Things to do with kids age one and under
We were talking to a family who had recently moved to Phoenix and one of their first questions was, “Where can I take my 6 month old? We get so cooped up at home with the heat!” It’s true that both parents and children can go stir crazy! But there are plenty of options all over the Phoenix area to make the summer days bearable and fun. Check out our list and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
What is great about the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is there is a large room specifically set aside for kids under 4, with a carpeted area for infants. It’s much quieter than the other museum rooms! Lots of soft toys, mirrors, and hidden objects for crawlers to enjoy. There are also sectioned off areas in various parts of the museum, so babies can safely play away from older siblings.
Library story time and books/toys
Check your local library for specific times/age groups for story time and other activities. Most also have a small play area as well with blocks, bead mazes, etc. Check out a couple books to read once home too. (Hint: if story time isn’t your thing, visiting for play time right after a class begins often makes it easier for crawlers to explore without bigger kids around.)
Baby Gym at AZ Sunrays
Baby Gym is a great option for babies on the move. Free playtime in tunnels and the like!
Play areas at malls
Most malls will have even a small play area set aside for kids, a few even appropriate for under one with tunnels and small slides. A favorite of ours is at the Paradise Valley Mall. The one at the Chandler Fashion Square, pictured above, is also fun.
The Little Gym
The Little Gym is another option to meet new friends, for parent and child, and move!
Musicology, Music Together and Kindermusik all offer music classes for littles ones from birth to one, and beyond. We’ve sampled some from Musicology and Music Together and enjoyed both. Our daughter was 10 months at the former class and smiled and clapped almost non stop!
While the play time at Tot Town is limited to 1.5hr segments, this play area is perfect for those little ones that might need a little action before naptime.
One whole side of the Idea Museum is dedicated to children under 5, and a nice sectioned off area for babies has plenty of fun toys and a mirror wall. Our 7 month old was completely entertained during our last visit!
Coffee Shops with Play Areas
Scattered around Phoenix are a handful of coffee shops that offer small play areas for children, giving parents a chance to chill and drink their coffee or tea. We list six of our favorites here. During the school year especially, this can be a great option for little ones to play. Also newly opened in Scottsdale is Cafe Au Plait!
Splash pads can be hard on babies in the extreme heat, but a shaded portion with small fountains, like at Tempe Marketplace, can be great fun for little ones who can sit up unassisted. Check out our comprehensive list of splash pads in Chandler, Queen Creek, and Mesa. We really like the splash pad in downtown Gilbert. We’ve also compiled a list of awesome splash pads in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Quarter is one of our favorites.
Again, this is a place that would be more enjoyed by children over one, but the butterfly atrium and fish gallery are a great visual stimulation for little minds! We’re lifetime members of Butterfly Wonderland and think it’s a great deal!
Sea Life Aquarium
Aquariums can be loved at any age. Lots of tanks with fish, sea stars (touch them too!), octopus, turtles and the likes. Love the walk through tunnel with water above and beneath you. Check out Sea life Aquarium.
Indoor Play Areas
PlayGrounds Fun Zone in Glendale has specific toys and areas set aside for little ones.
Another great option is Luv 2 Play in Surprise, which has a gated area for crawlers and early walkers.
Newly opened in Gilbert is Awesome Toddlers Indoor Playground a soft structure indoor play area for ages 5 and under.
Uptown Jungle in Peoria, Mesa and Chandler have a separate area for ages 5 and under which allows little ones to safely explore while older siblings are also entertained with climbing walls, slides and more.
Nat Geo Kids free kids club
Local malls in Paradise Valley, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert (maybe others! check the main website) all offer a 45 minute kids program with songs, stories and a craft. We started taking our daughter here at 6 months; very engaging and fun, and you can’t beat free.
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