Day-Trip Delight: 5 Last-Minute Spring Break Adventures for Families


Spring break is just around the corner, and if a week-long vacation isn’t in the cards, fear not! 

We’ve rounded up five fantastic last-minute day trips that promise family-friendly fun and excitement. 

Whether you’re seeking to log 1000 hours this year, or just some small town exploration, these destinations are perfect for a spontaneous day getaway with kids. 

Let’s trade the stress of extended travel for the joy of quick, memorable adventures. Pack some snacks, grab the kids, and let’s make the most of your spring break with these day-trip delights!


East Valley Moms 


1. Day trip to Tortilla Flats:

Tortilla Flat, Arizona, is the perfect day trip destination for families. 

Boasting a population of six residents, this last surviving stagecoach stop is an easy day trip destination less than an hour away from most points in the East Valley. 

Tortilla Flat offers not only lessons in Arizona history (great for bringing out of town visitors, too), but also is a stunning backdrop to Arizona’s desert beauty. 

Keep reading for all the hidden gems (lots of them free) for making the most out of a day trip to Tortilla Flat.

2. Day trip to Out of Africa:

Camp Verde is an easy day trip for families–about 90 minutes from most of the East Valley. Out of Africa is not your average zoo–they specialize in large animals–lots of lions, bears, giraffes, etc. 

Camp Verde is only about 5 degrees cooler than the East Valley, so if this is on your radar for 2024, don’t go in summer, go now while the weather is still nice!! Full blog post here with some discounted coupon hacks.

3. Picacho Peak State Park

An hour-ish outside of the Valley, on your way to Tucson, is Picacho Peak State Park.  It’s equal parts majestic mountain, spring wildflowers, and family friendly hiking.

Read on for tips on how to enjoy this beautiful, and often over-looked, state park here on our day trip itinerary here.

4. Day trip to Tonto Natural Bridge:

Day-Trip Delight: 5 Last-Minute Spring Break Adventures for FamiliesWant to explore the largest natural travertine bridge in the world? Obviously. 

Lucky for you, it’s only about 90 minutes away, just north of Payson! 

This amazing “blink and you miss it” spot is a must-do with kids of all ages and abilities.  Read on to see why it’s one of our family favorites! See our full day trip guide here.

5. Day trip to Strawberry:

About 90 minutes from the East Valley, this is a fun trip for older elementary aged kids or tweens who enjoy small town shops, treats and more. Wondering what to do? See our day trip itinerary for the best way to enjoy the day in this little piece of rim country heaven.

CLOSED: Day trip to Tonto Fish Hatchery: 

As of this publication, this is closed to the public while Arizona Game & Fish invest an invasive species. Keep updated for re-openings here.

Kids can see 12 fish raceways, plus a show pond where tiny trouts to huge fish can be observed (and fed!) at this free attraction. Plus, kids can feed fish (parents, bring quarters, or at least cash–there is a change machine). 

Get the full day trip guide here. 


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