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.
Located on 30 acres (12.14 hectares) of land, this park has undergone massive changes since its initial construction. A favorite of railroad enthusiasts and the little ones in the group, this is a perfect place for a family day out. The park features an Antique Carousel and Clock Tower. The Model Railroad Building, which houses various artifacts relating to trains and rail, has been reconstructed as a 19th-century style rail-shed. Try something from the snack bar served out of a Southern Pacific caboose. The ticket prices and timings of the attractions vary, check the website for further details.
Cosanti features handcrafted wind-bells and sculptures by artist Paolo Soleri. Ceramic, blended from Arizona clay, stoneware and water, form pieces that are cast-molded from a slip, hand carved with designs and finally kiln fired. Bronze bells have also been produced since 1959, using a sand-casting method. Purchase of any of these unusual and beautiful pieces helps support the resident artist. The building, an architectural wonder in itself, is a designated Arizona Historic Site making it a must visit attraction in Scottsdale.
Located in the McDowell Mountains foothills, this National Historic Landmark was the former Winter home and school of the famed architect. Wright had been visiting Phoenix for years and he had stated that Arizona needed its own architecture. So in-between these visits, he purchased the land for a paltry sum and then subsequently began construction and attracting students. The structure today is the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is open for tours. Some of the highlights include Wright's former office, The Garden Room, the pool, theater and Main Studio.
The Rosson House is a beautiful structure built in keeping with the Queen Anne style of the Victorian Era. Constructed in 1895, it has been restored to all its former glory and today serves as a museum. Visitors get a glimpse into the lives of late 19th-century Phoenix denizens through the preserved articles and housewares on display. The house is located in the quaint Heritage Square and is one of eight restored residences here. Guided tours around the house are available and it is open almost 365 days a year. Check website for more details and information.
In Japanese, Ro Ho En roughly translates into 'Good News Garden', and when you arrive at the tranquil park hidden behind the Irish Cultural Center, you will see, hear and feel the good news. Along the peaceful strolling trail, the garden has more than 50 different plant varieties surrounded by streams and Koi ponds. Throughout the year, the garden hosts local events like the Tea Ceremony held every third Saturday of the month or Matsuri Festival in late February. The garden also welcomes volunteers looking to contribute towards the welfare of the environment and learn more about developing their green thumb.
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.
Located at Water Ranch in Gilbert, within the protected and fortified Riparian Reserve, the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory (GRCO) is a famous Science and Astronomy establishment that attracts hundreds of tourists every year. Officially inaugurated in October, 2016, the observatory features a 16” Meade LX200R telescope, mounted on a Paramount ME German equatorial mount, and controlled by The Sky Professional computer software. The telescope is used for studying constellations, galaxies, stars, space, along with other planetary and astronomical studies. It is also used for accurate tracking of celestial objects and GOTO operation.
Holy and friendly, Arizona Community Church is one place where people from all walks of life come to seek peace. They also offer their space for various events and functions, musical events, especially weddings and receptions. For more information, call or visit their website for details.
Mesa Grande Cultural Park is one of the best sites in the region and among the two Hohokam mounds in the Phoenix metropolitan region. It gives an insight into the Ancestral Puebloan Period from the 11th through the 14th Centuries of the Hohokam. According to records and archaeological facts, this place was the hub of the community's status symbol. This preserved site showcases an ancient culture and the lifestyle of the forefathers of the Pima tribe. If you love history, then this seasonal site must be in your itinerary when visiting Mesa.