I love to take my toddler out and about. At two and a half he loves to explore and we both love to spend time out of the house. I take pictures to show him later, but I am truly amazed at how much he remembers and soaks in. We went to the Greek Festival last fall and they shuttled us from the parking lot to the festival. Six months later I heard him talk about going on a bus with Nana. It goes to show that taking him out is really worth it if he can remember some of the fun he had.
Arizona Science Center- My son is very into skeletons right now, so he loved the body section. He liked the stomach slide, heartbeat drum and giant nose especially. He also can’t stop talking about what he saw during the forces of nature show. He also loved that we stopped at a nearby park and had a picnic before going home. Although he liked the park part, not so much the picnic.
Phoenix Zoo- Our zoo membership just expired, so it’s been a little while since we went to the zoo. A few months back my son loved going to the zoo and would name the animals as we saw them, and would recite them to me all the time. A membership was perfect because it helped him learn some of the animal names from going back so many times. (See Also: Snack Ideas to Bring to the Zoo)
Apache Junction Library– This is our closest library that we can use. We just started going back to it more often and I forgot how much fun it is. Not only can you check out books but they have a few awesome play areas. There is a small outdoor playground, a fun toddler play area with a play kitchen and plenty of other fun finds, and they also have a two story castle inside the library. There is also the park next to it for even more fun.
Indoor Play Places- We like to hit up some of the local McDonald’s but there are a few other fun places to take the kids to. We like FlipSide and Makutu’s Island, but both of those are better for older kids. My son loves these but I tend to have to chase him a bit more than I would like. We also like Jump Jungle, our local indoor bounce house place. It’s great to be in air conditioning and to let the kids run around and burn off energy.
Schnepf Farms– Another local favorite is Schnepf Farms. They just finished up the Peach Blossom Festival and soon they will be starting their Peach Festival. They have u-pick gardens, rides, historic buildings, a petting zoo, a shooting range and a very fun atmosphere. They also have their Pumpkin and Chili Festival in the fall. We usually try to go to the fall festival once, but we spend most of our time at the farm in the winter and spring when the admission is free. My toddler loves petting the goats, feeding the deer, and playing on the playgrounds.
Hikes and Nature Walks- When my toddler is in a listening mood I love to take him out in the desert, whether it is a hike in the San Tan Mountains, Papago Park or at a local ‘swings and slide’ park. It is great to have him walk on uneven ground and learn to maneuver. It is also fun for him to see all of the local plants and wildlife. Birds, bugs, and lizards are the most exciting things ever when you are that small. It is also a good chance to teach him not to touch cactus and time to get a little exercise. (See Also: What to Pack When Hiking with a Baby and The Unofficial Guide to Arizona Plants)
Where do you enjoy taking your toddler?