Most of our mornings are spent at the park these days. With a one year old who has grown to have quite a swift stride and yearns for wide open grassy fields to run and explore, packing a lunch and heading to a playground has become one our favorite daily activities.
If you’re a parent, you probably understand how important outdoor play is for children. It also keeps us parents sane too. 😉 When we don’t get outdoors there is such a difference in our moods for the rest of the day, plus Ollie always has a better nap when we get outdoors. Physical play has such an impact on mental health and physical growth – for children and adults. We’re more in tune with our senses when we’re outdoors. Seeing Ollie reach for twigs, leaves, and rocks reignites our love for nature as well. It allows us to slow down and not think of anything too heavy for the time being.
If you’re looking for a new place to explore with your kids, here are a few family parks we frequent in Arizona.
Kiwanis – Tempe
Love that there are so many paved walking paths and wide open grass for Ollie to run. So much space to social distance if you need to as well. This is one of our favorite parks to pack a lunch and hang out at because you can always find a tree to take a rest from the sun under.
Indian Steele School – Phoenix
Indian Steele is a bit smaller than Kiwanis, but such a beautiful place to spend the day (with or without kids): a pond, play ground, hills for running up and down. We love strolling around this park together.
Encanto Park – Phoenix
Encanto park is such a pretty spot. We used to go all the time and for some reason haven’t gone since we’ve had Oliver, but it is such a great spot for kids. There’s fun little walking paths, and a play area with a merry-go-round. We always enjoyed sitting by the lagoon and watching the fishermen and the paddle-boats go by.
Papago Park – Phoenix
We go to Papago park often. It has pretty views and is right by the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden. It has an easy trail up to the famous Hole in the Rock. We go often with Ollie and he enjoys stepping up the big steps while holding our hand. We hold him the rest of the way until we’re at flatter land. There’s a safe, flatter area for kids to run and play supervised by a lake if you want to sit and relax.
Roadrunner Park – Phoenix
A ton of climbing walls for kids and lots of room to run free. They have a farmer’s market on Saturday’s that we’ve been eager to add to our list.
Riverview Park – Mesa
Definitely not a traditional park – with large climbing structures. This park was recommended from a friend, but we have yet to visit ourselves. There’s a 50 ft climbing tower + a 60 ft long mesh caterpillar for older kids. I will not be climbing up there anytime soon, but I will happily be an observer. 🙂 There’s a splash pad and smaller playground area for younger kids too.
Any favorite spots in Arizona you love?
Bookmark this post if you plan on visiting AZ with your family!