When Patrick warned me that he would have to travel for his internship with Acadia Healthcare this summer, he did NOT warn me just how often he’d have to travel! Of the 12 week program, he was gone 8 or 9 weeks of them…it was rough to say the least! As a consolation prize, he let me and the kids travel with him one week, and I chose for us to tag along to Phoenix, Arizona!
Patrick was a little concerned that I didn’t realize how hot it would be in Phoenix in July! True, I didn’t realize how hot it would be, but I actually didn’t mind it! I describe Phoenix in the summer as spending your day in a sauna – without the awesome cedar smell of course! I very much enjoyed the dry heat of Phoenix – as long as I kept hydrated!
I found Phoenix to be an extremely child friendly city! I was pleasantly surprised at all the fun things I found for the kids and I to do while Patrick worked! We of course couldn’t do them all, but had fun with what we did choose!
PHOENIX ZOO – This was a good zoo, but not my most favorite zoo…I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary walking here as it’s very big and spread out. It was hot so the animals weren’t super active, and a number of them weren’t even in their exhibit because they were under medical watch. There were a lot of bright spots to this zoo though…
The monkey exhibit was fantastic! You can watch the monkeys from an air conditioned building which is so refreshing! The monkeys were so personable too!
You can pay to feed the giraffes at a designated time which was very fun! The workers were so willing to take photos of the experience!
The zoo had workers stationed at certain exhibits and they were very personable and knowledgeable which was a great to see and experience!
There are 2 splash pads in the zoo for a way for kids to cool down – we definitely took advantage of this!
The summer hours at the zoo are 7am – 2pm.
$14/child aged 3-13, $20/adult – This zoo does offer a 50% discount for having a zoo membership at another zoo.
HOLE IN THE ROCK – this natural hole in a rock can be seen from the zoo parking lot.
You can hike to it and have a picnic at the base from 6am – 7pm.
No charge into the park.
SEALIFE AQUARIUM – This aquarium was okay. It was very beautiful and hands on for the kids, but lacked a little something when it came to the fish. I would rather go to an aquarium with weaker esthetics and cooler fish, but that is just me. It was a great indoor activity to get us out of the heat, but we kinda flew through it. Re-entry is allowed, but we only went through once.
Open 10am – 7:30pm *Open till 6 on Sundays
*Purchase online to save 40% – Can also combine with Legoland and Zoo tickets!
LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER– Now this is a must! We had SO much fun here! We spent hours exploring the grounds and playing with all the legos! There were rides, exhibits with interactive scenes created out of legos, and of course lots of places to play with legos! There was also a play area for kids. I would totally recommend going to Legoland! No re-entry.
Open 10am – 7:30pm *Open till 6pm on Sunday
Tickets start at $22 for kids aged 2 and up…Can also combine with Sealife Aquarium and Zoo tickets!
Guarantee entry by booking online!
Chase Field and University of Phoenix Stadium
Open play with Legos!
Build and race your own car! Beau loved this part!
Since I did the research, I thought I’d add the other places that were on our list of things to do but didn’t make it to…
STUFFINGTON BEAR FACTORY – Learn the history of the teddy bear and see how they are manufactured. Kids can make their own teddy bear to take home with them!
Open 10 am-5 pm * free daily tour at 1 pm Closed on Sundays.
CHILDRENS MUSEUM OF PHOENIX – Always changing exhibits good for babies and kids up to age 10.
Open 9am – 4pm *Closed on Mondays
$11/child age 2 and up
JAMBO – Indoor Jungle Themed Amusement Park recommended for kids aged 2-10 years old. Upon enterance, there are unlimited rides, a play area and mini golf. Open 10am – 8pm. Open at 3pm – 8pm.
ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER – Hands on museum featuring a planetarum and an IMAX theater. Probably better for older kids…
Open 10am – 5 pm
$13/child age 3 and up, $18/adult
THE PLAY FACTORY – A giant open gym featuring a giant rock wall. Socks required. No re-entry.
Open 9am – 5pm most days, but times vary.
Prices vary by day but all children walking and up are charged.
GREAT ARIZONA PUPPET THEATER – Reserve tickets to a puppet show at least one day in advance as 602-262-2050
Performances shown at varying times Wednesday – Sunday
MCCORMICK STILLMAN RAILROAD PARK – Located in Scottsdale. Train and carousel rides, train museum and model train exhibit.
Times vary by day from 9am – 9pm
Free admission, $2 fee for train and carousel riders age 3 and up
BUTTERFLY WONDERLAND – Located in Scottsdale. America’s largest Butterfly Conservatory.
Open 9am – 5 pm.
TIPS FOR VISITING PHOENIX, ARIZONA
- Keep hydrated! It’s very hot here in the summer!
- The later it gets, the hotter it gets! Try to beat the heat by going outside early in the morning!
- When driving, do not, I repeat, DO NOT cross a gore tip! You WILL get a ticket and it’s a hefty one! Trust us, we know! Apparently an officer was killed this way, so officers are very strict on this! What is tricky about this is the solid line starts farther back than when your GPS will tell you to get over, which is what happened to us. The officer was kind and understanding, but still slapped us with the nearly $200 ticket.
- Scottsdale is a beautiful suburb of Phoenix that is only 25 minutes away. Definitely worth checking out!
- You can see one of the iconic LOVE signs in Scottsdale
- Phoenix is really centrally located! It’s a scenic 2 hour drive North to Sedona, where you can catch a beautiful sunset!
- A little further North of Sedona is Flagstaff and The Grand Canyon is about an hour and a half further. It’s a relatively straight shot to visit all 4 locations which would make for a really fun, educational and beautiful road trip!
- Tucson is also a 2 hour drive Southeast from Phoenix…it is extremely beautiful there being surrounded by several majestic mountain ranges!
- Try some Prickly Pear while there! We tried ours in the form of Cactus Candy while visiting! Very yummy!
- We had a downright delicious meal at a restaurant called Angel’s Trumpet Ale House. This was such a fun and unique spot! On Tuesday nights, they offer a TV Dinner style plate, and it was so yummy and fun! In addition this restaurant has loads of beer on tap, great happy hour deals and a Pop Tart of the day…! Ours happened to be a Mexican Street Fair TV Dinner and a Lemon + Lavender Poptart…both were out of this world, but especially the latter!
We loved us some Phoenix, and I know you will too! I hope this guide helps you with exploring it with children!
Be Blessed + Be A Blessing