Looking for ideas for Spring Break? These are some of the girls’ favorite activities in the Valley!
This is not the end-all-be-all spring break list of things to do in the Valley. But they are all activities we have done, and they all have the Pumpkin and Peanut stamp of approval! If you have the time, it’s fun to take one-on-one dates with your kids so they each get special time. (That will not be the case for me as I only have one day off, so the three of us will have a day together, but last year Pumpkin and I had two days just the two of us.)
Arizona weather is pretty near perfect right now, and what better time to get out and enjoy a baseball game? Whichever Cactus League ballpark you end up visiting, here’s what I recommend for visiting with little ones:
- Buy lawn tickets (and get them ahead of time). They’re less expensive and you will likely end up walking around anyway (unless they’re older and really into following all the action).
- Arrive early. Spring training is a great time to catch players for autographs!
- Bring a blanket, sunscreen, water bottles and some extra snacks. But also splurge on a ballpark treat!
- Make sure you bring cash for parking. Some fields have activities that cost a couple dollars, too, and your kids are bound to ask to participate!
We are so lucky in the Valley to be home to so many wonderful museums. We love going out and exploring art, and even many of the museums that don’t cater specifically to kids offer a few things for kids to do. When just Pumpkin and I go, I often bring a sketch pad and colored pencils along for her to draw what she observes. Here are some of the places we’ve been and enjoyed:
- Idea Museum: This museum in downtown Mesa is great for younger kids and has a dedicated room for kids under 5 to explore, plus a revolving exhibit, Mad Hatter tea party room with costumes, art and more. Tip: make sure you have socks for everyone to wear into Artville (the 5-and-under room).
- Arizona Museum of Natural History: Located in downtown Mesa, the main attraction is the dinosaurs, but there’s a lot more to see from Arizona’s movie history to an old jail to a gold-panning area outside.
- Heard Museum: Located in Central Phoenix, the Heard Museum is dedicated to American Indian Art. Its featured exhibit is usually partnered with hands-on activities in an adjacent gallery perfect for little hands.
- Phoenix Art Museum: We’ve been to this Central Phoenix museum several times and there’s still so much we haven’t seen. There are always new exhibits, hands-on activities and the docents always take the time to answer the girls’ questions and let us know where the kid-focused activities are. Tip: you can’t wear a backpack in here (that includes wearing your child on your back) if you bring one along, be prepared to use a locker.
- Musical Instrument Museum: This museum in North Phoenix has tons of hands-on musical activities, a guided audio tour of American music history, and an exhibit with instruments from around the world. Pumpkin absolutely loved it here.
- Children’s Museum of Phoenix: There’s so much for kids to explore at this Downtown Phoenix Museum, from a grocery store, to art, reading spaces, a bike wash (think car wash for bikes without actual water), a noodle forest. It’s always a hit!
- Arizona Science Center: Located in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center helps kids learn about themselves and the world around them in a fun and interactive way. The girls are always entertained by the “All About Me” exhibit complete with sound effects, and the water play area outside. Pumpkin is also in awe of the changing weather in “Forces of Nature.”
- Superstition Mountain Museum: This museum on the Apache Trail has an old stamp mill, model train, Arizona movie history, and more. Check the schedule for events from gold panning to story time.
- Phoenix Zoo: Kids love to see animals up close that they otherwise only read about in books. And Pumpkin’s favorite thing to do at the zoo is to hold the map and lead the way. In addition to all the animals, there’s a carousel and splash pad!
- Butterfly Wonderland: The butterfly conservatory is such a magical experience! It’s great for photo opps and so fun to see the wonder in your kids’ eyes.
Take a Walk
Go for a walk around downtown Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe or Scottsdale and check out the murals and/or public art. Plan a stop for lunch or a sweet treat!
Related: Summer of Ice Cream