Thankfully, there are a few great, lesser-known places in the Phoenix area that are perfect for families with younger children to enjoy. Many of which offer learning opportunities for kids and parents alike!

Desert Botanical- with frames.jpgDesert Botanical Gardens: This staple of the Valley is not only a great place during the winter months with its well-known Chihuly exhibit; it’s also a great year-round attraction. With endless winding paths wide enough to accommodate even the largest of strollers, educational opportunities that line the walkways for older kids to peruse and discuss, and two great restaurant options, The Patio and the newly opened Gertrude’s, this locale is a great destination.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park: This adorable little getaway in the heart of Scottsdale offers a choo-choo train ride and carousel that accommodates kids of all ages. A stroller-friendly park, older kids will get a kick out of the railroad themed snack shops and model train rooms while even babies get to ride along in the Paradise and Pacific Railroad.

Aquarium 1- with frames.jpgSea Life Children’s Entertainment Center: Conveniently located within the Arizona Mills shopping mall, this relatively new destination provides a look into the ever-fascinating ocean world. Designed and laid out specifically for kids and families, this aquarium features touch pools where you can touch sting rays, starfish, and more, a quiz trail and a 360˚ ocean tunnel. With learning opportunities abound and plenty of visual appeal, this spot boasts an ample amount of entertainment for the whole family.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix: With floor after floor of endless exhibits and hands-on-learning opportunities, The Phoenix Children’s Museum is a must-see. With specific areas and floors dedicated to certain age groups, there’s no worry about even the littlest explorers staying amused, between age-appropriate toys, a mock grocery store and a climbing sculpture designed with tree house imagination. Best of all, when the family gets hungry, there’s a friendly little café that offers reasonably priced fare that’s kid-approved.

Wet N Wild- frames.jpgWet ‘n’ Wild Jr.: When summer hits, there’s no better place to head than a water park. Wet ‘N Wild in Glendale, Arizona recently opened a miniature water park within a park that offers pint-sized versions of their popular big-kid rides for kiddos 36” and taller.

No matter the season, Phoenix has something unique and different that allows families with even the smallest of kids to have a fun-filled day everyone can appreciate.

Kim Higdon is a Phoenix native and a new mom who is always looking for new things to do with her growing family here in the Valley. Appreciating the active side of Phoenix, Kim likes to get out and explore all that this burgeoning city has to offer.