By Kohleun Adamson, on July 1, 2019

Free Things to Do in Phoenix with Kids

Phoenix is a stellar kid-friendly vacation destination, and it’s easy on the budget, too! You don’t have to look far to find free things to do in Phoenix with kids. Outdoor adventures, free museum days, and plenty of splash pads round out unforgettable getaways. Want to know what to do in Phoenix for free? Keep reading!

We rounded up 11 free things to do in Phoenix, plus travel-tested tips for saving more on your next trip to the Valley of the Sun.

1. Phoenix Art Museum

Art exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum, one of the top places for free activities for kids.
Via bobistraveling/Flickr

The Phoenix Art Museum free day is every Wednesday 3-9 p.m., the first Friday of each month 6-10 p.m., and every second Sunday 12-5 p.m., so you have lots of opportunities to see great art!

2. North Mountain Trails

A hiker walking on a trail of North Mountain--a top free activity for families.
Via Ray Redstone/

Slather on the sunscreen for a kid-friendly hike up North Mountain. This trail is great for small kids, and there are stroller- and wheelchair-accessible paths as well. Hiking is best during the cooler months, and bringing extra water is always a good idea.

3. Splash Pads

Kids playing in the splash pad of downtown Phoenix--one of the top free things to do for families.
Via pedrosala/

Ask a local and they’ll tell you that staying cool is one of the most important family activities in Phoenix. Fortunately, that’s super easy, thanks to over 40 free splash pads in the Valley—yep, 40. When you’re downtown, check out SplashPad at CityScape, open 7 days a week.

4. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Kids play at the Children's Museum of Phoenix, one of the top free things to do for families.
Via Natalie G./Yelp

Build self-esteem and creativity with hands-on exhibits and experiences that are as fun as they are educational. Check out the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and get in free every first Friday of most months from 5-9 p.m.

5. First Friday Downtown Art Walk

Art pieces at Phoenix's First Fridays, one of the top free things to do with kids.
Via Travis T./Yelp

On the first Friday of every month, the city comes alive with art and culinary treats from local talents. It’s fun for adults and features plenty of unique things to do in Phoenix with kids.

6. Scottsdale Trolley Tour

Scottsdale Trolley, one of the top things to do with kids in Phoenix.
Via Dunn Transportation Ollie theTrolley/Yelp

Tour historical Scottsdale on the Old Town Trolley year-round, 7 days a week (except certain holidays). It’s a great way to discover a new and beautiful city for free.

7. The Heard Museum

The Heard Museum, one of the top free activities for families in Phoenix.
Via J. Norman Reid/

Explore the region’s Native American heritage and culture when you visit the Heard Museum. Admission is free 5-10 p.m. every first Friday of the month. During the summer, you can get in free every fourth Sunday.

8. Chandler Symphony Orchestra

Chandler Symphony Orchestra, one of the top free things to do with kids in Phoenix.
Via Pam H./Yelp

In the nearby city of Chandler, you can experience world-class music for free. Check the CSO website for a schedule of open rehearsals and free family performances at the Chandler Center for the Arts.

9. Summer Training Games

Football game in Phoenix--one of the top free activities for kids.
Via Jarno Loeff/Flickr

The Arizona Cardinals have open practice games each summer before football season starts. Check the Cardinals’ training schedule if you plan to be in Phoenix for a pre-season trip.

10. Phoenix Botanical Garden

Glass sculpture and succulents at Phoenix Botanical Garden, one of the top free places for families.
Via Paula Henry/Flickr

There’s lots of beautiful flora and fauna in the Sonoran Desert. The Phoenix Botanical Garden is brimming with biodiversity and lots of family-friendly events. The second Tuesday of each month is free, and kids 3 and younger are always free.

11. Coyotes Training Camp

Hockey game in phoenix--one of the top free activities for kids.
Via Maxim Tarasyugin/

September in Phoenix is still pretty hot, so join one of the Arizona Coyotes’ open training sessions before hockey season starts up! Check the Coyotes’ website for more scheduling information.

What are fun things to do in Phoenix, AZ? Check out these tips for saving money on your next trip to Phoenix:

  • Cool off at a community pool. There are several in each city throughout the Phoenix area, and many charge entrance fees under $5.
  • Phoenix takes First Fridays very seriously, as you can tell. Many cultural venues stay open late and offer free activities, even beyond downtown Phoenix.
  • See the Apache Trail on a steamboat tour with discounted child rates.
  • Book a hotel with free breakfast and airport shuttle, because those amenities can add up fast.
  • Capture your memories with a local photographer in Scottsdale
  • Visit November through April—travel rates are low and the weather is at its best!

 Check out more Phoenix attractions (and ways to experience Phoenix on a budget) and let us know your favorite free activities for kids in Phoenix!