Best Things to Do With Teens in Phoenix: 12 Thrilling Activities in the Valley of the Sun

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated December 13, 2023 tourism Dream Destinations
by Jen
Best Things to Do With Teens in Phoenix
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Discover the best things to do with teenagers in Phoenix in our comprehensive guide. We’ve handpicked a variety of activities, from exhilarating outdoor adventures to educational museum visits, ensuring there’s something for every teen’s interest. Get ready to explore Phoenix’s most exciting and teen-friendly spots, perfect for family outings and memorable experiences.

Phoenix is a playground for adventurers of all ages, but let’s talk about the teens – those spirited young souls yearning for excitement and new experiences. Phoenix, with its unique blend of urban charm and desert wonder, is a playground for these adventurous spirits.

Imagine waking up to the warmth of the Arizona sun, ready to dive into a day filled with thrilling escapades and awe-inspiring discoveries. Phoenix isn’t just another dot on the map; it’s a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be unearthed by eager teenagers and their families.

From the adrenaline-pumping rush of go-kart racing to the serene beauty of a desert botanical garden, Phoenix offers a kaleidoscope of activities that cater to the diverse interests of teens. Whether they’re nature enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, culture vultures, or budding scientists, this city has something to spark their curiosity and keep them engaged. Let’s embark on this journey together, exploring the top things to do in Phoenix with your teenagers. Get ready to fill your travel diaries with tales of adventure, laughter, learning, and, most importantly, fun!

The top places to visit with teens in Phoenix right now

Best Things to Do With Teens in Phoenix

Exploring Phoenix for teens offers a world of adventure, from thrilling outdoor activities to fascinating cultural experiences. Our guide highlights the city’s top spots that are perfect for teenagers, ensuring a trip filled with excitement and discovery. Let’s jump into the vibrant and diverse offerings of Phoenix, where every teen can find something to enjoy.

1. Explore the Skies on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Imagine soaring above Phoenix, where the desert landscape unfolds beneath you like a vast, colorful tapestry. That’s exactly what you get with a hot air balloon ride, one of the best things to do with teens in Phoenix. It’s not every day you get to float in the sky, watching the sunrise or sunset paint the world in golden hues.

Two of the best companies offering this magical experience are Hot Air Expeditions and Rainbow Ryders. Both provide a safe and mesmerizing adventure that showcases the beauty of Phoenix from a uniquerainbo vantage point.

Hot Air Expeditions launches from the Deer Valley area, where you’ll ascend to witness the breathtaking Sonoran Desert. This company is known for its exceptional service, including a champagne breakfast or sunset toast after your flight. Rainbow Ryders, another excellent choice, offers rides that reveal the stunning cityscape of Phoenix. You’ll float over different parts of the city, seeing landmarks and natural wonders from an eagle’s eye view.

Remember to dress in layers, as it can be cooler up in the sky. Bring a camera too, because you’ll want to capture every moment of this breathtaking experience. A hot air balloon ride is a chance to bond with your teen in a serene setting, high above the everyday hustle. It’s a Phoenix teenager activity that combines thrill, beauty, and a touch of luxury, making it an absolute must-do.

Experiencing a Hot Air Balloon ride is one of the best things to do with teens in Phoenix.
Soar above the city on a hot air balloon for a breathtaking experience with teens.

2. Discover the Wonders of the Desert Botanical Garden

Step into a world where the desert comes alive at the Desert Botanical Garden. This is a place where teens can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and discover the diverse plant life of the Sonoran Desert. It’s not only educational but also incredibly fascinating.

Wandering through the garden paths is among the most serene and fun things to do with teens in Phoenix. The garden showcases a variety of desert plants, some of which are rare and endangered. Teens can learn about the importance of conservation and the role these plants play in the ecosystem. It’s a living museum, offering a unique blend of education and natural beauty.

A tip for visitors: check out the garden’s calendar for special events and exhibitions. They often host art displays, live music, and even culinary events that can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, and don’t forget to bring water and sunscreen.

Discover the Desert Botanical Garden, where teens explore diverse plant life in a captivating natural setting.
Discover the Desert Botanical Garden, where teens explore diverse plant life in a captivating natural setting.

3. Hike to Hole in the Rock at Papago Park

Embark on a mini adventure to Hole in the Rock at Papago Park, a must-visit for families in Phoenix. This easy, yet rewarding hike is perfect for teens, offering a quick escape into nature and a stunning view of the city.

One of the best things to do with a teenager in Phoenix is to explore the unique landscapes the city offers. The Hole in the Rock, a natural geological formation, provides a fun and accessible outdoor activity. The hike to the top is short and sweet, making it ideal for teens of all fitness levels. Once at the top, the view is spectacular, especially at sunset.

For this hike, wear comfortable shoes and bring water. It’s a popular spot, so consider visiting during off-peak hours for a more peaceful experience. Don’t forget your camera – the view from the hole frames the city and sky beautifully, perfect for that epic Instagram shot.

Explore Hole in the Rock at Papago Park, ideal for teens seeking a quick nature escape and city views.
Explore Hole in the Rock at Papago Park, ideal for teens seeking a quick nature escape and city views.

4. Race Against Time at K1 Speed

Feel the thrill of speed at K1 Speed, where teens can experience the rush of indoor go-kart racing. It’s an electrifying activity that combines competition with pure fun, making it a hit among teenagers looking for excitement in Phoenix.

At K1 Speed, safety is a priority, so all racers are equipped with helmets and briefed on track rules. The electric go-karts are fast yet easy to handle, providing a safe racing experience. Teens will love the challenge of navigating the twists and turns of the track, trying to beat their own best times or racing against friends and family.

One of the top places to go in Phoenix with teens, K1 Speed offers more than just racing. There’s an arcade area for gamers and a lounge for spectators, making it a great spot for the whole family. Remember to wear closed-toe shoes for racing, and arrive a bit early to register and get settled.

This activity is perfect for teens who crave a bit of friendly competition and adrenaline. It’s an exciting way to spend an afternoon or evening, creating memories that will last long after the race is over.

K1 Speed features a high-speed indoor go-karting excitement.
K1 Speed features a high-speed indoor go-karting excitement for teens.

5. Trek and Explore at South Mountain Park and Preserve

Embark on an adventure at South Mountain Park and Preserve, a sprawling natural oasis that stands as one of the largest municipal parks in the country. This park is a paradise for teens who love the outdoors, offering over 58 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

You can start your visit at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center to learn about the Sonoran Desert’s ecosystem. For a more challenging experience, the Holbert Trail leads to Dobbins Lookout, the highest accessible point in the park, offering breathtaking views of Phoenix.

One of the unique features of South Mountain Park is its “Silent Sundays,” when the main roadway is closed to motor vehicles, making it a haven for non-motorized activities like walking and cycling. This initiative provides a serene and safe environment for families to explore the park’s beauty.

When planning your visit, remember that trailhead hours are from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., although the trails remain open until 11 p.m. Bring plenty of water, wear appropriate footwear, and consider visiting early in the morning to avoid the heat.

Explore South Mountain Park and Preserve, an extensive outdoor haven with 58+ miles of trails.
Explore South Mountain Park and Preserve, an extensive outdoor haven with 58+ miles of trails.

6. Uncover History at Mystery Castle

Step back in time and explore the enchanting Mystery Castle, a hidden gem in Phoenix that captivates visitors with its unique story and architecture. This intriguing landmark is perfect for teens and young adults who are fascinated by history and quirky, off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Mystery Castle stands as one of the fun things to do in Phoenix for young adults, offering a blend of adventure and mystery. Built in the 1930s by Boyce Gulley for his daughter, the castle features 18 rooms, 13 fireplaces, and a variety of Southwestern artifacts. It’s a testament to creativity and love, with each room telling a part of its builder’s story.

When visiting, check the castle’s tour schedule, as it’s typically open from October to May. The guided tours are insightful, sharing the fascinating history behind Gulley’s creation. Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be exploring various levels and rooms. And don’t forget your camera – the castle’s unique design and the story behind it make for great photo opportunities.

Explore Mystery Castle is one of the best things to do with teens in Phoenix.
Explore Mystery Castle, a captivating historic gem for curious teens into unique architecture and stories.

7. Ride the Waves at Tempe Town Lake

Dive into outdoor fun at Tempe Town Lake, a vibrant spot in the heart of the city. This urban oasis is perfect for teens who love water sports, offering activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing.

Tempe Town Lake is a hub for Phoenix activities for teenagers. It’s a place where they can learn new skills, enjoy the water, and soak up the sun. The lake provides a refreshing break from the city’s hustle and bustle, making it a popular destination for families and teens alike.

Before heading out, make sure to check the availability of equipment rentals. It’s a good idea to book in advance, especially on weekends when it gets busy. Bring sunscreen, hats, and water to stay protected and hydrated. And if you’re new to water sports, don’t worry – there are lessons available for beginners. Tempe Town Lake is a scenic spot where teens can unwind, meet new friends, and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a lively and fun part of Phoenix that offers a little something for everyone.

Tempe Town Lake is an urban oasis for teen water sports fun.
Tempe Town Lake is an urban oasis for teen water sports fun.

8. Discover Art at Phoenix Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of creativity at the Phoenix Art Museum, a cultural haven that offers a diverse collection of art from around the globe. This museum is an ideal destination for teens, especially those with a keen interest in art and history.

The Phoenix Art Museum presents a variety of things for 18 year olds to do in Phoenix. It’s a place where young adults can explore art from different cultures and time periods, sparking their imagination and broadening their understanding of the world. The museum’s collection includes contemporary works, fashion design, photography, and more, ensuring there’s something to catch everyone’s eye.

Plan your visit to coincide with special exhibitions or public programs, which often include artist talks, films, and live performances. Remember, the museum offers free admission on certain days, so check their schedule to make the most of your visit. Comfortable shoes are recommended, as there’s plenty to see and explore.

Explore diverse global art at Phoenix Art Museum, an ideal spot for art-loving teens.
Explore diverse global art at Phoenix Art Museum, an ideal spot for art-loving teens.

9. Experience Music at the Musical Instrument Museum

Step into a world of melodies and rhythms at the Musical Instrument Museum, a unique venue that celebrates music from all corners of the globe. This museum is a fantastic spot for teens, especially those who have a passion for music and cultural exploration.

At the Musical Instrument Museum, visitors can see and hear a vast array of instruments from different countries and cultures. It’s an interactive experience where teens can not only view the instruments but also listen to their sounds and learn about their histories. The museum’s galleries are designed to take you on a musical journey around the world, making it a captivating educational experience.

One of the highlights of the Musical Instrument Museum, and a great thing for young adults to do in Phoenix, is the Experience Gallery. Here, visitors can actually play some of the instruments, offering a hands-on experience that’s both fun and enlightening. Check the museum’s schedule for live performances and special events, which can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended, and you might want to allocate several hours to fully enjoy the museum.

Musical Instrument Museum is a global music haven for music lovers.
Musical Instrument Museum is a global music haven for teen music lovers.

10. Explore the Trails at Camelback Mountain

Embark on an outdoor adventure at Camelback Mountain, a popular hiking destination known for its distinctive shape and challenging trails. This activity is perfect for teens who enjoy physical challenges and nature.

Camelback Mountain offers two main trails: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both trails are strenuous and provide a great workout, but they reward hikers with stunning views of the Phoenix area. It’s important to start early in the morning to avoid the heat, especially during the summer months.

Hiking Camelback Mountain is one of the exciting things to do for teens in Phoenix. It’s an opportunity to conquer a physical challenge while enjoying the beauty of the Arizona landscape. Ensure everyone in your group carries plenty of water, wears sunscreen, and has appropriate footwear for the rocky terrain. Also, remind teens to stay on the trail and respect the natural environment.

If you’re a nature lover wondering where to stay in Phoenix, this is the spot!

Explore Camelback Mountain, a thrilling hike for nature-loving teens seeking a physical challenge.
Explore Camelback Mountain, a thrilling hike for nature-loving teens seeking a physical challenge.

11. Catch a Game at Chase Field

Looking for fun things to do at night in Phoenix? Experience the excitement of a live baseball game at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is a fantastic outing for teens who love sports or are just looking for a lively, fun atmosphere.

Chase Field offers more than just baseball; it’s an entertainment experience. With a retractable roof and air conditioning, it provides a comfortable environment regardless of the weather. There’s a variety of food options, from classic ballpark snacks to more unique local flavors, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Attending a game at Chase Field is a top answer to ‘What to do in Phoenix’ for sports enthusiasts. It’s a chance to catch some major league action, cheer on the Diamondbacks, and soak up the energetic vibe of the crowd. Remember to check the game schedule in advance and consider buying tickets early for good seats. Also, plan to arrive a bit early to explore the stadium and enjoy the pre-game activities.

Catch the Arizona Diamondbacks live at Chase Field, a thrilling outing for sports-loving individuals.
Catch the Arizona Diamondbacks live at Chase Field, a thrilling outing for sports-loving teens.

12. Check Out the Exhibits at Arizona Science Center

Dive into a world of discovery at the Arizona Science Center, an ideal destination for teens with a curiosity for science and technology. This interactive museum offers a hands-on learning experience that’s both fun and educational.

The Arizona Science Center is filled with exhibits covering a wide range of scientific topics, from human biology to space exploration. Teens can engage with interactive displays, participate in live demonstrations, and even experience the wonders of the universe in the planetarium.

For those looking for things to do in Phoenix under 21, the Arizona Science Center stands out as a captivating and educational choice. It’s a place where young minds can explore, ask questions, and get inspired by the world of science. Be sure to check the center’s schedule for special exhibitions and events.

Exploring Arizona Science Center is one of the best things to do with teens in Phoenix.
Explore the Arizona Science Center, an interactive, educational hub perfect for science-curious teens.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Things to Do With Teens in Phoenix

Looking for answers about Phoenix activities for teens? Our FAQ section covers everything you need to know for planning fun and engaging outings in Phoenix.

Is there anything fun to do in Phoenix?

Absolutely! Phoenix is a treasure trove of fun activities, especially for teens. From exploring the vast landscapes of South Mountain Park to the thrill of go-kart racing at K1 Speed, there’s no shortage of excitement. Add to that Phoenix’s vibrant restaurant scene, and you’ll see what makes it so popular. The city’s unique blend of natural beauty and urban attractions makes it a great place for families. Whether it’s hiking, museum visits, or water sports at Tempe Town Lake, Phoenix offers a variety of experiences that cater to different interests and ages.

What is the number one attraction in Arizona?

The Grand Canyon is often considered the number one attraction in Arizona. It’s a natural wonder that draws visitors from all over the world. However, in Phoenix specifically, attractions like the Desert Botanical Garden and Camelback Mountain are top contenders. These spots offer unique experiences that showcase the beauty and diversity of Arizona’s landscape. They provide not just scenic views but also opportunities for adventure and learning.

Phoenix, Arizona, is popular for its stunning desert landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and outdoor recreational activities. It’s a haven for those who love nature and adventure. The city is known for its beautiful hiking trails, golf courses, and vibrant arts and culture scene. Phoenix also offers a warm, sunny climate year-round, making it a great destination for those looking to escape colder weather.

What are the best things to do with teens in Phoenix?

The best things to do with teens in Phoenix include exploring the hiking trails at Camelback Mountain, experiencing the interactive exhibits at the Arizona Science Center, and enjoying water activities at Tempe Town Lake. These activities offer a mix of adventure, education, and fun, perfect for keeping teens engaged and entertained. Phoenix’s diverse attractions ensure that there’s something exciting for every teen, regardless of their interests.

Interactive science exhibits at the Arizona Science Center engage in hands-on learning.
Interactive science exhibits at the Arizona Science Center engage teens in hands-on learning.

Are there any unique experiences for teens in Phoenix?

Yes, Phoenix offers several unique experiences for teens. For instance, the Musical Instrument Museum provides a one-of-a-kind musical journey around the world. Teens can also explore the intriguing Mystery Castle, a testament to creativity and imagination. Additionally, the city’s proximity to the Sonoran Desert offers unique outdoor adventures like ATV tours, making it a memorable destination for adventurous teens.

What are some educational activities for teens in Phoenix?

Educational activities for teens in Phoenix include visiting the Phoenix Art Museum, where they can explore a vast collection of art from various cultures. The Desert Botanical Garden offers insights into desert flora and ecosystems. Additionally, the Arizona Science Center is a fantastic place for teens to learn about science through interactive exhibits and demonstrations, making education both fun and engaging.

What is the best thing to do with teens in Phoenix during summer?

The best thing to do with teens in Phoenix during summer is to visit water-based attractions like Six Flags Hurricane Harbor for a fun and refreshing experience. Indoor activities such as exploring the cool exhibits at the Arizona Science Center or enjoying the interactive displays at the Musical Instrument Museum are also great options to escape the heat while still having a fun and educational experience.

Are there any Phoenix fun activities that are also relaxing?

Yes, there are many relaxing yet fun activities in Phoenix. A stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden can be a peaceful way to enjoy nature. Visiting Papago Park for a leisurely walk or a picnic is another relaxing option. Additionally, enjoying a baseball game at Chase Field can be a laid-back yet entertaining experience for the whole family.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Phoenix With Teens

Phoenix is a city brimming with opportunities for fun, adventure, and learning, making it an ideal destination for families with teenagers. From the thrilling trails of Camelback Mountain to the interactive experiences at the Arizona Science Center, the city offers a diverse range of activities.

Whether your teens are nature enthusiasts, budding scientists, or culture seekers, Phoenix has something to captivate their interests, showcasing the unique Phoenix charm. The best things to do with teenagers in Phoenix combine the excitement of exploration with the beauty of learning, ensuring that every visit is both enjoyable and memorable.

The top things to do with teens in Phoenix for all types of travelers
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