Heat Up Your Trip: The Top Attractions and Activities in Phoenix


Our unique model is about recognizing patterns and form new behaviors to fundamentally change the way we learn. Discover how to apply industry-proven decision making techniques to everyday life. Click here to learn more.

Amazon Link to Book

Heat Up Your Trip: The Top Attractions and Activities in Phoenix

By: Dr. Joseph Kashiwagi

Are you planning a family trip to the vibrant city of Phoenix, Arizona? With its sunny weather, stunning desert landscapes, and a plethora of exciting attractions, Phoenix offers a wealth of experiences for visitors of all ages. From outdoor adventures to cultural treasures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The hardest part is having something that teenagers want to do. This seems to be the hardest age group to please when going on trips. Let’s dive into the top attractions and activities that will make your trip to Phoenix unforgettable and hopefully that teenagers would enjoy!!

1. Explore the Desert Botanical Garden

Nestled amid the red rocks of Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and families alike. Home to thousands of desert plants from around the world, the garden showcases the beauty and diversity of arid landscapes. Take a leisurely stroll along winding pathways, marvel at towering cacti, and learn about the unique adaptations of desert flora. It can be a little boring for teenagers depending on their interests and hobbies. For most teenagers, this might not be the most enjoyable but it is very educational. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit during one of the garden’s special events or seasonal exhibitions for an even more enriching experience.

2. Get Wild at the Phoenix Zoo

Embark on a wild adventure at the Phoenix Zoo, where you’ll encounter fascinating creatures from all corners of the globe. With over 3,000 animals representing 400 species, the zoo offers a thrilling opportunity to connect with wildlife up close. From majestic lions to playful primates, there’s no shortage of animal encounters to delight visitors of all ages. I was surprised at how much teenagers enjoy the zoo. There is a lot of walking and not much action but it gives a good balance of learning, having fun and being interesting for teenagers! Be sure to check out the zoo’s interactive exhibits, educational programs, and conservation initiatives to deepen your understanding of the natural world.

3. Soak Up Culture at Heard Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the Southwest at the Heard Museum, a renowned institution dedicated to Native American art and culture. Featuring an impressive collection of artifacts, textiles, and contemporary artworks, the museum offers insight into the diverse traditions of indigenous peoples. Explore permanent exhibits showcasing Hopi kachina dolls, Navajo textiles, and intricate pottery, or catch a rotating exhibition highlighting the work of contemporary Native artists. For Arizonans this might be redundant because of the amount of exposure from these types of museums. For everyone outside of Arizona, this is a great museum that would be interesting for teenagers to go to. I wouldn’t spent the whole day at the museum but its worth a visit. With engaging programs for families and children, the Heard Museum provides a memorable cultural experience for visitors of all ages.

4. Take Flight at the Arizona Science Center

Ignite your curiosity and embark on a journey of discovery at the Arizona Science Center, where hands-on exhibits and interactive displays bring science to life. From exploring the wonders of outer space to unraveling the mysteries of the human body, the center offers a diverse array of experiences that inspire learning and exploration. Kids will love experimenting in the Maker’s Space, while parents can engage in thought-provoking discussions at the center’s adult-focused programs and events. This is probably the most exciting thing for teenagers since it is so engaging. I would highly recommend for teenagers and you could spend most of the day there and still have some fun.With something new to discover around every corner, the Arizona Science Center promises hours of fun and learning for the whole family.

5. Relax and Recharge at South Mountain Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature at South Mountain Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country. Spanning over 16,000 acres of pristine desert landscape, the park offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Hike scenic trails that wind through rugged terrain, take in panoramic views of the city skyline, or enjoy a picnic amidst the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. If your teenager is okay with hikes, then this shouldn’t be too hard. It is enjoyable and fun for the majority while the hardcore hikers might be disappointed, and I would recommend another park/hike. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply seeking solace in nature, South Mountain Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

6. Indulge in Shopping and Dining at Old Town Scottsdale

Experience the charm of the Southwest at Old Town Scottsdale, a vibrant hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Stroll along bustling streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and souvenir shops, where you’ll find everything from handmade jewelry to authentic Native American crafts. When hunger strikes, satisfy your cravings at one of the area’s many restaurants, cafes, or breweries, offering a diverse array of culinary delights. Teenagers would enjoy this aspect of it. They like food, shopping and other things. They might get bored as they spent more time but its worth a onetime stop to check it out.With its lively atmosphere and eclectic offerings, Old Town Scottsdale is a must-visit destination for families looking to experience the best of Arizona hospitality.

7. Splash into Fun at Water Parks

Beat the heat and make a splash at one of Phoenix’s thrilling water parks, where refreshing pools, twisting slides, and lazy rivers await. Cool off from the desert sun at attractions like Wet n’ Wild Phoenix or Big Surf Waterpark, where you can ride the waves, float along lazy rivers, or plunge down towering slides. Since it is hot in Arizona, these attractions are great for teenagers. They love this stuff. I would highly recommend for them to go maybe even alone if you as parents don’t want to! With attractions and activities suitable for all ages, water parks offer the perfect way to stay cool and have fun during the hot summer months in Phoenix.


With its diverse array of attractions and activities, Phoenix offers endless opportunities for family fun and adventure. Teenagers are difficult people to plan activities for but it can be done! Whether you’re exploring the wonders of the desert botanical garden, getting up close and personal with wildlife at the zoo, or immersing yourself in the rich culture of the Southwest, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. We hope that you and your teenagers can have some fun! If you are here for the summer, then you might want to think about signing your teenagers up for our summer programs while you vacation! They get to meet new people, have fun, and build leadership skills! So, pack your bags, soak up the sun, and get ready to heat up your trip with unforgettable experiences in Phoenix!

The Best Summer Activity in Arizona

We created the Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills Summer Program because we wanted to give teenagers an unforgettable experience that was also fun and helpful.

Happiness is the goal at this one-of-a-kind youth summer camp! Hosted at Arizona State University, the Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills summer program is the only place where teens can complete licensed professional development training. We’ve taken college-level curriculum and turned it into a fun and interactive 4-day course. Students will set new goalslearn leadership skills, and get individualized attention from our certified teen life coaches.