Phoenix, Arizona is a great city to visit if you’re traveling with kids as it boasts an abundance of attractions, and the warm weather is definitely welcoming, especially after a long, cold winter. Many of the vacation rentals in Phoenix sit surrounded by the natural beauty of the desert with red rocks and mountains in the distance, and there is plenty to do and see. From refreshing water slides and thrilling amusement parks to beautiful scenic parks and museums, Phoenix has something for everybody. Finding things to do in this bustling desert city is easy, and this top 9 list can help you narrow down your many options.

1. Ride the Waterslides at Wet n’ Wild Phoenix

Cool off from the hot Phoenix weather and show your kids a great time at Wet n’ Wild Phoenix, a 35-acre waterpark with 15 separate slides and rides. Take a family tubing ride down the raging river, or let your kids go wild on the Phoenix flyer slides. If you’re planning to make a day of it, rent a cabana at the park, so you can cool off, enjoy complimentary snacks, and watch a little TV between rides.

2. Get Some Thrills at Castles and Coasters

If you’ve got a few thrill-seekers in the family, Castles, and Coasters Amusement Park is a great place to get their adrenaline pumping. Catch some air on the Desert Storm winding roller coaster, or snap photos while your little ones take on the Junior Dixie Wheel and Spinning Tops. In addition to rides, the park also features a mini-golf course, an arcade, and three snack bars complete with ice cream, pizza, burgers, and more.

3. Visit the Ducks at Encanto Park

Encanto Park in Phoenix earned a spot on Forbes’ list as one of the best city parks in the U.S., which isn’t surprising based on its overall scenic beauty and relaxing atmosphere. Pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy some family time feeding the ducks at the lake, or visit the Enchanted Island Amusement Park on the park grounds, and take photos of your little ones as they ride on the kiddie rides.

4. Visit the Children’s Museum

Feel like a kid again when you take your kids to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Interactive exhibits allow children to express their creativity through art, building blocks, and even fort-building. Other activities include musical performances, story time, and various special events, including cooking demonstrations, Mother Goose tea parties and educational workshops.

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5. Mingle With the Butterflies at Butterfly Wonderland

For a rainforest experience in the heart of the Arizona desert, visit Butterfly Wonderland. Featuring the largest butterfly emergence gallery in the country, your kids won’t believe their eyes as these beautiful creatures float magically around the flowers and trees. Additional exhibits include Tropical Waters of the World, where exotic fish swim around in freshwater aquariums, and the Honey Bee Extravaganza, where live bees create honey on the spot.

6. Check Out the Sea Life at OdySea Aquarium

Spend some time with some amazing sea creatures at the OdySea Aquarium. Located about 10 miles away in nearby Scottsdale, the aquarium houses over 30,000 animals and 50 different species, many of which reside in one of the massive aquariums, all of which hold a total of 2,000,000 gallons of water. Check out the sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, crocodiles, and many other sea creatures that co-exist together in this massive space.

7. Spend the Day With the Animals at the Phoenix Zoo

For a fun family day surrounded by some of nature’s most beautiful creatures, take a trip to the Phoenix Zoo. The zoo houses over 1,400 animals including black bears, African lions, zebras, giraffes and a plethora of exotic birds. Take a self-guided tour, or sign up for an eco-tour and ride through the zoo on a shuttle cart.

8. Ride the Go-Karts at Cracker Jax

For some good old-fashioned fun, take a 10-mile drive into Scottsdale and spend the day at Cracker Jax, a fun park with all the ingredients for a good time. Have a go-kart race with your family, have some fun on the bumper boats, or take a jump from the bungee station. The park also has an arcade, batting cages, and a full-service snack bar when you need a break to refuel.

9. Tour the Mystery Castle

One of Phoenix’s most unique attractions is the Mystery Castle, a dwelling built in the 1930s entirely out of inexpensive and salvaged materials such as train tracks, telephone poles and automobile parts. This castle has 18 rooms, including a dungeon, and it features a massive staircase that goes all the way up to the roof. The castle was built by Boyce Gulley, a man from Seattle who was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He abruptly left his family one year and moved to Arizona, where he built this castle. When he passed away, his daughter traveled to the home to find the instructions on opening a trap door, where she found gold, money, and letters written by her father. The castle is now open to the public for tours, and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Phoenix.

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