With summer comes the all-important family vacation, and travelers with children shouldn’t let the heat detour them from planning a trip to Arizona. In fact, most kids will revel in the season’s prime attraction: the swimming pool. Families can easily spend days by the pool or at the Valley’s three major water parks, which offer mammoth wave pools, multistoried slides, and lazy rivers for tubing.
Also, most of the big resorts have built their own water parks, and the hotels offer adults a bit of respite thanks to well-organized kids’ camps, which pack days full with morning hikes, arts and crafts, trips to the pool, and games in air-conditioned clubhouses.
The whole family can enjoy one of the rafting trips on the Salt River northeast of Phoenix . These outdoor adventures are nothing more than a leisurely float, as the “rapids” never exceed a Class I (almost no white water). There are also kid-approved museums like the interactive Arizona Science Center  and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix .
In the cooler months, the state’s parks and easy hiking trails can be fun to explore, especially on horseback. The Phoenix Zoo  delights kids with 1,300 birds, slithering reptiles, and furry mammals, as well as a small petting area and the walk-through Monkey Village.
For a taste of the Wild West, Rawhide Western Town  delivers 1880s-themed family fun, with stunt shows, stagecoach rides, and old-fashioned chuck-wagon cookouts under the stars. And if you plan to head north, Sedona  may not wow the little ones, but older kids and teenagers will appreciate the bouncy Jeep tours and dozens of mountain-biking trails.