Disclosure: These experiences were part of the #AZFamilyFun trip. All opinions are my own.
Our recent trip to Arizona over school vacation week also included some stops in sunny Chandler, AZ. Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, is approximately 72 square miles and is located about 20 minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport.
Things to Do In Chandler With Kids
Featuring a steakhouse, kids’ activities, shops, and shows, Rawhide is an 1880s Western Town. We went for the evening on a Friday night, and my kids really loved it. Admission to Rawhide is free (except for special events), but you can purchase tickets for the individual attractions and shows. A wristband, which offers unlimited attractions and shows (with some exclusions), currently sells for $14.95. It’s a good option if you think you’ll do a few of the activities and see at least one show.
Upon arriving at Rawhide, my kids immediately ran towards the attractions. My daughter did three different trips up the large climbing wall, while my son was only willing to try a short climb. They also enjoyed the kids’ mechanical bull ride (pictured below), panning for gold, and the stunt show. We had to head to dinner after those activities, so we had to miss the burro rides, the petting zoo, and the stage coach. I’d also recommend making reservations at the steakhouse. The food was great, and the kids really loved hearing the house band.
My kids each missed two days of school for our trip, and my son was disappointed to miss out on a day of bird presentations. Luckily, our agenda included bird watching at the Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler. Once a month, the local Audubon hosts a free bird watching event for families, and we had the chance to experience one. Kids and adults are loaned binoculars, while the guide brings along a high-quality telescope. Our group was led around the park, and we stopped as the guide pointed out various birds, including a burrowing owl and great blue heron. Guests can also walk through the park at their own pace, picking up a bird checklist at the onsite Environmental Education Center.
Kids usually need some time to run around, so after our bird watching experience, we headed to Playtopia at Tumbleweed Park. This public 2.5 acre, free play space includes slides, climbing structures, sports fields, and covered pavilions. Much of the play space is covered, keeping it a comfortable temperature for kids.
On our first night in Chandler, we headed to Downtown Chandler to visit their weekly farmers market (held on Thursdays) and to have dinner. The farmers market was filled with all sorts of delicious treats – savory pies, a delicious oatmeal mix (which I’ve already ordered online), cupcakes, and smoothies. After checking out the farmers market, we spent some time exploring Downtown Chandler, which offers dozens of hip and unique restaurants and shops. After a delicious dinner, we walked over to Paletas Betty, where we were treated to delicious Mexican ice pops. My kids enjoyed chocolate strawberry and orange cream pops, while I had the most delicious cucumber mint pop. Paletas Betty also has a location in Tempe, right by the hotel we stayed at.
Chandler Fashion Center
Another fun stop on our trip was to Chandler Fashion Center, an upscale mall offering over 180 stores, including Nordstrom and Dillards. While there, we dined at the Old Spaghetti Factory (a great spot for kids!) and made creations at Build-A-Bear.
Any trip to the Greater Phoenix area should definitely include a visit to Chandler – there are so many fun (and free) things to see and do!