Visiting Jerome with kids is a fun day trip destination! Jerome is about 2 hours north of Phoenix. This old mining town has a lot to offer families as a look back on its mining history, and beautiful views of the Verde Valley area.
We started at Jerome Historical State Park! This museum celebrates the history of Jerome, mining, and the Douglas family who founded the town. Explore exhibits filled with old photos, artifacts, and minerals. Watch a cool video and check out a 3-D model of the town with hidden mines. Inside, the library and upstairs bathroom are designed like they’re from the past. Outside, discover mining equipment and signs.
Also right outside the state park is the historic Audrey Shaft Headframe. Don’t miss this! It’s free, donations accepted, and you can literally see down 1000 feet in an old mine shaft, thanks to a glass walkway. There’s also a stationary elevator to squeeze in. We all loved this spot!
The museum and shaft took us about 2 hours to tour, and next we were off to The Haunted Hamburger for lunch. This kooky spot has good food, and fun “haunted” type decor, like a bookcase on the ceiling. The Burgers were huge, lots of fries with entrees, and we loved the 3 dip tortilla chip platter too. We’ll have to save room for dessert next time because the milkshakes looked yummy.
Don’t miss the small Jerome Park, with a playground and free space, which the kids enjoyed for a good half hour!
There’s plenty of shopping and browsing options along the Main Street, and we stopped at the Jerome Mining Museum, viewed the ruins of the burned down Bartlett Hotel and old sliding jail, and grabbed treats at OJ’s Copper County Fudge. Of note, the mining museum is pretty basic and more for adults, but kids are free and there’s a small walkthru mine experience.
Our last stop was a short drive out of town to Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. This was our second time visiting and while it’s not amazing, it’s worth a stop for the odd and quirkiness of seeing abandoned cars and buidlings (with items in there, like a dentistry and laundry area!). It’s a true “ghost town” experience. Plus there’s animals which the kids loved!
Jerome is just 20 minutes from Cottonwood, which we’ve explored several times. You can read more ideas in this blog post!