Arizona Boardwalk: A Must-Do For Phoenix Family Vacations

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Our visit was hosted by Arizona Boardwalk, but all thoughts are my own in this post.

Our family loves traveling to the Phoenix area. The sunshine, desert landscape, abundance of pools, hiking trails, activities, and restaurants combine to make a wonderful vacation spot for families with kids of all ages.  

Of all of the many things to do with kids in Arizona, near the top of my list is a day adventure to Arizona Boardwalk

Arizona Boardwalk is located in Scottsdale.  Just a very short drive from the airport and many of Scottsdale’s Family-Friendly Resorts, Arizona Boardwalk is a one-of-a-kind entertainment destination that features eight attractions – OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!®, Laser + Mirror Maze, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, Surprise Your Eyes, VR Extreme, and Johnny’s Playground – in addition to multiple dining, shopping, and amusement venues.

During our recent trip to the Valley of the Sun, we went to OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!® and Surprise Your Eyes with our combo tickets (this allows you to visit multiple attractions). 

Our first stop was at the OdySea Aquarium.

OdySea Aquarium

Kids at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona

The OdySea Aquarium is a must-see attraction that is two full floors and 200,000-square-foot and is sure to wow the whole family (it sure did ours!). 

We spent hours walking between exhibits and especially loved the touch pools, penguins, and sharks swimming above the bathroom sinks!

Fun Fact: Because Phoenix is in the Sonoran desert, many might be surprised to find out that the OdySea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Southwest!

Butterfly Wonderland

Butterly Wonderland at Arizona Boardwalk

After spending hours roaming the OdySea Aquarium, we decided to change up the scenery and we walked over to Butterfly Wonderful.  

We started by watching an educational “Flight of the Butterflies” 3D movie and then ventured into the tropical atrium where we were greeted by thousands of friendly butterflies from all over the world.

Fun Fact: In addition to butterflies and moths, your family can view other insects plus reptiles, amphibians, honeybees, and tropical fish as well.

The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!®

Next up we traveled to The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!® where we explored the extraordinary collection of intriguing objects and astonishing artifacts from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Fun Fact: Our favorite part at The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!® exhibit was seeing the world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow, who grew to 8 feet 11 inches tall!

 

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The Science of Ripleys Believe it or Not® is a Rotating Exhibit at Arizona Boardwalk and will be leaving Fall 2022 and replaced by new attractions.  Arizona Boardwalk is constantly bringing in new attractions and experiences so check their website for the most up-to-date exhibit information. 

Surprise Your Eyes

Last, but certainly not least, our family ventured into the Surprise Your Eyes exhibit where we giggled our way through this 3D optical illusion pop-up art experience at Arizona Boardwalk.

We couldn’t stop snapping photos at each of the “trick art” photo-ops that are deceiving to the eye at this unique attraction!

Fun Fact: Ask the front desk attendant for a selfie stick tripod so you can grab a picture of the whole family using your phone, tripod and the photo app timer. 


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Surprise Your Eyes is a Rotating Exhibit at Arizona Boardwalk and will be leaving Fall 2022 and replaced by new attractions.  Arizona Boardwalk is constantly bringing in new attractions and experiences so check their website for the most up-to-date exhibit information. 

Food at Arizona Boardwalk

Not only does Arizona Boardwalk have 8 attractions, but it also has a number of dining options as well, making it a fantastic full-day destination for the family!

Plan on grabbing a burger and milkshake at Johnny Rockets or dinosaur-themed food at Pangaea Dinosaur Grill.

Looking for something sweet for the littles? They have you covered for that too!  Grab a cold treat at Frozen Penguin or specialty candy at the Sugar Drop Candy Store.

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Looking for more things to do when taking your kids to Arizona?  Check out our Vacation Guide!

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