PHX experts - Please help!!

Mar 11th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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PHX experts - Please help!!

We're heading to Scottsdale next month for our annual trip to visit family over spring break and need some new ideas for things to do with my family (son-8, daughter-6). We have been to the AZ science center every year, have also been to PHX zoo, World Wildlife Zoo, Out of Africa, McCormick RR park (about 2 dozen times), Rawhide and a lake (I forgot which one) to go pontoon boating. Also, the art museum and all the malls (which the kids have obviously hated). Have we missed any "must dos" in the area? I would do Sedona but don't think they're old enough to appreciate the beauty and would be bored hiking the red rocks after about 15 minutes! Any input would be greatly appreciated!
karenvk is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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I think you've pretty much hit the hot spots. I don't know if your kids are too young or not, but there is the Challenger Space Center in Peoria. How about heading down to Tucson and seeing Old Tucson studios and perhaps Sabino Canyon. The kids might enjoy the tram ride. Their is also Colossal Cave.
kkj is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 08:32 AM
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Have you been to Tortilla Flat? It's northeast of Apache Junction - pretty, mountainous drive, main attraction being the restaurant where you can sign a dollar bill and have it put on the wall. Fun to do once (my dad took us every year we visited!) Another beautiful place east of Apache Junction is Boyce Thompson arboretum. Because of the rain, the wildflowers are in full bloom. How about hiking? Squaw Peak and Camelback in the Scottsdale area are fun, and my kids always wanted to climb "Silly Mountain" near Apache Junction, an easy hike with nice views. There is a waterpark/mini golf place near Scottsdale they might enjoy. It has a large indoor video arcade.
Mar 11th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Go ahead and go to Sedona....and take a jeep tour. My kids loved it!
letsgo is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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I second the idea for a Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona. It will be the highlight of the your trip for the kids. I also suggest the Wildlife World Zoo in the west part of the valley. Personally, we found the Challeger Space Center in Peoria rather boring, even for kids. Enjoy your visit.
TheDish is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 09:25 AM
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Have you been to the Heard Musuem? They have videos running and an area where the kids can make things.

Another choice is heading to Flagstaff. You can go to the Petrified Forest.

enjoylife is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 11:54 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Interesting to see the various opinions regarding the space center. I had never heard of it before and since my son has been saying for the past 4 years that he wants to be an astronomer, this might be a good bet. How far is Peoria from Scottsdale? I also had put off the Heard museum because I didn't think it was appropriate for kids. Am I wrong? Also, I had once heard about a chocolate factory that ran tours...worthwhile or boring?
Thanks again!
karenvk is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 12:30 PM
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I was just there a month ago with a 14-year-old girl and an extremely fussy nine-year-old boy, who didn't even want to be on vacation at all! His favorite place was the Desert Botanical Garden. Hint - here's what we did. When we arrived, I saw a funny-looking cactus, and I said "that looks like it should be called an octopus cactus" - and it was! My son then went around "naming" all the cacti, which I dutifully recorded on a piece of paper. Our best day of (a sometimes quite difficult) week. We bumped into a school friend of my son's at our hotel, and they'd been to the chocolate factory, which they said was fun. We also saw a Native American (though the dancers were imported from North Dakota!) hoop dance at the Phoenix Hyatt one night. The performance is very brief, about half an hour and the hoop dance fascinating.
andib is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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The Challenger SPace Center is about 30 minutes from Scottsdale via the loop 101 freeway. My kids took a science camp there two years ago and enjoyed it, but I have never been there other than that.

Try Goldfield ghost town near Apache Junction.

THe Arizona Mineral Museum (free, near the state capitol) is interesting.

Fiddlesticks is an ameusement park in Scottsdale. If your kids like trains, there is a new ride in Freestone Park in Gilbert.

Encanto Park also has kiddie rides.

Hall of Flame museum of fire trucks

Pueblo Grande (hohokam indian museum/ruins)
bigtyke is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 08:35 AM
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Oops, forgot something,not that we did but we heard from other families who enjoyed horseback riding in the desert. There are a number of stables in the area; some have lunch rides and dinner rides. I also second Out of Africa - not a conventional zoo, really different and fun.
andib is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:04 AM
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Thanks again everyone. Andib, I agree, Out of Africa is great but as I mentioned in my original post, that's something we've done! I think we'll also pass on the horseback riding. Not quite up my kids' alley (and the last time I went with my hubby in Punta Cana, he swore he'd never ride again). These are all some really wonderful ideas! As for me, I'm just looking forward to the warmer weather, some good eats and some relaxation!
karenvk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:43 AM
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What about the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale? Haven't been myself but looks like fun for kids. Here's the website:
bettyk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:45 AM
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Sorry, I see where you have already done the RR park. Is an overnight trip out of the question? What about Tombstone? It's about a 3hr drive from Phoenix and could be done in a day if necessary.
bettyk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Rockin R Ranch has a cowboy shoot out, chuckwagon dinner with show, hayrides, petting zoo, and mining for gold. I loved it as a kid! Or Slide Rock would be fun if its summer.

If you have money to spend, go to Sedona, there's ton to do there. Or how about Golfland/Sunsplash in Mesa. Its got goofy golfing, water park, and go carts. Theres Oceanside Arena for ice skating.

Do a search for AZ with kids and you'll find TONS of posts. Get Raising Arizona Kids magazine, too. Have fun!
Scarlette_019 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:53 PM
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Just to chime in here - not really much to do in Tombstone for kids. Same gunfight thing they saw at Rawhide and a bunch of junk shops/converted "saloons" (not to mention the freaky one where the waitstaff dresses like clowns?). Only thing I enjoyed was the museum and it didn't scream kid friendly to me!
Alice is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:59 AM
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In additon to the already mentioned Raising Arizona Kids magazine, there are 2 free newspapers for kids - Arizona Child and Arizona Parenting. All three have calendar of events in them. I believe they all 3 also have websites
bigtyke is offline  
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