Summertime is often the perfect time for road trips, seeing as the sunny weather is typically ideal for traveling on the open road. Luckily for metro Phoenix residents, Arizona is home to plenty of parks that are perfect for families looking to have adventures. From a wildlife park in northern Arizona to a sprawling waterpark in Glendale, these six kid-friendly spots are all road-trip-worthy. Get ready for an adventure!
1500 E. Route 66 in Williams
Cost: Weekday admission for children ages 4 to 12 costs $20; admission for ages 13 to 61 costs $30. Prices increase on the weekends.
Located in Williams, Bearizona is an outdoor park in northern Arizona that’s home to a plethora of diverse wildlife. See animals like arctic wolves, black bears, white bison, and North American river otters on roughly 160 acres. You’ll start your Bearizona adventure by driving through three miles of Ponderosa pine forest, viewing animals in their natural habitat from the safety of your own vehicle. Following the car trip, you’ll see even more animals in a traditional zoo-like area called Fort Bearizona. Here, visitors follow walking paths through a 20-acre walk-thru area. Fort Bearizona is where you also might see animal demos like an otter feeding, jaguar training, and backstage grizzly training. Read more about these shows here. Bearizona is also home to two restaurants along with a handful of food trucks. Canyonlands’s interior features canyon walls and ancient ruins.
Fun fact: Roughly half of the park’s animals have been rescued.
Fort Tuthill County Park, 2446 Ft. Tuthill Loop in Flagstaff
Cost: Admission to the adventure zip line costs $60 per guest plus taxes and fees. Admission to the adventure kids’ course, ages 7 to 11 accompanied by an adult, costs $30 per child.
Fly high at 15 to 60 feet off the ground on more than 30 zip lines hung on Flagstaff’s ponderosa pine trees at the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course. The park is divvied up into two parts: the adventure course and the adventure zip line. The course includes a mix of zip lines and other obstacles while the adventure zip line part is made up solely of, you guessed it, zip lines. This course claims to be Arizona’s “largest suspended challenge course.” Visitors can challenge themselves on a total of five courses that feature more than 80 obstacles. They can climb up ladders, swing on ropes, teeter across wobbly bridges, and play on rope swings.
Please note that participants ages 12 to 15 must be with an adult who is at least 18 years old. The course does close in inclement weather, so check the website before heading out.
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Ste. 135, in Tempe
Cost: Ticket prices start at $24.99 per person if booked online in advance. Legoland only accepts credit card payments. Ticket prices fluctuate based on availability.
Kids will delight in exploring the Legoland Discovery Center that comes complete with two rides, 10 Lego build-and-play zones, and a 4D cinema. In the play zone, kids (who must be wearing socks) can play on climbing walls, slides, and a jungle gym. The center also offers a factory tour. For an additional fee, kids can do a meet-and-greet with Lego characters and meet a Master Builder. The center also features an on-site Lego-themed café.
One highlight: Fifteen model builders spent over 5,000 hours building a “Miniland” filled with replicas of Arizona’s most beloved landmarks including Chase Field. Miniland was built using over one million Legos.
6541 E. Tanque Verde Road in Tucson
Cost: Rides cost $3 each.
Tucson’s Trail Dust Town is modeled after an Old West town and was constructed back in 1961. Trail Dust is also packed with attractions that kids will delight in; they can ride a miniature train, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel, and even pan for gold. The Pistoleros Wild West Show plays from Friday through Sunday at 7 and 8 p.m. According to the site, kids 3 and younger receive free admission, but aren’t recommended to attend. Ticket prices for the show start at $7.65. Learn more about the show here.
Fun fact: Trail Dust Town is home to Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse & Saloon, which has been open since 1962. According to the restaurant, Pinnacle Peak is where the Cowboy Steak—a steak cut from the short loin and cooked over an open fire—originated. Ties are not allowed in this joint, though they are hanging on the wall of the storied restaurant.
4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road in Glendale
Cost: Daily tickets cost $30 each plus taxes and fees.
When temperatures hit triple digits—and stay there for months—many families look for waterparks as a fun way to cool off. Located on about 35 acres, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix is Arizona’s largest theme park, featuring a bevy of water attractions. Guests can enjoy twists and turns on the anaconda water slide, a white water rafting experience, a water coaster called the Bahama Blaster, a child’s spray ground, a beach, and a 12,000-square-foot activity pool with zero-depth entry for the youngest parkgoers.
Please note that this park only accepts credit card payments on-site. Some attractions have height requirements. Be sure to check the requirements, which you can see beforehand on the website. Guests are welcome to tag their photos with #HurricaneHarborPhoenix.
700 E. Route 66 in Williams
Cost: Single ride tickets for those 54 inches and over at Canyon Coaster cost $20; child tickets (at least 3 years old, 38 inches tall, and with a driver that’s 18 or older) cost $10. One summer mountain tubing ride costs $10. Riders must be 42 inches or taller to ride.
Located in Williams just down Route 66 from Bearizona, the Canyon Coaster Adventure Park is the first and only mountain coaster in Arizona. Adults can ride with a child on one car as they experience dips, twists, and hairpin turns on the mile-long alpine coaster that sits amongst the trees. In the summertime, visitors can slide down a hill in an innertube as the wind rushes past. The park features 400 feet of tubing lanes and two conveyor lanes. In the winter, visitors can go snow tubing. Guests also can enjoy a bite to eat at the bar and grill on site.