10 Best Family-Friendly Museums in Phoenix: Discover, Explore and Have Fun

Phoenix offers plenty of fun, educational museums that will appeal to both kids and adults. The Children's Museum of Phoenix, located in a conveniently in downtown Phoenix, is a two-story historic building that is jam-packed with fun activities. On the first floor, an enormous climber constructed from recycled materials invites children and their grown-ups to explore the whimsical structure and all its secret twists and turns. The museum also features an art studio, pretend grocery store, and popular noodle forest.

For more hands-on fun, head aross the street from the Children's Museum to the Arizona Science Center. This popular downtown attraction has more than 300 interactive exhibits that explore geology, physiology, weather, physical forces and much more. There is also a giant-screen IMAX theater and planetarium.

If your kids love trains, be sure to plan a stop at the Arizona Railway Museum in Chandler. The museum features restored train cars and a nice collection of railway lanterns.

The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting, located in the Papago Park area, is another family-friendly destination that highlights more than 100 restored pieces of historic firefighting equipment. There's also a restored fire truck that children can explore and climb. Your young, would-be firefighter can even dress up in authentic firefighter garb during their visit!






Located at Tumbleweed Park, the Arizona Railway Museum is a fascinating storehouse of railroad history. The grounds are populated by restored train cars from all different time periods: a 1906 Baldwin steam locomotive, a 1943 US Army crane, a...  Read More

Arizona Capitol Museum


Housed in an impressive stone building that once served as the state capitol, this museum documents Arizona's time as a territory and its early statehood. The structure itself is crowned with a copper dome and a 16-foot, zinc Winged Victory...  Read More

Pioneer Living History Village


Arizona's territorial days are recreated on this 85-acre property, where costumed craftspeople work among authentic and reproduced buildings. Special events like a lively bluegrass festival, a Civil War reenactment, and an antique tractor show...  Read More

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park


This museum and its adjacent park are built on the site of 1500-year-old Hohokam Indian ruins. Exhibits showcase lifestyles of the Hohokam and of other Southwestern tribes, and visitors learn about Phoenix's cultural heritage through displays of...  Read More

Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art


The well-regarded, world-famous Heard Museum is one of the world's leading repositories of Native American art. It also features works by contemporary Southwestern artists, craft demonstrations, amphitheater performances, a caf--, and a gift...  Read More



Presenting the world's largest display of firefighting equipment, this museum highlights 100 restored pieces of hand-to-hand, horse-drawn, and mechanized firefighting equipment from 1725 to 1961. Additional exhibits include a fire truck for...  Read More

Phoenix Art Museum
Photo courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum


Another institution growing by leaps and bounds, this museum's scope is indisputably international with works representing American, Asian, European and Latin American art. The museum also features exhibits on fashion and the Thorne miniature...  Read More



Housed in a dramatic building next to the city's historic Heritage Square, the Science Center offers well over 300 interactive exhibits. A giant-screen IMAX theater shows educational films, and the planetarium boasts one of the largest domes in...  Read More



The Musical Instrument Museum, also known as the MIM, celebrates art, music and culture by documenting the history of musical instruments from around the world. Everyone from Carlos Santana to Tony Bennett have sung the praises of this bright,...  Read More



The Children's Museum of Phoenix, located in the 70,000 square foot historic Monroe School building in downtown Phoenix, offers three floors of exhibits designed to engage young children and the adults who love them. Exhibits are hands-on and...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia