Vacationing in Mesa, Arizona lets you explore the surroundings and culture of a big city, as well as the great outdoors. Mesa features a variety of family-oriented attractions and open areas to explore. The city has something to offer kids of all ages. Book a stay at a Mesa vacation rental today. Check out the top 10 things to do in Mesa with your kids.

1. Play at Enchanted Island

Enchanted Island is a small amusement park geared towards families with children between ages one and 10. The park boasts nine different rides, including kiddie cars, the C.P. Huntington train, and a 66-year-old carousel. When your little ones tire of waiting in line for rides, take them to the park’s Splash Zone for some water-filled fun, let them race to the top of the climbing wall, or rent a paddleboat or a canoe to enjoy views of the park from the water.

2. Visit Castles N’ Coasters

If you have a thrill-seeking family with older children, spend the day at Castles N’ Coasters. The park is home to two large roller coasters Patriot and Desert Storm. The park also houses a few rides for younger kids such as the Flying Bugs, the carousel, and the Junior Dixie Wheel. Before heading back to your vacation rental, visit the park’s arcade section. The tree-level arcade is filled with more than 200 arcade games, as well as bumper boats, go karts, and a miniature golf course.

3. Tour the Phoenix Zoo

Learn about different animals at the Phoenix Zoo. It’s home to African lions, Asian elephants, warthogs, vultures, and more. Customize your family’s experience by participating in one of the zoo’s Backstage Adventures tours. The 60-minute tours let you see what it’s like to take care of elephants, get a closer look at cheetahs and painted dogs, or take a private tour of the Galapagos or Aldabra tortoise enclosures. The zoo also offers a 60-minute guided tram ride through the park.

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4. Explore the Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

Explore the wonders of the deep blue sea at the Sea Life Arizona Aquarium. View aquatic animals and fish in their natural habitat, including sharks, seahorses, clownfish, and turtles. Get an up-close look at stingrays, and touch sea stars and urchins at the interactive tide pool. Don‘t forget to check out the Colorado River Adventure — an interactive-learning exhibit that takes guests on a journey down the Colorado River to the Sea of Cortez.

5. Take a Cruise Around Saguaro Lake

Desert Belle Cruises offers 90-minute tours around Saguaro Lake in an air conditioned two-level boat. Enjoy a treat from the boat’s snack bar while taking in magnificent views of the high canyon walls and desert surrounding the lake. Keep your eyes peeled for falcons, eagles, mountain lions, and coyotes during the ride. Take a cruise close to sunset for some amazing views of the desert.

6. Learn About Dinosaurs at the Arizona Museum of Natural History

Beat the heat by visiting the Arizona Museum of Natural History. Let your children dig for fossils at the museum’s Paleo Dig Pit, and view the massive dinosaur skeletons on display. The Arizona Through Time exhibit takes your family on a journey through time where you learn about everything from the origins of the universe and the Paleozoic Seas to Triassic petrified forests and wetlands and the Cretaceous Seas. Don’t forget to stop at DinoZone before leaving. This interactive exhibit teaches children all about dinosaurs.

7. Go Hiking at Papago Park

Hike along the desert trails winding their way through Papago Park. The trails are smooth, with little elevation gain, so it’s easy for little ones to navigate. If slow and steady isn’t your style, opt for a trail that leads you up through the massive rock walls surrounding the park. After you hike, enjoy a picnic lunch before fishing for catfish in the park‘s regularly stocked fishing lagoon.

8. Stroll Through the Desert Botanical Gardens

Spanning more than 140-acres of land, the Desert Botanical Gardens has more than 50,000 plants on display. Learn about the flowers, cacti, and flora found scattered across the breathtaking desert landscape. Take a flashlight tour to explore the garden‘s desert landscape at night.

9. Spend the Day at Golfland Castle and Sunsplash

Children, teens, and adults enjoy Sunsplash Water Park. Let the adventurous members of your family speed down seven-story water slides, while you relax in the lazy river. Spend time enjoying the Shipwreck Rock slides and Caribbean Water Works play areas with the youngest members of your family, and battle it out on the bumper cars or boats before visiting the park‘s arcade. Before heading back to your vacation home, play a round of mini golf or laser tag and grab an Iceberg Shake from the Ice Cream Parlor.

10. Go Tubing Down Salt River

If you have children age eight and older who are at least four feet tall, tour the Tonto National Forest while tubing down the Salt River. Rent a tube from Salt River Tubing, and spend a few hours floating down the river. Shuttle buses run to and from the rental office and the stopping point down-river to take families back to their cars. Don’t forget to drink lots of water before your trip and make sure each family member wears a life jacket and sunscreen

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