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I love to travel to destinations I’ve never been before and really check out some fun local spots, ESPECIALLY with my kids! Finding family friendly vacation destinations that are out of the “norm” is fun and exciting!
A few weeks ago, my boys and I traveled to Mesa Arizona to check out the local family friendly activities and food they have to offer and we had a blast! We flew down thanks to Allegiant Air (We are giving away free roundtrip tickets right now, so head over HERE to enter!!).
We were shown around by the amazing ladies at Visit Mesa, and we had the best time enjoying all kinds of activities with our fellow bloggers and their kids! Make sure when you travel to Mesa (or even the Phoenix area…it’s worth a little drive!!) you find these awesome spots to take your family to!
Mesa Arts Center/Museum of Natural History/ i.d.e.a Museum
Make sure to check out these three museums!! The Museum of Natural History is full of amazing dinoaur skeletons and historical artifacts, and the i.d.e.a. Museum is a fun hands-on museum for children! Mesa Arts Center has all kinds of exciting activities, from dance or art classes to concerts and even a contemprary arts museum! We visited the Mesa Art Center for a class about glass making and we really enjoyed it!We learned about making art out of glass and even made a glass tile ornament to take home:
NOTE: Target offers free admission to i.d.e.a. Muesum and Arizona Museum of Natural History and special activities at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum the first Sunday of every month!! Each venue is located within three blocks of each other in downtown Mesa. Special activities at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum include an area for kids to create their own artwork and a free performance in MCA’s outdoor courtyard.
This is such a fun stop in the Mesa area! Agritopia is an amazing mix of urban agriculture and a very neighborly community of homes! Started by the Johnston Family in the 1960s, it has gone from a simple family owned farm to Agritopia- planned around breaking down the traditional barriers and encouraging community among many different backgrounds! A MUST to visit Joes Farm Grill and the Coffee Shop, both on the grounds of Agritopia and offering fresh organic and DELICIOUS food and drinks! (Check out our full review on Mesa’s Food Tour!)
San Tan Village Shopping
Who doesn’t enjoy a little shopping while on vacation? San Tan Village is the perfect stop with your family for an afternoon of shopping! This outdoor mall is perfectly cooled from the heat by misters along every walkway, includes tons of family friendly shopping for Mom, Dad and the kids, and touts a REALLY cool kids play area and splashpad right in the middle of all the kids themed stores! Don’t forget to stop and cool off with a Gelato or Sorbet from Frost…absolutely the best I’ve had!
Usery Mountain Park
Hands down my favorite activity with my boys. We spent the morning checking out the local desert at Usery Mountain Park. We were led on a simple hike around the lower areas, spotting different species of cactus and looking for wildlife. It is a gorgeous backdrop for a day out in nature, and if you love being out and hiking, or even walking paths, this is such a wonderful spot to take your family. The visitors center is chock full of fun info, a few animals to see and really great rangers who can answer any questions you or your children may have! They offer super fun night time scorpion hunts with black lights for kids too!
Queen Creek Olive Mill
If you love Olive Oil, don’t miss the gorgeous Queen Creek Olive Mill! A great place to pick up wonderfully made oils, skincare and many other items made by Queen Creek! Take an Olive Oil 101 class to learn about the process of making Olive Oil and make sure to do a tasting!! I am not the biggest Olive Oil fan myself but I was obsessed with their Roasted Garlic olive oil and bought that as well as their Peach Balsamic Glaze (Seriously…go get them!!). Plan to stay for lunch! Their menu is fresh and delicious and everything we tasted was amazing! Make sure you try their Prickly Pear Lemonade!
Such a fun family stop! Schnepf Farms is located right across the street from Queen Creek Olive Mill, making a perfect family day consisting of both! A fantastic organic farm that specializes in Peaches (JUICY peaches!) Come and pick your own organic produce for $1.50/pound, take a farm tour and check out the petting zoo! Stop into the Bakery for the most delicious freshly baked goods! It wasn’t open when we came through but from what I hear, their Peach Cinnamon Rolls are to die for!
Downtown Mesa is full of fun shops and restaurants, as is nearby Downtown Gilbert! Both have so much to offer families, and are great places to walk and spend time together!
Mesa, Arizona is a boundless destination surrounded by the natural Sonoran Desert beauty of Tonto National Forest and the communities of Gilbert, Apache Junction, and Queen Creek. This regional recreation playground boasts an assortment of lifestyle and leisure pursuits for visitors. In Mesa, you will find the largest arts and cultural complex in the Southwest, shopping at every turn, delectable locally-owned restaurants and an award-winning collection of golf courses and premier hotels. As the third largest city in Arizona, Mesa is a modern-day desert urban retreat, where landscapes are legendary and its deep-rooted agricultural heritage still shines. From Spring Training baseball to countless events to suit visitors of all ages, the possibilities are endless. Choose your adventure and explore Mesa…City Limitless.
*Our entire trip was hosted by Visit Mesa and Allegiant Airlines, but all opinions are my own