Tourists from all over the world visit Arizona. The state is home to famous cities such as Phoenix and Tuscon as well as natural wonders like the Grand Canyon. Not too far from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Phoenix, however, lies Queen Creek. It’s a family-oriented town with an average of 3.5 people per household. According to Realtor.com, Queen Creek has a median home value of about $600,000. The economy is robust with a median income of almost 90k (Source: ESRI) and a well-educated population (80% of it’s residents who are 25+ years of age have some college or a degree). You might think that it’s modest population of around 70,000 residents, and small-town, rural feel, make it a sleepy place. Don’t be fooled; this town, located about a 45 minute drive south-east of downtown Phoenix, might be among the state’s best-kept secrets. If you’re interested in escaping crowds and communing with Mother Earth, then consider these family-friendly attractions.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
The olive tree is actually a desert tree and, with proper irrigation, does quite well in Arizona. Olives are a major crop in the area. Extra virgin olive oil is part of the infamous “Mediterranean diet” and a daily staple in many kitchens. It can be used for cooking or making salad dressings. Some simply love to drizzle it over almost anything. The Queen Creek Olive Mill, located about 3 miles west of the Encanterra resort community, gives tourists an opportunity to see firsthand how olive oil is made. The attraction sports over 7,000 olive trees of different varieties and offers tours of the farm and production facility. There’s also a top-notch restaurant on site that has earned the approval of locals.
Mansel Carter Oasis Park
This park is conveniently located in the center of town and gives the area a peaceful vibe. Visitors can stroll through the 50 acres of land and get active through fishing, hiking, playing sports or picnicking. Spending an entire day surrounded by trees and out in the sun is a wonderful way to enjoy your time in Queen Creek to the fullest. It’s a perfect getaway for budget-conscious travelers because it’s completely free.
Splash Pad at Founders Park
Arizona is known for its heat. Fortunately, if the temperatures are high then you can stock up on towels, sunscreen and snacks before heading to this attraction. This interactive water-park is sure to make kids giggle as they team up with other children to explore the fountains and water spouts. When all their energy is spent, then they can sit in the ample shaded areas for a quick break and some food before round two.
Queen Creek Performing Arts Center
It has a small and intimate setting, but it’s capable of eliciting emotion far grander than its humble facade. Theater lovers and first-timers can buy tickets for comedy shows, magic acts and music concerts at this community center where the town’s most talented performers bare their hearts on the stage. There are options for every age group. A couple looking for a romantic evening or a crowd who want to experience a few belly laughs can eat at a nearby restaurant before visiting this gem.
Barney Family Sports Complex
Sports fanatics can indulge in any physical activity imaginable at this workout haven. Its 77,000 acres accommodate arenas for hockey, volleyball and soccer. Short-term visitors can play solo, mingle with locals who are there to sweat it out in a league or watch their child be a team superstar. There’s an impressive snack bar and large seating area for fans.
Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Center
The days of the “wild west” might be over in this area, but Queen Creek still maintains a strong horse-riding tradition. If you always wanted to interact with these gentle giants, then make sure to schedule a visit to this modern facility with all the amenities you need to spend hours within its walls in comfort. Whether you desire riding lessons or are in the mood to see a horse gallop at full speed, this place can make your dream come true.
This fun, family owned farm is known for its u-pick organic peaches in the spring, Pumpkin Festival in autumn and a winter-wonderland in December. They are the largest organic peach growers in the state of Arizona. But this family-friendly destination also offers a petting zoo, bakery, country store, fresh-fruit pancakes, hay rides, train rides, tours, cooking classes and much more. On the weekend, a fireworks show caps off the night!
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Revel in breathtaking mountain views and cacti galore at this one-of-a-kind nature reserve. It’s a cherished destination for those lucky enough to live in the San Tan Valley. There are 9 different trails of varying difficulty, on about 10,000 acres, for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. Bringing a camera is essential, especially if you want to experience the red glow of a sunset on the desert sand.
Queen Creek Family Market
This outdoor farmer’s market is usually held every other Saturday at 21802 South Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. There’s a variety of vendors and activities, including food trucks, farmers and artisans selling locally produced goods, foodstuff, jewelry and crafts. Pets are welcome. Plus there’s face painting for the kids!
Queen Creek includes zip codes 85140, 85142, 85143, 85212, and 85298.
Whether you want to experience the outdoors of the wild west, indulge your penchant for the arts or create memories with your children, Queen Park is a wonderful town for family fun. These places are only some of the local attractions — with nearby Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa to the north, and San Tan Valley to the south — there’s so much to explore. And when you’re in the mood for a more metropolitan experience, downtown Phoenix is within easy reach.