5 Activities To Do in Arizona on Vacation

I recently celebrated my birthday, and the only thing I wanted was to return to Arizona for vacation. I planned to take my niece and brother because I had a flight credit, and then my mother joined in. My vacation quickly turned into a “semi” family trip, as my sister, her boyfriend, his son, and their other son also joined in on this trip. However, my two sisters who are studying in college did not attend this trip, so it wasn’t a full family trip. We did have a ton of fun among those in attendance. 

As you all know by now, I like to do activities that are more family friendly. First, I am more interested in wholesome activities, which do not center the use of alcohol or other controlled substances. Typically, I won’t share activities like bar hopping or night club dancing, chilling at hookah lounges, or things of that nature. It’s not what I am interested in. Second, I like to do family friendly activities because I want to be able to bring my niece and brother along and give them some great experiences and memories. I am sharing 5 family friendly activities you can do on vacation in Arizona with those reasons in mind. In addition, just because these activities are family friendly, it doesn’t mean you need kids to do them. These activities are meant to be enjoyed amongst people of all ages!


First, spend an afternoon swimming. We reserved a villa at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort again, and the first thing we did was check out the pools. Yes, pools, as in plural. This AZ resort has 5 pools to accommodate all of their guests. Each pool has a hot tub close by, and they are located in different areas on the resort grounds making them easy and convenient to access. Swimming is a top activity to do while on vacation. Sometimes, all you want to do is lay out by the pool, take a quick dip, and cast away your worries. That is exactly what we did! I even gave my niece a swim lesson one day to help her familiarize herself with the water and put her face in it. Swimming is definitely an activity I try to always do while on vacation.


Second, tour Arizona State University. I graduated from ASU online with my Master’s in Legal Studies, MLS in 2017. It was nice to go back and visit the campus four years later. The first time I stepped on the Tempe campus was for vacation and graduation in 2017. I didn’t really spend a significant amount of time on campus, except for a grad activity the night before graduation and for the actual ceremony. This time, we walked around campus in the morning to check it out. While the school that offered my program was actually at a different campus, I like the Tempe campus a lot. It was absolutely beautiful. I definitely recommend spending a cool morning just touring an ASU campus. The campus is really a college town area with tons of restaurants, shopping spots, galleries, and more. The next time I go to Arizona, I plan to visit my school on the downtown Phoenix Campus – the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.


Third, visit the Arizona Boardwalk. This attraction is perfect for a day of fun. The Arizona boardwalk is essentially a mall with a courtyard, but the shops are all arcade-like activity and experience centers. This boardwalk includes attractions such as Surprise Your Eyes, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, The Butterfly Wonderland, and more. Our group split up and went to the Pangea Land of Dinosaurs and the Lasers and Mirrors attractions before meeting up to experience the VR Extreme. It really was so much fun. 


Fourth, take time to attend one of Arizona’s many festivals. You can check different event websites for the areas that you vacation in, but there always seems to be something happening during the holidays. Arizona has many festivals and light shows each night of the week that you can attend. When we first went to Scottsdale in 2017, we attended the Boat Lights Festival in Tempe, which had a boat show and different vendors selling food and handmade items. This time around we took a visit to Scottsdazzle. It was a walk along the Scottsdale Waterfront to experience the holiday lights, music, restaurants, and a well-lit, extremely tall Christmas tree. The tree was well over 10 feet high.


Fifth, a visit to the Grand Canyon is something you should definitely try to experience. The Grand Canyon is one of the 7 Wonders of the world, and honestly, it is just a big, beautiful, colorful, layered hole! 😉 However, this big hole in the earth truly does take your breath away. When you first look at the Grand Canyon, you are just blown away by its size and depth. The more you explore it, you are just filled with serenity and gratitude for the experience. We visited the South Rim, and stopped at Yavapai Village, Hopi House, and Bright Angel. This is one wonder you will want to see. In addition to visiting the Grand Canyon, you can add stops to your trip and visit the Red Rocks in Sedona or stop in Williams, AZ and “get your kicks on Route 66”. 

There is so much you can do in Arizona. While these are 5 activities that we did, you can do many other things, such as: 

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking 
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides 
  • Casinos 
  • Desert Botanical Gardens 
  • Shopping 
  • Antelope Canyon 
  • Odysea Aquarium 

Of course, I wouldn’t be me without having a mini photoshoot. I woke up before the sun rose one morning to take some pictures of myself and watch the sunrise. This birthday trip was amazing!


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