Local Finds for Family Fun in Chandler


Bev is the co-founder of Staying Native. She left her corporate gig to be able to travel more with her young family. She loves traveling and likes to share her local experiences with others. As an amateur photographer, her stories come with lots of pictures. Bev is Staying Native's lead tweep, moderator of the "Do it like a local" blog and the curator of all things social media.

During our recent trip to Chandler, we set out on a challenge. Our quest was to fill our day with activities that the whole family would love.

How would we measure success? 
No whining, no complaining and no "When are we leaving?"

Quite honestly, this was a lofty goal as it's not very often that an entire day passes when at least one person isn't overly enthusiastic about what we're doing. Regardless, having accepted our challenge we set off to begin our day at the Chandler Municipal Airport.

Breakfast on the Tarmac

Indoors or out? That's how you will be greeted when you arrive at the Hangar Cafe.  This is a favorite breakfast spot for Chandler families, especially on the weekends since you are literally seated right on the tarmac.


Just outside The Hangar CafeThe food is typical diner fare and is reasonably priced. This spot is tough to find without local recommendations since they do not have a website. The Hangar Cafe is located in the hangar at the airport (1725 E. Ryan Rd, Chandler, AZ 85286) and is open daily from 7am until 2pm. 


View from the Observation DeckMake sure you go up to the Obesrvation Deck to get the best view of the small planes and helicopters taking off and landing.  

Local Tip: Families are welcome to look around at the planes in the hangar.

Head to the Park

Once breakfast is over and everyone has seen their fill of planes, head over to the park.

Have you ever built a model of the solar system, only to be disappointed that it wasn't actually to scale?  There's no way that a true to size model of the solar system would fit in your house, let alone hang from the bedroom ceiling.  To truly get a sense for the distance from the Sun to the outer most reaches in the neighbourhood of Pluto, I recommend the Chandler Solar System Walk in Veterans Oasis Park. The walk is a 2,500 foot scale replica of our solar system and features guide posts and the Environmental Educational Center along the way.


Playing in the shade at PlaytopiaIf your kids are younger, you might prefer to visit Playtopia at Tumbleweed Park instead. The park has some great outdoor play areas that are fun for ages 3-8, and designed with the Arizona sun in mind. A big favorite for school trips and birthday parties, it is often quite busy during the week and on weekends.


McCroskey House at Tumbleweed Ranch, built in 1917While you are there you can also visit Tumbleweed Ranch, which is a collection of historic homes, buildings, and farm equipment that tells the story of Chandler's agricultural past.

When temperature goes up, let them bounce off the walls

As the day wore on and the temperature climbed, we decided that we needed to move indoors. However, there was still an excess of energy that needed to be spent. The cure? jumpstreet. 


Showing off at jumpstreetBouncing is one thing that my kids never get tired of and this spot was sure to keep them (and us) bouncing off the walls and jumping into the pit, happily.


The best part of jumpstreet? The PitWhen our time was up we reluctantly left jumpstreet. With most of our energy spent, it was time to refuel. 

Banking on a good meal at SanTan Brewing Company

On the advice of a local, we found ourselves at the SanTan Brewing Company. This microbrewery is located in downtown Chandler in the former Bank of Chandler building. This building has been here for over 100 years and still has the original safe in the restaurant lobby.  The restuarant was packed,even though it was quite early on a Thursday evening, and the garage style doors were open to the patio. We ordered the nachos, pizza and chicken burger, all of which were tested and given two thumbs up. 


The Gordo Stout brewed onsiteAs for the microbrew, we tried the Gordo Stout which also recieved a strong approval rating.

Mission Complete

Our mission was a success. Challenge complete. The unintended consequence?  High expectations for tomorrow's adventures.


Staying Native would like to thank jumpstreet for providing passes to their Chandler location. All pictures, comments and opinions are our own.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Want to share your travel stories and more?

We're looking for authentic travel experiences and local insight into your city to give fellow travelers the inside scoop.

Contact us at info@staying-native.com