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Phoenix, Arizona is an amazing destination for family vacations. The weather is great most of the year. And there are tons of things to do for people of all ages. Whether you are there for a weekend or a month, you will find plenty of fun things to do with your family. To help you plan your trip, here is my sports-focused itinerary for a fun family weekend in Phoenix.
My family are big fans of Phoenix! It is such a great city! We have been there several times and we love it more and more every time we go.
General Tips for Your Family Friendly Weekend in Phoenix
Because weekend trips are so short, you really want to be smart about your planning so you can make the most of your time. This is especially true in Phoenix because it is a large city and is pretty spread out. The last thing you want to do is spend your entire weekend being indecisive and driving around aimlessly.
These tips will help you plan out the perfect weekend getaway:
- Check the weather before you go. While Phoenix almost always has great weather, sometimes you will need long sleeves. So, before packing, take a glance to see if you will needs shorts and t-shirts or something heavier.
- Remember you have limited time. There are so many things to do in Phoenix that it can be easy to plan too much. Since you will only be there for a weekend, you need to pick out a couple of must-do’s and save the rest for later.
- Pick your activities before booking your hotel. Phoenix is spread out, so staying close to your planned events will save you lots of driving time. So, plan your things to do before planning where to stay.
- Plan to have a car. Phoenix is huge. So, unless you plan to stay completely within a few blocks the whole weekend, plan to have a car while you are there. This will allow you to venture out a little further without spending a lot of money on ride shares.
- Check for any special events happening. Phoenix plays host to many special events, including college bowl games and baseball spring training. Look to see what’s going on during your trip. You may want to take advantage of some of these events or you may want to avoid them all together! Either way, it’s better to know about them in advance of your trip!
Where To Stay
There is a wide range of places to stay in Phoenix. You can choose from small boutique inns, large national hotel chains, luxurious resorts with spas and golf courses, and vacation rental homes.
During our trips to Phoenix, we have experienced many of these different options. It is pretty easy to find a place to stay that is safe, clean, and affordable for your family here. So, I don’t have any specific recommendations on where to stay. Instead, I recommend following the below guidelines to find the perfect play to stay for your family.
Phoenix is a huge city that is very spread out. It can easily take a half hour or more to get from one area of the city to another. So, to maximize your time during your family friendly weekend in Phoenix, definitely plan to stay somewhere close to most of your planned experiences. This will save you time getting from place to place.
If the purpose of your trip is relaxation, then definitely go for one of the resorts in and around Phoenix. And if you want to relax while your kids swim, look for one of the many resorts with amazing pools and even water parks attached.
Heading to Phoenix for a sporting event? Look for a hotel or vacation rental that is within walking distance of the venue. This will save you money on parking at the game and will make getting in and out much faster.
What To Do During Your Weekend in Phoenix
The key to having a great time on a weekend getaway is to not try to do too much. Because you only have a couple days, you won’t be able to see and do everything. So, pick out a few must-do’s and focus on those. This is exactly what we do whenever we spend a weekend in Phoenix.
If you are traveling with kids, zoos and aquariums are always a hit. We love visiting them whenever we can. They are such a fun activity for families to share! And the Phoenix Zoo is a good one. It is huge with lots of animals and entertainment options.
Get there as close to opening as possible to beat the crowds and the heat. This will also allow you to see the animals being more active than they will later in the day when it gets hot.
To skip the lines at the gate, buy your tickets online in advance. This will save you some time and let you get right to the fun!
While this zoo is an amazing way to spend the day with your kids, definitely think about how hot it will be before deciding to go. The zoo is short on shade and long on walking, so you don’t want to wear out your family.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Phoenix Zoo. We spent several hours viewing the animals and even went on a camel ride.
Go to a Sporting Event
Phoenix is an awesome sports town. Between the Suns, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Coyotes, and the Sun Devils, you are sure to find a game going on during your weekend in Phoenix. Plus, they play host to Major League Baseball’s spring training every year. They also host two college bowl games annually.
And if you prefer golf, there are so many courses here, you could never play them all!
So, if you have sports fans in your family, definitely go to a sporting event during your trip. They are a lot of fun and a great way to spend time as a family!
We have taken short trips to Phoenix to watch a Sun Devils football game, the Fiesta Bowl, and a Diamondbacks baseball game. All of these trips were amazing. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys sports!
Tempe Town Lake
Prefer outdoor activities? Then head over to Tempe Town Lake. This lake in downtown Tempe, just outside of Phoenix, is a great place to spend some time outside. Choose from jogging, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, or more.
This is a fun place to soak up the sun while in Phoenix. And when you are done, there are lots of nearby options for food and shopping.
Where To Eat
Of course, one key to a successful weekend getaway is the food! The restaurants you choose can make or break your trip. So, to help you find the best of the best places to eat in Phoenix, here are my recommendations for great food:
Matt’s Big Breakfast
The first breakfast place we discovered in Phoenix was Matt’s Big Breakfast. It is located in downtown Phoenix.
This is a laid back place where you feel comfortable hanging out with the family. Matt’s is very popular with the locals, which is always a good sign.
And it is a great value too because you get large portions without a large price tag. In fact, the portions are so large here that your kids could split a meal if they are small eaters.
Matt’s serves classic breakfast dishes, such as omelets, pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, and breakfast burritos. Check out their menu here.
Snooze AM Eatery
One of my favorite places for breakfast in Phoenix is Snooze AM Eatery. There are a few of them scattered around the city. We have eaten at the downtown location and the Tempe one. Both are excellent.
While Snooze is just as delicious as Matt’s Big Breakfast, it has a much different vibe. Matt’s feels like your favorite pair of jeans, while Snooze is more like a new dress that makes you feel young and energetic.
Snooze puts a modern, yet fun, twist on the classics. This is true of the food and the decorations. Inside the restaurant, it looks like a new interpretation of the 1970’s retro look.
Plus, they are firm believers that you can enjoy happy hour with your breakfast or brunch.
The food is yummy, and they have some super creative flavor combinations. The only downside to Snooze is that the portions aren’t quite as big as Matt’s and the prices are a little more than Matt’s. See their menu here.
If your family likes breweries, then head to OHSO Brewery for dinner during your weekend in Phoenix. This brewery themed around bicycles has a huge patio with shade, making it a great spot to enjoy the nice weather.
And the food here is really good! I highly recommend saving room for dessert and indulging in the caramel apple pie! It is to die for!
They have a dedicated kids menu too, which makes it a fantastic choice for families.
Snakes & Lattes
If your family loves board games, then you must eat at Snakes & Lattes during your trip to Phoenix! This unique restaurant is located in Tempe, just steps from the Arizona State University campus.
You can enjoy a coffee or cocktail while your kids pick out a game from their extensive library of board games. Then you can have a fun little family competition while enjoying great pub grub.
We have eaten here twice. It is my son’s favorite place to eat in Phoenix. He always asks to go here when we are in town.
Phoenix is a great city for family vacations, even if they are only weekend getaways. The weather is usually great. And there are tons of things for families to do. These tips will help you plan the perfect itinerary for your family friendly weekend in Phoenix.
Want more things to do in Arizona? Read my posts on the best places to eat with kids in Phoenix, Pima Air & Space Museum, Reid Park Zoo, Bearizona, Grand Canyon with kids, and the Grand Canyon Railway, and our weekend in Tucson.
And for some general travel tips, check out our ultimate guide for happy travel with kids and complete guide to road trips.
P.S. Need help finding the best places to go on your family vacations? My Ultimate USA Bucket List for Families will instantly give you 60 of the best vacation destinations for families in the United States! Get it for FREE in the box below and start planning your next trip today! Plus, as a bonus, you will receive my weekly email newsletter full of family trip tips and inspiration!
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