Phoenix has a reputation as an affordable, family-friendly place to live, so it’s no shocker that it’s also an affordable, family-friendly place to go on vacation. From butterfly sanctuaries and gardens to restaurants with oversized flapjacks and family-style pizza, the great spots to visit in Phoenix are blooming with fun. Check out this guide to some of the most budget-friendly attractions and activities in this desert city.
Cool Down at the Hall of Flame
The dry heat of Phoenix can be a little withering when you first arrive, so start off easy –but still kinda hot – at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum. Checking out firefighting equipment that dates back to 1725 is a great way to entertain the little firefighters in your family.
Let Butterflies Land on Your Shoulder
Both young and old get more than a little wide-eyed at the thousands of butterflies that live at Butterfly Wonderland, the largest butterfly conservatory in the country. Can’t get enough of the fluttering beauties around you? You can learn all about their life span as well as the nature of honey bees, reptiles, and other creatures of the rainforest at this Phoenix gem. Check the schedule online so you don’t miss out on a free koi feeding!
Have a Real-Life Tea Party
OK, everyone, pinkies up! Dabble in a bit of the British style at The Teapot in downtown Phoenix. You won’t believe how much fun it is to have a real-life tea party, surrounded by a peaceful garden. Enjoy the bright, airy space, which also has free kids’ art classes and other events scheduled throughout the year. Afterward, you can work off the sugar from those crumpets by paying a visit to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. This interactive museum will keep you playing with your kids all day long.
Learn About Arizona Wildlife
Arizona’s deserts are part of a special environment, so a visit to Phoenix is a great time to learn more about the beauty of this unique landscape. To start, stop at the Desert Botanical Garden for some free family play time that’s scheduled right into your admission cost (and kids under 3 are free!). The Arizona Museum of Natural History is also a great place for kids to learn about what life was like in this area years ago. There is even a paleo dig pit for little ones to discover their own fossils.
Looking for more wildlife fun? Buy tickets to the Phoenix Zoo online in advance to save on each gate price.
Make Meals Fun
All of that family fun can sure make some tummies rumble, so plan meals in places that have kid-approved menus. Luci’s at the Orchard is a cozy spot to start the day with some oversized flapjacks or the Funky Monkey French toast. For dinner, check out Organ Stop Pizza. It’s home of “The Mighty Wurlitzer” – a 6,000-pipe organ that plays while you munch! (Be sure to bring cash, no credit cards are accepted here.)
Are the kids getting extra-excited for your family getaway to Phoenix? Check out our other Arizona guides to get even more inspiration for your upcoming trip.