Phoenix With Children: Beyond One Day

Served well by The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, we set out to see how else we might entertain our two young children while enjoying ourselves in the process.

Phoenix, what else do you have for us?

A couple answers, at least.

1) Phoenix Zoo

The website claims that it’s been voted one of the nations Top 5 zoos for children.  Seeing as how Phoenix is the #5 or #6 city in the country for population, I’m going to believe the boast.  Situated right next door to the Desert Botanical Gardens, you know the landscape is special, particularly to a family from the Canadian prairies.  Pleasantly sized, this zoo is large enough to house a wide variety of animals (elephants to giraffes to lions to monkeys to tortoises to iguanas and more) without demanding serious miles to be logged, as is necessary in a place like the San Diego Zoo.  Throw in a petting zoo, a couple decent play areas, and a classic carousel, and you can keep a couple cute toddlers busy for part of day.

2) Arizona Mills Mall

Buying or browsing, we always enjoy looking around, when in a new city.  But how to do it while busying the tots?  A bright and busy mall doesn’t hurt.  A well-designed set-up with a handful of toy stores and a Disney store can only help.  Throw in a surprising aquarium (SeaLife Arizona) with a decent play area, and add a large food court surrounded by pumping arcade and a merry-go-round–that ought to keep them busy for a while.  This mall gave us enough enjoyment that we actually visited twice–the second time, we even bought a few things!

There are a host of other things a family might do in Phoenix, but let this post and my previous one at least get you started the next time you find yourself stranded in Arizona with some small ones needing attention.



Phoenix With Children

In a better-than-we-could-have-planned-it twist, we departed Regina on January 11, the first day all winter that felt like the type of winter weather we annually receive.

Destination: Phoenix, Arizona.

Trip-planning has changed its flavour since our children have been born.  It used to involve “Lonely Planet” guides and aggressive checklists to maximize time and opportunities in any given spot.  Both the pace and content are no longer the same.

For what it’s worth, here is the one place in Phoenix that you should not miss if you are traveling with children under the age of eight: The Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  Seriously, this is a fun place!  Initial material I read on it painted an image of a not-quite-Science-Center.  Now, I’m all for Science Centers, but they’re not quite the right cup of tea to serve my three-year-old and one-year-old.

The Children’s Museum, on the other hand, is just perfect.

We spent three hours in the morning and then revisited after a nap in the car.  Tonnes of smiles were flashed, interspersed by laughs, surprises, and adventure.  It was one of the most fun days I’ve had with my little girls.

On the tourist-o-meter, I give this place a perfect score for any families vacationing in the Valley of the Sun.