1. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
This is by far and away my favorite attraction in the Phoenix area because it is unlike any other botanical garden that I have ever seen! There are over 21,000 different types of cacti and other plants in this 50-acre garden. If you have little ones, they are sure to be entertained, as well. On my last visit to the Desert Botanical Garden, my toddler had a blast chasing butterflies, spotting lizards, and looking for rabbits. What’s also wonderful about this garden is that there are five different trails that you can choose from! The garden does charge admission, but it is free the second Tuesday of every month, from 1-8 p.m. Get directions and all the details on their website.
2. Have a picnic in Papago Park
Papago Park is a great place to spend the afternoon with kids. There are nature trails (including shorter trails for little kids), fishing ponds, and bike paths. The nature trail alone entertained my 3-year old for hours! The park is in the same location as the Desert Botanical Garden, so if you’re looking to make a day of the area, this is the perfect combination. The park is free and is open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
3. Take a drive on the Apache Trail
The Apache Trail is one of the most amazing drives you will ever take. The 48-mile trail offers visitors views of mountains, canyons, and lakes. The trail has numerous attractions to stop and see. You can visit the Goldfield Ghost Town to pan for gold, or have a picnic at Apache Lake where you are sure to spot javelina, eagles and many other creatures. You can drive the trail at any time and get details on Goldfield Ghost Town here.
4. Take a stroll in Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale really has something for everyone – shops, restaurants, events, and art galleries galore! You’ll get a feel for the Old West as you walk by saloon doors and hitching posts outside the local eateries. In fact, you may even see the hitching posts in use, as the Scottsdale Police Department has mounted police who patrol the area. If you are visiting Phoenix on a Thursday, check out the Art Walk, held every Thursday night from 7-9 p.m. The galleries in Old Town open up their doors to show off their works and often serve wine and hors d’oeuvres. But my favorite part about Old Town is the fact that it’s free!
5. Watch an exhibition game
If you’re lucky enough to visit Phoenix during spring training, catching a game is a must! People come from all over the country to check out the Major League Baseball exhibition games. There are 15 teams that play here, so there are often games all day long! Tickets are very reasonably priced (often as low as $8), and kids always have a blast. Get tickets and details here.
6. Visit The Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is the one place that I like to splurge on when I visit the area. It has been voted one of the top five zoos for children in the country and includes over 1300 animals and 200 endangered species. My son loved seeing the Chilean flamingos and the squirrel monkey! The zoo also has fun events every month, such as Prairie Dog Day or other days where specific animals are featured. The zoo charges admission – $20 for adults and $10 for kids, but children under 2 are free. The zoo also offers discounted rates for seniors, military, students, and AAA members.
This is a guest post by Natasha from Dallas, TX
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