Pay homage to the people and science that helped shape the country and the cultures in Arizona by visiting some of these great, kid-friendly hot spots. Indoors or out, museums, art and science centers are a great way to introduce your kids to history and learn about their surroundings.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix’s mission is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness. Young visitors delight in engaging and immersive programs and exhibits. Multiple projects are offered daily in the Art Studio. Children experiment with balance, gross motor skills and spatial awareness in Pedal Power. Cause and effect are presented on a grand scale in The Grand Ballroom, and The Market gives kids the opportunity for role-play and social interaction. Plus, a special gallery just for the youngest visitors – Place for Under Threes – is designed to meet the particular developmental needs of infants and toddlers.
215 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034. Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am-4pm; Closed on Mondays; Admission: Members: Free; Non-Members: $9.00; Children under the age of 1: Free
The Arizona Science Center offers a hands-on experience for your child to learn and have fun. Special exhibits are hosted throughout the year and offer a memorable place for a child’s birthday party. There are also week long camps for children ages 6-11 both in the summer and winter. Experience the wonder of nature and other special engagement adventures in 3D in the IMAX theater, or let the stars take your breath away at the Dorrance Planetarium. Check out Saturday Science for children ages 6-10 and classes for preschoolers ages 3-5 in addition to the many other special events hosted at the Arizona Science Center throughout the year.
600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85004. Hours: Daily 10am-5pm; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas; Admission: Adult: $12; Senior (62+): $10; Children (3-17): $10; additional charge for IMAX and Planetarium
The Arizona Museum for Youth (AMY) features art exhibits and hands-on activities that introduce children and their families to art and basic aesthetic principles. The Art Galleries change shows several times a year so there is always something new, and the museum’s diverse appeal ensures that your toddlers and even 10-year-olds will have a great time! As part of the exhibits, a dynamic array of art classes, fun workshops and family programs are available to teach children about the power of creativity and self-expression. The museum also features ArtVille, an art town for kids under 4.
35 N. Robson, Mesa, AZ 85201. Hours: 10am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday; Sunday: 12pm-4pm; Admission: $6.50 for everyone over 1
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, located in Phoenix, Arizona, has almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. Most of the exhibits are American, but there are also pieces from England, France, Austria, Germany and Japan. The Hall of Flame sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty or who have been decorated for heroism.
6101 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85008. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sundays 12pm-4 pm; Admission: Adults: $6.00; Students 6-17: $4.00; Toddlers 3-5: $1.50; Children under age 3 are admitted free; Admission is $5.00 for visitors over age 62; Group rates for adult groups are $3.00 per visitor. School groups are admitted at $3.00 per student
The Heard was founded in 1929 by pioneer Phoenix settlers Dwight B. and Maie Bartlett Heard and has grown as Phoenix’s first cultural attraction. The museum is now one of the world’s finest destinations for the interest of American Indian art and cultures. Today, the museum touts comprehensive collections, intriguing exhibitions, distinctive festivals and interactive learning opportunities to make the Heard Museum an outstanding destination. The museum also houses the Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives of the Heard Museum, a comprehensive research facility that includes information about indigenous art and cultures from around the world.
2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004. Hours: 9:30am-5pm Monday through Saturday; 11am-5pm Sunday; Admission: Adults: $12; Seniors 65+: $11; Students with ID: $5; Children 6-12: $3; Children under 6: Free; Heard Museum Members: Free; American Indians: Free
Enjoy the 1880s western town and all Rawhide has to offer from the world-renowned Steakhouse & Saloon to unique shops and a variety of attractions. It’s full of fun, good eatin’, great shopping, and a true taste of the Old West you’ll not find anywhere else in Arizona. Rawhide is the perfect place to visit whether you are local, from out of town or out of the country. Bring your family and friends, or bring out of town guests to experience a taste of life in the Old.
5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler, AZ 85226. Hours: Vary by month; see website for details; Admission: Free; attractions require ticket
The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum commemorates the mining industry that helped build Arizona. Today, Arizona is the Nation’s number one mining state with the largest value of non-fuel mineral production in the country. The museum can trace its origin back to the first Arizona Fair, held in November of 1884! The mineral display was said to “overshadow all else.” The collection, already one of the finest in the world, has been growing and improving since that time. Today, over 23,000 school children and 18,000 other visitors tour each year. The Museum draws mineral collectors and rockhounds from around the world.
1502 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007. Hours: 8am-5pm Monday through Friday; 11am-4pm Saturday, museum only; Closed Sunday; Admission: Adults: $2; Children 17 and under: Free
Young visitors meet the Old West at this re-created pioneer village, where your family can explore life as it was in Arizona a century ago. Stroll past historic buildings that range from a schoolhouse to the blacksmith’s shop to an opera house. Since this was rancher country, there’s plenty of livestock on hand to capture your kids’ attention. Arrive in time for the re-enactment performed daily at 11:30 a.m. and you’ll even have an encounter with the sheriff, his deputies and the bank robbers they’re pursuing. The show culminates with a shoot-out, after which the actors sign autographs.
3901 W. Pioneer Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85086. Hours: Winter Hours, October 1 – May 31; Wednesday through Sunday: 9am-4pm; Summer Hours, June 1 – September 30; Wednesday through Sunday: 8am – 2pm; Admission: Adults: $7; Seniors 60+: $6; Students 6-18 years old: $5; Children under 5: Free