Arizona is a popular family vacation destination year-round, offering a combination of unique natural beauty and rich Southwestern cultural heritage. Arizona family resorts are highly sought-after, with families looking for memorable vacation spots, entertaining attractions, and a great atmosphere. Learn about some of Arizona’s best kid-friendly spots, from secluded creekside cabins tucked into the forest to sun-soaked mountainside villas and inclusive luxury destinations, and discover how you can make the most of your Arizona family vacation.

Family vacations in Phoenix

Splash and play in Phoenix

Hurricane Harbor Phoenix offers a great way to beat the heat in Arizona. This kid-friendly waterpark has options for all ages, including younger kiddos with play areas and splash pads for toddlers. Older kids can enjoy family rides like the Wahoo Racers and Bonzai Pipeline and splash in Hurricane Bay. If you’re in the mood for some relaxation, you can grab a tube and float along on the Adventure River or lounge with a drink by the pool.

Explore a Desert Botanical Garden

The Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden offers over 50,000 incredible desert plants within a living museum. You can explore a colorful Butterfly Garden, see vivid wildflowers and cactuses blooming in the desert, and hike trails with beautiful mountain views. In cultural exhibits, you can learn about the unique relationships between Native peoples and the desert plants and regions of Arizona. Garden paths are stroller and wheelchair-friendly, but come prepared with water, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Check out their special events.

Monkey around at the Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo houses hundreds of unique animals across their 125-acre zoological park. You can explore the zoo on foot, with over 2 miles of walking trails, or Cruise the Zoo in the comfort of your car during the summer months. Cruise the Zoo routes also include a free audio tour to enjoy during your ride. Daily activities at the Phoenix Zoo include keeper talks, animal encounters and presentations, plus seasonal water play areas and splash pads. There are kid-friendly play spaces and farm equipment to explore at the Red Barn, plus a petting zoo with mellow farm animals.

Scottsdale offers plenty of entertainment for families

Go on an under-sea adventure in Scottsdale

OdySea Aquarium at Arizona Boardwalk is a great all-weather attraction for family vacations in Arizona. You can climb aboard the OdySea Voyager for an immersive journey under the sea, where you’ll encounter sea creatures like rays, turtles, and sharks. Family favorite exhibits include the cute critters at The Otter Banks and Penguin Point, where you can watch the playful antics of otters and penguins. Kids can explore the interactive spaces in the Kids’ Cove and meet marine life up close in the aquarium’s touch pools.

Ride the train at Railroad Park

If you have train-loving kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. You can climb aboard a heritage train for a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad, then take a spin on a 1950's vintage carousel. The park’s Model Railroad Building also houses a collection of 10,000 square feet of model railroad tracks and trains. You’ll also find playgrounds and interactive play spaces, plus plenty of green space to run around. Head over to Hartley’s General Store for refreshments and concessions, or visit various local shops and museums adjacent to the park.

Explore Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the Old West

You can saddle up and head over to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the Old West for immersive cultural and historical exhibits. Exhibitions range from Native American art to artifacts, personal stories, photography, and Western wear. Gallery highlights include a collection of American Military Saddles, Hopi Pottery Masterworks, Contemporary Hopi Ceramics, and Katsina Dolls. Free audio tours are available to download on your smartphone for an enhanced experience through the museum.

Find family fun with Sedona vacations

Explore a market and village in Sedona

Fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is a long-running outdoor market and village in Sedona. Stroll the cobblestone streets past art galleries, artisan craft shops, and historic architectural features with stucco walls and sweeping arched entryways. Over 50 specialty shops dot this historic area, along with musicians strolling the streets playing live music and delicious smells wafting from local restaurants. The village also hosts regular events, celebrations, and festivals with live music, dancers, and family-friendly activities.

See a hilltop chapel at the Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is definitely considered a must-see in Sedona, a Roman Catholic chapel that seemingly emerges from the red rocks on a mountain hilltop. Its unique architectural style and beautiful desert landscape draw visitors from across the country to appreciate its beauty. The chapel is easily reached by car, but you are also welcome to explore the grounds on foot. Within the chapel, you’ll find additional unique architectural features, sculptures, and stained glass, as well as a gift shop.

Hike to Sedona’s scenic Airport Overlook Point

The scenic desert hike to Airport Overlook Point is an easy to moderate stepping trail, appropriate for all ages. At the top of this short hike, you’ll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the area, including Court House Butte, Bell Rock, and miles of desert and mountain landscape. This scenic overlook is exquisite at sunrise and sunset. Locals say the hiking trail is accomplishable for young kids if you take your time, and be sure to pack water, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Book Airzona family resorts

When you're trying to get the most out of your Arizona family vacation, you'll need a relaxing accommodation. While you'll find plenty of options throughout the state, nothing offers an experience quite like a resort can. Fortunately, you'll find a wide range of Arizona family resorts across the state making it easy to optimize your vacation experience with these high end rentals. Not only will you find plenty of room for the whole family, but you can enjoy a wide range of amenities and stunning service from the staff. Take a look at some of the best Arizona family resorts.

Sedona Pines Resort

The Sedona Pines Resort is a kid-friendly resort with the feeling of a quaint Southwestern villa, settled in Arizona’s beautiful Red Rock Country. Accommodations include cozy, casual cottages, perfect for family vacations. Families often enjoy the 18-hole mini-golf course and playground found here, as well as the large heated pool and hot tub. This resort also offers lots of weekly family-friendly events and special events for kids.

Scottsdale Camelback Resort

Scottsdale Camelback Resort is located at the base of Camelback Mountain, close to Phoenix and downtown Scottsdale. Family resort-style accommodations include studio, 2- and 3-bedroom villas with amenities like whirlpool tubs and wood-burning fireplaces. A heated pool and hot tub are typically available year-round, plus an on-site spa and meditation labyrinth. Additional kid-friendly amenities include a mini-golf course, a covered playground, and walking trails. Sports facilities include tennis and racquetball courts, volleyball, basketball, and a 9-hole putting green.

Cibola Vista Resort and Spa

Cibola Vista Resort and Spa is located in Peoria, Arizona, and is a family resort with all-suite accommodations ranging from cozy studios and 1-bedroom junior suites to midsize and larger 2-bedroom options. Family-friendly floor plans include full kitchens, washer/dryers, and living rooms with pull-out couches. Resort grounds feature southwest courtyards with fountains and rustic gardens and grill spaces with picnic areas. A large family pool includes a curvy, 3-story waterslide plus an oversized whirlpool hot tub. Sign up for horseback riding, with kids under 5 getting complimentary pony rides at the stable.