Visiting Phoenix With Kids

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Planning a family trip to Phoenix?Phoenix is a great city to visit with babies, toddler or young kids.  There are so many family-friendly resorts in the Phoenix area, tons of family-friendly restaurants and lots of things to do with kids in Phoenix.

Best time to visit Phoenix

The best time to visit Phoenix is November through April, when the temps are cooler and you can take advantage of all the outdoor activities the area has to offer. The summers are miserable, often above 100 degrees. We came in late October and the weather was perfect-high 80s with beautiful, cool nights.

Where to stay in Phoenix with kids

Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak

If you’re looking for a great family resort in Phoenix, this is a great one!  We wanted a family resort with a water park while in Phoenix due to the heat and it didn’t disappoint! This Hilton is one of the best family resorts in Phoenix. All rooms are suites, so the living room area is separate from the bedrooms.  We had two beds in our room and it was a great size.

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They also have a water park on site, with several pools, a lazy river, and slide.  This was definitely the highlight for Milana!  There are other pools near every building, but the water park is definitely the place to be if you have kids.  One of the pools has a zero entry, which is perfect for even the smallest kids.  For the slide, kids have to be a minimum of 42 inches to ride.

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As you can see, being 5 is really hard! RiverRanch10

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Another great family friendly resort in Phoenix is the JW Marriott.  This very family friendly Phoenix resort also had a water park and great pool area.  This hotel is super family friendly, with a great pool area that has a lazy river, multiple pools and a small splash pad. It’s one of the best places to stay in Phoenix for families.

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The grounds have botanical gardens that are perfect for a photo session:

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And they have a huge open field where all the kids played at night.  When you check in, each child gets a ball which was the best toy to play with!

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Westin Kierland Resort and Spa

Have a bigger budget or Marriott points to burn? Then this is our top pick for family friendly resorts in the Phoenix area! We booked a regular room using points and were upgraded to an over $900/night casita at check in. We had a full kitchen, living room, massive bedroom and a huge bathroom. There was even a patio overlooking the pool area.  We loved staying here and not having to walk through hotel hallways to get to our room. Definitely one of the top hotels we have stayed in!

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The pool area at the Westin is amazing. They have a slide, lazy river and a zero entry pool, perfect for little ones.  There’s also a wave rider that you can sign up and use for a fee. Milana loved the wave rider and did amazingly well on her first try! We came on a weekend in October for Milana’s birthday and had the pool to ourselves for a lot of the time.

best phoenix family resort

best phoenix family resort best phoenix family resort best phoenix family resort best phoenix family resort

Things to do in Phoenix with kids

Looking for things to do with kids in Phoenix? Well you’re in luck, Phoenix is a very family friendly city!

One of our favorite things to do while traveling is visiting children’s museum and Phoenix has a great one!  When you walk in, there’s a huge climbing structure which Milana really enjoyed.  There’s also an art studio, which we spent quite some time in as always!  And as always, lots of other fun things to do.  Don’t miss this when you visit!

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The Arizona Science Center is another great place to explore on a hot day.  It’s free admission if you have a membership to a participating ASTC science center near you, which  made it even better!

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One afternoon, we headed to Scottsdale to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.  This place is definitely worth a visit! They have a miniature train that takes you around the park, a carousel, two playgrounds (one fully covered), a museum and a room with miniature railroads/towns that Milana really enjoyed looking at.  I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area!

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Old Town Scottsdale is a cute area to explore and do some shopping.  The area is super cute with lots of stores and restaurants and the best part is, the majority of it is shaded so you don’t have to be in direct sun.

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Milana spotted a toy store, so of course we had to go shopping!

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And it’s not a visit to Scottsdale without getting ice cream at Sugar Bowl.  They have a ton of options and toppings, there’s something for everyone!

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The best playgrounds in Phoenix

Looking for the best playgrounds in the Phoenix area? We have found quite a few with amazing play areas!

Rivierview Park, Mesa

This park has an amazing climbing structure and a splash pad for the hot days. Definitely a great park to check out if you’re in the area!

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Signal Butte Park, Mesa

This Phoenix playground was a huge hit with Milana! Lots of opportunities to climb in awesome 3D pods.

best playgrounds in phoenix

best playgrounds in phoenix

Pioneer Park, Mesa

Recently renovated, this multi-level 9000 square foot park is every kid’s dream and definitely one of the best playgrounds in Phoenix! Huge slides, lots of climbing places to hangout make this a favorite of locals.

best playgrounds in phoenix

best playgrounds in phoenix

Gilbert Regional Park, Gilbert

This brand new park in Gilbert is massive and a great way to spend a few hours. There are multiple play structures, awesome slides and a huge splash playground making it one of the best playgrounds in Phoenix.

best playgrounds in phoenix best playgrounds in phoenix best playgrounds in phoenix

Where to eat in Phoenix with kids

Of course, it’s not a trip without finding some great eats! If you’re looking for kid friendly restaurants in Phoenix, there are lots of options!

The Teapot

One of the best finds was The Teapot, which has good breakfast options and a play ground outside/play area inside for the kids.  If you have kids, you must check this place out! The staff is super friendly and it’s nice to be able to drink coffee in piece while your kids play. Milana wanted the waffle board and I had an acai bowl, which was super yummy!

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The Farm at South Mountain

Another great place for breakfast, and one that is very popular, is The Farm at South Mountain.  The grounds are beautiful and all seating is outdoors. It was definitely one of the best breakfast spots we’ve been to!  Milana ordered the banana French toast, I had the breakfast sandwich and Dave had the veggie omelet.  Everything was fresh and really good.

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Harumi Sushi

Milana is a huge fan of sushi, so one evening for dinner we headed downtown to Harumi Sushi.  They use black rice instead of white on all their rolls, so keep that in mind if you don’t like to stray from the usual.

We ordered a ton of rolls and couldn’t even finish half, but everything was yummy! The OMG roll is prepared at your table. Or I should say, set on fire at your table! They also had fresh wasabi, not the pasty stuff all the other places serve.  Such a different taste than the fake stuff!

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The Sicilian Butcher

Do you like Italian food? Then this is a must try! There are several locations in the area, we chose the Chandler one. Milana wanted spaghetti and meatballs and this place didn’t disappoint! You select your meatball type, sauce and pasta shape. Their bruschetta is amazing as well.

kid friendly restaurants phoenix kid friendly restaurants phoenix

Flower Child

One of our favorite family friendly Phoenix restaurants is Flower Child.  It was so good, we went two days in a row! They serve organic, natural food and their kid meals are actually something I don’t mind feeding to my child.  Milana ordered the chicken with broccoli and mac and cheese as a side and loved it.  I had the The Rebel wrap and Dave had the Thai cashew quinoa bowl.  We also tried the quinoa and sweet corn as a side, which is a must try while there. Everything was really good and fresh!

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Polish Goodies

We also stumbled upon Polish Goodies and decided to try it. Being Polish, I miss my mom’s home cooked meals and while this wasn’t as good as mom’s, it was delicious!  We ordered pierogi with sauerkraut and mushrooms, kielbasa with homemade sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage and nalesniki (Polish version of crepes) which were stuffed with plum better and topped with sweet cream.

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Butters Pancakes & Cafe

If you’re looking for a family friendly breakfast place, then I highly recommend this place! They have a huge menu with tons of breakfast options. The kids chocolate chip pancakes were a huge serving, enough for two kids! The crepes are great and the cinnamon roll pancake tastes just like it sounds.

kid friendly restaurants phoenix

Sweet Republic

Down the street from the Hilton, we found one of the best ice cream places we have ever been to.  The flavors are amazing and everything is all-natural, you must try Sweet Republic if you are in Phoenix.  I had the banana foster, Dave had the carrot cake and Milana had the peanut butter with a in-house made marshmallow (no high fructose corn syrup or chemicals!).  All 3 flavors were really good.

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Churn

Another ice cream place we tried was Churn .  While the line was out the door (because the place is super tiny!), this ice cream was pretty bad compared to Sweet Republic.  I wouldn’t waste the calories here and go to Sweet Republic instead!  The coolest thing about this place was their wall, which was covered with cassettes.  Milana was intrigued by them, having never seen them, and kept asking why we are calling it tape when it’s not sticky!

As you can see, there are lots of things to do in Phoenix with kids.  It’s the perfect few day destination!

14 Comments

  • Jean

    I thought the waterpark was the best part of this trip. Then I saw all the food photos. Oh wow. Phoenix looks delish!

  • Indrani

    What an ideal place to spend with kids! They have planned and designed it well to keep the kids active and busy. I like the green parks too, perfect even on a hot day. The under water pics have come out well.

  • Natasha Haley

    Pheonix looks amazing . We have been wanting to come to the states for some time now and this place looks really appealing

  • Tania Mukherjee

    Milana is now making me wonder why do we call cassettes tape!! I absolutely loved little Milan’s cool poolside pictures! Haha 😀 . Oh and thank you for writing so elaborately about your food experience. You almost took me on a virtual tour.

  • Delaine

    Oh my gosh, that waterpark & the ginormous pool are amazing! I love staycations & short breaks because you get time to explore the hotel and places around you … unlike when you travel far away. I’m usually running around the country & hardly get any time to use the hotel facilities. Btw, your food pictures have almost got me licking my computer screen!

  • quirkywanderer

    This looks a great place to actually unwind and relax with the kids! So many amazing activities, including the amusement park and the museum. These kind of staycations are an absolute must to get away from the humdrum!

  • Ha Truong

    I love the waterpark. It is such a great place to relax and chill, especially with kid. Your food photos really got me there. Yummy!

  • Diana Chen

    Looks like Milana had a great time! Being 5 really is hard! 😉 The lazy river float looks super relaxing – I could definitely see myself doing that for a while and then indulging in all the delicious food! 😀

  • joanna

    I like that the pools were empty and that Milana could have the entire water park for herself. There are definitely some good choice in Phoenix in what comes to restaurants. The food looks amazing and that ice cream from Sweet Republic sounds delicious!

  • Only By Land

    The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort looks like a wonderful place to stay in Phoenix. The on site water park is perfect, it looks like Milana had a wonderful time in there! The breakfast at the Farm at South Mountain looks delicious as well as huge!

  • Iza (@IzaAbao)

    The water park looks amazing. I like the photo of Milana chilling by the poolside and enjoying her smoothie. Swimming must be so tiring. The playground is huge and lots of things to try. Sugar Bowl’s ice cream looks delicious. I also like the waffle board and the acai bowl from The Teapot. The foods in Christopher’s and Crush look well-presented and scrumptious. Milana has definitely eaten a lot of good food.

  • Stacey Nanney

    Wow just by reading your post and looking at the photos of your vacation makes me want to go to Phoenix right now and have a family bonding with my kids. Phoenix sounds like Disneyland with all these amazing places that are really good for family vacation. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, I enjoy reading it.

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