5 Fun Places To Visit In Phoenix For The Whole Family

Phoenix is home to a wealth of eateries and educational establishments that are enjoyable for both parents and kids. No matter your age, there are places to encourage both discovery and creation. In no particular order, here are some great things to do with the entire family in Phoenix, Arizona.

First on our list at #1 is the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. One of the largest non-profit organizations of its kind in the U.S., the grounds are home to African lions, cheetahs, orangutans, zebras, Mexican gray wolves and many other animals.

In an effort to protect Arizona's native wildlife population, conservation scientists raise and breed certain species at the zoo’s Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Conservation Center for release to the wild, including black-footed ferrets and cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls. A variety of animal encounters allow visitors to get an up-close look at squirrel monkeys, giraffes, and stingrays.

At #2, the Shemer Art Center offers a unique and inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors to learn about visual art through classes, lectures, workshops, exhibits and events. In 1984, Martha Shemer donated the historic home to the city to provide its citizens with a community center. Areas of instruction include drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, fused glass, mixed media, and photography.

The center also houses a boutique gift shop and an outdoor sculpture garden, both featuring one-of-a-kind works of art created locally. Children and adults can learn pottery making and painting in a variety of techniques. Exhibitions showcase contemporary pieces by Arizona artists, while dedicated lectures cover the masters, like Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt.

Next on our list at #3 is the Arizona Science Center, which provides hands-on exhibits, demonstrations, traveling exhibitions, and exciting science programs for people of all ages. Attractions offered include the Dorrance Planetarium, one of the largest and most technologically advanced planetariums in the United States, and the American Airlines Flight Zone, where guests can climb into the fuselage of an actual airplane and learn about the principles of flight.

Other permanent installations, such as All About Me and Forces of Nature, allow visitors to discover everything from the details of human anatomy to the natural processes that shape the planet. Customized field trips are available for an interactive educational outing that supports classroom curriculum.

Coming in at #4, Chompie's is a New York style deli that has been serving up freshly baked bread, cakes, pastries, sandwiches and bagels since 1979. Diners can enjoy East Coast comfort food like traditional matzo ball soup, smoked fish, potato pancakes, and other classic Jewish dishes.

The selection of fish includes smoked nova lox salmon and beer-battered cod from sustainable sources. Bagels are crafted in-house daily and come in several varieties like jalapeno, garlic, poppy, onion, spinach, classic plain, or gluten-free.

Finishing things up at #5 is the Children's Museum of Phoenix. Designed for youngsters, the facility encourages kids to gain knowledge and satisfy their curiosity through their sense of touch and natural desire to explore. There are hundreds of child-led play experiences spread throughout three floors in the historic Monroe School Building.

Little ones can discover an area called The Market, where children can sort through produce or measure and weigh peas while exercising physical, cognitive, and social skills within a role playing grocery environment. The Noodle Forest uses a wide space filled with suspended textured foam installations to teach spacial awareness and direction in an exploratory way. For the youngest visitors, the museum designates a section where infants and toddlers may crawl under a tree, watch planes from a deck, or complete puzzles.