Family-Friendly Road Trip Destinations in Phoenix
Being indoors during the summertime is nothing new for Phoenix-area residents. Families with young children especially are used to finding air-conditioned fun.
This summer, many indoor attractions are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are still plenty of fun activities families can do to stay cool at home. But it can be harder to find safe ways to get out of the house.
Here’s a fun idea: take a local road trip and explore one of Phoenix’s most scenic routes! This is a great family activity that’s socially distant. It gets you out of the house while staying air-conditioned. All you need to do is choose a route, plan some car games, and pack a picnic lunch.
Ideas For Making Road Trips With Young Children Fun!
Prepare some fun games for the family to play during the drive. One fun activity is road trip bingo. You can even make bingo cards with things you expect to see along your route. Make it Arizona-themed with squares for a cactus, mountains, or even javelina!
In addition to bingo, try some of these class car games:
- See how many different colored cars you can find.
- Play I Spy.
- Play an animal noise guessing game. Make a noise and have your child guess the animal.
- Try a variation on 20 questions for younger children. Think of something they will know and tell them if it’s a person, animal, or thing. Then let your child ask you questions to try to guess. Give hints along the way if they seem stumped.
Pack a Picnic Lunch!
Pack a picnic lunch for the halfway point on your drive. If possible, stop along the way at a picnic site and enjoy the scenery. If you can’t find a socially-distanced picnic table, enjoy lunch in the car instead.
Make lunch special by serving up favorites in new ways. Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into fun shapes. Try your hand at Japanese bento techniques to create cute snacks. Before the trip, bake some treats for dessert and mix up a delicious herbal iced tea to sip on.
Now that you’ve got some great ideas for your trip, where will you go?
Read on for family-friendly places to visit in Arizona!
Don’t leave Phoenix at all with this scenic lookout at the top of South Mountain. It’s only a 15-minute drive up to the top, where your family can enjoy some of the best views of Phoenix. If the weather allows, enjoy a picnic or hike in South Moutain Park.
Follow Route 87 northeast from Fountain Hills and enjoy climbing elevation into the mountainous desert. It’s about an hour’s drive to Payson, and you’ll gain 3,000 ft. of elevation. Enjoy beautiful wildlife views along the way.
Head east to one of the ominous-sounding Superstition Mountains. The Apache Trail is a 40-mile loop that begins in Apache Junction. There are museums and small towns to visit along the way, but even if those attractions are closed, there are plenty of outdoor views to be had. Share the story of “the Dutchman” Jacob Waltz and his hidden gold mine, a mystery the whole family is sure to enjoy.
Head about two hours north of Phoenix to Prescott to connect onto the scenic Route 89A. Part of Route 89A is designated as an Arizona historic road. The best part of the route is through the Coconino National Forest. Starting from Prescott, take 89A northeast toward Cottonwood. You’ll pass through historic old west towns and scenic switchbacks as you climb 2,000 ft.