My mom came to visit last week so she could spend Halloween with my kiddos. Just two weeks before she came, our friends at Toyota asked if we wanted to try out the 2016 4Runner. It couldn’t have been better timing, as it is pretty tough to fit five people comfortably in our Camry, with the two car seats in there. Having the 4Runner for a long holiday weekend was perfect because we had more space for the five of us to cruise around Phoenix.
Given that my mom was visiting, I wanted to find fun Phoenix toddler activities that would keep the kids busy and entertained while she was here. I decided on a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, since the weather finally feels like fall here (hello 70s during the day!). I also opted for us to check out a local pumpkin patch that had great reviews on Yelp. In the midst of our busy weekend, we also managed a trip to our local library and ran into an Indian festival, and, of course, trick-or-treating with our friends.
When the cherry red 4Runner showed up at our house, my son, Rocco, was so excited. He kept asking if he could ride in the red truck and when we let him explore the back seat and trunk, he was so happy. The next day, we drove the kids to school in the 4Runner and Rocco was a total chatter box. He was so excited by riding in the truck and loved that he was able to sit up higher and see all the cool things on the way to school, “mommy, a fire truck, a bus, a skid steer, a bench…oh, look, another bench.” He’s currently obsessed with counting bus-stop benches and also finding every rescue and construction vehicle on the road. It’s so cute.
The big 4Runner trunk also came in handy for carting around our double-BOB stroller to the zoo and the pumpkin patch. This was the first time I took the kids either of these places and they were both major hits.
The only issue with the Zoo was that I forgot to bring their snacks and drinks, so they were a bit whiny mid-way through our time there. I managed to find a vending machine to get them some snacks. The loved all the animals, especially the rhino and the orangutan family, including a little baby.
After a long day at the Zoo, that night was trick-or-treating with our friends. It was a bit of a bust because Rocco refused to wear his lion costume. I think he was costumed-out after wearing his lion costume a week earlier and his cowboy costume to school the day before. He still had fun going to the various houses and he even got a full-size candy bar (it’s not an urban legend!), from one of the houses we stopped at.
On Sunday, we went to the pumpkin patch and the kids absolutely loved it. There was so much to do and it was way cooler than I expected — I sort of expected this super cheesy and tiny place, given it was in the middle of Glendale.
To my surprise, the kids were entertained for a solid two hours, running between the corn maze, the bouncy houses, the petting zoo, the water pump toy, the bikes, and the other play areas. I will definitely bring the kids back there next year.
After a long morning at the pumpkin patch and a long nap, we headed over to the Scottsdale library for a couple hours and the kids had a great time playing with the blocks, coloring and playing with the train set. We even ran into an Indian Festival taking place right outside the library, and Gigi broke into dance when she heard the music.
Overall, we had a great long Halloween weekend with Gram. The kids loved spending so much time with her and it was nice to have another set of hands to help out with the kids. Having the large 4Runner to cart us around made all the stops easier. It was nice to have a new car for the week and Rocco especially loved spending time in the new car. The day we had to give the car back, when we got to Rocco’s school, he was very sad we didn’t have the red car—he actually cried. He especially missed the higher ride and being able to see everything as we drove home. Thanks Toyota for helping make our long weekend a little more convenient and letting us ride in comfort.