my ride or die, especially with the latest arrivals in the shop! But browsing the mall kind of makes me feel like a teenager again and I just love it.
At San Tan Village you will find yourself in… a village! Just a cute little village that you can walk around and shop, eat, and even play. That’s right, play! There is a perfect splash pad and play area for kiddos to get the wiggles out while mom and dad are hitting up the Apple store and other favorites. There are also lots of food options! Traveling can be exhausting. It’s nice to plan a few hours in an environment that feels a little like home (hi, Bath & Body Works), but with a twist. Especially one that caters to kids! San Tan easily makes my top 5 favorite things to do with kids in Phoenix, AZ.
Joe’s Farm Grill - Fun place to eat with kids
Okay, you know I’ve been talking a lot about my health journey on Instagram, and I love finding restaurants that really cater to the ‘farm to table’ philosophy. Joe’s Farm Grill is an amazing restaurant that harvests all of their fruit, veggies, and herbs from a local farm, Agritopia. And their remaining ingredients are sourced as locally as possible. Win!
The restaurant is located in the house of the family who started Agritopia, the Johnston’s. It is so fun to see how the house has been transformed to meet the needs of a great restaurant, but still preserved the 60’s era it was built in. They have a great kids menu and some delicious milkshakes!
Where to eat with kids near Phoenix, AZ - Olive Mill
So apparently we love to eat at places with rich local history, because Olive Mill had a similar story to Joe’s Farm Grill! A super cute couple picked up their family and moved to Arizona to grow and press their own olive trees. They aim for a super high quality, virgin olive oil that goes directly from farm to table.
The Olive Mill offers an education tour that gives you an inside look at how the farm functions. There is a little tasting as well, and then they help you shop their gourmet marketplace afterwards. While some parts might be over the kids head, you can promise them delicious pizza off the kids menu if they sit tight for just a bit!
Favorite places to go in Arizona with kids
We absolutely love our time spent in Arizona and can’t wait to find more exciting places to venture out to. Getting away from the cold winters in Idaho have definitely helped curb our typical seasonal depression, and we are so grateful for it! The kids have adjusted really well because of our efforts to find some awesome activities to do as a family. Really, as long as you're together and present with your kids, you can't go wrong! So there you have it, my top 5 favorite things to do with kids in Phoenix, AZ! Tell me YOUR favorite things to do in the comments!