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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gaman-Bean

Arizona for a few hours, a day, a weekend, or a week...

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

"My Father was my teacher. But most importantly he was a great dad." ~ Beau Bridges

When I asked Aidan what he wanted for his 12th birthday (in late 2021), he thought for a little bit, and then enthusiastically answered: "to visit Ari (his bestie) in Arizona!" I had to think about how I was going to make this happen for a little bit, but ultimately I knew it was the perfect gift and we made it happen back in late January of this year.

We've all been to Arizona many times, and I thought it would be fun to share some adventures we've had there, everything from a quick stop at the Grand Canyon while driving home from the Midwest, to a pit stop in Phoenix while we were flying to Alaska, to a week long visit with some friends and of course the father and son weekend trips which included the trip for Aidan's birthday this year and a trip for Giants spring training back in 2019.

Starting with a few hours in Arizona: Long layover at Phoenix airport.

If you're like us and have a 6 hour layover in Phoenix and have kids you need to run around and feed before an overnight flight, I would recommend the following:

Find an Uber and head to:

This is an awesome adventure park with all sorts of energy-burning activities for kids of all ages. It's also got some good food and snacks to munch on. We all enjoyed hanging out here for a few hours.

2. We then headed across the street for dinner at Barro's Pizza. The food was great and had something for everyone there. Then we said our goodbyes and Uber'd back to the airport. That was definitely one of the best long layovers we've had!

Up next is a day in Arizona: Visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim.

The 2 times we've been to the Gand Canyon have literally just been while we're driving through Arizona (once while moving across country and the other while driving to get our puppy in Oklahoma) and it's so worth a visit, even if just for a day!

I would recommend the South Rim near the Visitor Center. It's a little bit of a drive off the highway to the rim, but the views right near the parking lot are spectacular! And there are plenty of places to do a day hike.

And next is a weekend in Arizona: A couple boys trips to Giants Spring Training and to visit some friends.

Aidan played many years of baseball and was fortunate enough to make it to Giants spring training in 2019. Mike and Aidan both had a great time exploring Scottsdale and attending one of the games. They got to see many of the players up close which was very exciting!

As far as the birthday weekend, that mostly entailed playing with his bestie at Urban Air and of course playing some video games and basketball.

While the besties were playing, Mike got to explore at little bit at Tombstone.

Lastly, some fun things to do in the Tucson Area if you're planning on at least a few days:

1. We've been to Tucson a few times and we always stay at El Conquistador. Love the huge rooms, pool area, and restaurants and it's such a great location with so much to do in this area.

2. ATV Tour in Box Canyon in Tonto National Forest are all worth checking out!

3. Saguaro National Park is a scorcher, but such an interesting place to visit. We happened to visit during a megabloom and it was so interesting to see all the flowers on the cacti. Plan to go to this park very early in the day because it is so extremely hot there.

4. Colossal Cave Mountain Park is such an awesome cave! I would highly recommend a visit and it's also a nice break from the heat.

Can you see the T Rex head?

And witch's head and cat shadow?


5. Pool party at a friend's house is a must!

6. A few restaurants we enjoyed:

Epazote: yummy Latin cuisine

Bottega Michelangelo: delicious Italian cuisine

First Watch: delicious breakfast spot

Looking forward to our next visit to Arizona!



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