Chandler, Arizona, is an ideal place to raise a family. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, this dynamic city boasts many kid-friendly attractions and hosts loads of year-round activities. Use this guide to discover the seven best major attractions around home when you need something to do. From outdoor adventures to air-conditioned venues, we’ve got it all.
The Crayola Experience
Chandler is lucky to have one of only five Crayola Experience centers in the world. This local hot spot is the place where kids and parents can come together for creative, hands-on fun. Make lasting colorful memories at this one-of-a-kind 20,000-square-foot family attraction on West Chandler Boulevard.
Children as young as toddlers can play in a virtual rainbow or attend a special engagement, like an aquatic-themed OceanX adventure. Don’t forget to browse the shop’s selection of Crayola products. It’s the largest in the world. Crayola Experience designers developed 19 different hands-on activities here to learn and play, like:
- Texture CRAYze.
- Wrap It Up!
- Be A Star.
- Melt and Mold.
- Colossal Caddy.
- Silly Selfies.
- Drip Art.
- Modeling Madness.
Chandler Center for the Arts
Chandler Center for the Arts sits on the campus of Chandler High School on North Arizona Avenue. It serves as both a place for students to learn to perform and as a stage for today’s top artists. So whether you’re supporting the dreams of tomorrow’s performers or your favorite act is in town, have a seat in the city’s top entertainment venue.
The 64,000-square-foot center is truly a collaboration with the school and community leaders. Together, they built an innovative theater with three dynamic performance spaces. Your family can explore the arts together in front of the 1,500-seat main stage, the 350-guest Hal Bogle Theatre, or the recital hall that accommodates up to 250 people.
Catch a live show any time of year, such as dance recitals, stand-up comedy, and musical performances by entertainers like the Chandler Symphony Orchestra and famous groups like Men at Work, Tina Turner, and Marie Osmond. Chandler Center for the Arts is also home to two expansive art galleries: The Gallery at CCA and Vision Gallery. Curators filled both halls with work from numerous engaging artists.
The Chandler Museum
Located on South Chandler Village Drive, the Chandler Museum is a cultural destination unlike any other. It touts engaging, community-focused programs and hosts loads of world-class traveling exhibits. This 10,000-square-foot facility also offers nearly 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space.
Catch displays like “Greatest Photographs of the American West” and “Bigger than Boxing: Zora Folley and the 1967 Heavyweight Title,” then stop by the museum store, located right in the lobby, for a unique gift. Its shelves are lined with locally made items that capture the history of the area. The space also provides an additional room to display the museum’s precious artifacts.
The Phoenix Zoo
The award-winning Phoenix Zoo awaits just 25 minutes north of Chandler. This pick doesn’t need much introduction because it’s a top activity for Arizona kids of all ages. Robert Maytag founded the zoo in 1962 and designed it to connect your family with the natural world. It’s the largest privately owned zoo in the country, nestled on 125 acres near Papago Park on North Galvin Parkway.
This zoo offers plenty of ways to get up close and personal with the resident animals. For example, take a safari cruise. This 25-minute narrated tour is the best way to see the zoo. Ensure a memorable visit and plan to load up on daily activities like camel rides and see native and exotic animals like:
- Asian elephants.
- African lions.
- Komodo dragons.
Rawhide Western Town
If you’ve got a wanna-be cowboy or cowgirl in the family, your next stop has to be Rawhide. With almost 20 shops and eateries within this Western town and event center, it’s easy to journey back in time to Arizona’s pioneer days here. The town sprawls across more than 160 acres of beautiful Sonoran Desert, right near Chandler. Enjoy Rawhide’s authentic Western ambiance, excellent steakhouse, live music, and attractions such as:
- Stunt shows.
- A blacksmith shop.
- Carnival rides.
- Petting zoo.
- Gold panning.
Musical Instrument Museum
“Baby’s hands on electric guitar. Top view.” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by shixart1985
Music lovers of all ages will want to check out The Musical Instrument Museum. Located on East Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix, it’s the largest musical museum in the world, with a collection of over 15,000 instruments and other related objects. Organizers opened this novel gallery in 2010, and the exhibits include examples from roughly 200 countries and every inhabited continent.
There are numerous ways to enjoy the museum, including events for kids and families like Mini Music Makers. The museum’s educational team designed this class for children from infants to 5 years old. Introduce your child to the world of music through this early childhood course. Kids sing, dance, and play instruments from around the world. Other activities and attractions include live concerts, classes for all ages and abilities, and even virtual programs you can access from home.
Grand Canyon National Park
Less than four hours north of Chandler lies one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: the Grand Canyon. Every Arizona resident must visit this national park to see how the Colorado River carved away millions of years of geological history, revealing layered bands of red rock for us to see.
With a maximum depth of 6,000 feet and an average of 10 miles across, to say that it’s vast in scale is an understatement. The Grand Canyon National Park offers family-friendly attractions like:
- Hiking the Canyon Rim trail.
- Photographing the scenic landscape.
- Driving the popular “Desert View” route.
- Riding a mule to the Canyon Vista.
- Rafting the Colorado River.
There you go! Crème de la Crème of Chandler put together this list of seven major attractions in the area. Did we include your family’s favorite local hotspot? Let us know if we missed it. We’ll add it to our list and share it with other Arizona families.