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Old 09-09-2013, 01:49 AM   #1
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What to do around Phoenix?

We are going to visit our parents in Phoenix (well, some retirement village 40 minutes from there) for Christmas.
We will be there Dec 27-Jan 5 or so.

What is there to do there?
We will shop, we will swim, and the boys are doing some sports things.
But I am worried that we will be bored after 2 days!

Trying to convince the hubby that we need to drive to Disneyland for a few days, but he thinks we can find enough stuff to do in Phoenix.


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Old 09-09-2013, 02:00 AM   #2
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I think that depends on what types of things you enjoy doing together as a family.

Sedona is a beautiful scenic area (Red Rocks) where you can do hiking, walk the town, or drive and take pictures.

Williams, Arizona has Bearazona and you can walk on part of Route 66.

There are tons of beautiful resorts to stay at also.

It will be about a six hour drive to Disney from Phoenix.

Hope this gives you some ideas :-)
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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Disneyland will be sooo very crowded over the holly-daze. The decorations are pretty, but I'd much rather go when it isn't wall-to-wall people.

Another vote for Sedona, and the south rim of the Grand Canyon (weather permitting.)

The Sonora Desert Museum down by Tucson is worth the drive (about 2 hours SE of the Phx area.)

What sporting events are the guys interested in? There's pro basketball, pro hockey, and at least two college-football bowl games if you can get tickets.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:57 PM   #4
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If you are coming from Canada, simply being outdoors is the best part. There are a lot of hiking trails less than a half-hour outside of town, plus day trips to many of the places others have mentioned.

The Phoenix Zoo does a nice ZooLights event that is very pretty.

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:09 PM   #5
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I second ZooLights during the holidays! Plus I love our zoo to visit during the day as well. We have the desert botanical garden. Butterfly house in Scottsdale. Lots of places hiking superstitions, camelback, south mountain many more! Day trips galore Tucson, Sedona, the rim country, Grand Canyon. Az is a vary diverse state center of state is desert drive a couple hours either direction and your in mountains or plains

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Another Calgarian here. I was in Phoenix last Nov last year. I thought it was cool to see the fake snow when it was 75 degrees and the skating at the malls. Nothing like you would see here.
We shopped a lot, great food for reasonable prices.
I'm hoping to make it down this winter to catch a hockey game.
There's few Dave and Busters in the area. My ds17's favorite well that and hockey.
We didn't have time to go to Sedona so it's on the list for next time.
You won't get bored or need to worry about the snow.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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The Desert Botanical Garden will be having their Luminarias through December 31st. It will also feature a Dale Chiluly glass exhibit. (www.dbg.org)

Zoolights is also a fun evening activity. (http://phoenixzoo.org/)

Tickets are required for both events and can be purchased through their websites.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Absolutely take a drive up to Sedona, and either rent a Jeep from Barlow Jeep Rentals, or take one of the Pink Jeep tours. It's a lot more fun to drive the trails yourself, and cheaper too, but if there are 6 of you, you'll need probably want to take a Pink Jeep Tour as all of you could go in one of their Jeeps. If you have an SUV you could take the drive up Schnebly Hill Road for free.

Also check out Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course for the boys.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by disneyfaninaz View Post
The Desert Botanical Garden will be having their Luminarias through December 31st. It will also feature a Dale Chiluly glass exhibit. (www.dbg.org)

Zoolights is also a fun evening activity. (http://phoenixzoo.org/)

Tickets are required for both events and can be purchased through their websites.
If the Chihuly exhibit is anything like the one they had a few years ago, it will be spectacular! I think older teens and grandparents would like this. Tip: go mid/late afternoon so you can see the glass both during the day and lit up at night.

Thanks for reminding me about it!

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Old 09-27-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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That time of year there will be bowl games going on. There is always a bunch of fun activity surrounding those games.

Zoolights and the Botanical Gardens are beautiful. There are a lot of hiking trails around that area that are not too hard and have great views.

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Old 10-01-2013, 03:56 PM   #11
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My kids are much younger (6 and 8), but they love Phoenix! They like Amazing Jake's for laser tag and those little cars you drive (they also have a pizza/pasta buffet, arcade, bowling, mini-golf, a climbing wall and kiddie rides) - most things are included w/admission. They also enjoy Castles and Coasters (roller coasters and rides, arcade, nice mini-golf). Older kids might enjoy those...

Most of the rest of the things we do are smaller-kid oriented (Jambo park, the Phoenix zoo, Makutu's Island, etc).

We also enjoy shopping at Arizona Mills - they have a Disney Store outlet that gets Disneyland merchandise (they also have a Sea Life aquarium and a Rainforest Cafe - again, more towards younger kids). We also enjoy Ikea, but you'd have to shop small if travelling.

We live in Tucson, so we never go to Phoenix to hike, but hiking should be nice that time of year. We once did a boat ride on a lake in Apache Junction - might have been called the Dolly Steamboat - that was fun. I think there's an old ghost town on the way there.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:10 PM   #12
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McCormick stillman railroad park in Scottsdale is fun and inexpensive. $2 a person to ride and they have holiday lights after sunset for the same cost. It is close to Scottsdale Fashion Square too (huge higher end mall). Are they in east Mesa? If so, there is a restaurant out in Apache Junction where you eat cowboy style. Dang it, I can't think of the name, something like trail camp restaurant. There is also A Lost Dutchmans mine themed western town out there. If they are on the west side (Sun City?) that stuff is pretty far. Rawhide is also a western themed town.

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Old 10-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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My BFF took her family to Phoenix last Spring Break. They went to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, visited Sedona, Meteor Crater, some of the ruins around Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon. They also went on a horseback trail ride at a ranch in the Phoenix area (Cave Creek). Have fun..there is lots to do there!
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:24 AM   #14
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The Musical Instrument Museum is really great! It has an interactive section too so it's not just looking at the instruments, you can actually play a lot of them. The cafe was really nice too.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:38 AM   #15
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If they are in Sun City there is the World Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium just south west of there on Reems and Northern. It is so fun, way better then Phx zoo IMO. Butterfly wonderland is off the 101 on the way into Scottsdale (or out depending on which way you are going). Again if in sun city off the 101 and Glendale there is a new outlet mall, which is also next to westgate where our football and hockey stadiums are (along with food and movies).

Phoenix zoo will have zoo lights going on which is fun. (Fun fact: I went into labor there with my second 4 years ago). I personally do not like AZ Mills, but for an aquarium sea life is good if you can't get to world wildlife. Glendale Glitters will still be happening in downtown Glendale. Not too far from sun city. Lots of lights and booths.

Prescott or Sedona are not far drives from the Valley. If I could only choose one, it would be Sedona hands down. There is a chapel built into the mountainside (Chapel of the Holy Cross)-if you read Rachel Caine, she actually uses it as a setting in her Weather Warden books. Really nice 'main street' with shops and food. Different state/national parks. They all have jr ranger programs which are fun, my kids did them but so did hubby and I lol, we got certificates and badges.

I am not familiar with the east valley, but I know there are a few malls and parks out there that are nice.

Williams is about 45min north of Flagstaff and they offer train rides to the Grand Canyon. We are actually going up next week for the kids to ride the Polar Express.
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