Best Of Tucson®

Best Kids Stuff 2022

Best Playground

Reid Park

900 S. Randolph Way

520-791-4873, tucsonaz.gov

In September 2019, Reid Park’s new playground opened to much fanfare for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12. ADA-accessible features include ramps and a rocker. Shade covers parts of the play equipment. The old playground (nearest the DeMeester bandshell) only had pockets of play amenities and was not ADA accessible. Reid Park may have a splash pad in its future.

Reader Recommended

Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, 3482 E. River Road, 520-724-5000, https://bit.ly/BrandiFentonPark

Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Boulevard, 520-791-4873, tucsonaz.gov


Best Place for a Children’s Party

Children’s Museum Tucson

200 S. Sixth Avenue, 520-297-8004

11015 N. Oracle Road

childrensmuseumtucson.org

Who hasn’t dreamed of having a party at a museum? You can fulfill that dream for a child by having a party at the Children’s Museum Tucson, where it’s like one big playroom. If your kids get a bit of an education in the process, even better. If it’s your unbirthday, head over there for Art After Dark or Discovery Nights, among other really interesting programs for kids. There’s a branch in Oro Valley, too.

Reader Recommended

Golf ‘N Stuff, 6503 E. Tanque Verde Road, 520-885-3569, golfnstuff.com

Wild Katz: Children’s Adventure Playground, 4629 E. Speedway Boulevard, 520-415-7955, wldktz.com



Best Toy Store 

Mildred and Dildred

1725 N. Swan Road

520-615-6266, mildredanddildred.com

Remember your youth, buy a gift for a kid or just browse; Mildred and Dildred has something you will like, even if you are a grown-up. Look for fun socks, a flower cap to make your cat mad, play kitchen utensils, books, more books and lots of other great things kids really ought to have in their rooms. This place is worth a visit — even if you don’t have kids.


Best Public Pool/Splash Pad

Oro Valley Aquatic Center

23 W. Calle Concordia

520-297-7946, orovalleyaz.gov

A premier, competition-level facility, the Oro Valley Aquatic Center is a perfect place for families to cool off. Its amenities include a pool, splash pad, water slide and more. Families can drop in for $14.

Reader Recommended

Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, 3482 E. River Road, 520-724-5000, webcms.pima.gov

Gladden Farms, 12280 N. Heritage Park Drive, 520-448-5300, gladdenfarms.com


Best Kids Clothing Store

Little Bird Nesting Company

4508 E. Broadway Boulevard

520-203-7372, littlebirdtucson.com

Little Bird Nesting Company was launched 10 years ago with the vision of providing parents in our community with modern, affordable options for kids clothing, toys and gear. The consignment shop carries a selection of gently used items and boutique finds for babies and children alike in a fun, laid-back environment.

Reader Recommended

Twice As Nice, 7333 E. Broadway Boulevard, 520-298-7375, facebook.com/twiceasnicebroadway

Sweet Repeats, 7936 N. Oracle Road, 520-219-0675, sweetrepeatstucson.com


Best Storytime

Pima County Public Library

Multiple locations, library.pima.gov

For over 100 years, the Pima County Public Library has been serving Tucson and its surrounding communities. With a dedicated staff and a range of free services for visitors, it aims to make its mission of educating, inspiring and connecting others a reality. It holds many storytime events for infants and children.

Reader Recommended

Drag Queen Story Hour, az@dragqueenstoryhour.org, dragstoryhouraz.org

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Multiple locations, bookmans.com


Best Restaurant with a Kids Menu

Little Anthony’s Diner

7010 E. Broadway

520-296-0456, littleanthonysdiner.com

The 1950s-themed Little Anthony’s Diner has been serving the Tucson community for 32 years. It is a great spot for families to grab old-school American dishes, from classic burgers to decadent ice cream. Its kids menu includes corn dogs, chicken strips and grilled cheese.

Reader Recommended

Eegee’s, Multiple locations, eegees.com

Barnyard Crafthouse and Eatery, 11011 E. Tanque Verde Road, 520-600-7570, barnyardaz.com


Best Summer Camp

Tucson Jewish Community Center

3800 E. River Road

520-299-3000, tucsonjcc.org

The summer means kids are bored and so are the parents. The kids — ages kindergarten to ninth grade — can fill their free time at the Tucson Jewish Community Center summer camp from May to August. As one of the only American Camp Association accredited day camps in Tucson, Camp J is Tucson’s most trusted camping program. 

Reader Recommended

Reid Park, 3400 E. Zoo Court, 520-791-3204, reidparkzoo.org

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, 520-883-2702, desertmuseum.org


Best Fun for the Whole Family

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road 

520-883-2702, desertmuseum.org

For the past eight years, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has been voted as the best location for family fun. Not only a zoo, the Desert Museum also has a botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum and aquarium. Learn about the diverse biomes and its inhabitants that the Sonoran Desert has to offer including an Earth Sciences Center, which is a replica of a limestone cave. Don’t forget your camera as certain animals have been known to strike a pose, especially at the Hummingbird Aviary. Visitors can cool down with refreshments offered at the museum’s several casual dining restaurants and gift shops. Be sure to check out the events listed on its website, because there’s always something to do.

Reader Recommended 

Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court, 520-791-3204, reidparkzoo.org

Golf N’ Stuff, 6503 E. Tanque Verde Road, 520-885-3569


Best Way to Entertain Kids During the Summer

Reid Park Zoo

3400 E. Zoo Court

520-791-3204, reidparkzoo.org

Walk a bit on the wild side and take the kids to Reid Park Zoo to learn about the animals from a small bird to an elephant. Get up close and personal with the tallest land mammal, a giraffe, and give them a crunchy treat. Or take a trip around the Gene C. Reid Park pond with the Zoo Train.

Reader Recommended

Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Avenue, 520-792-9985, childrensmuseumtucson.org

Golf N Stuff, 6503 E. Tanque Verde Road, 520-885-3569, golfnstuff.com


Best Day Care

YMCA

Multiple locations, tucsonymca.org

The facility’s staff understands that children learn best through play. The developmentally appropriate learning atmosphere at the YMCA is designed to develop the whole child — spirit, mind and body. Young children are guided and encouraged to make choices that are based on their own interests.

Reader Recommended

Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road, 520-299-3000, tucsonjcc.org

Sandbox Tucson, 2701 N. Swan Road, 520-795-9595, sandboxtucson.com



Best Children’s Entertainer

Mr. Nature

mrnaturesmusicgarden.com

Anthony Marc Aldinger, aka Mr. Nature, is a Tucson native who established Mr. Nature’s Music Garden LLC in early 2013 to facilitate playgroups designed to build and strengthen foundations for positive social interaction focusing on kindness, compassion, empathy and mindfulness. All lessons are through song, dance, body movement, interactive music, instrument fun, storytelling and art.

Reader Recommended

Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Avenue, 520-792-9985, childrensmuseumtucson.org

Board & Brush, 6429 N. Oracle Road, 520-638-8062, boardandbrush.com

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