Not everyone plans a big vacation trip when the kids are out of school during Spring Break. It is, however, a great opportunity for some family time, especially if you can get a day or two off for a special adventure with the family.
If you need to keep children occupied while you are working many of the Phoenix area cities and towns have Kids' Clubs for Spring Break; contact your city's Parks Department to see what programs they have available.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice. Images © Judy Hedding unless otherwise stated.
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Everyone knows that March is the month for Cactus League baseball. Tickets are more reasonably priced than regular season games, and the ten Spring Training stadiums around town are easy to get to. There are usually six games or more scheduled on any day in the month of March! If you can't take off from work, there are evening games, too.
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Wet 'n' Wild opens on a limited basis for the Spring Break season.
Golfland/SunSplash will have race cars, bumper boats, laser tag and miniature golf and three water slides open during Spring Break.
Two pools in Chandler, the Hamilton Aquatic Center, Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center and Nozomi Aquatic Centers have Spring Break sessions. The Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center features a lap pool, diving area, two slides, water vortex, lazy river with tumble buckets, and a play area for kids. The Hamilton Aquatic Center features a lap pool, diving area, two slides, water vortex, current river and a play area for kids. The Nozomi Aquatic Center features a 25-Yard, 8-lane pool, a 112-ft. figure-eight water slide, a separate diving well with 1-meter diving board and a 3-meter diving board. Admission prices at Chandler pools range from $1 to... $2.25 per person. (Map)
Some other municipal public pools are also open. Check with your neighborhood parks and recreation department.
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You'd better be a confident and calm driver for this one, but a road trip on the Apache Trail will be a memorable trip. Stop at Tortilla Flat before you continue your desert driving adventure. Don't be frightened, now....Continue to 5 of 16 below.
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During Spring Break there are always festivals or special events going on in and around Phoenix. Here's what's happening in March.
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This is an easy hike; I did it once with a 5 year-old! This is a great way get the kids outside, see some petroglyphs, and let them do some climbing on boulders, too. You probably won't see any waterfalls in March unless we've had a good rain. Bring water and a hat!
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The Phoenix Zoo is located in Papago Park in central Phoenix. It's easy to get to from all directions, and it is a lovely zoo, especially on a day when it isn't too hot. Get there early on those warmer, sunny days.
If you haven't been to Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, you might want to give that a try for a change of pace. They are more focused on exotic animals. Wildlife World Zoo is on the west side of town in Litchfield Park.
OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale has 200,000 square feet of aquatic entertainment and education. Daily events at Odysea Aquarium include feedings, caretaker interactions with the animals, and Q&A sessions with aquarists.
Right next door to OdySea Aquarium you can mingle with the butterflies in climate-controlled comfort at Butterfly Wonderland.The butterfly... conservatory, the highlight of any visit to Butterfly Wonderland, is 10,000 square feet of rainforest, complete with koi pond and a butterfly bench for family photo opportunities.
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The farms are slowly but surely disappearing in Maricopa County, and as development continues it's getting harder and harder for kids to see a real cow around here! Problem resolved at Shamrock Farms, where you can see thousands of them, and take a cool tour of this huge, high tech operation. There's no petting zoo, but if you bring the little ones there is a playground, and you can bring your own snacks for a picnic.
At Superstition Farm you'll experience the family dairy farm, take a tour, and pet some of their resident animals. It's a more casual, close-up experience!Continue to 9 of 16 below.
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Amazingly enough, Castles and Coasters in Phoenix is the closest thing to a theme park that we have in the Phoenix area. The water slides and features are only available during the summer, but the miniature golf courses, large arcade, and the rides -— including roller coasters -— are always popular.
Enchanted Island Amusement Park is geared to the younger kids. It is located at Encanto Park in Phoenix.
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If you are looking for a great day trip, a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad is fun for everyone. Call first to make your reservation. It's about a two hour drive from central Phoenix to Clarkdale, where the train station is located. During peak months (and March is one of them) there are two trains per day, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon. The train ride itself takes about four hours, two hours each way. No, you don't have to get out and turn the train around. They take care of that for you!
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If there has been any precipitation, there could easily be snow in March at one of our northern Arizona ski resorts. Snowboards, sleds, cross country, and downhill are all right here in Arizona just a few hours away. Check the individual ski resorts' websites or call the hot line for the current snow report.Continue to 13 of 16 below.
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Bowling is fun for everyone, and during the day it is easier to find open bowling (no leagues) than in the evening. Find a bowling alley near you and bring the kids and their friends. Remember, even if you are a 200+ average bowler, they just want to have fun!
What do you do after bowling? How about some laser tag, or arcade games? In the northwest, at Uptown Alley in Surprise, you can do all that. In the south, at the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle you can do all that and go to the movies, too.
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Treat your family to a movie week -- go to a movie once a day for 5 days! Have everyone sit down (with popcorn, of course) and agree on a schedule for which movies you'll see on which days. At the end of the five days, spend some time to talk about the movies and have your own at-home award ceremony for best film, best actor and actress, best screenplay, etc. Here's where you can find movie theaters in your area.
Want lunch with your movie? At some of our local theaters you can order food and beverages right from your seats, as well as traditional movie snacks. And the seats are cool, too!
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Lake Havasu City is about 200 miles from Phoenix and the attraction there during Spring Break is, well, the lake. And London Bridge, of course, but that only takes a minute. Grab your speedboat, several cases of beer or wine, not much clothing, and head to Lake Havasu. Warning: Spring Break at Lake Havasu is not necessarily a good idea for a family trip or for retirees RVing around the state. Think college. Think wild.
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Puerto Peñasco, Mexico is known to local English speakers as Rocky Point. It is actually the closest beach to the Phoenix area, about 215 miles away. Some people love it, and some people hate it. Although Rocky Point does attract families, it also is a destination for college students during Spring Break. No matter who you are, remember that Mexico is a different country. Not only do you need travel papers to go and return, but it is important to understand their laws and how they operate. There have been violent incidents there, and the State Department has issued warnings (Rocky Point, or Puerto Peñasco, is in Sonora, Mexico). Of course, there is violence here, too, but when you understand your own backyard you can probably steer clear more easily.