phoenix family vacation

Have a splash at the Westin Kierland Resort. (Photo: John Woodcock Photography)


Family Fun in Phoenix & Scottsdale: 8 Activities Your Kids Will Love

Family adventures—indoors and out—await in Phoenix and Scottsdale. From museums celebrating creativity to more active pursuits, we’ve got you covered with a fun-filled getaway to one of the desert’s most popular regions.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Go Surfing … in the Desert

From roasting marshmallows and building S’mores around a fire pit to hosting a Kids Club pajama party while parents enjoy a dinner date, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale offers endless opportunities for family fun. The resort’s most popular attraction—the Kierland FlowRider—is a jet-propelled wave simulator that lets kids and adults surf or body board like they’re on the ocean.

Wing It with Butterflies

Step inside Butterfly Wonderland, one of the country’s biggest butterfly conservatories, and watch your kids eyes light up. They can get up close and personal with butterflies from around the world, as well as screen a 3-D movie and get the inside scoop on these winged creatures at a range of individual learning stations.

phoenix family vacation
Embark on a musical journey. (Photo: Courtesy of the Musical Instrument Museum)

Pick Up a Musical Instrument

At the Musical Instrument Museum, you can embark on a journey through the history of music around the world. Recognized by TripAdvisor as one of the top 20 specialty museums in the United States and rated the top attraction in Phoenix, MIM ofers a one-of-a-kind musical experience you’ll have to see for yourself.

Cool Down at the Splash Pad

The Scottsdale Quarter shopping center provides lots of refreshing fun for your little ones at its Splash Pad spray fountain. Located at Greenway Parkway and Scottsdale Road, the Splash Pad is open daily and surrounded by shops, restaurants and seasonal live music performances.

Lions, Tigers and More

Featuring more than 1,400 animals, Phoenix Zoo is a perennial favorite. Among its most popular attractions are the 16,000 square-foot Isle of the Tiger, as well as Monkey Village, Stingray Bay and Giraffe Encounter.

phoenix family vacation
Get up close to the rails. (Photo: Courtesy of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park)

Take a Ride on the Rails

The 40-acre McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park offers rides on the narrow-gauge Paradise and Pacific Railroad and a vintage carousel, along with exhibits featuring historic train cars and an extensive model railroad display. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy concessions at the park while the kids run around and play.

Make Learning Fun

Kids will rediscover the joy of learning at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, which features some 300 permanent interactive play areas for babies to kids up to age 10. Located in downtown Phoenix, the facility also books special exhibitions, like the recent “Make-a-Mega-Mess” with foam and paint.

Dive into Cultural, Outdoor Activities

Sample a variety of cultural and outdoor activities for the entire family at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. You can make Native American crafts and jewelry or participate in storytelling activities, or take part in more active pursuits on riverboats, paddle boards and horseback.