Things To Do In Flagstaff With Kids
Flagstaff is still a small town. You can feel the vibe change when you are there. It’s a wonderful place to visit with kids and offers lots of things to do!
Printed maps can be better than virtual in small towns. There are local spots that advertise on it, and the people you meet will will tell you the cool places to go that may not be online. Discovery Map makes a map that I love for Flagstaff. They actually make them for more cities (which I discovered when researching the company), so they may become my new thing to look in new cities!
Here is a list of things to do for kids of all ages around Flagstaff. Remember Flagstaff hours of operation change by season so always check the websites before planning your trip. Also check Groupon as well as local websites for discounts on admissions.
Bright Side Bookshop – come listen to stories, sing along from illustrated song books, and make crafts that highlight the literature! All ages are welcome to participate in this community event created for children ages two to seven years. See their online schedule for story time.
Barnes & Noble – check their website for story times, or like any Barnes & Noble, go in, play, and grab a new book.
Bushmaster Park – When you want to go outdoors, but need respite from the sun, the best shaded park is Bushmaster Park. Two playgrounds for the younger ones, and a bitchin’ skate park for the tweens and teens. (3150 N Alta Vista Drive)
Thorpe Park – This park has a big kid and little kid playground, musical instrument to play and a fire truck to climb. Full review can be read here. (191 N Thorpe Rd)
Ponderosa Trails Park – 3875 S Wild West Trail
Downtown Flagstaff, Wheeler Park (downtown park) – 212 W. Aspen Ave
Check out the events calendar for all kinds of small town fun for all ages.
Kids Squared – Kids Squared programs for kids in the summer. Some programs are not appropriate for all ages so please check the website.
Downtown for the Holidays has all kinds of events from breakfast with Santa, tree lighting, luminaria stroll to the 12 bars of Christmas.
Arizona Snowbowl – Whether you need lessons or family options from bunny slopes to challenging trails, this is the destination for everything ski and snowboard related. They offer ski lift rides all summer and fall too. Purchase tickets online for a better deal.
Flagstaff Arboretum – at 7150 feet in elevation this has a unique mission specializing in plants native to northern Arizona. Over 750 species of plants covering over 200 acres.
Lowell Observatory – Established in 1984 to study the planet Mars this obervatory has grown to make many discoveries.. Because of the significant scientific and cultural heritage of Lowell Observatory, it has been recognized as a Registered National Historic Landmark. In 2011 Time magazine named Lowell one of “The World’s 100 Most Important Places.”
Bearizona – Spin it, stroll it or soar it. Check out animals in a unique way, from your car. Don’t forget to save some time after you drive to walk; you can meet animals, watch shows and much more.
Museum of Northern Arizona – probably not the best for kids under 5. The museum offers classes and workshops throughout the year.
Riordan Mansion – Built in 1904, this Arizona treasure is a remarkable example of Arts and Crafts style architecture. Schedule a tour and experience over 13,000 square feet of living history! They also host parties and crafts.
Pioneer Museum – The Arizona Historical Society Pioneer Museum , is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of Northern Arizona. The museum features permanent and temporary exhibits exploring the historical development of the community and region. There are guided tours, hands on activities and demonstrations for school aged children.
The Grand Canyon Railway – probably most famous in the winter for the Polar Express! There are also seasonal themed rides, and a train ride direct to the Grand Canyon. Note: the station is in Williams, and not in Flagstaff.
Meteor Crater -Older children or extreme lovers of space may find this location fun to check out.
Theatrikos Theatre Company – Invited area youth ages 7 – 17 on stage and behind the scenes who have a love of the theater to learn more. Their award winning educational director Joe Maniglia can be contacted for more information.
Grand Canyon Deer Farm – Lots of animals to see and real live deer to feed!
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course – For the climber 7 years or older in your family book a reservation here. They have all kinds of climbing, host parties and even a zip line. See website for prices.
Verde Canyon – Climb on board and back in time on this 4 hour, 20 mile journey through history!
Summit Gymnastics Open Gym – Kids can run and jump and climb to their hearts’ content. $5 for first child, $3 for additional children. Monday & Thursdays 9am-10:30am, $6 for the first child and $4 for siblings.
Flagstaff Nordic Center – Learn to ride mountain bikes, even in the winter! Snow biking on fat tire bikes is the newest trend in mountain biking and Flagstaff Nordic Center has a robust fleet of them, in sizes to fit adults and kids, and over 15 km of trails on which to ride. You can also take a skiing or snowshoeing lesson in the winter, or a mountain biking lesson in the summer.
Flagstaff Movies on the Square – Starts June 1st. Family-friendly movies are shown outside on Heritage Square each Saturday evening through the summer for FREE. Each event begins at 5pm with entertainment from the community, music, and then movies start at dusk (about 7:30pm) Heritage Square is downtown on Aspen Street between Leroux and San Francisco Streets.
Flagstaff Aquaplex – $3/child (under 3 are free with a paid adult), $5/adult. Make a day of fun at the Aquaplex with swimming in the play pool (complete with slides and fountains), relax in the lazy river, race down the fast water slides, sit in the hot tub, or climb the rock wall and play air hockey. Usually less crowded in the morning or evening, but in the summer, it is often closed in the morning due to swim lessons. Childcare is available for $2/hour/child.
Wing Mountain Snow Play Area – Northern Arizona’s organized snow play area with plowed and managed parking, hot beverages, sleds and other concessions. Activities include sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and playing in the snow. $12 per vehicle, cash or check only. Open daily 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (when there’s snow!) Highway 180 and Forest Service Road 222B.
Places To Eat
Here is a great list of places to eat. Below are a few that I have loved over the years:
Mike & Ronda’s The Place – only the best food in the whole state.
Crown Railroad Cafe – one word: Trains!
Possible Places To Stop Between Phoenix and Flagstaff
Stop In Sedona for a hike
Stop at Rock Springs Cafe and Saloon for a delicious piece of pie.
Out of Africa – Experience Africa right here in Arizona. Featuring a Tiger splash, zippin’ safari, predator feed show, giant snake show, African bus tour, sloth encounter, a day in the west, hors back riding and zip line.
Also of note: there are play places inside McDonald’s on Milton and Butler, and a Chick-Fil-A play place on Milton. Find the Koi pond downtown, rent a quad and drive around the city. Visit the Lumberjack on Milton and take silly pictures. Be sure to let us know what fun places you find while out on your adventure.
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Be sure to browse these blog posts with weekend itineraries around Flagstaff, including more information on many of the places listed here.