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The Pueblo Grande Ruin and Irrigation Sites, are outdoor archaeological open spaces, housing the museum. Exhibited at Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park are the ruins of a prehistoric settlement of people who lived, farmed and prospered for centuries in this region. Known as the Hohokam, they built their first irrigation system more than 1,000 years ago. They were the first people in the area to develop this kind of canal system. Phoenix's lone National Historic Landmark, sections include an authentic ball court, irrigation canals and a football field-sized platform mound. The site was declared as a National Historic Landmark in the year 1964.
The Phoenix Zoo offers a plethora of activities for family recreation. Sprawling over 125 acres (50 hectares), this privately-owned leisure facility is a must-visit when in the Valley. It is home to over 1,300 exotic species including lions, giraffes, baboons and meerkats, making it one of the country's largest zoos. Explore the verdant labyrinth of the Forest of Uco, take a hike along the African Trail and enjoy a tractor ride at the Harmony Farm. Also, the interactive programs on offer are both educational and entertaining.
The Desert Botanical Garden was opened in 1939 to preserve the area's pristine desert environment. Today, the garden helps save endangered plants, with the focus still on native flora and special emphasis on succulents. The cactus collection is world-renowned and between the months of March through May, the seasonal blooms are spectacular. The garden hosts several events throughout the year, some of which include the popular 'Butterfly Habitat' during the spring and the 'Luminarias' during the holiday season. If you come during the summer months, don't forget your hat and sunscreen!
This park houses a museum about the railroad history of the United States, thanks in part to the Arizona Model Railroading Society. Here, you will see train layouts of all scales in a trail around a whimsical little city full of details. It is a great location for birthdays parties and picnics - they have two party areas. Admission is free but they accept donations to help pay for operational costs. The Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park offers free rides in a miniature train through a trail around the desert outside the small museum. It is a great place for family fun.