Best Family Friendly Attractions in Mesa, Arizona

Summer is just kicking off and if you’re looking for great family friendly attractions and an affordable place to stay, why not Mesa, Arizona? Sure, it gets hot in Mesa and its surrounding areas. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid visiting during this important time of year. After all, there are plenty of discounts …

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Dinosaur Mountain in Mesa

Summer is just kicking off and if you’re looking for great family friendly attractions and an affordable place to stay, why not Mesa, Arizona? Sure, it gets hot in Mesa and its surrounding areas. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid visiting during this important time of year. After all, there are plenty of discounts on resorts and hotels, and a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. What’s more, Mesa is a very family friendly city, with museums, several water parks and dining to fit your budget. In addition, Arizona’s third largest city will be home to a brand-new water park, expected to open in the coming months. See why Mesa is a great vacation destination year round and why it’s going to get even better.

Arizona Goat Yoga

26601 S. Val Vista Drive
Gilbert, AZ  85298
(480) 269-4144

Despite lacking a Mesa address, Arizona Goat Yoga is a must-see and a major, family friendly local attraction. What’s more, it’s likely the world’s first goat yoga establishment and a launchpad for goat yoga classes worldwide. Founded by April Gould and Sarah Williams in 2015, Arizona Goat Yoga offers several yoga classes each week featuring the cutest goats imaginable. That is to say, you’ll see friendly baby goats dressed in colorful attire, their doting moms and affectionate alpacas. You can reserve a spot in a class online and any class is just $15. Additionally, Goat Yoga is very family friendly and classes are open to guests of all levels of ability. There is no question it’s one of the areas top attractions.

Arizona Museum of Natural History

53 N. Macdonald
Mesa, AZ  85201
(480) 644-2230

If you’re traveling with children, the Arizona Museum of Natural History is a must-see attraction. After all, it’s completely family friendly and reportedly has the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in Arizona. On the other hand, some dinosaur displays are replicas, such as the imposing tyrannosaurus rex in the Cenozoic Lobby. However, these replicas of dinosaurs such as the Jurassic-era camasaurus are quite impressive and world class reproductions. If you go, your kids will particularly enjoy Dinosaur Mountain, with mechanical animals and a flash flood every 23 minutes. In addition, there are many other highlights, like Native American exhibits, a walk through the “Lost Dutchman Mine” and the Mesa Jail.

The Dolly Steamboat, docked at Canyon Lake in the Superstition Mountains above Mesa, Arizona
Dolly Steamboat (credit: Randy Yagi)

Dolly Steamboat

16802 AZ-88
Apache Junction, AZ  85119
(480) 827-9144

During your Mesa visit, you might enjoy a road trip along the Apache Trail within the Superstition Mountains. Located east of Mesa, the Apache Trail was a pathway used by indigenous people but later became a stagecoach trail. One of the top attractions within the Superstition Mountains the Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake. Named after one of the original owners, the Dolly Steamboat offers sightseeing and dinner cruises. Of the four available tours, the most popular might be the Scenic Nature Cruise, enabling you to see wildlife like bald eagles and big horn sheep. That’s not to mention seeing the incredible rock formations and the many saguaro cacti that dot the landscape. A 900-acre reservoir, Canyon Lake is also popular for water sports like fishing, paddleboarding, jet skiing and water skiing.

Dining near Canyon Lake

While Canyon Lake has picnic areas and a snack bar, there’s another spot worth seeing further up the Apache Trail. Just minutes from the Dolly Steamboat is a classic, old western town known as Tortilla Flat. Known as the last surviving stagecoach stop on the Apache Trail, the town has a population of under 10 citizens. However, there is a country store, mercantile/gift shop and for dining, the Superstition Restaurant and Saloon. One last thing to know, if you drive beyond this Mesa-area family friendly attractions, you’ll be driving on a dirt road.

Related: Family Friendly Camping in America

Goldfield Ghost Town

4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road
Apache Junction, AZ  85119

Dolly Steamboat isn’t the only notable attraction within the spectacular Superstition Mountains above Mesa. Indeed, Goldfield Ghost Town is as family friendly as any other top attraction in the Greater Phoenix Area. What’s more, there is no entrance fee or no fee to park in the adjoining lot. On the other hand, the structures you see at Goldfield Ghost Town aren’t authentic. Instead, the entire town is an incredible reenactment of what it looked like in the 1890s. Within Goldfield, you’ll find attractions like the Superstation Narrow Gauge Railroad, mine tours and a museum. In addition are unique and interesting stores like The Blue Nugget, Border Town and Mother Lodge Mercantile. Of course, if you’re hungry, you have options like Miner’s Grill and Ice Cream Parlor and Coffee Cantina & Bakery.

Hohokam Stadium

1235 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
(480) 644-4451

The 2023 spring training season is long over. However, that doesn’t mean you should overlook Hohokam Stadium. Indeed, this is an important place to visit if you’re an Oakland A’s fan or if you want to see the former stadium for the Chicago Cubs. What’s more, there are events happening year round at this ballpark, including the recently WAC Baseball Tournament. Hohokam Stadium (named after southwestern Native Americans) is less than two miles from the heart of downtown Mesa. Other ballparks worth a visit are Sloan Park, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs and Fitch Park, the spring training workout facility for the A’s.

Mesa Arts Center

1 E. Main St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
(480) 644-6560

Drawing a growing number of visitors, the Mesa Arts Center anchors the revitalized downtown area. The largest arts center in Arizona with over 210,000 square feet of space, it’s home to four performance venues as well as the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Of the four performance venues, the Ikeda Theater is the most prominent and will host several notable events. This includes Broadway shows like the Pirates of Penzance and classical music performances. Equally important are live concerts, with upcoming appearances from top level artists like Tori Amos and Diana Krall. In addition, there are also kid friendly events, like Beauty and the Beast at the Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse. Later on in the year are more events like Coco in Concert and Christmas with C.S. Lewis. As for the award-winning Contemporary Arts Museum, it’s completely free and serves as a showcase for emerging and internationally known artists.

Mesa Fresh Foodie Trail

If you haven’t yet heard of Mesa’s Fresh Foodie Trail, you should make a point of including it as part of your visit. Indeed, if you’re seeking a unique culinary experience, you might spend most of your Mesa visit at many of these business attractions. Established by Visit Mesa in 2015, the Fresh Foodie Trail is a collection of food-centric stops through the communities of Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek. While there are several notable places worth visiting, some recommendations are Agritopia, Liberty Market, Superstition Dairy Farms and Queen Creek Olive Mill. That’s not to mention further highlights like Hayden Flour Mills at Sossaman Farms, Steadfast Farm at Eastmark and True Garden Urban Farm. As for wine tasting, you have options like Garage East and Windmill Winery.

Related: Suggested Stops Along Mesa’s Fresh Foodie Trail

Mesa Golfland Sunsplash

155 W. Hampton Ave.
Mesa, AZ  85210
(480) 834-8319

It goes without saying that local waterparks like Mesa Golfland Sunsplash will be very busy family friendly attractions this summer. In case you go, there are all sorts of fun things to do and that includes miniature golf courses. But as the temperatuures rise, you’ll probably go to Sunsplash attractions like Thunder Bay Wave Pool and Dragon Tail Waterslides. That’s not to mention the Lazy River, Splashwater Harbor Slides, Master Blaster Water Coaster and more. With all this in mind, you still might want to visit Golfland for attractions like King Ben’s Castle and arcade games, along with a great assortment of food options.

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The 1927 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ is the world's largest and most valuable theater organ at the family friendly Organ Stop Pizza , a popular attraction in Mesa, Arizona
Mighty Wurlitzer Organ (credit: Randy Yagi)

Organ Stop Pizza

1149 E. Southern Ave.
Mesa, AZ  85204
(480) 813-5700

Organ Stop Pizza is not only a great place for pizza, it’s home to another leading Mesa family friendly attraction. In more detail, Organ Stop Pizza is home to an incredible 1927 Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ. To put it differently, it’s the world’s largest Theatre Pipe Organ and unsurprisingly, the most valuable. To further illustrate, the organ features over 6,000 pipes, as well as glockenspiels, percussion and other items that cover an entire wall. The centerpiece of this enormous pipe organ is of course, is the organ console that emerges via a rotating hydraulic lift. Performances begin 30 minutes after opening and are held hourly, with 10-15 breaks in between. To summarize, you will never see anything like the massive Wurlitzer at Pizza Stop. Of course, the food items are great and refreshingly affordable, especially for a family traveling with kids.

Superstition Mountain Museum

4087 E. Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ  85119
(480) 983-4888

The last but certainly not the least of the Superstition Mountains attractions is its namesake museum. Set up 15 acres within this rugged mountain range, the small museum itself requires a nominal entrance fee. However, the rest of the property requires no fee and is features two prominent structures from the former Apacheland Movie Ranch. For instance, the most striking structure you’ll is the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel that appeared in the 1969 Elvis movie “Charro!”. Make sure to take a peek inside of the many classic movie posters, the church pews and even a cardboard cutout of Elvis. That’s to say nothing of the Audie Murphy Barn and the many artifacts related to movies made in Arizona. Yet, don’t ignore visiting the museum, where you’ll find information on the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine and other historical artifacts. On the other hand, your kids may prefer more family friendly attractions like the petting zoo or sitting in the stagecoach.

Bonus Recommendation:

Revel Surf Park at Cannon Beach

4503 S. Power Road
Gilbert, AZ  85296

Once it’s open to the public, Revel Surf Park will make Mesa, Arizona an even better family friendly destination. Said to be the first of its kind in the world, the surf park and Cannon Beach are expected to open by the end of summer. The entire multi-use complex covers 37 acres and will feature lodging, retail and dining space. Cannon Beach is located minutes from Phoenix-Gateway Airport, with additional hotel options like the Courtyard Marriott and Holiday Inn Express. You can find further details on the surf park and Cannon Beach through its official site, with added information to follow.

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About the Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across over 20 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget,, and He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.