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Whether creating a work of art, panning for gold, or feeling your way through a dark cave, Mesa offers an enriching experience for every family. Mesa is recognized as offering one of the most family-friendly communities in the nation. Year-round, Mesa attractions offer visitors interaction both indoors and out at museums, play centers, parks, shopping centers and more. Whether your child seeks out an action-packed adventure, or more a laid-back affair, families have countless options to make memories in the Sonoran Desert.
ARIZONA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - 2 hours
Known locally as the place “where dinosaurs roar and so much more”. Don’t miss the three-story waterfall that simulates a flash flood in the Arizona desert. Galleries feature Arizona’s cosmic night skies, Native peoples and geology. Gold panning and the Paleo Dig Pit are must-do activities for kids.
i.d.e.a. MUSEUM – 1 hour
This interactive play place is designed for all ages including mom and dad. Kids are encouraged to explore their imagination through design in art, science and technology. The museum schedules hands-on daily activities in three exhibit areas.
STRATUM LASER TAG – 2 hours
Experience the most action-packed fun in the city at the world’s largest technotainment arena. Plan for family bonding time with 15 levels of laser tag, 90 ramps, towers and bridges. Laser tag is perfect for the high-tech and adventurous family.
SHOPPING: MESA RIVERVIEW – 2 ½ HOURS
Mesa’s largest outdoor retail complex with defined restaurant and entertainment districts. Dining options are abundant. Anchor experiences include Bass Pro Shops, Cinemark Theatre and more.
MESA RIVERVIEW PARK - 2 hours
Two playgrounds featuring slides, spinners and swings allow for hours of play time for little ones. On the edge of the park, curious climbers can test their skills and scale a 300-foot natural linear climbing wall complete with a covered fort. The biggest attraction here is the world’s tallest rope climbing tower that stretches 50 feet into the air. A 75-foot zip line and oversized splash pad complete the park’s playground amenities. The five-acre urban lake has three bridges and numerous access points. The palm tree-lined walkway leads visitors to and from the adjacent Mesa Riverview shopping complex and Sloan Park, home to Chicago Cubs spring training.
USERY MOUNTAIN NATURE CENTER – 2 HOURS, SEASONAL
Scorpion hunts by blacklight, animal “hide and seek” adventures, toddler cruises up miniature mountain tops and even edible adventures snacking on desert plants as you go are on the docket at the Nature Center at Usery Mountain Regional Park. Operated by Maricopa County Parks, one of the largest regional park systems in the United States, the nature center is the most immersive desert educational offering for guests seeking insight into the Sonoran Desert. Inside, rangers are on hand to guide guests into the wonders of the Sonoran Desert before taking in some unique programming – everything from stargazing sessions, fitness hikes and “Find the Ranger” programs are offered year-round.
DESERT TRAILS MOUNTAIN BIKING PARK – 1 ½ HOURS
At 35 acres, this new outdoor playground is surrounded by Arizona’s iconic desert landscape and includes a series of hiking and biking trails, a pump track, a kids’ skills track and shaded ramadas.The trails consist of a 3/4-mile perimeter trail for hiking and non-motorized bike use. There are three progressive flow trails for downhill bike use ranging from beginner to expert. The skills track, pump track, and three flow trails are designed to introduce and progressively develop new skills for BMX-style bike riding. The entire park was designed by Norris Design Group & Alpine Bike Parks, with local input from volunteers with the Gravity Riders Organization of Arizona (GROAZ). Park hours are from sunrise to sunset.
SURF’S UP! MESA FLOWRIDER – 1 HOUR
Visitors can escape the crowded hotel pool and head to the Rhodes Aquatics Complex in Mesa. Here, desert surfers ride the waves on the FlowRider, the ultimate in water recreation and fun. The sport of flowriding combines all board sports into a wild and exciting ride on a continuous wave with as much force and power as the ocean. Intended for all age swimmers, visitors to Mesa can enjoy the experience all summer long with special themed sessions including Family Night.
JAKE'S UNLIMITED – 1 1/2 hours
A restaurant, park and family fun and recreation center – all in one fun stop. Features include Go-Karts, a Game Pavilion, Kiddie Rides, Bumper Cars, a Rock Climbing Wall, Bowling Alley and Laser Tag. All-you-care-to-eat Pizza Buffet with delicious, pizza, pasta, salad, and soda. And don’t forget dessert!
LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER – 1 1/2 hours
Located at Arizona Mills, the new LEGOLAND® Discovery Center features the biggest box of LEGO® bricks in the world! Families will enjoy 2 LEGO® rides, a 4D movie theatre, MINILAND® and learn from the experts on building the best LEGO® creations.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM – 2 1/2 hours
This award-winning global museum features MIMkids Musical Adventures. Families can engage in interactive musical activities and learn more about instruments and cultures from around the world.
ODYSEA AQUARIUM – 3 HOURS
Play and learn at the largest aquarium in the Southwest! More than 30,000 animals and marine life is on display. Swim with the manta rays or play with penguins, and don’t miss the OdySea Voyager rotating aquarium ride. This impressive attraction holds more than 2,000,000 US gallons of water and spans over 200,000 square feet.
HEAD TO SEE SEA LIFE – 1 ½ HOURS
Head to Sea Life Arizona Aquarium where families can have close encounters with seahorses, sharks, rays and more. Enjoy the guided interactive learning experience as you tour through the aquarium.