Get your family to Phoenix for spring break ASAP
Listen up, parents. Spring break is fast approaching. Soon, millions of children will be freed from their classroom captivity and unleashed to wreak havoc upon an unsuspecting world. For one week, these ravenous children will be your constant companions. If you're bold enough to take them on a trip, you're going to want to find the perfect destination. You could take them to an overcrowded beach. But first consider the cold ocean, inevitable sunburn, and infinite amounts of sand sure to stick to your kid for weeks to come. Then there's Disneyland. Two-hour lines and $8 churros? No thanks. Instead, take your kids to Phoenix—the most underrated spring break destination in the country. Phoenix has the perfect blend of nice weather, activities and affordability for any family trip. Here's why you should come to the Valley of the Sun this spring break.
Spring training is Phoenix's major contribution to society. Each year, tourists ritualistically flock to Cactus League games to down hot dogs, catch fly balls, and sunbathe in lawn seats. During spring training, the metropolitan Phoenix area is home to 15 major league teams and 10 stadiums. The newest and most packed stadium is Sloan Park, home of the Chicago Cubs. For a modern park with less bandwagon fans, head to Salt River Fields to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks or Colorado Rockies. A spring training game is a great way for families to soak up the sun regardless of the venue.
For generations, Phoenicians have survived the hellish summer weather in two ways. Air conditioning and water parks. By spring break, the water parks are open and ready for business. Golfland Sunsplash has the best mix of attractions including a lazy river, wave pool, and high-speed water slides. Older kids and parents will enjoy the bigger, more thrilling waterslides at Wet 'n' Wild. Then there's the Arizona Grand. This resort is home to the seven-acre Oasis Water Park. While you lounge at the cabana, the kids can enjoy eight-story water slides and river tubing.
Scottsdale is king when it comes to dining and nightlife. While it can be inundated with college kids, they usually seek greener pastures like Mexico and Las Vegas during spring break. That leaves the tourists to rule the town. Aside from the fantastic restaurants, there are tons of attractions to keep any family occupied. Take a trip to the sea at OdySea Aquarium. Play some rooftop golf and games at Topgolf. Unleash your inner dork at Scottsdale Segway Tours. You can even simulate a freaking skydive at iFly Indoor Skydiving. Okay, that last one might actually terrify your children but you get my point.
Activities are great, but so is lounging at the pool. Phoenix is home to some world-class resorts that ensure you don't need to leave the hotel to have fun. The historic Arizona Biltmore has eight pools and luxury suites. The Westin Kierland and JW Marriott at Desert Ridge both have top notch dining, golf, and spas.
You can even take a gondola ride at the Hyatt Regency. Post up at the swim up bar, sauna, or golf course while your kids play in the sun. In the famous words of Aziz Ansari, treat yo' self.
Hiking is universal in springtime Phoenix. That's because the weather is so prime that the mountains are basically begging you to climb them. You'll find everyone from Instagramming millennials to the elderly on a given mountain. It's also an excellent family activity. It's a great way to tire out your children and, most importantly, it's free. There are several mild hikes that are family friendly around Phoenix. Papago Park is home to the "Hole in the Rock" which offers some great city views. "A" Mountain is a quick hike but sits atop Tempe and the vibrant ASU campus. Then there's Telegraph Pass which is chock full of families, dogs, and even petroglyphs. Follow up your hike with the wonderful silence of a car full of napping children and thank me later.
John Kuells is a Phoenix native and spring break aficionado. When not sipping mojitos poolside, he can be found writing on his blog Book of Kuells.