For the long 4th of July weekend, we considered a road trip to escape the heat to Sedona or Flagstaff, but then we remembered that Gigi starts crying about 30 minutes into any car ride. Scratch that idea.
We decided to spend the long weekend at home. Since Lexus let us borrow the 2015 NX Hybrid, we definitely wanted to find some fun ideas that would allow us to cruise around the valley. By searching various local websites and blogs, I came up with a list of Phoenix staycation ideas for toddlers.
At the top of our list was visiting a local pool or splash pad. They are all over the valley. Here is a list of 21 Phoenix area splash pads.
Before we set out on our first day-trip, I packed the trunk with all the beach essentials — beach towels, sunscreen, swimsuits, and this awesome lunch box full of snacks.
Our friends at CVS sent us some of their new Gold Emblem Abound snacks and two of these lunch boxes (similar) that are perfect for holding a bunch of snacks. I’ve mentioned before just how Rocco is a picky eater, so it’s great that this container holds five different snack options to please even my picky boy. To my surprise, he was all about the carrots and blueberries, while Gigi enjoyed the popcorn and the fuji apple and blueberry clusters.
Once the car was packed, we loaded the kids in the car and headed to Tempe’s large splash pad. Unfortunately, their parking lot was closed for the day due to 4th of July festivities, so we reverted to the Scottsdale Quarter.
This small but posh splash pad is in north Scottsdale. It is circled with chairs, lined with palm trees, and surrounded by nice shops. We chose this small splash pad because it perfect for little kids and even provides shade and chairs for the on-looking parents. To be honest, I wanted to sneak off to do some shopping, but the kids kept pulling me into the splash pad to play. Sigh.
This was our kids’ first time at a splash pad, and at first, they were very tentative. Once I took my shoes off and went into the puddles with them, they were much more eager to explore the water and stomp their little feet.
Our next weekend stop was Barnes and Noble, which is another easy (and free) spot to spend an hour with your toddlers. Our local store has a large train set, a lego table, and a stage where the kids can crawl around.
Rocco especially liked playing with the trains and legos, and Gigi loved the stuffed animals and got a kick out of dancing on the stage. It’s amazing–she’s never taken a dance class, but she just knew to dance the minute she crawled on the stage.
During the three-day weekend, we also took the kids out to breakfast, spent an afternoon at the local library with an awesome kids play area, and spent a lot of time cruising around the valley enjoying the luxurious leather seats in the Lexus NX. My favorite part about the NX, besides the comfortable seats and super cool computer mouse-style electronics, was that you sit up higher in a crossover, but it has the smooth ride of a sedan.
This long weekend, we found lots of free ways to entertain our kids. But if I had more time to spare, I’d hit up one of my favorite spots, the Phoenix Children’s Museum. It is perfect for my toddlers and free for kids under 1. I also love the McCormick Railroad Park, but it was a little too hot to be outside this weekend.
If you’re looking for more Phoenix staycation ideas for toddlers, check out this extensive list.
Although a bit tiring, we had a really fun and productive weekend with our kids. They had a great time at all our activities, and it was even more fun because we got to ride in comfort and style all weekend in the new Lexus NX Hybrid.