Things to Do in Peoria, Arizona

4th of July in Peoria, AZ
Fireworks at Pleasant Harbor, Lake Pleasant in Peoria, Arizona. Photo provided courtesy Pleasant Harbor and used with permission.

Located in the northeast Phoenix area, the city of Peoria is a great stop on your family vacation, offering a variety of indoor activities and outdoor adventures for every budget and age group.

Peoria, Arizona is the ninth-largest city in the State of Arizona with a population of just over 160,000 people. It is also one of the fastest growing communities in the state; between 1990 and 2000 Peoria was the second fastest growing city in the entire U.S.

Geographically, Peoria covers 170 square miles in the northwest part of the Phoenix valley and is one of the biggest suburbs of the city. With dozens of public parks, plenty of museums and attractions, and even a theater featuring Broadway productions, there's no shortage of things you can do in Peoria.

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Camp at Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Saguaro Cactus & Palo Verde Along Lake Pleasant
Moelyn Photos / Getty Images

Just north of Peoria, you can sail, ski, fish, or camp at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Considered one of the most scenic recreational areas in the Phoenix valley, this 23,362-acre park is the home of the water reservoir that provides much of the Valley its fresh water. The best time to visit is during March or April when the water levels are typically highest.​

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Fly a (Simulated) Spaceship

You can fly simulated space flight missions at the Challenger Space Center of Arizona. Complete with computer consoles, communication headsets, continuous messages on the loudspeakers, electronic messages, teammates, and hands-on activities at science stations, this unique attraction invites guests to take a trip to the stars.

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See a Live Show

Throughout the year, Theater Works brings live stage entertainment to the northwest valley at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. The 2017 to 2018 MasterWorks season includes "A Chorus Line" and "Forever Plaid," and shows for the 2018 to 2019 season will be announced during the summer.

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Cheer on Spring Training Baseball

Cleveland Indians v San Diego Padres
Andy Hayt / Getty Images

Check out spring training baseball or one of many special events at the Peoria Sports Complex. Besides both professional and amateur baseball activities, the Peoria Sports complex hosts festivals, arts and crafts shows, several concerts, a Sports Fest, and outdoor boat shows on the 150-acre property.

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Watch a Broadway Show

Another great place to catch some live entertainment is at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, which specializes in musical dinner theatre performances. Shows for 2018 include "Show Boat," "Hair," "The Bridges of Madison County," "Mary Poppins," "Catch Me If You Can," and "Altar Boyz." Performances geared toward younger audiences including select performances of "Charlotte's Web," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "Alice in Wonderland."

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Play in a Skate Park

The Rio Vista Community has a skate park, splash pad, urban fishing program, as well as a wonderful recreation center that even offers daily passes. This public park offers member services and pricing options for seasonal or annual passes, and the Recreation Center houses the first public gymnasium, the first indoor racquetball courts, and the first climbing wall in the community.

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Jump on a Trampoline

Jump to your heart's content at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, where kids of all ages are invited to enjoy the facilities of this state-of-the-art attraction. Guests can play 3-D dodgeball, trampoline basketball, jump into a foam pit, take a class, or just spend the day jumping.

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Play Golf

General Views of Arizona Golf Courses
Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Peoria is home to three professional-sized golf course: the Peoria Pines Golf Club, Quintero Golf Club, and Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia. Practice your swing on the driving range or challenge a friend or family member to a full round of golf on one of these courses, which each features stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains.

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Watch Racecars

Catch the Saturday night fever at Canyon Speedway Park (also known as Canyon Raceway), a 3/8 mile clay oval that runs IMCA Modifieds, sports Modifieds, stock cars, sports compacts, and sprint cars. With races scheduled throughout the year and an on-site concession stand, a Saturday spent at the tracks is a great way to enjoy your visit to Peoria.

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Fire a (Replica) Gun

Test your shooting skills with replica firearms and large screen virtual simulations at Modern Round in the P83 Entertainment District. With 20 shooting lounges equipped to host up to six people, the whole family can enjoy a day spent shooting at the targets without fear of getting hurt—there are no real guns and none of the replicas fire projectiles.

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Shop at an Outdoor Mall

If you'd rather spend your day indoors, the Park West Mall has a 14-screen Harkins Movie Theater, restaurants, and several specialty shops at this open-air shopping and entertainment center. With specialty events like the weekly Farmer's Market and holiday celebrations year-round, the Park West Mall is a great place to beat the summer heat or escape the winter chill.

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Take Ice Skating Lessons

Lace up your ice skates for some cool fun at AZ Ice. There are year-round programs for all ages, levels, and interests as well as special events, after-school programs, and free skating lessons every Saturday and Wednesday.

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Hike to a Waterfall

Goat Camp Trail, White Tank Mountain Park
 docentjoyce/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Since Peoria is on the northwest side of the Phoenix valley, it's close to a number of federal and local parks that feature great hiking trails where you can wander through nature to your heart's content in the White Tanks or Bradshaw Mountains only minutes from town. Waterfall Trail is an area​ favorite for taking kids to see some real petroglyphs.