Toddler Playing Outside In A Hat

5 Phoenix Toddler-Friendly Hot Spots

Baby will be walking before you know it. Get ready to explore together at one of these fun local places.

Photo: Veer

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N. 7th St., Phoenix;
(602) 253-0501;ChildrensMuseumofPhoenix.org

On the third floor, there’s an entire space devoted to kids under three, complete with cars that your toddler can actually drive. Do toddler-friendly activities together -- make art projects like collages with glitter and paper, play with modeling clay and do fun activities that will help your little one learn math (really!).

Phoenix Zoo
455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix;
(602) 273-1341; PhoenixZoo.org
What animal-obsessed kid doesn’t love going to the zoo? At Farm Tots, a program for kids 18 to 24 months, free play and close encounters with new four-legged friends (a different species every month) teach toddlers how to interact with animals. While you’re there, tour the whole place to see monkeys scampering across trees only inches away, get up close and personal with a giraffe and even feel a stingray.

PlayGrounds Fun Zone & Cafe
8190 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite 110, Glendale;
(602) 761-9663; PlayGroundsFunZone.com

Some days call for a trip to this 3,500-square-foot indoor playground. Check out the section designed especially for crawlers and new walkers 6 to 16 months -- admission is only $4. And head to the cafe for yummy pastries, salads and coffee. (Because it’s got to be mom friendly too, right?)

i.d.e.a. Museum
150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa;
(480) 644-2468; IdeaMuseum.org

At the i.d.e.a. Museum, your tot can play in ArtVille, a colorful “town” designed to teach toddlers about color, shape and texture while they explore its brightly hued rooms filled with oversize crayons and paintbrushes. Schedule your trip so you don’t miss Artful Tales, the museum’s story time. Of course, if you do miss it, you two can curl up together and read from one of the many picture books in Art’s Living Room.

Butterfly Wonderland
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale;
(480) 800-3000; ButterflyWonderland.com

Get up close and personal with some pretty amazing insects. At the largest butterfly pavilion in America, your toddler can see dozens of types of butterflies from all over the world. It’s a great place for little ones because these flying beauties really do get close -- if he’s lucky, one might land on your toddler’s shoulder! There’s also an entire ant colony, Amazonian aquariums and honeybee exhibit for you to explore. (Don’t worry, they’re behind glass!)

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-- Madeline Schmitz

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