Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Now Oynx Resort Tour



Now Oynx is a family all inclusive resort about 45 minutes from the Punta Cana airport. A huge thank you to Apple Vacations for sponsoring my visit.

The resort has a great pool. As of July 2019, three more restaurants and new two and three bedroom suites plus a new Explorers Club and Core Zone were under construction. The pool had a fun vibe with several activities taking place. The Barefoot Grill was a great place for a casual lunch.

Take a look:


 
Every Tuesday, you could get these resort tours delivered to your inbox. I'll also send you my top 10 tips for all inclusive resorts and how to choose a family or adults only all inclusive resort. Click here to sign up.
 
Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.
 



Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Royalton Negril Sneak Peek


Royalton Negril is a family all inclusive resort. Hideaway is the adults only section. All the resort restaurants have indoor and outdoor seating - a great perk for those of us who get a little sweaty. The family side has a good beach. The Hideaway side has a snorkeling cove. Each room has a jacuzzi tub. It's an open bathroom but can be closed off by a curtain. The family side has a kids' club and a teen's area. 

Take a peek:

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Booking a cruise? Why You Should Use a Travel Agent

"Why do I need your help to book a cruise? It's so easy. I can do it myself."
 
 

This is 100% true. If you have the time and the patience, you can recreate the research I do for you.

Yesterday, I got a request: We want a cruise of 7 to 10 nights between June 15th - July 15, 2020. We do not want to go to the Caribbean, Alaska or the Mediterranean.

On Your Own Research - Visit every cruise line's website and search for sailings during those dates. Write it all down. Try to figure out if you got them all. Hint: There's approximately 70 cruises on the main cruise lines that meet the criteria.

Working with me: Of the 70 cruises, I have special rates or perks on 24 of those sailings not available through the cruise line.

But the real magic comes in curating the list so you aren't overwhelmed.

To narrow down the list of 70 cruises, I ask a series of questions - How far do you want to fly? What amenities on the ship are important? What destination sounds most intriguing to you? What's the price range you have in mind?

Then, I prepare a list for you of sailings I recommend based my personal experience cruising and the trainings I've taken over the years. You get the list via email.

I can also review the current inventory to make sure connecting cabins or cabins close together are available. I can place options on hold so you have some type to decide without losing the booking.

Working with a travel agent is not for everyone. Many people love all the research and the satisfaction of figuring it all out themselves. If you are not of those people, maybe you'll consider working with me on your next vacation. Click here to email me. You can also request a time to chat.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Sneak Peek



In recognition of my partnership with Sandals, I earned 4 free nights. I chose to stay at Sandals Royal Plantation and took advantage of the exchange privileges to visit Sandals Ochi Beach. That's right. You can book your Sandals vacation with me for the exact same price as booking with Sandals and get my great service. No more calls to Jamaica or Miami to get your questions answered.

Sandals Ochi Beach resort is an all inclusive adults only resort near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It's divided into three sections:

Monday, July 29, 2019

What You Need to Know: Traveling During Hurricane Season

 
Hurricane season runs June 1st to November 30th. This season impacts Hawaii, Mexico, most of the Caribbean, the gulf coast of the US, and Florida and the Carolinas. Many people want to vacation in the summer or fall in so I caution them about what the weather impact of hurricane season could be on their vacations.

So let's break it down:

Cruises
Cruises are a good bet during Hurricane Season as long as you don't get seasick. The reason why is cruises can adjust their itineraries to avoid the path of the storm as long as the storm isn't hitting their embarkation port. For instance, if a hurricane or tropical storm is headed towards the Eastern Caribbean, the ship can switch to a Western Caribbean itinerary to avoid the storm. Now this could be very disappointing to you if you would had your heart set on going to a particular island on that itinerary.
All inclusive resorts
For travelers heading to an all-inclusive resort,  I strongly recommend purchasing Cancel For Any Reason insurance. This insurance gives you a full refund as long as you cancel before your flight takes off. I've been able to use this insurance to move people from Mexico to Jamaica depending on the path of the storm.
Flights
If flying to/from areas in the hurricane zone, try to get the first flight of the day. The plane usually will have landed the night before so you have less chance of delay. Avoid the last flight of the day. This flight has an increased chance of delays or cancellations.  Pay close attention to your connection cities. Try to connect to city outside the hurricane zone.
Home Rentals
Home rental services have gotten very popular. If you are going to take the risk of renting a home in a hurricane area during hurricane season, be sure to do your homework. What the terms and conditions for cancellation if the home sustains damage before your arrival? Is the home in an evacuation area? What would you need do to shelter in place?
Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. My job as a travel agent is to make sure you have the information you need to make a great vacation decision.
This season impacts Hawaii, Mexico, most of the Caribbean, the gulf coast of the US, and Florida and the Carolinas. Many people want to vacation in the summer or fall in so I caution them about what the weather impact of hurricane season could be on their vacations.


So let's break it down:


Cruises

Cruises are a good bet during Hurricane Season as long as you don't get seasick. The reason why is cruises can adjust their itineraries to avoid the path of the storm as long as the storm isn't hitting their embarkation port. For instance, if a hurricane or tropical storm is headed towards the Eastern Caribbean, the ship can switch to a Western Caribbean itinerary to avoid the storm. Now this could be very disappointing to you if you would had your heart set on going to a particular island on that itinerary.


All inclusive resorts

For travelers heading to an all-inclusive resort,  I strongly recommend purchasing Cancel For Any Reason insurance. This insurance gives you a full refund as long as you cancel before your flight takes off. I've been able to use this insurance to move people from Mexico to Jamaica depending on the path of the storm.


Flights

If flying to/from areas in the hurricane zone, try to get the first flight of the day. The plane usually will have landed the night before so you have less chance of delay. Avoid the last flight of the day. This flight has an increased chance of delays or cancellations.  Pay close attention to your connection cities. Try to connect to city outside the hurricane zone.


Home Rentals

Home rental services have gotten very popular. If you are going to take the risk of renting a home in a hurricane area during hurricane season, be sure to do your homework. What the terms and conditions for cancellation if the home sustains damage before your arrival? Is the home in an evacuation area? What would you need do to shelter in place?


Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. My job as a travel agent is to make sure you have the information you need to make a great vacation decision.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Noelle Nashville Hotel Tour


Noelle Nashville is a luxury hotel just steps from Printers' Alley in Nashville, Tennessee. It's also two long blocks from Broadway and one block from the Ryman.  The hotel has a coffee shop, lobby bar, rooftop bar and lounge, a speakeasy and MakeReady - a full service restaurant.

This video includes a king bed studio. I found the hotel very comfortable. The happy hour at MakeReady is terrific. I love the included Morning Coffee. You just call room service and they send up a carafe of coffee to your room. the fitness center is well equipped.

Take a look:





Plus, if you book through travel agents like me you can access the Select rate which includes an upgrade based on availability, a daily credit for breakfast, and a $100 food and beverage credit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dreams Los Cabos Sneak Peek



Dreams Los Cabos is a family friendly all inclusive resort in The Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose on the Pacific coast of Mexico. All the rooms have sleeper sofas. No reservations are required at any of the a la carte restaurants so you don't have to worry about scheduling your vacation. The resort has lots of activities to keep younger kids busy: water slide, splash park, playground on the beach, and supervised kids' club. Older kids will like the beachfront basketball court, batting cage, rock climbing tower, and long, wide beach. You can't swim in the ocean here because of the currents.  The tour includes a Family Junior Suite Ocean View room.

Take a peek:




I post new videos every Tuesday. You can sign up to have them delivered to your inbox by clicking here.

Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me to get this planning party started.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Azul Fives Sneak Peek

 

Azul Fives is a family all inclusive resort in Riviera Maya. It has one, two, or three bedroom suites that are great for girlfriend getaways or extended family trips. Animal lovers will love the natural mangroves and resident monkeys in the middle of the resort. The resort is very spread out so bring walking shoes or your patience to wait for the golf cart shuttles. 
 
Take a peek:
 
 



I post new videos every Tuesday. Click here to have them delivered to your inbox and I'll also send you my top 10 tips for all inclusive resorts and how to choose a family or adults only all inclusive resort.

Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Margaritaville Orlando Resort Tour and Review


Margaritaville Resort Orlando is a great headquarters for a central Florida vacation. You are 20 - 30 minutes from all the major theme parks and walking distance to shops and restaurants. The resort has four restaurants:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Marriott Grand Cayman Beach Resort aka Beach House Sneak Peek



The Grand Cayman Marriott aka Beach House is well loved by locals and Marriott rewards members. The common areas had a major renovation mid-2018. It has a unique boutique vibe. The dining is well reviewed and Veranda is one of the top restaurants in Grand Cayman. Strong storms washed the beach away so the pool area and beach area can get crowded. This is a great home base for travelers who like a mix of locals and tourists at the bar and plan to spend their days exploring the island. One unique feature is the reef swimmable distance from shore. Snorkeling gear is included in the resort fee.




Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Grand Velas Los Cabos


Grand Velas is an all inclusive family resort located in The Corridor between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. 

This is a terrific resort for travelers who appreciate terrific food and service.  The menu at one restaurant was designed by the Michelin starred chef. 

The wellness suites will be a hit with travelers who in training or want to keep up their nutritional programs while on vacation.  I think the best feature of the wellness suite is your dining concierge who works with the chefs at all the restaurants to customize your menus for your dietary needs.

I was very impressed with the size of the suites. 80% of the suites are connecting.  The kids' programming is great. This is a perfect resort for a multi-generational trip.

Take a peek:




I post new resort blogs every Tuesday. Click here to sign up to have them delivered to your inbox.

Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to get started.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Universal Studios Orlando



Loews Sapphire Falls resort is a 6 minute water shuttle ride away from Universal Studios Orlando. It's one of my favorite Universal Studios Orlando resorts because of the Strong water Tavern, fun pool area, spacious lobby, and great breakfast sandwiches at New Dutch Trading Company. One of the key features of the Loews resorts is the text message customer service. You are easily connected to the customer service if you need anything or to let you know when your room is ready.

Join me on a resort tour:



Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email so we can start the planning party.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Warwick Paradise Island All Inclusive Resort


Warwick Paradise Island is an adults only all inclusive resort. It's a simple resort with 5 restaurants. It's located on a marina where you can fish off the pier. Since it's not on the beach, they will shuttle you to Cabbage Beach and include lunch, drinks, a lounge chair and umbrella. It has a lobby bar and a beach bar. 

Join me on a resort tour:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Rosewood Baha Mar Sneak Peek



Rosewood is what Nassau has been missing - an upscale resort with great service.  The resort has two pools - one quiet and one with zero entry for kids. I love that they have a button on your lounge chair to make it easy to call over a server. You have your choice of an elegant tea room or cozy bar for casual dining. Commonwealth serves breakfast and dinner. The beach is beautiful plus you have access to all the amenities at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar.

Take a peek:



Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Azul Negril Update 2019

 


Azul Negril is a family all inclusive resort on Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica. It has terrific swim up suites, great dining, and a terrific beach area.

I earned a free four night stay through Apple Vacations and chose Azul Negril because I loved it so much last fall. You can see my full resort tour by clicking here.


 Since my last visit, the construction finished for the section near Garfields and new construction has started on the decking.

Take a look:




I post new videos every Tuesday. You can sign up to have them delivered to your inbox by clicking here.

Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SLS Baha Mar Sneak Peek


SLS is like the cool older sister to Grand Hyatt in the Baha Mar complex: hip, modern with great suites. You have access to all the restaurants and casino at the Grand Hyatt. It feels like you are returning to your own private enclave. The privilege pool is the spot for South Beach style pool parties with DJs and bottle service. You do need to reserve a cabana to enjoy. This is great for couples who want a more sophisticated experience or groups of friends who love sharing a large suite for a fun, party weekend.

Take a peek:




Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

RIU Palace Paradise Island Bahamas

 

RIU Palace Paradise Island is similar to the other RIU Palace resorts with a big buffet, active swim up bar, evening shows and DJs, and a la carte restaurants. It's smaller than many RIU Palace resorts. I like that one of the a la carte restaurants is Indian. It's located in between Atlantis and the public beach.


Take a peek:



Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

How much cash should I take?



One question I get a lot from clients is "How much cash should I take?"
In general, I like to prepay for as much as possible to minimize the amount of cash I need to bring.
Here's how I figure how much cash to bring:
1. Tips for drivers and guides - I make list of all my transfers and excursions and how much I'd like to tip.
2. Shopping and meals - Will we be places where we will need cash to shop or buy a meal?
3. Tips for housekeeping, waiters, and bartenders - I make a list of tips I'll want to leave for the staff. For all-inclusive resorts and cruises, we budget $10 - $15 a day since gratuities are included or charged to our on board account.
4. Transportation - Will I need to take a taxi? I google how much that will cost.
5. The emergency $100 - I always have $100 in emergency cash.
6. Casino Cash - Is there a casino? How much do I want to gamble?


On cruises, I make an envelope for each port with the amount of cash I'll need for that port.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort Tour


 
 
JW Marriott Grande Lakes is located in Orlando, Florida. It's a family resort close to the theme parks. I loved all the dining options and the large winding pool. It does get busy during school breaks. Be sure to review the shuttle schedule and sign up for transportation to the Parks.
 
Join me on a tour:
 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos Review and Resort Tour 2019




First, a huge thank you to the team at Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos and Palace Resorts for sponsoring my 3 night stay. They didn't ask for a review, but I can't help sharing my opinion.
The word I use to describe Le Blanc Los Cabos is "pampered". From the pool butler who placed chilled cucumbers over my eyes to the spa attendant who walked me through the water journey to the butler who arrived at my door each morning with an almond milk latte as I was waking up - I felt so pampered.  This is a resort for people looking for quiet relaxation with excellent food and drinks. No loud music at the pool. It's not a place where the bartender will be lining up shots. This is perfect for a couple looking to get away from all the noise or a girls' trip for ladies who love a great spa or a Mother/Daughter trip.

Join me on a tour:




This is not a resort for people who like an active swim up bar scene, love water sports, or like doing everything themselves.  An important thing to know is that the beach is not swimmable. You can't get into the ocean or do any water sports like kayaking or paddle boarding here.
 
 
I post new videos every Tuesday. You can sign up to have them delivered to your inbox by clicking here.
 
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Resort Tour: B Ocean Fort Lauderdale


B Ocean Fort Lauderdale is a beachfront resort close to the cruise port and the airport. It's a great resort for a pre-cruise or post-cruise stay. I really like that the pool is right by the beach. It makes it so easy for families that some members that love the pool and others that love the beach.

Take a resort tour:


Monday, April 15, 2019

El Dorado Royale Review

Margarita and Aldo contacted me to plan their anniversary trip. I recommended El Dorado Royale based on what was important to them.

Here's their review:



I don't even know where to begin.

The trip was absolutely amazing, and our first trip to Mexico.

We arrived on Monday, April 8. You had the instructions down to a tee. The airport was just as described in your photos It was provided perfectly to us.


We were welcomed with Champagne in the lobby and our bags taken to our rooms.

The staff provided detailed instructions as we checked in and a ride in the golf cart transportation straight to our doorstep. 



We stepped out to have lunch. When we returned, we found a bottle of Champagne on ice!

We met our concierge, Angel and Adrian they quickly hooked us up with a Candle Light Dinner on the beach to start the celebratory reason we were there. The experience and the food was undoubtedly perfect! They then topped it off with our dessert on a plate that wished us a Happy 25th.
 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Client Conundrum: Planning a multi-generational trip




In the last few years, I've seen a great increase in multi-generational trips. Grandma and Grandpa want to take the whole family on a vacation.  It can be overwhelming trying to find a vacation option for all ages.

That's why I am here to help. I navigate you through the options based on what works best for your family.

Flights - Do you all want to meet up in a connecting city?

Accommodations - Want an accommodation where the adults can hang out in the evenings or is it better if everyone has their own room?  I can even make sure cruise ship cabin is *accidently* on the other side of your ship from your annoying brother.

Best Value - Are you getting the best value?  Multiple rooms or cruise ship cabins can mean extra perks with some resorts or cruise lines.

For more information, email me or watch my webinar on how to travel together and stay friends.





Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Half Moon Cay Tour

 
Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by Carnival and used by Carnival and Holland America.  The island has a horse ranch, villas, cabanas, and a huge lagoon. 
 
All your dining on the island is included. Drinks are extra. You can choose from lots of fun excursions like:
  • Horseback riding
  • Jet Skis
  • Kayaks or sailboats
  • A sting ray encounter
  • A Lagoon boat tour
No shade or umbrellas are available so you'll want to rent a clamshell or a cabana. The beach and water are gorgeous!
 
Take a look: 
 
 



If you are interested in booking a cruise to Half Moon Cay, click here to email me.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sneak Peek: Barcelo Maya Palace



Barcelo Maya Palace is a family all inclusive resort in Riviera Maya. It's located in the Barcelo complex with four other family resorts. The complex has mini golf, bowling alley, teen disco, adult disco, shops, flow rider, and a gorgeous spa with a special Kid Spa. 

What sets the Palace apart are the large junior suites that fit a family of five, access to all the other resorts, an adults only pool, unlimited a la carte dinner reservations, and oceanfront dining. 

 



Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Sneak Peek: Royalton Riviera Cancun and the adults only section: Hideaway





Royalton Riviera Cancun is an active family all inclusive resort with an adults only section called Hideaway.  

 
I think this is a great resort for groups or a trip with the extended family.  

  •  People without kids could book the Hideaway Adults Only section.
  • People who like to live the fancy life can book Diamond Club with exclusive amenities and areas in the resort.
  • Families will love the splash park, slides, and kids' programs.

 
It has an active night life with a disco and sports bar. 
 




Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Email Angie@TripswithAngie.com

Friday, March 29, 2019

My Ireland Trip - Daily Video Diaries

Yesterday I returned from a week in Ireland. Avanti Destinations chose eight travel agents from the across the United States to experience the northern portion of the Wild Atlantic Way. My trip was sponsored. I was not asked to write or produce anything. I fell in love with this area of Ireland and was excited each day to document what I experienced.


We covered about half of it. We almost reached Galway before heading back to Dublin. We also dipped into Northern Ireland. The goal of the trip was to explore this area that isn't typical on escorted tours. We visited hotels, took tours, and explored the rugged coast.

Each day, I edited a short one to two minute video giving the highlights of the day:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Resort Tour: Pink Shell Resort Fort Myers Beach, Florida



Pink Shell is an ocean front resort near Fort Myers, Florida with three pools, a splash park, three restaurants, and a gorgeous beach. A marina is directly across the street. I liked the location. It's close to the main drag, but far enough away that's it's not crazy.



Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Email Angie@TripswithAngie.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Sneak Peek


 
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is a large resort, casino, and convention center. The resort offers many dining options including food trucks near the pool and beach for easy lunches or snacks. The resort manages to still feel Bahamian through great art, shops, and tropical foliage. A kids' club is available for an extra charge. Non-motorized water sports are included in the resort fee. 
 
Take a peek:
 



I post new videos every Tuesday. Be sure to subscribe or you can sign up to have them delivered to your inbox. Click here to sign up and get my top tips for choosing an all inclusive resort.  
Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Family Friendly New Orleans


New Orleans, Louisiana or the “Big Easy” is known for it’s exciting nightlife, vibrant music scene and a late winter carnival party known as Mardi Gras. Despite its party reputation, New Orleans has lots to do for families from parks and cultural centers to museums and sporting events.

 


A great first experience in the city is to hop on a streetcar. Try the St. Charles Streetcar and ride uptown to the Garden District from the French Quarter. The route takes you past antebellum mansions, historic monuments, Loyola and Tulane universities, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels. A ride will cost you $1.25 one way, exact change is required.

 

Family Friendly Phoenix, Arizona


The Valley of the Sun or Phoenix, Arizona is the capital of the state of Arizona. The area is known for its high-end resort spas, golf courses and nightlife, but there is also plenty to do in this sun-drenched desert destination for families. Summers here can be VERY hot, so fall, winter and spring are better times to visit.

 

 

Top Attractions:

The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the U.S. The zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, including 30 endangered species. It is open daily except Christmas Day. Buy tickets online in advance and save.

 

Located in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center has over 350 permanent hands-on exhibits. The Science Center also hosts traveling exhibits throughout the year. Closed only on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

 

Perfect for children ages birth to age 10, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix has three floors of hands-on, interactive and educational exhibits. Open Tuesday-Sunday and select Mondays.

 

Kids love the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park located in Scottsdale. This 30 acre park features a 15 gauge railroad with scale steam, diesel locomotives and riding stock. There is also a carousel, museum, two playgrounds, and picnic area.

 

Phoenix is home to the only Global Instrument Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum has a collection of over 15,000 musical instruments from nearly 200 countries. Visitors on average spend about 4 hours here and this is the number one attraction in the Phoenix area despite only opening in 2010.  The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

 

Future firefighter in the family? The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting in Phoenix has a fire safety exhibit where kids can climb a fire pole, dress up in uniforms, explore the Safety House, and participate in interactive activities. The museum also has dozens of fire vehicles dating back to 1725, plus lots of other fire memorabilia.

 

How about a future police officer? The Phoenix Police Museum is a small museum that gives kids the opportunity to wear a police uniform, and see a police car, helicopter and motorcycle up close. Kids can also get their “mug shot” taken in the photo booth. The museum is run by retired police offers and admission is free. Allow about an hour for this museum.

 

Hiking is a popular activity in the Phoenix area. Make sure if you go hiking to wear a hat, sunblock and bring plenty of water. You are in the desert so watch for rattlesnakes and scorpions. A few recommended spots in the area:

1.     Camelback Mountain- The most well-known hiking spot in the area. With an elevation of 2,706 feet, those who hike to the summit will be greeted with amazing 360 degree views of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley. With grade schoolers try the easier Ramada Loop.

2.     Hole in the Rock- Great, short hike for kids located in Papago Park. Climb up a short trail and then ascend the steps to the mouth of the hole and enjoy the views of the beautiful lake and picturesque desert.

3.     Phoenix Mountain Preserve- This large desert park is located right inside the city. There are a variety of well marked trails and paths with great views. The park is also has a visitor’s center.

 

Day trip suggestions from Phoenix:

1.     Sedona- Located about 2 hours from Phoenix, is a small town known for its charm, beauty and hospitality. The town sits at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon and is surrounded by towering red rock formations. It is the perfect spot for hiking, biking, and kayaking. The climate here is dry and temperate, so the weather is almost always perfect.

2.     Montezuma Castle National Park- This apartment style dwelling was carved into a limestone cliff by a Native American tribe, the Sinagua, more than 600 years ago. Visitors can walk the trails and view artifacts in the on-site museum. The park is located about an hour and a half from Phoenix.

3.     Saguaro National Park- Located about 2.5 hours from Phoenix, this park was developed to protect the giant Saguaro cactus. The park offers hiking trails, camping sites, and special nighttime events.

4.     Petrified National Forest- There is no other park in the U.S. like this one. Located 2.5 hours from Phoenix, the forest is known for fossils of plants and animals that existed during the Triassic Period and special extraction events are offered for children. The Painted Desert and the Rainbow Forest are also part of the park.

 

While not necessarily just a day trip from Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is a great place to visit from there. It’s only a 3.5 hour drive, but you may want to spend some extra time the area. The area offers views of the Canyon, hiking, bike tours, horseback riding and water rafting.

 

Phoenix Professional Sports Teams- Phoenix has five professional sports teams. For game tickets visit the team website or a reputable ticket broker.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks- Professional Baseball Team, regular season runs late March through the end of September. Tours are available of Chase Field year round. Please check the website for details.

Arizona Cardinals- Professional Football team, regular season runs September through December. If you are interested in a tour of State Farm Stadium please contact that stadium tour hotline at 623-433-7165.

Arizona Coyotes- Professional Hockey Team, regular season runs from October through early-April.

Phoenix Suns- Professional Basketball Team, regular season runs from mid-October through mid-April. To determine if tours are currently being offered of Talking Stick Resort Arena, please contact 602-379-2060.

Phoenix Mercury- Professional Women’s Basketball Team, regular season runs from late May through early September. To determine if tours are currently being offered of Talking Stick Resort Arena, please contact 602-379-2060

 

Spring Training

In addition to these 5 professional sports teams, Phoenix is also the spring training home of the Cactus League. Cactus League teams include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. Spring Training games run from late February through late March. For more information on Spring Training please visit the Cactus League website.

 


Family Friendly Phoenix Restaurants

1.     Camp Social- This camping themed restaurant has tire swings that hang from the top of the bar, a wooden canoe suspended from the ceiling, and an arcade room with skeeball and shuffleboard. The pizzas are named after National Parks and follow the theme of the park.

2.     Angry Crab Shack- With 6 locations in the area, this popular seafood spot offers Southern-style seafood boils priced by the pound. Kids love it, because they can be noisy and messy. Boil choices include shrimp, king crab, crawfish, mussels, and blue crab.

3.     Luci’s at The Orchard- This restaurant has a splash pad and plenty of open space for kids to run around. It starts to get crowded around 10 AM, so get here early for breakfast. Kids love the funky monkey French toast. Luci’s also serves lunch.

4.     The Teapot- A family friendly coffee shop geared toward children ages 1-8, this converted historic home in downtown Phoenix has a great play space including a playhouse with a slide and mini rock wall. Kids can also play with push-pedal cars and other toys. There is a seating area for parents with wooden patio tables. It is only open from September through May.

5.     The Perch- Located in Chandler this restaurant  serving craft food and craft beer is known for its outdoor seating area and over 50 exotic birds. There are also games to keep families entertained.

6.     Chelsea’s Kitchen- This fun spot is located in Arcadia and is rated as having one of the best kids menus in the area. Kids meals are fun, inventive and served on TV dinner-type trays. Kids also eat free from 3 to 6 pm.

7.     Rustler’s Rooste- An authentic cowboy steakhouse located in Phoenix. Diners have the option to enter the main dining room of the restaurant via a slide, or sit out on the patio and enjoy an amazing view of the city.