Glendale, Arizona, is part of the Phoenix Metro and has attractions aplenty. A trip to these parts always involves dry heat, but you'll get used to it. You can hunt for treasures in Arizona's antique capital, check out the Deer Valley Rock Art Center with its Native American petroglyphs, or slide your way around Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. From fancy Arrowhead in the North End to the chilled-out public parks, you can have a memorable vacation in this corner of the Southwest.
If you want to wake up and smell the roses, head for Sahuaro Ranch Park. It's on the National Register of Historical Places because it still has structures that date back to the 19th century when the Bartletts owned the land. The fruit trees you'll see today hint at this family's and subsequent owners' investment in orchards and farming. You can have a picnic, enjoy the prancing peacocks and rose garden, take your pooch to the dog park, play sports, pick citrus, attend events, or get your steps in on the walking paths. Sahuaro Ranch Park is 80 acres and has a nice playground for kids too.
Westgate Entertainment District has just the right vibe to guarantee a good time. Hungry? There's a range of indoor and outdoor restaurants to suit every palate. Kids in the backseat sighing and saying, "I'm Bored"? Westgate is where the fun happens, so you can quickly change the mood with ice skating, movies, escape rooms and live music. Grownups can watch stand-up comedy, try their hand at pottery or axe-throwing, or gather with fellow sports fans.
You'll find another shopping mecca a stone's throw away from Westgate Entertainment District. Tanger Outlets is a mandatory stop for bargain hunters, so put this on your itinerary if you want to save on fashion, homeware, cosmetics, and more. From Lululemon to Michael Kors, you're bound to get lucky at one of the 90 stores at the Westgate branch. Tanger Outlets is open daily, and if you go here on Black Friday, the deals get even crazier.
State Farm Stadium appeared on Discovery Channel's Build it Bigger—that's how huge it is. It's a fitting venue for the 2023 Super Bowl. The seats have lots of legroom, the restrooms are clean, there's variety in the food and drink department, and the sheer size of the place will leave you in awe. Stay at a nearby hotel, and you can walk here, but if you bring your vehicle, there's ample parking. You can expect a bit of a wait after a match or concert when thousands of folks want to leave simultaneously.
In Hedgpeth Hills, outdoorsy folks can make the most of the desert environment with multi-use trails for hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, and bird watching. There are shaded picnic areas near the parking lot, so you can relax after taking in the pretty views on your hike. The park is free and open between sunrise and sunset for you and the pets and kids in your life. If it piqued your curiosity, the name comes from a nearby World War II pilot training facility.
Tolmachoff Farms is a family-run farm worth visiting if you have little ones. It's the perfect place for kids to explore, play, and see where their food comes from. In summer, you can pick your own colorful and delicious fruit and veggies. In October, there are a bunch of Halloween and fall-themed activities like a pumpkin patch. And in winter, it's all about Christmas trees, lights, and cozy fire pits. Check the farm's website to see whether they're closed to the public for the month and what kind of seasonal events they're running.
A market that transforms into a drive-in movie theatre? Sign us up. This is a great date spot or family cinema experience, and the novelty and nostalgia are at peak levels. The audio coming through your car radio is clear and easy to hear. There are nine screens, and the views are good, but some darker scenes are harder to see. If you're not going purely for the movie, then you'll have a great time either way, with your own snacks or all the popcorn and yummy candy on sale.
Baseball fans might be familiar with Camelback Ranch. This venue hosts two Major League Baseball teams for spring training, the LA Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. You can catch a spring training game, and the odds of getting an autograph from a well-known player are high. The views are fantastic wherever you sit, the trees provide pleasant shade, and the employees are friendly.
You can have a sweet time in Glendale if you put Cerreta Candy Company on your agenda. This old-fashioned candy factory is delightful, especially if you've just been reading about Willy Wonka. Kids can make candy, and there are free samples (who doesn't love those?). Sugar-free treats are available, and there's always something new to try. There's also a tour to see how the tasty goodies are produced. Buy some nuts or chocolate for the road, and you won't regret it.
Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium can keep you occupied for at least three hours, although you'll likely be here for the better part of a day if you have children in tow. There are rides, shows, a petting area, and so many animals you'll need to play a game at the end to see which creatures you can remember. The animals, many of which are from Africa and South America, are well looked after in spacious enclosures. Call before you go to check which rides and food booths are open.
Glendale's award-winning Xeriscape Demonstration Garden will give you lots of inspo for creating a water-wise backyard. It's full of low-water-use plants and has walking trails. You can learn about rainwater harvesting for irrigation, for example, and statues, sculptures, and real peacocks round off the outing. Find the garden at Glendale Main Library and get your daily dose of Vitamin D in tranquil surroundings.
Shopaholics, never fear. Your journey continues beyond Westgate and Tangers. Arrowhead Towne Center is an air-conditioned space where you can beat the heat while indulging in retail therapy. The mall has kids' train rides and a large play area, as well as a diverse food court and 180 stores. Go on—you'll be doing your bit for the economy.
Topgolf is a solid option for a birthday party, corporate event, or a date. Dip into one of the world's most popular sports with complimentary golf clubs, and fill your belly with food and drinks that usually get a thumbs-up from patrons. The venue has an inviting ambiance, and you'll definitely want to return for another round.
Cabela's is more than a store for all your camping, fishing, boating, and hunting needs. It also houses an impressive taxidermy collection and an animal history museum, as well as a large fish tank. Younger kids may find the life-size animals scary, but most love the exhibits. Bring your dog while you're at it—Cabela's is enormous and won't turn Fido away.
Castles and Coasters amusement park is an excellent place to take teenagers. If Topgolf feels intimidating, why not try one of the four impressive mini-golf courses? Venture inside the video game arcade or cool off in the bumper water boats if the sun is too strong to stand around waiting to putt. Go-karts, rollercoasters, and other thrill rides await, and you can look forward to fairground foods like shaved ice, churros, and nachos.
This botanical garden near the airport is such an unexpected gem. There's a butterfly garden, gorgeous cacti, artwork on display, and a place to buy food if you're peckish. It's tranquil and gives the desert its due. You'll see all kinds of birds, including hummingbirds, and your photos won't do the place justice. We highly recommend visiting before sunset for the golden hour glow and nighttime events.
Kids can burn off tons of energy at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, and adults can join them for the workout. For starters, there's rock climbing, carting, laser tag, dodgeball, an obstacle course ball pit, and a massive zip line. Go early, or you may encounter lines, and be sure to try the funnel cake fries.
This city park caters to everyone. It has an X-court for skating and BMX, as well as a splash pad for kids to run around in. There's an archery range with 16 lanes, a lake for fishing, basketball courts to get your Le Bron on, and tot lots to keep kiddos happy. Fly a kite or just lay out a blankie, read a book, or take in the sights.
Visit this charming garden for a slice of Japan in the middle of the Sonoran desert. Of course, the terrains are so different that this location has a unique feel. There's a fee, unlike at a public park, but you're guaranteed a moment of zen. You can buy Japanese snacks and souvenirs at the gift shop.
Encanto Park is another public park you may want to pencil into your schedule. It has a swimming pool, a fishing lagoon, golf courses, and a sports complex. You can spend an hour merrily paddle boating, BBQing, or feeding swarms of birds with food from the onsite store, like the turtle dove lady from Home Alone 2. And if all that wasn't enough, Encanto Park is home to Enchanted Island Amusement Park, so the munchkins will approve.