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Papago Park in Phoenix and Tempe, Fun for Families

Papago Park in Phoenix and Tempe is fun for families! It's an amazing place to explore with kids, with massive red rock buttes dotting the landscape. There are ponds, nature areas, a playground, and more at this popular park!

Papago Park in Phoenix and Tempe is fun for families! It’s an amazing place to explore with kids, with massive red rock buttes dotting the landscape. There are ponds, nature areas, a playground, and more at this popular park!

We’ve been coming to Papago Park for over 10 years with our kids. Here are some of our favorite activities!

  • Hike Hole in the Rock: this 0.3 hike is so fun for kids, and has a great view of Phoenix! Look along the backside for some kid-sized caves.
  • A small nature trail (0.9-mile loop), and a desert-themed toddler playground are just south of Hole in the Rock. Easiest to find from the first parking lot on the left, once in the park. Restrooms are at the north end of the nature loop.

  • Explore the ponds: there are three ponds to walk around and some fun waterways. We’ve seen cattails, ducks, and more here! Don’t miss the less busy Evelyn Hallman pond too.
  • There are numerous ramadas, perfect for a picnic! See the map below for all locations.

 

  • Governor Hunt’s Tomb: this white pyramid tomb is the resting place of Gov Hunt, and his family, and offers spectacular views of the Phoenix Zoo and Papago Park. Easiest hike is from the furthest east parking lot of the park.

  • West Buttes parking lot: from this spot, you can hike numerous easy trails. Double Butte loop is 2.3 miles, Elliot Ramada Loop is 2.7 miles and paved, and Little Butte Loop is 0.5 miles. You can easily scramble up to the buttes from these trails and find some fun kid-sized caves.
  • You can walk, run, or bike these paths. Just watch for pedestrians. And cactus!

  • For some added fun at Papago, try the free WishTrip Games App. You choose a game level based upon the ages of children in your family (there are adult levels too), and then follow the directional arrow as it takes you on a mini-sightseeing trip around the park.
  • The Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens are right next door! Use a Pogo Pass to save on admission to the zoo too.

Papago Park in Phoenix and Tempe, Fun for Families

  • Hop just north of the Tempe park for the Arizona Heritage Center. They have a fun kid’s area. And did you know there use to be streetcars in Phoenix? Learn about it at this indoor museum!

Papago Park in Phoenix can be found at 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008. The official park website is here.

West Buttes Parking lot can be found just north of the intersection of Galvin Parkway and Papago Park road

Papago Park in Tempe can be found at 1000 N College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281. The official park website is here.

Author

  • Jana is a homeschooling mother of three children, and lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Chris. She enjoys traveling, reading and coffee. Follow @phoenixwithkids on Instagram for daily photos around Phoenix!

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