3 Family-Friendly Activities in the Mesa, AZ Area

Whether you live in the Mesa area or are just visiting, there are several activities around town that the entire family can enjoy. Let’s discuss some of these activities and why they’re so fun. 

1. Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland is home to over 3,000 beautiful butterflies, making it the largest butterfly conservatory in the country. You can observe them as they flutter among tropical plants and flowers. You might even see one land long enough for you to take a perfect photograph. In the butterfly emergence gallery, you might find a butterfly emerge from a live chrysalis and make its first flight. Butterfly Wonderland also features a rainforest reptile room, home to creatures such as the Asian water dragon, tomato frog, and dwarf caiman. Other animals you might spot during your visit include centipedes, millipedes, and spiders.

Butterfly Wonderland isn’t just a sanctuary for wildlife that lives on land. In the center’s aquarium, you’ll discover African Cichlids, Amazon Pacu fish, and other tropical species. If all this discovery makes you work up an appetite, stop by the cafe for a snack. If you’re feeling especially daring, you can try chocolate-covered ants, coconut brittle mealworms, or chips made with cricket protein. These unique snacks are available for purchase at the edible insect station. Before you head home, be sure to stop by the gift shop for a T-shirt to commemorate your trip.

2. Castles N’ Coasters

For thrills and chills that parents and children alike can enjoy, head to Castles N’ Coasters, a fantastic amusement park filled with a variety of rides and games. Roller coaster enthusiasts will want to take on the challenging Desert Storm with its vertical drops, spins, and flips. The XD Dark Ride takes you through a landscape filled with monsters and zombies as you compete with your friends to fight them off. Cool off on the Splashdown as you journey through the logging town of Splash Down Falls. Just make sure to keep an eye out for water cannons. 

The littlest family members will enjoy a gentle ride on the flying bugs, the spinning tops, and the miniature Ferris wheel. The entire family can enjoy a little friendly competition on the Castles N’ Coasters mini golf course. If all this fun makes you work up an appetite, you can enjoy a pizza, hamburger, taco, and other treats from one or more of their eateries.

3. Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix allows kids of all ages to learn through play. The museum’s area for children ages 3 and under encourages age-appropriate development. Baby zones allow younger family members to enjoy the exhibits with their older siblings. These interactive exhibits teach kids about core subjects, such as arts and culture, health and wellness, environmental awareness, and tolerance. The museum also hosts themed summer camps and a special foam party exhibit. 

These are just some of the fun family-friendly destinations in the Mesa area. No matter which one you visit, you’re sure to have a wonderful time creating special moments and memories. 


Best Date Spots in Mesa, AZ

Dating these days doesn’t seem to require any amount of thought or effort, sadly being reduced to swiping left. However, for those of you that are looking to take your date somewhere special, these locations can’t be beaten. Whether on a first date or celebrating your wedding anniversary, let the team here are a few places that we think you may enjoy in Mesa, AZ. 

Desert Belle Cruises

The Desert Belle Cruise will offer you and your date a great new experience taking you around Mesa’s Saguaro Lake.  There are three options, including a 90-minute narrated tour, a live music experience, and a wine cruise. You will not only be able to see the beauty that Arizona has to offer, but also the amazing canyon walls and wildlife.  All three offer beverages, including beer and wine, available for purchase during the excursion.

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3 Unique Dining Experiences in Mesa, AZ

If you’re looking for something different in your dining experiences, we’ve come up with a shortlist of restaurants in Mesa that are both unique and highly rated. We hope you’ll like what we’ve picked out.

The Grid: Games & Growlers

If you love to play games, you’ll have a good time at The Grid: Games & Growlers. You can play air hockey, Dance Dance Revolution, Skee-Ball, foosball, pinball, and VR games. Selections sometimes rotate in and out. Most arcade and console games are free to play, from the old-school Atari 2600 up to current-generation consoles. Board games are also available.

The food is reasonably priced bar fare, starting with appetizers such as pretzel bites with cheese, chicken parmesan bites, and mac and cheese bites cleverly shaped like game controllers. Entrees include a grilled pizza sandwich, tacos, a hummus plate, wings, and more. Vegan options are available upon request, or you can order vegan “wings” made of deep-fried cauliflower. For drinks, try an upscale beer on tap or a cocktail.

The Grid is at 525 S. Gilbert Road and is open daily. The restaurant plays rock music and hosts a number of events, such as gaming tournaments and karaoke.  

Meeples

If you’re mainly into board games with family and friends, head to Gilbert to Meeples, where you can choose from more than 100 games. The impressive library runs the gamut from classic to modern games. You can play every expansion of Dominion, The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and more. It’s a great way to take your family out to try out a game before buying.

Gameplay at a table is free if you make a minimum purchase of $25. If you don’t plan to eat, you’ll pay $10 for your table. The rate goes down to $5 with purchase of an entree and $2 with a tab of $15. Tables seat a maximum of five people. Games can also be rented, and customers can buy memberships that have discounts and perks.

The food is casual comfort fare: a variety of loaded hot dogs, nachos, salads, regular and loaded fries, chili, macaroni and cheese, and other sides.

Meeples is at 3821 E Baseline Road, Suite J-140. It’s open Monday to Saturday.

Organ Stop Pizza

Enough about games. How about organ music? Organ Stop Pizza says its Wurlitzer theater organ is the largest in the world. It has more than 5,500 pipes and is powered by three turbine blowers, with a fourth on standby. The original organ was installed in the Denver Theater in 1927. It was rebuilt in 1975 and includes pieces from other Wurlitzer organs. The music begins 30 minutes after opening. Performances are 30-45 minutes long, with breaks of 10-15 minutes between sets.

We don’t often see a pizza like Organ Stop Pizza’s combination pizza, which is piled with cheese, sausage, pepperoni, ham, beef, bacon, mushrooms, black olives, green pepper, and onion. Several other specialty pizzas and build-your-own and gluten-free options are on the menu, along with pasta, sandwiches, appetizers, salad bar, and ice cream.

Organ Stop Pizza is at 1149 E. Southern Ave. and is open every day.

We hope you’ll like these three unique dining experiences in Mesa. Maybe you’ll come up with some of your own novel spots.