Is it possible to have fun with kids for 72 hours in Phoenix, Arizona? Yes, it is!
As a mother-son bonding experience, I took my son Mikael on a 72-hour vacation to Phoenix last summer. Every year, we take a trip together, although it’s usually around or on the day of his birthday. After 2020, we decided to put all international travel on hold until 2021 to observe how the world changed and how travel had evolved.
Because I’ve been fully immunized, boosted, and have taken a few trips since October 2020, all of which were within the country, I felt confident flying with my mask on. I gave him the option of choosing a destination, and he chose Phoenix. Temperatures in Phoenix reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit while we were there, but our arrangements had already been made, so we decided to go through with the trip despite the heatwave.
As I’ve become older, I’ve discovered that the best way to travel is to arrive late at night so that I have the opportunity to relax before the next day. Flying in throughout the day was something I used to do when I was younger. Not any more.
Things to consider if you’re planning a weekend trip like we did (Friday-Monday): It’s important to plan an afternoon break if you’re traveling in the summer. For this post, I’ll only discuss our experiences at the ice cream shops rather than the restaurants we visited while we were there. Summertime is the perfect time for a cold, refreshing treat like this.
Read Also: Top 6 Things to Do with Kids This Summer
Day 1 – Pagoda Park Location
Hall of Flame Fire Museum
Firefighting history is celebrated at the Hall of Flame Museum, an acre-long museum in Phoenix, Arizona that also houses the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which was dedicated to the heroes of firefighting. In addition to the approximately 100 fully restored fire apparatus on exhibit, the museum also includes a children’s area and a gift shop. Besides firefighting equipment from the United States, they also have apparatus and related things from the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Germany, and Japan.
The Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is a tranquil oasis of desert greenery situated among the Papago Buttes red rocks, and it is open to the public. Visit five themed pathways to discover the beautiful beauty of the Sonoran Desert, which includes everything from towering cacti and tempting succulents to vibrant wildflowers and lush trees.
Check out the Garden’s events calendar to make sure you don’t miss out on any holiday activities or spectacular exhibitions that are taking place. By participating in one of the Garden’s various adult and children’s programs, you will be able to learn more about topics such as desert landscaping, nature art, food, wellness, and many more.
There are water stations to refill your water bottles for those visiting during the hot summer months, but just in case you didn’t bring your water bottle, there are vending machines that sell water as well. Take a hat to protect yourself from the sun and don’t forget your sunscreen.
Since its founding in 1962, the Phoenix Zoo has inspired and motivated visitors from all over the world to protect and conserve nature. The Zoo, which is located on 125 acres within the magnificent Papago Park, is a marvelous site of curiosity, imagination, and exploration.
It is unlike any other location in the Valley, with over 3,000 creatures on display, including Bornean orangutans, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, Komodo dragons, Masai giraffes, and many more. Because of the outdoor cafés and boutiques, the lush gardens and waterscapes, and the exciting up-close animal experiences like Stingray Bay, your visit will be one to remember for the entire family. Other must-see attractions are the Safari Cruiser and the Endangered Species Carousel, both of which are free to ride.
They are a non-profit organization that depends only on admissions, membership fees, contributions, and sponsorships to fund its conservation and educational activities and the care of the animals and maintain its facilities.
Hunt’s Tomb is a tomb in the shape of a little white pyramid located behind a fence at the summit of a hill in Papago Park in Phoenix. It was built in the early 1900s. In 1931, George W.P. Hunt commissioned the construction of the mausoleum for the purpose of interring his wife. After his death in 1934, he was moved to the tomb. Also buried at the tomb are their daughter and his wife’s family.
Hole in The Rock
The natural geological formation known as Hole-in-the-Rock, which is part of Papago Park, may be found here. An open, shelter-like chamber joins the front of the formation with the back of the formation through a hole that has been completely eroded through the rock. It’s one of the most popular attractions at the park, and it’s free to enter. The main room of the chamber is reached after a gradual rise. It is best to visit before sunset, in order to catch a view of the spectacular sunset over Phoenix’s cityscape, which is located west of the park.
Fatty Daddy’s offers one-of-a-kind gourmet ice cream that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. This was a real hidden treasure. Even if you do happen to miss it, turn around because it is quite magnificent. The staff is excellent and extremely friendly. The environment is welcoming to families, and there are culinary options for vegans and gluten-free diners. Unique types of handcrafted ice cream are available at this brightly colored dessert shop, which also serves coffee and baked goodies. It is definitely worthwhile to pay a visit.
Day 2 – Head Outside of Phoenix
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
We took a day trip out of Phoenix to Camp Verde, Arizona, home of the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. It takes around 1½ hours from Phoenix to get here, and I’d call it a full-day experience. It is recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance on the internet because they are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Saturday (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas). If you’re planning on spending more than one day in the park, the Super Expedition Passport is an excellent option because it incorporates general admission, Feed-a-Tiger, and a one-hour SuperMog Adventure Tour. Timed tours are available for the SuperMog Adventure. You may sign up for either the 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. tour, both of which begin with a check-in one hour before the start time.
It’s a great opportunity to observe hundreds of wild creatures from throughout the world, especially those from Africa. A true African Bush Safari model, it’s not a zoo or a theme park you can just drive through. Every species is cared for with a great deal of love and respect in large, open habitats, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the animals and observe them in their natural environment. There is more to Out of Africa than a nature reserve. They are committed to increasing public knowledge of their foreign neighbors and fostering mutual understanding between the two. At Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, awe-inspiring adventures merging family relationships with the power and cunning of the wild may be enjoyed all year long.
We decided to make a pit stop in Scottsdale, Arizona, on our way back from Camp Verde in order to check out Creamistry, which had been getting a lot of buzz. It was a wonderful experience to witness your ice cream being made right in front of your eyes, and it was very delicious. I highly recommend it.
The Arizona Science Center
Visitors of all ages may explore, learn, and have fun at the Arizona Science Center. The Antoine Predock-designed Science Center is a singular landmark in the gorgeous Heritage and Science Park. One of the most interesting features of this 140,000-square-foot building is the combination of ramp, hallway, gallery space, and terraces.
It has a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, and “hands-on” exhibitions on each of its four levels. The galleries and displays are geared toward children of all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens.
The Science Center is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, within easy walking distance of the Phoenix Convention Center, the PHX Arena, Chase Field, the Arizona Center, and more.
Rosson House Museum
The Rosson House, which was erected in 1895 by Dr. Roland Lee Rosson, is a beautiful Victorian structure that still stands on its original foundation. Because Rosson served as mayor of Phoenix for a brief period of time, the house is frequently referred to as “The Mayoral House.” A walk around the home is like walking through a time capsule of the past; all of the furniture inside are from that era as well as the surrounding area. It provides an authentic glimpse into the household life of Arizonans during the state’s territorial days.
Sweet Republic, which serves handcrafted scoops and sundaes in a laid-back ambiance, is a favorite destination for ice cream enthusiasts in the surrounding area. There, they make artisan ice cream and sorbets that are all-natural and produced from scratch with pride. A few of the company’s most popular flavors include I Heart Bacon, which is an addictive creation made with caramelized smoked bacon; Sichuan Orange Chocolate, a classic duo spiced up with delicate and floral Sichuan pepper; and Honey Blue Cheese, which is a sweet and savory combination made with local honey. Other varieties include bananas Foster, rocky road, and brownie swirl. Their ice cream is made with high-quality ingredients, and they are all available at a reasonable price.
Castles ‘N’ Coasters
Castles N’ Coasters is an amusement park and family amusement center in Phoenix, Arizona, that was established in 1993. The approximately 10-acre park is home to four outdoor 18-hole miniature golf courses, various rides, and an indoor video game arcade, among other attractions and activities.
It’s possible to do so much in just 72 hours if you’re willing to put in the effort. If you have more than one child competing for your time and attention, these outings are the ideal way to reconnect. Because she’s the youngest, I spend most of my time traveling with Madison, but the other kids also require my attention. And it’s a lot easier now that I have a responsible adult at home to look after her while I’m gone.
My only recommendation is that you consider visiting during the cooler seasons, such as the fall through spring, rather than the summer months, which may be brutally hot. Remember to bring sunscreen and plenty of water with you if you plan on visiting during the summer months.