Do you have grandchildren that you’re lucky enough to host this year? For many older adults, spending time with grandchildren is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether you see yours regularly or not as often as you might like, there are certain things you might do together to forge connections, combat boredom and create memories you will remember for the rest of your lives.
The Phoenix area has an abundance of fun things to do for family members of all ages, including an assortment of indoor entertainment options you can enjoy regardless of outside temperatures. So, next time your grandkids come to town and you’re seeking something fun to do, consider one or more of the following options.
Check Out a Local Museum
The Phoenix area has plenty of museums focusing on everything from art and history to children and musical instruments. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is an obvious choice, particularly among kids up to age 10. Ranked one of the nation's top three children’s museums, it features three floors of interactive exhibits and is also a PAL Place. It has accessibility elements that support visitors with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Arizona Science Center is another family-friendly favorite and features a planetarium, a giant screen theater, and an impressive lineup of permanent and revolving exhibitions. Other museums worth considering include the Musical Instrument Museum, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, the i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa, and Chandler’s Arizona Railway Museum.
Score Tickets to a Spring Training Game
Spring training games are a great way to introduce kids to baseball without spending big bucks on a traditional Major League ball game. If your grandchildren are young, they also may not have the patience to sit through a standard, nine-inning game – but because ticket prices are much lower during spring training than during the regular season, you can always leave halfway through without feeling like you blew your budget.
Take a Hike
There are plenty of family-friendly trails in the Phoenix area, and the region’s favorable climate means most of them are accessible throughout much of the year. Your grandchild’s age and fitness level (as well as your own!) should help you figure out how long and hard of an excursion you want. Still, Papago Park, North Mountain Park, and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve are among the many areas with popular kid-friendly hiking options.
The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest nonprofit zoos in the United States, with more than 3,000 animals living on its grounds. It also sits adjacent to the Desert Botanical Garden, allowing you to cross off two local attractions in one trip. While the zoo is a great spot to teach your grandkids about animal conservation and care, it’s not the only place in the area to get up close and personal with wildlife. OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale houses more than 30,000 fish and animals across an expansive 200,000 square feet of space. Scottdale’s Butterfly Wonderland has everything from rainforest reptiles and honeybees to an edible insect exhibit and a massive conservatory featuring more than 70 species of butterflies.
Arguably one of the best parts of having children and grandchildren is that it gives you a chance to revisit your own youth. Fans of model trains and railroad history will love Scottsdale’s McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, boasting everything from model and rideable trains to ice cream and a carousel. Legos also have multigenerational appeal, and Tempe’s Legoland Discovery Center Arizona offers indoor rides, build stations, a 4D cinema, and plenty of other fanfare sure to please Lego fans large and small.
Take a Staycation
Phoenix has some of the nation’s best family resorts, catering to kids and featuring pools, waterslides, lazy rivers, and similar draws. Most local resorts also slash prices between June and August, making summer an exceptionally economical time to check them out. Some local resorts, such as Scottsdale’s Great Wolf Lodge, specifically target kids. However, many others, including The Fairmont Princess, Westin Kierland, and Arizona Biltmore, have plenty to please kids and adults alike.
If you want to get outside, move your body, learn something new, or enjoy time with your grandchildren this year, consider one of these activities. Remember that you don’t have to spend money to make the most of your time together. Sometimes, simply strolling through the city or finding a quiet spot to sit and talk is all you need to make meaningful memories and connections with your grandkids.
Believe it or not, a senior care community in Phoenix has a phenomenal playroom for when the grandkids visit. The Palazzo Senior Living’s multi-generational room is a brightly colored room divided in half, offering toys, games, and play areas on one side for those young kids 2-7, and the other side has a computer and Xbox for kids 8-12. There are bean bags, other fun sitting areas for the kids, and comfortable, wide built-in benches for the grandparents to sit and participate or watch their grandkids have fun.
The Palazzo Senior Living is a CCRC in Central Phoenix offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing Rehab and is located at 6250 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85015.
Palazzohc.com / 602-433-6300