Things To Do With Kids

Yuma is a great family-friendly destination for a vacation or longer stay. There are lots of wide-open wild spaces by the Colorado River or in the desert, city parks, gaming and outdoor recreation venues, ways to cool off in the water, attractions specifically made for kids, and places for them to bounce off some energy. It’s easy to see that there are days of ways to keep the kids happy in Yuma!

Wildlife viewing is enjoyable by the riverfront. In West Wetlands, there is a Burrowing Owl habitat, as well as a butterfly garden and signage about the types of hummingbirds in the area. Great Blue Herons and showy Snowy Egrets are easy to pick out along the water’s edge. Families might catch glimpses of beavers, muskrats, foxes or coyotes going about their lives by the Colorado River, and identifying their tracks is a fun pastime. 

The Yuma Territorial Live Steamers is another Yuma-specific treat. The 1/8-scale  steam and diesel train pulls their passengers along 4,000 feet of track. The route heads over the (miniature) Ocean to Ocean Bridge, past Castle Dome and Stone Cabin along with other iconic area landmarks, all for a $2 donation.

When it’s time to play, hit the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground, or as far as the kids are concerned, “Castle Park.” A ropes course and zip line keep bigger kids entertained, too. Both West and East Wetlands Parks have fantastic green lawns, ramadas for shelter, and so much room to roam. 

Other park-like areas that are not only kid-friendly but also provide excellent learning opportunities are the Colorado River State Historic Park and the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park.

Indoors, flip, flop and hop at Get Air’s indoor trampoline park, or check out the Children’s Museum of Yuma County for activities for increasing knowledge, dexterity, mobility, and fun!

Kids can dip their toes, swim or just goof around in the water. There are three ways to get wet, and each of them super fun. First off, we have one of America’s great rivers rolling through town, the Colorado River. Kid-friendly locations include the beaches at Gateway Park, Centennial Park or Playa Linda. The second option is to head to Quechan Casino Resort’s Lazy River and pool. Thirdly, there are also very nice public pools operated by the City of Yuma, including Kennedy Memorial Park, which has a 212-foot slide, and Valley Aquatic Center, with an in-pool playground and zero-depth entry for the tiniest tots. 

In a category all of its own is Waylon’s Water World. It’s the region’s only water park, and it’s impressive by any measure. Enough to make a kid think it must be his or her birthday, there are hours and hours of fun to be had at this giant water attraction, which is also side-by-side with Z Fun Factory, where bumper cars, batting cages, miniature golf, games and arcades entertain kids of all ages. Been there a while and little tummies are rumbling, or Mom and Dad need an adult beverage? They offer a wide menu of eats and drinks.

When it comes to eating out in Yuma, there are few restaurants that don’t expect or welcome children since Yuma’s culture is very centered around family life. Many of Yuma’s restaurants that are family-run often have many of their family members there at the restaurant, making it feel like you’re just becoming part of their larger family when you gather at their place for a meal. Several restaurants serve foods family-style, with bowls of salad for the table or tortilla warmers placed between everyone. Most restaurants, even those with Mexican or other ethnic foods, offer a menu of children’s standard favorites for picky eaters.

Traveling with small children isn’t too difficult in Yuma. Ample and free parking mean that you’re not far from where you’re going if you’ve got strollers and little ones to move about. “Traffic” is never too awful around Yuma. All these family-friendly details add up to keeping younger visitors happy and having a great time in Yuma!

Water Parks & Pools

Whether lap swimming or splashing around is your happy place, hop in at an area pool. Swimming outside is a treat in the winter; two city pools offer lap swimming daily for those getting their exercise.  For the younger set, two city pools feature water slides and in-pool playgrounds.

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