It's been a while since the last FFFF, so here's a new list of five things to do with kids, this time in Phoenix. Mind you, although each of these activities was researched for their kid-friendly appeal, we didn't experience all of them with TJ on our recent Phoenix trip because we raised the white flag and focused much of our time on item number one:
- Do Nothing. Okay, technically it's not nothing, but even pre-TJ, our favorite things to do in Phoenix were just enjoy the weather (at least for non-summer visitors) and whatever hotel we're staying at. TJ seemed to agree, as his favorite activities on this trip included checking out the Phoenix playground scene and spending as much time possible at the hotel pool. Which leads to #2:
- Room With A Pool. Again, if you're like us, one of the reasons you're traveling to Phoenix is for the weather. So, if you're going to be spending some time at the pool, try to choose a hotel with a good one. We really like the Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, which we've stayed at both with and without TJ. They have a great pool setup, with several smaller pools spread throughout the sprawling cliffside resort. They also have the Falls Water Village, which contains a number of gorgeous pools, cabanas, mini waterfalls, a 138-foot water slide, and even a zero-depth entry to one of their main pools for the little ones. In addition, the Falls Village hosts a "Kids Korral" in the summer, with programs for kids 5-12 (or younger if accompanied by an adult) On top the great pool scene, Tapatio Cliffs is an all-suite hotel, which gives both kids and adults all the space they'll need. Or, in TJ's case, absolute silence to sleep.
- Airport to Fiesta in 15 Minutes. Phoenix has tons of great Mexican restaurants. You almost can't go wrong picking a place. Of course, Mexican food tastes even better when eaten with happy kids, which is why you might want to stop at Tradiciones in the Phoenix Ranch Market, just a few miles from Sky Harbor Airport. The food and margaritas are great, but the huge restaurant's family friendly touches make it a must-stop. If your kids are entertained by either strolling mariachi bands or made-to-order balloon animals (or in TJ's case, a made-to-order balloon mariachi) you may have time for appetizers, entrees, and dessert. If you could possibly find room for it all.
- Spy Ten-foot High Cacti. If you don't think your kids will get excited about a trip to the Phoenix Botanical Garden, just tell them you're dropping them in the middle of the desert (because who wouldn't love that?). That's really what this garden feels like. The 50-acre exhibit contains more than 100 desert-based plant species, but the true stars are the enormous cacti that greet you at seemingly every turn.
- Do Stuff. We had a long list of kid-friendly Phoenix attractions we never managed (nor actually tried) to cross off, including: the Phoenix Zoo (which was voted one of the nation's top 5 zoos for kids and is right next to the botanical garden); Out of Africa Wildlife Park; McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park; Steele Indian School Park; Arizona Doll & Toy Museum (right across from Pizzeria Bianco, but it unfortunately closes an hour before the pizzeria even opens), and Castles and Coasters. Again, since we weren't industrious enough to actually get to these places with TJ, the links will provide more information than I ever could. Let me know how they are. . . .