About the author: Photographer, video blogger, nature-lover, dad of twin boys, and husband to Andy – Tyler Fontes is always leading the “Fontes Four Pack” on new adventures. This family-friendly roundup of fun things to do in Downtown Phoenix was originally published in the DTPHX Directory, 2020-2021 edition, and updated in 2022. The Fontes family has since relocated to Salt Lake City, but you can still follow the fun at @fontes_four_pack.
Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market
One of our favorite family activities to do on Saturdays is bike to the Farmers Market. It’s full of locally-grown produce and products, hand-crafted art, and amazing food and coffee options – a great free event for the entire family.
Margaret T. Hance Park
In addition to visiting the awesome playground, we love going to family-friendly festivals at Hance Park like Phoenix Pizza Festival, Arizona Fall Fest, Chinese Culture + Cuisine Festival, and many more throughout the year; all with lots of activities for kids and great food. It’s also surrounded by a number of new restaurants, the Japanese Friendship Garden and Burton Barr Central Library. We always take time to walk to the library next door for books, activities, and free seeds for our urban garden.
This is a nice little stretch of park where we can enjoy letting our boys run around a bit. It’s a great stop to relax at before moving on to other activities, like the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library around the corner. The park is also adjacent to downtown’s rainbow crosswalk, the Roosevelt/Central Avenue Light Rail Station, LGBTQ+ friendly restaurants like Match Restaurant + Lounge, and our favorite staycation hotel, Found:re Phoenix.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
We have been members of the Children’s Museum for a year now, and our kids absolutely love how much there is to do. There are three floors, each with different activities for kids of all ages. The showstopper is a massive, maze-like play structure that’s two stories tall, and our boys love to explore it.
Arizona Science Center
The Science Center is truly amazing, and the activities it provides kids are endless – tons of hands-on learning for children of all ages, including the adults. There are always great rotating exhibits to experience too.
Heritage Square + Science Park
This is a great area to wander with the family, located between the Children’s Museum and Science Center. You can tour the historic Rosson House Museum, or enjoy great food at Pizzeria Bianco. The square also hosts events and festivals throughout the year like Phoenix Flea, which is a modern market full of local hand-crafted art, vintage items, fashion and food.