How We Spent a Weekend in Phoenix, with Kids

This weekend we flew out to Phoenix to escape the snow.  We filled our days with charity, nature, and delicious food.  Here’s how we spent our weekend in Phoenix (and surrounding cities) with our kids.

Miles for Migraine walk/run/relax event

  • Miles for Migraine is a nonprofit organization that holds events to donate funds to local migraine and headache research. This year we participated in the third annual walk. We met powerful advocates, received information and promotional goodies, raised funds for the Mayo Clinic and had a really fun time in purple.
    • Want to know more about the events and find out if one is in your city? Miles for Migraine has walk/run/relax events throughout the U.S. and patient educational days throughout the year.

Decadent Macaron

  • This is a must visit-stop if you are in the Chandler area (and worth going out of your way for if you aren’t!).  This charming shop is located in the Palette Collective on Chandler Village Drive. Their menu has flavors like salted caramel, pistachio, cake batter, red velvet, lemon, butterbeer and many more.
    • The owners are passionate about putting beauty, flavor and love into each gluten free bite. The colors are vibrant, the owners are lovely and the flavors had us eating macarons for breakfast (hey, we were on vacation!) lunch and dinner.  There were so many delicious options that we couldn’t choose just one!
      • Prior to our visit we taste tested Cleveland’s best macaron location and Decadent Macaron blew us away with their taste comparatively. My children were not fans of our local shop but begged us to return to Decadent Macaron after our initial visit for more.
        • Not only do the owners make the best macarons we’ve ever tasted but they are a God loving, charitable couple who donated to the Miles for Migraine race to bring a smile to a few lucky winners. How can you not love them?

Phoenix Zoo

  • Traveler’s tip- if you are a zoo member in your local city, the Phoenix zoo gives discounts off general admission tickets. We used our membership passes and upgraded to experience the 4D theater, Bugs Big Bugs! exhibit, safari tour and sting ray encounter.
    • My children loved petting the sting rays! We spent a long time around the covered tank learning about the babies, differing personalities and lives of these silky, slippery creatures.
    • The Bug, Big Bugs! exhibit was a path that meandered around rocky paths teaching us about bugs and viewing them as huge electronic species that was informational and fun. Each corner we encountered a new bug to learn about and see in a Big way.
    • The 4D theater was a movie that provided a 3D experience with flower smells and mists of rain.
      • Full disclosure, we did not last the entire 15 minutes of the movie. My children (6 and 8) were freaked out by the shaking chairs and dramatic music.  It was not a problem to leave and those sensitive to sensory exposure should proceed with caution.
    • The safari ride was a tour around the zoo. We began our day (after running out of the theater) with this to give us an idea of how the zoo was laid out, gave us info about their animals and gave us ideas on where we wanted to spend the most time.
    • The zoo was smaller than our local zoo but had many animals to look at and shaded paths that gave relief from the heat. My children particularly liked the petting zoo that allowed them to brush goats that were large and gentle.

Hole in the Rock-Papago park

  • Hole in the Rock is next door to the zoo and was a favorite for my small hikers. It is a path that walks up to a large rock formation that has, you guessed it, a hole in it.  We went first thing in the morning before the zoo opened and had the place to ourselves.  We explored the rocks and saw an incredible view from the hole.  This was my children’s first experience seeing the Arizona mountains and rocks.  It was exciting for them to explore.

South Mountain

  • South mountain is “is one of the largest municipally managed parks in the nation and consists of three mountain ranges.”
    • We found a path that was around 2 miles and took us to the top of a mountain and back around. We are still getting used to traveling without a stroller and I was so excited for the freedom to walk on these winding rocky paths that would have other wise not been able to explore.
    • My favorite part was hearing my daughter say, “I never thought I’d get to say I climbed a mountain and now I’ve done it!” Providing my children with a walk that feels like they are literally on top of the world (although this was NOT a huge mountain) gave me great pride.  We saw a panoramic view of the mountains and city while the sun peeked through clouds lighting the area with such beauty.  This hike filled us all with a sense of accomplishment and peace (Although, not quiet….I was walking with 2 motor mouths that had a lot to discuss!).  But inner peace!

We love Phoenix and the surrounding areas!  In the past we have enjoyed the Camelback Mountains and San Tan Mountains.

Where do you suggest we visit next time?

2 thoughts on “How We Spent a Weekend in Phoenix, with Kids

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  1. Oh wow, what a wonderful trip! Definitely beats the snow, and lots of things to do there by the sound of it. I only tried macarons about a year ago when my brother bought them for Christmas, not keen on all flavours but some are delicious. The shop you went to sounds fab, mmm salted caramel! The zoo is such a great idea to visit, there’s something so calming and enjoyable about seeing animals and it’s fab your kids got to pet sting rays, that’s so exciting! And mountains too, what a way to spend the weekend and explore! xx

  2. It was everything I wanted to do. And I somehow got to do it! Migraine held off the whole weekend until I came home. It really cleared my mind and filled my heart!

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