Spring break is on the way. And while for many moms it may be “business as usual,” her offspring may have different ideas. Teens, although happy to sleep in until 3 p.m., will likely want to venture out at some point and the littles are often ready and raring to go by 5 a.m. No matter what your spring break schedule looks like, we’ve come up with 10 fun spring break activities and places to visit for a variety of waking, napping and mom-sanity-saving situations.
READ ALSO: Desert Ridge Marketplace will add 5 new restaurants in 2023
1. Tanque Verde Ranch.
Do you and your mini-me enjoy riding horses? An authentic cowboy cookout? Or, simply living large ranch-style? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll love the tranquility, treats and spring break activities that abound at Tanque Verde Ranch. In addition to several different horseback-riding packages (we recommend the breakfast and sunset rides), there are many additional activities you and your child can enjoy together — including a watercolor workshop, archery and more. Psst…and, mom, there is a Kid’s Program (ages 4-12) with lots of activities if you want to hit up the spa.
For more information visit TanqueVerdeRanch.com
2. Fairmont Princess Scottsdale Resort.
What has 750-plus rooms, five pools, three onsite dining options (and a bonus restaurant nearby) and serves as the perfect staycation spot for moms and kids? The Fairmont Princess Scottsdale Resort of course! In addition to the Trailblazers Kids Club where plenty of activities and games await little ones, moms can visit the resort’s Well & Being or Sisley Spa for some much-needed R&R.
For more information visit Fairmont.com
3. Children’s Museum of Phoenix.
There’s always something fun to do at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix (CMP) — three floors worth, in fact! In addition to the museum’s existing activities (such as the atrium’s amazing “Climber” maze and the upstairs Noodle Forest), moms in need of respite can register their little ones in camp. Spring break camp runs March 7-14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Later in the month — March 26th — CMP hosts “SandFest” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., where all kinds of castles and creations can be sculpted.
For more information visit ChildrensMuseumofPhoenix
4. Great Wolf Lodge.
Stay for the day (with a day pass) or indulge in a cozy sleepover after partaking in the water park’s many offerings from exploring the Talking Stick Treehouse to getting soaked on the Alberta Falls and Totem Towers water slides. Back on land mom can shepherd her crew around to several MagiQuest adventures (kids get their very own wands and step-by-step instructions), the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall, mini indoor golf course, bowling alley and more.
For more information visit GreatWolf.com
5. Urban Air Adventure Park.
You can find these indoor tire-your-child-out parks in Ahwatukee, Goodyear, Gilbert and Peoria. Whether you’re there to join in the bouncing and climbing fun to be had, or prefer to watch your kids navigate the ropes courses solo, Urbain Air aims to please. There are plenty of seating areas for moms with laptops and paperwork to catch up on, as well as a stocked snack bar for energy-sustaining goodies. Hot tip for mom: go online prior to your visit to fill out a waiver for your child(ren) so you don’t have to mess with it when you arrive.
For more information visit UrbanAir.com
6. Out of Africa.
Do you and your young one(s) love getting up close and personal with wildlife? If so, Out of Africa is the place to go for spring break activities. The park’s animal exhibits are fascinating in their own right. In fact, there is a giraffe known for strolling right over to get a good look at the humans (rather than the other way around). In addition to seeing a variety of magnificent and unique creatures in as close to their natural habitat as you can get, Out of Africa hosts numerous engaging shows (Tiger Splash® is one of our favorites). For an added cost, you and your crew can have a close encounter with a sloth or even feed a tiger!
For more information visit OutofAfricaPark.com
7. Phoenix Zoo.
If you and your little one want to limelight as conservationists, check out Conservation Science Night on March 12, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Phoenix Zoo (it’s free, but reservations are required). A variety of conservation-themed booths will be on display aimed toward school-aged children and families (there’s even a ferret bootcamp!). If you can’t make it to the CSN night, take a full spring break day to enjoy the Zoo’s 3,000 animal inhabitants and endless learning opportunities.
For more information visit PhoenixZoo.org
8. Arizona Boardwalk.
If spring makes you think of sunshine and butterflies, you and your little butterfly can experience them both at Butterfly Wonderland. In addition to walking among these beautiful creatures, you can learn about their habitats, phases of metamorphosis and more. And that’s not all you find at Arizona Boardwalk. In addition to Butterfly Wonderland, you have your choice of OdySea Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, VR Extreme, Laser + Mirror Maze, and much more to explore.
For more information visit AZBoardwalk.com
9. Arizona Science Center.
Feb. 1 through March 31, children of all ages can enjoy Dynamic Earth, a cinematic adventure showcasing the Earth’s dynamic climate system. And moms may not mind the Irish-lilt narration of Liam Neeson, while kids relish the volcanic, oceanic and atmospheric action. Plus, there are endless other interactive exhibits and activities to enjoy before or after the show—including a stomach that kids can walk through and be “burped out.”
For more information visit AZScience.org
10. Spring break activities at Tempe Marketplace.
Catch a movie, spend the day at Dave and Busters, see a live music show or simply shop around. No matter where you live in the Valley, the trek to Tempe Marketplace is 100% worth it. It’s big enough to walk around and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but compact enough to not make a mom-kid outing feel exhausting or anxiety-producing. Plus, in addition to Hot Topic and Claire’s for the younger crowd, mom has a host of shopping options from which to choose. Plus, there are ample dining selections for everyone — from Lucille’s BBQ and Bario Queen to Coldstone Creamery and more.
For more information visit TempeMarketPlace.com