BIG SURF WATERPARK
1500 N. McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281 480-994-2297
Amid the semiarid desert surrounding Phoenix, Big Surf offers a 2.5-acre “ocean” for escaping the heat. The water park has 11 attractions to entertain and cool the entire family. Home to America’s original wave pool, Big Surf also offers a number of water slides.
DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008 480-941-1225
Located within Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden features 140 acres with over 50,000 displays of the world’s desert plants.
OUT OF AFRICA WILDLIFE PARK
3505 W. State Route 260
Camp Verde, AZ 86322 928-567-2840
Take an African safari without ever leaving Arizona at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. Hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles live in this 104-acre Verde Valley park. The park’s design allows visitors to get close to the park’s tamer residents such as giraffes and zebras, and allows for unobstructed views of the more aggressive animals such as lions and other big cats.
455 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008 602-286-3800
The Phoenix Zoo was voted one of the top five zoos in the nation for children. It covers 125 acres and features four trails totaling 2.5 miles in length. Each of the trails focuses on a group of animals. One trail highlights Africa, another takes a look at the tropics and a third centers on the wildlife population of Arizona. The fourth trail is geared toward children.
RAWHIDE WESTERN TOWN AND STEAKHOUSE
5700 W. North Loop Road
Chandler, AZ 85226 480-502-5600
Built to resemble a 1880s gold rush town, Rawhide offers an authentic experience complete with gunfights, stunt shows, stagecoach rides, a petting zoo, a rock climbing wall, sundown cookouts and more.
155 W. Hampton Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85210 480-834-8319
SunSplash is a water lover’s paradise. The water park features an assortment of fun attractions designed to beat the heat. The large wave pool and lazy river are perfect for relaxing and enjoying some sun. A children’s pool is devoted to parents and children 7 and younger. The Sidewinder, a half-pipe thrill slide, is one of the park’s popular attractions.
WILDLIFE WORLD ZOO, AQUARIUM & SAFARI PARK
16501 W. Northern Ave.
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 623-935-9453
Open 365 days a year, the Wildlife World Zoo features some of the most exotic animals of the world. The zoo is just a few miles west of Luke Air Force Base and has 50 acres of exhibits featuring 320 species of exotic animals.