My daughter and I visited Chandler, AZ a while ago, our first trip to Arizona. It won’t be our last. We were instantly captivated by the desert landscape, friendly people and the lifestyle. With 330 days of sun and average daytime temperatures of 85*, it should come as no surprise that activities here focus on outdoor adventure! Here’s what we recommend for three days in Chandler.
When to visit Chandler, AZ with kids
This family friendly city offers adventure and fun year round. Summer high temperatures average in the low 100s, so keep that in mind if you don’t like heat.
Major League Baseball fans might want to schedule a trip to Chandler in March, during spring training. Fifteen MLB teams call Chandler “home” each March. Fans can enjoy “Cactus League” spring training games in smaller venues with low ticket prices and get a sneak peek at the season to come!
3-day Chandler, AZ itinerary for families
Day One (First Full Day) in Chandler AZ
Morning: Start the day with a stroll through Veteran’s Oasis Park, located at 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler, AZ 85249.
Enjoy 4 ½ miles of trails, many paved and accessible. Venture along dirt paths to enjoy the arid landscape and to experience expansive views of the area. Dogs are permitted at the park, but must be leashed at all times.
Veterans Oasis Park centers around a 5-acre fishing lake, stocked throughout the year. Daily fishing limits are posted at the lake and a fishing license, available online, is required. Covered picnic areas, butterfly and hummingbird habitats, a children’s playground and educational center, equestrian trails and a Solar System Walk round out the offerings at this park. Admission is free. Some events require a fee.
Lunch: It’s the American Southwest, so enjoy a Mexican meal at Serrano’s at 141 S. Arizona Ave, in downtown Chandler. I strongly recommend the carne asada tacos, but you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. Everything at this family owned restaurant is prepared onsite. One taste and you’ll be hooked!
Afternoon: Beat the heat, especially if visiting during the summer, with a visit to the Crayola Experience at 3111 W. Chandler Blvd. One of only five Crayola Experience locations in the United States, enjoy 19 hands-on activities for kids and parents. For your convenience, purchase tickets online in advance.
For an afternoon treat that’s hard to beat, head to Paletas Betty at 96 W. Boston St., Suite 100, Chandler, AZ 85225 (Downtown Chandler) for a refreshing Mexican popsicle. If you’ve never had a Mexican popsicle before, you’re missing out. They’re delicious!
Evening: Evenings in Chandler are perfect for more outdoor adventure, catching a movie, shopping or just hanging out the pool.
- Skate with reckless abandon at Snedigar Sportsplex, which has a skate park, hiking trails, children’s playgrounds, picnic areas and sports fields. Watch a little league game or enjoy the other amenities in the cooler evening weather.
- Give bowling a try at AMF McRay Plaza Lanes at 3825 W. Ray Rd., Chandler, AZ 85226.
- Shop till you drop at Chandler Fashion Center, the area’s premier mall.
- Relax in air-conditioned comfort at a local movie theater.
Day Two in Chandler, AZ
Morning: Start the day with a horseback ride through the Sonoran Desert at Koli Equestrian Center. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Riders enjoy an hour long trail ride on the Gila River Indian Reservation. Horses here are well-cared for and trained for the trail. Koli also offers wagon rides and parties. (NOTE: This was my daughter’s favorite activity our whole trip! I was nervous about riding, but Sylvia made it easy.)
Lunch: Give BLD, located at 1920 W. Germann Rd, Chandler, AZ 85286, a try! The restaurant offers “upscale comfort food” in a loft-like space. Servers are knowledgeable and efficient. I tried stumping ours by asking boatloads of questions. She couldn’t be stumped!
The food offers a twist on traditional favorites. We enjoyed a brunch menu of chicken and waffles, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit. I liked the chicken, seasoned in-house with just enough southwest heat, best. I still regret not ordering the butterscotch cheesecake for dessert, but that means I’ll have to go back!
Afternoon: Summertime visitors might consider taking the kids to local Spray Pads, a fun way to beat the heat! Those visiting other times of the year, might enjoy one of the local playgrounds, particularly Tumbleweed Regional Park, especially Tumbleweed Ranch which offers a glimpse into Chandler’s past and has Playtopia, a huge playground under a shade structure.
Day Three in Chandler AZ
Morning: Enjoy one of the parks you haven’t visited yet. Stroll the trails and capture photos of native plants and wildlife.
Afternoon: Visit a local museum that fits your family’s interests.
- Arizona Railway Museum, at 330 E. Ryan Road, is dedicated to preserving southwestern railway history. This museum offers free admission to the yard. Explore train cars or the caboose for a small fee. Open weekends only, September to May.
- Chandler Museum shares the story of Chandler, “from A to Z.” Discover Chandler history from a distinctly local perspective.
- Opened in 2004, the Huhugam Heritage Center opened to the public to preserve and display tribal artifacts and art. The museum is open to the public and includes traveling art and history exhibits. The landscaping and architecture of the center is as much a part of its story as the artifacts it preserves.
Whether looking for a true southwest experience, a fun outdoor destination or quality, inexpensive family time, Chandler, AZ makes a great family destination! This charming town has something for everyone and will not disappoint.