It’s January in Phoenix, which means the weather is perfect to get out and explore for the next couple months. Enjoying parks, hikes and restaurant patios are a favorite pastime this time of year, however it is fun to change things up a bit too. It can get easy to get stuck in a rut visiting the same parks and museums with the kids, so below are five fun experiences to shake things up and get you exploring together as a family.
Pet Adorable Animals. With a number of ranches and zoos in and around the Phoenix area, a quick Google search will lead you to a number of options where you can get up close with animals. MacDonald’s Ranch, in Scottsdale, is a favorite for our family. Little ones can go for pony rides and get up close to a number of other livestock—goats, pigs, donkeys, chickens. Looking for more exotic animals—you can feed giraffes at the Phoenix Zoo and visit with other animals at the Wildlife World Zoo.
Enjoy Nature. There are a number of lovely desert nature walks all around the city, but for a real change of scenery, a favorite stop is at the Japanese Friendship Garden. Enjoy the sounds of running water from the calming streams and waterfalls, feed the koi fish and take a moment to reflect in this tranquil city escape.
Go on Safari. While we are all familiar with the amazing Out of Africa safari experience, sometimes we just don’t have the time to make the trek to Camp Verde. The Cabela’s, in Glendale, maintains a museum-worthy educational display with more than 400 animals. Detailed signs provide information about the lifelike creatures, from a tiny mouse to a huge elephant. A large tank contains live fish native to Arizona, including the state fish and several endangered species.
Get Immersed in Butterflies. Butterfly Wonderland is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. You can feed the koi fish while over 3,000 butterflies fly around. Everywhere you turn there are gorgeous butterflies hiding within the lush tropical plants and flowers. Follow the guided path and enjoy the sights and sounds of a tropical rain forest.
Visit a Ghost Town. Arizona is known for its numerous ghost towns that stretch across the state. The Goldfield Ghost Town, located just 20 miles east of Mesa, takes you back to a different time. Walk the main street and explore the shops and historic buildings. You can tour the Mammoth Gold Mine and visit the on-site museum. Round out your afternoon with a lunch in the saloon.
Hopefully these ideas will give you and your family a dash of inspiration to break up the routine and try something new!
I would love to hear what your favorite activities to do around town are—please leave a comment below.