Arizona, the state located in the southwestern region of the United States is popularly known for its desert climate and exceptionally hot summers. It has the largest percentage of land designated as Native American Tribal land in the US. Tourism in Arizona forms one of the largest industries as this state lures myriads of tourists every year. More than 37 million tourists visited Arizona in 2008 itself! Those who envisage themselves embarking on a memorable family vacation, Arizona should be on top of the 'to-visit' list. Arizona is loaded with all kinds of fun activities to keep kids excited and busy, making it a wonderful holiday getaway. Let us find out what are the different things to do in AZ with kids.
Fun Things to do in Arizona with Children
There are various things to do in Arizona with kids. From museums to gardens and parks, the different places to visit in AZ will definitely keep your children mesmerized for the entire holiday. Some of the things to do in AZ for kids are as follows:
Xanterra Parks and Resorts
Family mule excursions are meant for families with children above the age of 7 years. This trip is a one-day Plateau Point ride departing at the head of Bright Angel trail, from Stone Corral. This sally is great for those who want to experience Canyon rocking for 7 hours over steep, rough terrain on the back of a mule. The ride is not smooth, however, it's worth the bump! During the 7 hour trail the mule takes brief breaks; at intervals of 30-45 minutes, however, the riders do not dismount during these breaks. About 2 ½ hours down the trail, there are restrooms and water facilities. These rides depart on a daily basis, however, the tickets sell like hot cakes in the summer, so make sure you book the tickets well in advance. The ticket rates are on the steeper side and go over $100!
Cerreta Candy Company
The Cerreta chocolate factory is one of the best Arizona attractions for chocoholics. At this factory people of all ages can view the delectable step by step process of chocolate making. The cream and caramel chocolate are the show stoppers for kids. What's better, this tour is absolutely free. So when you have spent a large portion of your holiday money on the mule ride, you can find solace at this chocolate abode. The 30 minute tours are scheduled from Monday to Fridays at 10 a.m and 1 p.m. Subsequent to the tour, children can build their own Italian chocolate pizza for a fee of $7 per pizza. Pre-packaged chocolates are also available at their store for you to gather souvenirs of your visit. This factory also features sugar-free products like truffles, chocolate creams, nut clusters, etc.
If you are looking for an outdoor experience in the glorious stretch of the Arizona desert, then Papago park is the place! This park features trail of various lengths, thereby accommodating needs of different families. The interpretive trails of this park teaches you and your family about the different desert plant species. For more adventurous visitors, the 825-foot trail up to the butte, Hole-in-the-Rock , which offers views from as high as 100 feet. The 3 mile, Eliot Ramada Trail is an easy trail meant for parents pushing strollers. Since there are no eateries or shops here, you will have to come with your own supply of goodies and water.
Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum
This museum is a 'must be' place for all those kids woolgathering about sliding down the firehouse pole. The museum exhibits presentations about fire safety and allows visitors to climb onto the historical fire engines and try on real firefighting gear. The volunteers and staff here present animated talks, which leave children mesmerized at the end of the show. For toddlers, a toy-filled indoor playground is present and for the older kids' activities like making fire department badges, puzzle, sliding down the fire pole, etc. are available. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday between 9 a.m to 5 p.m. The fee to this museum is under $10.
Grand Canyon Railway
A journey aboard the restored Pullman or the famous glass-roofed dome car will definitely make the holiday a truly memorable one for your kids. The 2 ½ hours trip on the historic Grand Canyon Railroad includes a Wild West shootout and various musicians and actors ready to entertain with cowboy skits and songs. What's even better is that this 65 mile trip ends just 200 yards from Grand Canyon's edge. Could you have a better icing on the cake! Toddlers have the gentle rocking of the train to comfort them, while the entertainment is enough to hold their short attention spans. The fees of this tour are over $40 covering a full package of lunch and coach tour of the rim.
One of the things to do in AZ at night is to visit Yavapai point. Besides all these places mentioned above one can also visit the Desert Botanical Garden, the Heard Museum, Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum, Cracker Jax Family Fun & Sports Park, etc. The list of things to do in AZ go on and on. Arizona is a place worth visiting during the holidays. Hope this article on things to do in Arizona with kids was enlightening! Happy Holiday!