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Beyond Phoenix with Kids

We love Arizona! And we love traveling. In the spirit of our original intent for this website (sharing lists), we decided to start a page of our favorite stops outside of Phoenix. Maybe at some point we will write articles but for now, enjoy the lists!

 

Las Vegas, Nevada with kids

  1. The Discovery Children’s Museum has three floors of hands on exhibits, including a huge climbing tower and more!
  2. Shop, eat and let the kids play on the multi-level playground at Container Park.
  3. Town Square Park is another great stop with a playground, surrounded by shopping and restaurants.
  4. Watch clowns, trapeze artists, acrobats and more for free at Circus Circus!
  5. Hoover Dam is a short 40 minutes drive away! It’s free to drive across; there is also a pay garage and limited free parking.
  6. The colorful Seven Magic Mountains are 30 minutes south of Vegas, and on display through May 2018.
  7. See the view from top of the Eiffel Tower, a half size replica of the one in Paris.
  8. Stop for lunch or dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
  9. Kids will be mesmerized by the free famous Bellagio water fountain show.
  10. Browse all things M&M at M&M World! They have a free short movie as well which kids will love.
  11. All things chocolate and more at Hershey’s Chocolate World!
  12. Coca-Cola lovers will enjoy browsing at Coca-Cola Store, complete with a small refreshment corner.
  13. Almost every hotel/casino has free exhibits, like the Flamingo or Venician or Mirage.
  14. Take a group photo at the Welcome to Vegas Sign!

 

Monterey, California with kids

  1. The famous Monterey Bay Aquarium will delight children and adults with an up close tour of marine life in the bay.
  2.  Tour the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast, Point Pinos Lighthouse.
  3. Go on a whale watching tour! We loved Monterey Bay Whale Watch, as they allow children of any age.
  4. Let the kids burn off some energy at the epic Dennis the Menace Playground.
  5. Fort Ord Dunes State Park is a beautiful place to explore the beach and climb huge sand dunes.
  6. Savor some homemade salt water taffy from Carousel Candies, in business since 1960!
  7. Enjoy shopping and dining and activities on Fisherman’s Wharf.
  8. Adventures by the Sea rents bicycles and surreys, perfect for families to explore around town.
  9. If weather keeps you indoors, visit My Museum, where kids and adults will love playing and learning with various exhibits.

 

San Francisco, California with kids

  1. Immerse yourself in all things science and curiosity, where everything is hands on at the Exploratorium.
  2. Let children explore and create and play at the Children’s Creativity Museum.
  3. After visiting the museum, stop by the beautiful carousel and take a ride.
  4. Yerba Buena Gardens has wide open green spaces and a huge playground in the heart of downtown SF.
  5. See the sites of the city with a hop on/hop off bus tour. We used and loved City Sightseeing, especially going to Sausalito.
  6. Get a close up look at marine life, including an impressive 300 foot tunnel, with a visit to Aquarium of the Bay.
  7. The Wells Fargo Museum is free and gives kids a great history lesson about the stagecoach with hands on exhibits.
  8. Adults and children will love the indoor and outdoor learning exhibits at Bay Area Discovery Museum.
  9. Ride the double decker carousel at Pier 39.
  10. Soak in the 365 degree view on top of Coit Tower.
  11. Drive, walk or bike across the famous Golden Gate Bridge!
  12. Find the two windmills at Golden Gate Park.
  13. On that note, Golden Gate Park is a destination itself! Lots of museums, hikes, playgrounds and more. We enjoyed bike riding during one of our visits.
  14. San Francisco is home to many beautiful parks and playgrounds; Mission Delores Park and the Helen Dillar Playground was a top favorite with a great view of the city.
  15. After visiting the Helen Dillar Playground, stop for ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery down the street!
  16. Learn about the history of cable cars and how the system works through the city at the Cable Car Museum.
  17. Wander around the famous Alcatraz Prison on Alcatraz Island.
  18. Drive or walk (we loved walking!) up or down Lombard Street, one of the city’s crookedest streets.
  19. No trip to San Francisco is complete without a ride on the landmark cable cars!
  20. Kids will love playing and experiencing over 300 arcade games at Musee Mecanique, ranging from the early 1900’s to old video games.
  21. Take a boat tour of the bay and see the city from a unique perspective! There are several to choose from at Fisherman’s Wharf.
  22. Get free chocolate samples at Ghirardelli Square!
  23. There are numerous rooftop gardens in the downtown area open to public and are so peaceful!
  24. Walk around the largest and oldest Chinatown outside of Asia. We love just wandering the streets and window shopping!
  25. The Ferry Building Marketplace is like a year round farmer’s market, with dining and ferry options to cross the bay.
  26. Admire the beauty of the Painted Ladies (Victorian Homes). Also, nearby Alamo Square has a playground!
  27. Take a ferry to Angel Island and enjoy hiking, history and a tram ride around the island. This is one of our favorite activities to recommend to families when visiting San Francisco.

 

Vancouver, British Columbia with kids

  1. Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and Park is all free and a great place to experience explore. Don’t miss the nature center too!
  2. The kid meals at White Spot restaurant are unique — definitely get the Pirate Pak.
  3. A highlight at the Vancouver Aquarium is their fascinating emphasis of marine life on the B.C. Coast!
  4. Stanley Park is easily a day destination of itself (and we did it). From riding bikes, walking along the seawall, totem poles, a train ride, forest hikes and more, kids will absolutely love every moment.
  5. Take a day trip to Squamish (less than 2 hours from Vancouver). Don’t miss the Sea to Sky Gondola.
  6. A day trip to Whistler is also popular any time of the year.
  7. You will never run out of flavors to taste at La Casa Gelato — they have 238 options!
  8. Flight Path Park is right next to the Vancouver airport and has a huge climbable world map.
  9. One of our favorite parks was Terra Nova Rural Park, with nature paths and a huge playground with ziplines.
  10. While in Richmond, stop at the Richmond Nature Park for a little bit of peace amid city life. The nature center is great too.
  11. Science World is one of the top science museums we’ve ever visited – we literally stayed all day and didn’t want to leave!
  12. Walking around the Gastown district is perfect for shopping and people watching. Don’t miss the steam clock!
  13. Take the gondola ride up Grouse Mountain with awesome views of Vancouver for the whole family to enjoy.
  14. Granville Island has shopping, restaurants, unique kids stores, a huge farmers market and great views of the bay.
  15. Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park is an adventure the whole family will talk about for days!
  16. The best pie of your life is at The Pie Hole. Seriously. Don’t miss this place!
  17. Vancouver Island is a destination in itself! We spent 4 days here, hiking at Goldstream Provincial Park, exploring Butchart Gardens, the Victoria Bug Museum, walking around downtown Victoria, hiking at Todd Gowan Park, and the Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill.