Flagstaff, which is in northern Arizona, is a great place for families who want to make moments with their kids that they will never forget. Flagstaff has beautiful natural scenery, a rich cultural history, and a lot of things to do that are good for the whole family. In this guide, we’ll look at the best things for kids to do in Flagstaff, so your family trip will be fun and memorable.
Because Flagstaff is close to many beautiful natural sights, there are many outdoor activities that will keep your kids’ attention. Here are some fun things to do outside with your children:
1. Hiking Trails
Put on your climbing boots and take a walk on one of the beautiful trails near Flagstaff. The Walnut Canyon National Monument has a great walk that goes through old cliff dwellings and shows how people used to live in the past.
2. Arizona Snowbowl
During the winter, Arizona Snowbowl is a great place to go skiing or snowboarding. Don’t worry if your kids have never done winter sports before. They can take lessons and rent the gear they need.
3. Lowell Observatory
Take your kids to the Lowell Observatory to get them interested in the world. Attend a nighttime stargazing event where they can look through powerful telescopes at things in the sky and learn about the wonders of our galaxy.
4. Meteor Crater
To see the amazing Meteor Crater, you can take a short drive east of Flagstaff. This huge impact site made by a meteorite crash is a great way for the whole family to learn something new.
Flagstaff is known for its educational sites that make learning and having fun easy to do at the same time. Here are some great ideas for a fun and educational family outing:
1. Museum of Northern Arizona
At the Museum of Northern Arizona, you and your family can learn about the rich Native American history and natural wonders of northern Arizona. Explore hands-on displays of artifacts, works of art, and geological findings.
2. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Visiting the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is like going back in time. Guided tours show how the Riordan family lived and show off the beautiful architecture of this old house.
3. Wupatki National Monument
Wupatki National Monument is northeast of Flagstaff. It is a place where you can find old Native American ruins. Walk around the buildings that have been kept in great shape and learn about the interesting Puebloan culture.
Flagstaff has many places that kids of all ages will enjoy that are good for families. Here are some must-visit spots:
1. Bearizona Wildlife Park
You can see North American animals up close as you drive through Bearizona Wildlife Park. You can watch grand bears, playful wolves, and other interesting animals from the safety of your car.
2. The Arboretum at Flagstaff
Stroll through the beautiful grounds of The Arboretum at Flagstaff at your own pace. Find a wide range of plants and trees and enjoy stunning views of the scenery around you.
3. Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
The Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is a thrilling place to go. Enjoy the beauty of the Coconino National Forest as you go through treetop obstacle courses, hanging bridges, and ziplines.
Flagstaff has many family-friendly events throughout the year, giving you more ways to have fun while you’re there. Here are a few important things to think about:
1. Flagstaff Hullabaloo
The Flagstaff Hullabaloo is a lively music and arts event that is fun for people of all ages. Enjoy live shows, interactive exhibits, and many other fun things to do.
2. Winter Wonderland Festival
If you’re coming during the holidays, don’t miss the Winter Wonderland Festival. Enjoy the holiday spirit with things to do like ice skating, making holiday projects, and even meeting Santa Claus.
3. Heritage Square Concert Series
If you want to see the Heritage Square Concert Series, plan your trip for the summer. Bring a blanket and kick back with some live music in the middle of downtown Flagstaff.
Dining Options for Families
After a day of exploring and going on adventures, it’s time to feed your family. There are many different places to eat in Flagstaff, so there is something for everyone. Here are some places that are good for families:
1. MartAnne’s Burrito Palace
At MartAnne’s Burrito Palace, you can enjoy tasty Mexican food. This place has delicious burritos and enchiladas that will make both kids and adults happy.
2. Diablo Burger
If your family likes good burgers, you have to go to Diablo Burger. This restaurant is known for using local products and making unique burgers. It has a wide range of options, including vegetarian and vegan options.
3. NiMarco’s Pizza
Kids love pizza, and NiMarco’s Pizza in Flagstaff is a favorite among locals. It’s a great place to refuel after a day of activities because it has a lot of toppings and is friendly.
Finding good places to stay is important for a family trip to go well. There are many family-friendly hotels and motels in Flagstaff that can meet the needs of both kids and adults. Here are some recommendations:
1. Little America Hotel
Little America Hotel is known for its family-friendly features and large rooms, which make it a good place for families to stay. The hotel has a pool outside, a beautiful yard that kids can explore, and it’s easy to get to Flagstaff’s sites.
2. Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff
The Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff is a great place for families to stay because it offers a free hot breakfast, snacks in the evening, and an indoor pool. A free 5:30 Kickback® gathering with hot food and cold drinks is also available at the hotel.
3. Embassy Suites by Hilton Flagstaff
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Flagstaff is a great choice for families looking for large rooms. The hotel has apartments with separate living rooms, an indoor pool, and a free cooked-to-order breakfast.
Nearby Day Trips for Families
Flagstaff has a lot of family-friendly things to do, and it’s also a great place to start exploring the area around it. Here are a few close day trips you might want to think about:
1. Grand Canyon National Park
You can’t go to Flagstaff without seeing the amazing Grand Canyon. This famous natural beauty is only a short drive from Flagstaff. It has stunning views and many hiking trails that are good for families. Take in the views from the top of the rim or go down into the canyon for a more exciting time.
Sedona is a must-see place near Flagstaff. It is known for its beautiful red rock shapes and spiritual energy. Enjoy beautiful drives, hikes that are good for families, and the peaceful atmosphere. Don’t forget to go to Slide Rock State Park, where kids can cool off in the creek and slide down natural rock waterslides.
3. Meteor Crater
If you want to see a science miracle, go to Meteor Crater, which is east of Flagstaff. This huge impact site was made when two meteorites hit each other more than 50,000 years ago. Visit the tourist center to find out how the crater was made and to even touch a real meteorite.
4. Montezuma Castle National Monument
South of Flagstaff, you can go back in time at Montezuma Castle National Monument. The Sinagua people made cliff dwellings over 800 years ago that are still in good shape. Visit the tourist center and take a short walk along the paved trail to see this ancient architectural wonder up close.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Flagstaff has unique places to shop where you can find gifts and souvenirs to remember your family trip. Here are a few places you can visit:
1. Downtown Flagstaff
There are a lot of shops, boutiques, and art galleries in the old downtown area of Flagstaff. Walk around the streets, look at local art, and find one-of-a-kind things to bring home.
2. Flagstaff Mall and The Marketplace
Go to the Flagstaff Mall and The Marketplace if you want a bigger buying experience. There are a lot of different kinds of stores in this indoor shopping center, like clothes stores, toy stores, and specialty shops.
3. Local Artisans and Craft Fairs
Keep your eyes open for craft shows and artists in Flagstaff. At these events, you can find unique handmade crafts, jewelry, and artwork made by local artists and help them out.
Safety Tips for Family Adventures
When you take your kids to see Flagstaff, it’s important to put safety first. Here are some very important safety tips to remember:
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important because Flagstaff is high up and has a dry climate. Encourage your kids to drink a lot of water all day, especially when they are playing outside.
2. Dress Appropriately
Flagstaff’s weather can change quickly, so it’s important to wear clothes. Be ready for changes in the weather and make sure everyone has hats, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.
3. Plan for Altitude
Flagstaff is about 7,000 feet above sea level, which may make some people feel sick because of the altitude. Take it easy the first few days so your family can get used to the new place.
4. Follow Trail Etiquette
Remind your kids to stay on marked trails when hiking or visiting nature trails, to be kind to wildlife, and to leave no trace by picking up their trash.
Tips for Traveling with Kids
Taking kids on a trip can be a fun and fulfilling thing to do. Here are some ways to make your trip to Flagstaff with your family more fun:
1. Plan Age-Appropriate Activities
When making plans, think about what your kids like and how old they are. Look for events and places to visit that are geared toward their age group to make sure they have a great time.
2. Take Breaks and Pace Yourself
During the day, kids may need breaks and time to chill out. Plan breaks for snacks, rest, and relaxing so they don’t get too tired or stressed out.
3. Involve the Kids in Planning
Include your kids in making plans for the trip. Let them choose some activities or sights that they think will be fun. This will get them more interested in the trip and get them more excited about it.
4. Pack Essentials
Bring snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, and anything else you and your family might need when you go out. Having these things on hand will make sure that everyone is relaxed and ready.
5. Capture the Memories
Give your kids a journal or throwaway camera to encourage them to write down what they do. Let them take pictures, draw pictures, or write about their favorite parts of the trip.
Flagstaff is a great place to go with your kids because it has a lot of activities, sights, and natural wonders to enjoy. This charming city has something for everyone in the family, from outdoor activities to learning opportunities to day trips to nearby sites. Take in the beauty of Flagstaff’s landscapes, accept the spirit of adventure, and make memories that will last a lifetime.