fun to do kids arizona family travel   Travel for Kids
united states


saguaro cactus sunset
Traveling through Arizona, kids will discover deserts are a treasure trove filled with Triassic dinosaur tracks, brightly-colored petrified trees, jackrabbits that run 40 miles per hour, fossils of sea creatures from 250 million years ago, petroglyphs carved in stone, prehistoric Anasazi cliff dwellings, giant cactus tall as a four story building, and that wonder of the natural world, the Grand Canyon.
Tip: Read See the World blog post "Arizona spring break vacation."
    Northwest Arizona
Grand Canyon
    Northeast Arizona - Land of the Hopi and Navajo
    Southeast Arizona
      Tip: Arizona doesn't do dailylight savings time, so it's always Mountain Standard Time year round. If your family is traveling in summer, remember to adjust your watches accordingly.
kids books arizona
childrens books arizona Roxaboxen  
Alice McLerran, Barbara Cooney

In the desert, children build an imaginary town called Roxaboxen, on a rocky hill amidst the cactus and ocotillo, with houses outlined with bits of desert glass and two ice cream parlors. Wonderfully illustrated, this is a family favorite! (Picture book)


Where Is the Grand Canyon?
Jim O'Connor, Daniel Colon

Illustrated history of the Grand Canyon. When Teddy Roosevelt visited, he said, the Grand Canyon is "the most wonderful scenery in the world." Read about the Native Americans and early explorers to the canyon, geology and wildlife, Grand Canyon today, plus fold out map. (Chapter book)


where is the grand canyon
grand canyon jason chin  
Grand Canyon
Jason Chin

Take a walk through the Grand Canyon, to discover its amazing geology, plants and animals, starting at the bottom with the oldest formations. Gorgeous illustrations of how it might have looked millions of years ago, fossils preserved in rocks, animals of each zone, such as condors, desert tortoises, bighorn sheep, capture the wonder of the Grand Canyon. (Picture book)


The Night Flower
Lara Hawthorne

As day turns into night, the saguaro cactus blooms with white fragrant flowers, flowers that appear once a year. Wonderful illustrations, the desert comes alive! (Picture book)


the night flower
cactus hotel  
Cactus Hotel
Brenda Z. Guiberson, Megan Lloyd

A saguaro cactus seed sprouts under a palo verde tree. After fifty years, the cactus blooms and produces fruit, which a woodpecker comes to eat. The woodpecker makes a nest inside the cactus, and soon other birds and animals come to live in holes, a cactus hotel. (Picture book)


The Last River
Stuart Waldman

Ride down the Colorado River with John Wesley Powell, the intrepid one-armed explorer, as he enters the Great Unknown (Grand Canyon), battling a raging river and near starvation, with no idea of what lay ahead. Super photographs, fast-action illustrations and first-hand accounts. (Illustrated chapter book)


The Last River colorado kids arizona
childrens books grand canyon Mule Train Mail  
Mule Train Mail
Craig Brown

People live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon today, and the mail is carried in on mules. Take a journey down the trail with the postman, wearing a cowboy hat and chaps. Panoramic two-page illustrations into a unique landscape. (Picture book)


Hoover Dam
Elizabeth Mann

Before visting Hoover Dam, read the exciting story of this engineering feat – choosing the location, diverting the Colorado River, pouring the concrete, installing the generators. Two page spread of the dam and historical illustrations. Good for older kids. (Picture book)


childrens books Hoover Dam
Coyote folk tale arizona kids  
Gerald McDermott

Humorous retelling of a trickster tale, Coyote meets a flock of crows and wants to fly. The crows give him feathers, but find out why Coyote is now the color of dust. Delightfully illustrated and fun for younger kids. (Picture book)



As you travel around Arizona, you’ll see distinctive Native American motifs everywhere. Kids will have fun coloring masks, pottery, Kachina dolls, dance ornaments, rock paintings. (Coloring book)

Also: Ancient Indians of the Southwest


Southwest Indian Designs Coloring Book
fry bread  
Fry Bread
Kevin Noble Maillard, Juana Martinez-Neal

Kids will want to try fry bread in your trip around Arizona. This dish originated with the Navajo over 150 years ago, and is popular in Native American communities throughout U.S. Warm and delicious story, plus recipe for fry bread. (Picture book)

P.S. We had tasty fry bread tacos at the Cameron Trading Post near Grand Canyon.


A-maze-ing Arizona
Rising Moon

Activity book of mazes – trails through the Grand Canyon, puzzling pottery, climb the ladders in a pueblo, hop through the desert, find the treasure in a gold mine, help the big horn sheep at Hoover Dam, and more. (Activity book)


A-maze-ing Arizona  kids books activity
welcome to arizona  
Welcome to Arizona
Asa Gilland

Grab your sungasses and come see extraordinary deep canyons and sandstone valleys, amazing desert cactus, and wildlife, dinosaur fossils, enjoy arts and crafts of Native American people and fun food – sopapillas, tacos, tamales, tostadas. Delightfully illustrated! (Picture book)


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