12 Things To Do With Family In Surprise, Arizona

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Surprise, Arizona is a fast-growing city located just northwest of Phoenix in the West Valley region. With its sunny weather and proximity to outdoor recreation spots, it’s a great place for families to live and visit.

If you’re headed to Surprise with kids of any age, there are plenty of fun things to see and do to keep everyone entertained and happy. From museums and attractions to hiking and sports, this family-friendly destination has something for all interests.

Planning a trip soon? Be sure to add some or all of these top 12 things to do with family in Surprise, Arizona to your travel itinerary!

Spend a Day at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park

At the top of any Surprise family’s bucket list should be a day spent at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. This highly interactive zoo has exhibits showcasing animals from around the globe in naturalistic habitats.

Get up close with lemurs, hand-feed a giraffe, watch the seal show, and then hop on the Safari Park train tour to spot elk, bison, bears, and more roaming in expansive lands. When you need a break, let kids burn off steam at the 20,000 square foot playground. An entire day can easily be spent at Wildlife World Zoo exploring and learning about wildlife conservation.

Tour the Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum

Kids and adults alike will enjoy an educational and awe-inspiring visit to Arizona’s impressive Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum. As one of America’s top fire museums, the Hall of Flame houses over 90 vintage fire trucks from as early as 1725.

Children can climb aboard many of the vehicles, check out fire poles just like firefighters use, and even take part in a mock rescue. Interactive exhibits also detail fire prevention tips, let kids dress up as firefighters, and highlight heroic acts. Every family member will gain appreciation for our nation’s firefighters at this iconic Surprise museum.

Hike, Bike & Skate at Surprise Community Park

For active family fun, head to the sprawling 125-acre Surprise Community Park. Here families will discover 4 miles of shared-use paths that are perfect for walking, running, biking, skating, and scooting (rentals available). Well-shaded Ramadas offer ideal spots for picnicking or just taking a break. Three age-specific playgrounds give kids plenty of room to climb, swing, and use their imagination during sandbox play.

There are also lighted tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, a fitness course, and large open grass areas ideal for flying a kite, tossing a ball around, or simply laying out a blanket for some cloud gazing. With so much to do, it’s easy to spend hours being active together at Surprise Community Park.

Spot Backyard Birds on a Guided Nature Walk

The Sonoran desert that surrounds Surprise provides a beautiful backdrop for guided nature walks spotting the unique plants and animals that thrive here. Join knowledgeable guides from the Hilbert Museum’s Recreational Outdoor Learning Site (or ROOST) to meander through the desert landscape identifying native birds, reptiles, cacti, and wildflowers in their natural habitat.

The ROOST nature trail has strategically placed bird-watching blinds ideal for spotting the many feathered-friends that call Surprise home without disturbing their natural behaviors. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair from the museum to get a closeup look at these backyard birds on a family-friendly nature adventure.

Strike & Bowl at AZ Family Fun Factory

When the Arizona sun gets too hot, it’s time to head indoors for family entertainment at AZ Family Fun Factory. Located just off Grand Avenue in Surprise, this amusement center truly has something fun for family members of all ages. Challenge your teens to play rounds of laser tag and arcade games while younger kids max out their tix earnings to trade for prizes.

When you need a break, hit the 24 bowling lanes for some strikes and gutter balls. Private lanes with bumpers are ideal for little bowlers. Or grab a ball to play rounds of glow-in-the-dark miniature golf outside. With all these amusements under one roof, it’s no wonder AZ Family Fun Factory is a long-time local favorite rainy day oasis.

Tee Off at a Surprise Golf Course

Surprise is home to many beautiful championship golf courses where families can spend quality time together out on the greens. Hit the links at the original Corte Bella Golf Club featuring palm tree-lined fairways nestled against rugged mountains.

Or book a tee time at Remington Golf Club boasting a classic Scottsdale-style layout dotted with tranquil lakes. Family rates for 9 or 18 holes are available at many courses where seasoned parents can play alongside their blossoming golf prodigies. Some facilities also offer professional instruction programs catered specifically to juniors. And when the day winds down, cap it off celebrating successes big and small with a tasty meal at the clubhouse restaurant.

Tour & Taste at The Imagination Lab

Foster kids’ natural curiosity about science and nature during a hands-on visit to The Imagination Lab children’s science center and botanical garden located in downtown Surprise. This vibrant tropical oasis is home to a 10,000 square foot science playground where families can experience exciting exhibits highlighting principles of air pressure, gravity, motion, engineering, water flow, and more all while having loads of fun.

Interactive seasonal programs allow kids to get up close with butterflies or marvel at corpse flowers when they periodically bloom. Outside are additional nature play spaces, fairy villages, model trains, and seven acres of gardens to explore. Along the way, enjoy special snacks or tea served out of The Imagination Lab’s one-of-a-kind Mad Hatter Café.

Practice Ninja Skills at Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Ninja Academy

Budding ninjas, gymnasts, and tumblers will find endless ways to challenge their athletic prowess at Arizona’s popular Sunrays Gymnastics & Ninja Academy. This massive 32,000 square foot facility located in Northern Surprise offers dozens of fun movement-focused classes tailored specifically for toddlers on up that allow kids to learn new skills while burning off energy.

Parents can enroll children in progressive gymnastics, parkour, tumbling, or ninja warrior-style classes that take place on specialized equipment over foam pits and mats. Themed parties with obstacle courses, games, and open play areas make Sunrays an ideal place to celebrate your child’s next birthday or just have family fun moving together.

Chow Down on Comfort Food at Small Town Grill & Pub

After an action-packed day exploring Surprise as a family, refuel on tasty comfort food and frosty drinks at a local favorite restaurant – the Small Town Grill & Pub. Parents can sip local craft beers from Arizona brew masters or glasses of wine while kids slurp down milkshakes or homemade lemonade.

Hearty shared appetizers like cheesy bacon fries, nachos, or fried mac n’ cheese poppers will take the edge off hungry bellies while you browse the menu of classic American dishes like juicy burgers, chicken pot pie, baby back ribs, and fish tacos. Daily lunch and dinner specials make it easy to eat affordably at this casual neighborhood eatery with big portions the whole family will love.

See Lions, Tigers & Bears at Out of Africa Wildlife Park

For a truly wild adventure, take your family on an epic safari at Out of Africa Wildlife Park located just 20 minutes outside of Surprise. This private facility gives visitors special access to view over 400 exotic and endangered animals from around the world with engaging, educational presentations and encounters.

Hop aboard the guided bus tour through large natural enclosures to come face-to-face seeing majestic lions, tigers, bears, zebras, giraffes, and more roaming just like on the African savannas. Multiple daily programs allow families to hand feed friendly giraffes or awe at birds of prey soaring just overhead. Out of Africa’s critter exhibits and petting areas offer chances to get up close with everything from baby kangaroos to giant tortoises sure to thrill nature lovers big and small.

Pan for Real Gems & Fossils

Surprise families can try their hand at prospecting for real gems, minerals, and ancient fossils no matter the weather or season thanks to the year-round facilities at Bearizona. Just a short drive from town, amateur explorers will have a blast shaking gravel screens and sifting sand barrels within the covered panning park – with a good chance of discovering keepsake pieces of rose quartz, tiger’s eye gems, colored glass beads, and even arrowheads or fossils to take home.

When you need a break from panning, hand feed the resident hoof stock animals like miniature Hereford cows in the Old West-themed fort town. With regular gem identification lessons and helpful guides demonstrating old-fashioned mining techniques, Bearizona offers budding geologists an authentic experience discovering natural buried treasure.

Experience the Old West at Schnepf Farms

No family visit to Arizona’s West Valley region would be complete without stopping at Schnepf Farms located just outside Surprise in Queen Creek. At this 265-acre agritourism destination, kids gain first-hand perspective into frontier living as they hop aboard a real steam-engine train to tour the farm’s peach groves and barns where Clydesdale horses, longhorn cattle, even buffalo roam alongside fields growing cotton and hay.

19th-century reenactors like the town sheriff and saloon girls make history come alive leading families on engaging tours telling stories of cowboys, miners, school marms, and Native American scouts who once traveled through the Sonoran desert in covered wagons much like those on display. And modern-day attractions like Schnepf’s massive arcade, obstacle course, and pedal cars make sure every family member has fun out on this working Old West ranch.

Conclusion

With beautiful desert scenery, abundant outdoor recreation spaces, fascinating museums, delectable dining, and one-of-a-kind attractions, Surprise, Arizona truly is an amazing place for families to spend fun-filled days together. Parents and kids alike are sure to make lasting memories enjoying these 12 highly interactive and educational things to do showcasing some of Surprise’s unique adventures. So whether you call the city home or you’re planning an upcoming visit, be sure to include several stops from this family bucket list during your travels through Arizona’s great West Valley region.

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