15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Flagstaff, AZ
Not many cities are famous for having seemingly unlimited natural attractions, but Flagstaff is one of those rare ones.
Located in Coconino County, Arizona, Flagstaff is blessed with a gorgeous natural landscape.
But the natural side of Flagstaff is balanced by its modern attractions, which are plenty.
Interested to know more about this place?
Here are the best things to do with kids in Flagstaff, Arizona:
Explore Coconino National Forest
Spread across a whopping 1.856 million acres, Coconino National Forest is a short distance from Flagstaff, nestled among mountains and canyons.
After it was established in 1898, Coconino was declared a U.S. National Forest a decade later, in 1908.
Visitors can trek through the forest, where deserts, flatlands, ancient volcanic peaks, mesas, pine forests, and tundra weave together to form a diverse landscape.
The forest offers camping, hiking, bicycling, climbing, horse riding, and water activities.
Coconino National Forest is on Lake Mary Road.
Discover Lava River Cave
Around 7,00,000 years ago, geologists claimed that a volcanic vent near Hart Prairie drenched the area in molten lava.
While the outer edges of the flowing lava solidified first, the insides of this "river" flowed out, creating a cave-like hollow.
This ancient phenomenon, located in Coconino National Forest, became known as Lava River Cave.
There is nothing as awe-inspiring as standing in Arizona’s longest cave, which is 1.21 kilometers.
The cave is cool even in summer and studded with sharp and slippery rocks.
If you plan to visit the tube, wear warm clothes and the sturdiest shoes and carry two or three flashlights.
Enjoy Fun Activities at Bear Paw Recreation Center
One of the many endeavors of the Continental Country Club of Flagstaff is the Bear Paw Recreation Center, a clubhouse where people of all ages can have fun.
The amenities include computer stations, Playstation and Xbox gaming consoles, DVD rentals and billiard tables, foosball, an outdoor jacuzzi, and a snack bar.
The place provides a business center and free WiFi, meaning you can complete your work while your children play!
If the weather permits, you can access a heated outdoor pool, kiddie pool, half basketball court, ping pong table, volleyball, and even a miniature golf course.
Families spend the entire day here, as the Bear Paw Recreation Center caters to everyone’s need for enjoyment!
The center is located on Bear Paw Drive.
Soak up Majestic Views from The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon's natural beauty is carved to perfection by Arizona’s Colorado River.
It may not exactly be situated in Flagstaff, but the south rim of the Canyon is a little more than an hour’s drive.
But that drive is seemingly nothing compared to nature’s grandness in this lovely spot. If your kids wish to see the Canyon a little more closely, Lipan Point and Guano Point are great vantage points!
The Canyon is open to several activities, such as camping, hiking, running, rafting, skydiving, and helicopter tours.
But the most impressive thing is the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a cantilever bridge with a thrilling glass walkway that looks down at the rocks below.
Discover the Wonders of Science at Lowell Observatory
Did you know that Lowell Observatory discovered Pluto’s existence?
It was also one of the first organizations to research the expanding universe theory—no wonder it was named one of "The World’s 100 Most Important Places" in 2011 by Time Magazine.
Established in 1894, the observatory is named after its founding father, astronomer Percival Lowell.
The observatory is open for exploring; you can check out the telescope, the open deck observatory, and the many exhibits and events conducted there.
Lowell might be a historical place—being a National Historic Landmark—but it is equally fun, too, especially for kids!
Have a Splash at The Flagstaff Aquaplex
Frolicking in a swimming pool doesn’t have an age limit; everyone enjoys it, especially kids!
Offering you a bright swimming pool is The Flagstaff Aquaplex, a recreation center on Fourth Street.
It offers swimming, gym equipment, air hockey, and an indoor climbing wall.
The Flagstaff Aquaplex also organizes several programs all year round, along with activities and events you can join on the spot.
These include swimming lessons, fitness classes, and pickleball, among others.
The swimming pool area is highly inviting, featuring high ceilings, large windows, and vibrant art on a side wall.
The rest of the space is just as impressive, prompting you to try all their activities.
The staff is amicable and helps to make your experience as fun as possible!
Travel Back in Time at the Museum of Northern Arizona
If your child is interested in history, then your Flagstaff to-do list should include the Museum of Northern Arizona.
The museum is a non-profit, private institution that provides cultural insight into Northern Arizona and the entire Colorado Plateau.
It had been around for over 90 years, founded by the zoologist Dr. Harold S. Colton and his wife, artist Mary Russell Ferrell Colton.
The exhibits here are fascinating yet rustic, usually showcasing pottery, paintings, historical artifacts, and even geological displays.
Adding more intrigue to the museum is the building itself—it looks like a residential house set in stone, surrounded by pine trees, and the best part is it's located in the woods!
The Museum of Northern Arizona is on Ft. Valley Road.
Have Fun in the Snow at Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort
Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort is one of the most picturesque places in Flagstaff where you can ski!
This alpine ski resort is nestled in the San Francisco Peaks.
The resort was founded in 1938 and uses the western slope of Mount Humphreys to please the ski heads.
You can ski down the gentle slope with the Agassiz Peak, painting a pretty picture in front.
The best part?
This ultimate winter destination also caters to kids!
The terrain of this skiing spot is as exciting as safe, making it perfect for beginners and experts.
With its 37 kilometers of slopes for skiing and snowboarding and more than five lifts to transport the guests, Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort is a skiing paradise!
Play a Round of Laser Tag with Your Family at FlagTag AZ
Fan of laser tag?
FlagTag AZ has you covered!
Located close to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, FlagTag AZ provides exciting playing areas for laser tag and axe throwing and arcade games; it's also home to a pizza café.
The setting of the laser tag is a war-torn area, where you can access more than 30 laser tag matches equipped with state-of-art laser guns and vests.
The axe throwing is even more exciting and open for children over 13.
You get lessons and ample time to flaunt your skills, especially if you’re in a group.
Making this entire experience more remarkable is the pizza café, serving pizzas, burracos, nachos, and soft drinks.
Bring your friends and family to Route 66 for an endless round of games!
Enjoy Relaxing Views at Buffalo Park
Out of all the parks in Flagstaff, Buffalo Park on Gemini Road is beloved by the locals because of its tranquil beauty.
The park offers many trails, but the best one is the 2.2-mile loop trail, which is not only neatly maintained and even but also suitable for all kinds of visitors—people on bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, those jogging or walking their dogs, and even children.
The trail and the park blend with the Ponderosa forests and the Dry Lake Hills, offering sweeping views of Mount Elden and Mount Humphreys.
It’s an excellent place for photography, stargazing, observing wildlife, or relaxing with your family.
The kids can run, bike around, take photos, or even enjoy a picnic in the park!
Spot Wildlife at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
If you’re nearby Northern Arizona University, drop by Riordan Mansion State Historic Park!
Adjacent to the Northern Arizona University, this historic site was built in 1904, preserving the history and lifestyle of the former owners, the Riordan families.
The house has long since been converted into an interactive museum, only accessible through guided tours, where the kids can touch and play with the displays.
You can explore the park outside with lush greenery and birds like crows, ravens, finches, and juncos.
You can even spot Abert squirrels, sunning lizards, and chipmunks occasionally.
Make sure to catch the lectures organized frequently on the premises; the topics covered are vast and exciting!
Play a Round of Disc Golf at Thorpe Park Disc Golf
The Thorpe Park Disc Golf course might be as old as your child—maybe even older—but it offers excitement like no other golf course!
It was established in the early 1990s in the Ponderosa forest, with rough terrain and a tree course.
It is Flagstaff’s first PDGA-approved course, featuring multiple baskets, nine holes, and concrete tee pads to make your game challenging.
The course has many visitors all year round who participate in friendly competitions and tournaments.
Not in the mood to play golf?
You can play tag or frisbee instead, as this forest-like expanse is spacious.
If your kid loves to throw around discs, Thorpe Park Disc Golf on Thorpe Road is the perfect place for them—and it’s free!
Learn about History at the Wupatki National Monument
Encourage your kids’ explorer side by taking them to the fascinating Wupatki National Monument.
Wedged between the Northern Arizona highlands and the Painted Desert, this place was a thriving home to the Ancient Pueblo People.
To be honest, the scenery seems abandoned, with sparse vegetation and sandstone structures, but it’s what history lovers will find the most fascinating.
The monument is rich with the history of the ancient native civilizations, and you can learn about it all from the guided tours trekking through this 12th-century site.
If you arrive a little early in the mornings or late in the evenings, you can even get a glimpse of the native wild animals, such as pronghorn, lizards, rabbits, mule deer, coyotes, and different birds.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Sweet Shoppe Candy Store
Every kid has a little bit of a sweet tooth, and Sweet Shoppe Candy Store is there to indulge your children.
Located in Downtown Flagstaff, it was opened in 2011 by Jen, Blake, and their children.
The family of four produced delicious gourmet caramel apples, chocolates, truffles, gelato, and many other sweets.
Now the store has a dedicated and friendly team of 20 members, helping to run the business smoothly.
Along with the original items, you can also enjoy French macarons, house-made brittles and toffees, lollipops, and Jelly Belly products.
What’s more, everything is freshly made and reasonably priced.
Your children will love this sweet little place – and demand to take as many souvenirs home as possible.
Not many places can market themselves as kid-friendly, but Flagstaff soars higher on that list of child-friendly spots.
Fantastic weather, plenty of outdoor activities, and educational tourist spots – it is a well-rounded family destination!
So, if you and your kids are the adventurous kinds, do ensure to add Flagstaff to your travel list!