A Budget Friendly Weekend In Flagstaff With Kids


Today we’re sharing our favorite budget weekend itinerary for Flagstaff with kids, and the best hotel in Flagstaff with kids.

We recently tested out this itinerary for a weekend up north and were so happy with how affordable Flagstaff really can be when utilizing hotel amenities to their fullest advantage. 

Keep reading for a pre-planned itinerary that keeps the fun high, temps cool and exploration abundant for a summer trip that doesn’t break the bank.

If you’re looking to squeeze in everything in northern Arizona into a one-night overnight stay, here’s a turnaround itinerary to get in the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Bearizona and more all with just one hotel night. 


East Valley Moms


Best hotel in Flagstaff with kids 

A Budget Friendly Weekend In Flagstaff With KidsAmericana Motor Hotel is our favorite family-friendly hotel in Flagstaff. It’s centrally located (and very close to Flagstaff’s Chick-fil-a), and truly makes the weekend affordable when utilizing all their included amenities.

Keep reading for how we incorporated each amenity into our plan to keep costs low. 

Heads up: One thing that kept our weekend budget friendly was packing a few picnic meals, but Flagstaff does offer amazing dining options as well, if you’re looking for.

Weekend itinerary with kids in Flagstaff: day 1

Upon check in, take them up on the complementary canned cocktail they offer at arrival and head straight to the pool. (Their pool is heated, so if there’s a little northern Arizona chill in the air, the water will be warm). 

A Budget Friendly Weekend In Flagstaff With KidsThe pool allows snacks and refreshments, so pack your coolers accordingly as well. 

After swimming, head into your hotel room and settle in before taking advantage of the outdoor “backyard” of the property that is comparable to many restaurant patios. 

Americana Motor Hotel’s backyard boasts hammocks, corn hole, bocce ball, firepits, patio seating and picnic tables. It was so nice after a day of driving to not have to drive or expect a kiddo to sit still at a restaurant. 

There’s also a taco shop on property that offers a discount for hotel guests when you show your room key, if packing a picnic isn’t your thing. 

After dinner, we stayed at the backyard for s’mores and stargazing. 

Flagstaff is known for it’s dark skies that make the stars incredibly bright, and the hotel has free telescopes for guests to checkout for the night. 

Weekend itinerary with kids in Flagstaff: day 2

A Budget Friendly Weekend In Flagstaff With KidsLoad up after a quick breakfast at the hotel backyard and head to Walnut Canyon, a national parks monument that offers stroller friendly and kid friendly paths to experience ancient indigenous people’s cave dwellings. 

Walnut Canyon is a 10 minute drive from the hotel, making it an easy “day trip” with kids. (Working on a full blog post on Walnut Canyon soon!)

Walnut Canyon has a National Parks visitors center where kids can earn their jr. ranger badge, see ancient artifacts found from the ancient dwellings and there’s two trails to experience the site. One trail is stroller friendly, the other has a significant amount of stairs, but it kid friendly and the payoff of getting to go inside some of the cave dwellings is really neat for adults and kids alike.

Now onto the budget hack for Walnut Canyon: We got in FREE (typically $25/car admission) with our America The Beautiful National Parks annual pass. Essentially it’s an annual pass that gives complimentary access to all national parks across the country. If you don’t have one, you can also see if there’s a free national parks day happening during your travel (there’s two this summer: June 19 and August 4, 2024).

We spent half a day here doing both trails, the visitors center and ample ramadas and picnic tables. 

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for some downtown before heading to downtown Flagstaff to browse the shops and eat an early dinner at Lumberyard Brewery. We love this brewery with kids: there’s a large patio with views of the Flagstaff train passing by and has great food. 

If you have kids confident on bikes, the hotel also offers free bikes to ride through town; from the hotel to downtown is easy to bike to. 

Before bedtime, we checked out board games from the hotel lobby for a game night. (And yes, their games have all their pieces and aren’t sticky ;))

Weekend itinerary with kids in Flagstaff: day 3

If your kids are early risers, head to Buffalo Park (8 minutes from the hotel) for a stroller walk or a nature walk. It’s a nice flat pathway, there’s restrooms and the park boasts stunning views of the San Francisco peaks.

After checkout, head to see Arizona’s volcano, Sunset Crater National Monument, about 20 minutes from the hotel. (another free admission hack with the America the Beautiful pass). 

I suggest this attraction on a departure day because we didn’t spend as long here as at Walnut Canyon, but it was definitely worth stopping at–working on a full blog post about this next! 

Families can walk on volcano ash and learn about how every American astronaut has trained for space exploration here in Flagstaff! This also gave us the ‘ah-ha’ of why our hotel was 1960s space themed. 

There’s nice picnic areas at this national park as well for a picnic before heading back down the road.

Other free things to do with Kids in Flagstaff

Here’s more free summer options to weave into your Flagstaff summer trip, depending on days of the week you’ll be up north. 

Kids Squared  is offered two days a week throughout June and July to provide fun, engaging activities from community partners including Lowell Observatory, Game & Fish, Flagstaff Little Music Makers, Wee Scotty Sews and MORE!

Date: Tuesdays and Thursdays June 4 – July 30, 2024 (excluding July 4)
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Heritage Square, Downtown Flagstaff

Movies on the Square 🎬 a FREE family-friendly evening on Heritage Square – Flagstaff’s downtown living room. There will be live music and activities starting at 4 p.m., followed by the movie at dusk. 

Dates: Saturdays May 25 – August 31, 2024
Time: Dusk
Location: Heritage Square, Downtown Flagstaff

Laser tag at Flag Tag AZ: Score a free game of laser tag when you use your @getoutpass. Use code ‘xoxoEVM’ for the best discount on this annual pass that gives free entry to more than 50 Arizona attractions. 

Fit4Mom Flagstaff: Get a free first class when traveling! This is a fun way to meet local moms and get other recommendations on local events during your visit, and get a fun stroller workout in as well. 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here