Need a vacation? What about a STAYcation?


It seems that our summers in Arizona are short.  Sometime it can be difficult and costly to travel out of state for a fun-filled family vacation.  And sometimes it’s a Friday afternoon and you want to take a break from home life for the weekend!  What better way to spend the weekend with a night or two away at one of our amazing family friendly resorts that the Valley has to offer for a STAYcation!


Ultimate STAYcation guide for Arizona | East Valley Moms Blog

*Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass-Located on the Gila River Indian Community, the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is Arizona’s premier Native American owned luxury resort with AAA Five-Diamond dining at Kai, Aji Spa, Whirlwind Golf Club, four pools and the Koli Equestrian Center.

No other resort will keep your family busier than the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass!  The activities here are virtually endless!  Saddle up for some western fun at Rawhide, take a wagon ride to the Koli Equestrian Center, spend a day at the huge resort pool (with yummy food and drinks) or throughout special weekends in the summer check out the inflatable waterpark and indoor bounce fest!

Why we love it:  river boat adventure and the awesome pool! 

Last Memorial Day weekend enjoyed a staycation at the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass and we got to participate in so.many.activities.  From the indoor bounce fest (complete with cotton candy) to dive-in movies, paddleboats, an inflatable waterpark and culinary classes…we all needed naps when we got home!  Just a few miles from I-10 you will truly feel like you are in a desert paradise here!  The surroundings are gorgeous, it’s peaceful at night and just a short drive from most East Valley cities!




*JW Marriott Desert Ridge-the award-winning, AAA 4-Diamond JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa welcomes guests to its stunning 316 acres in the Sonoran Desert.

The resort offers five pools to including the Mesa Pool, Wildfire Pool, Sidewinder Pool, Lazy River Outdoor Pool and the Revive Spa adult pool. There are also two whirlpools, a Lazy River, Serpentine Waterslide and Kids Splash Pad.

Why we love it: the lazy river and water slide keep the kiddos entertained for hours!

Take advantage of the Family Escape Kids Club while you are there.  Parents can enjoy some adult time by the pool or spa while the kiddos are entertained!  In the mornings, they offer a daily drop-off and the afternoons are reserved for family fun time!  They also have special night time parties on the weekends!



*Arizona Grand Resort & Spa-Nestled at the base of America’s largest urban park and wilderness preserve, Arizona’s only AAA Four Diamond all-suite resort features spacious one and two-bedroom suites.

Why we love it: The Oasis Water Park!  Voted by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s Top 10 Water Parks, families and kids of all ages can spend their days playing in the park’s infinite waves. When you need to take a break from all the fun, relax with a drink or snack from the Oasis Bar & Grill.

The massive eight-story Slide Canyon Tower includes three breathtaking waterslides. Both the 225-foot long free fall and 220-foot long Roadrunner start at the tower’s fourth level then drop a dramatic 51 feet. The 300-foot long Sidewinder gradually descends down a 31-foot drop. Also not to miss is Wildcat Springs, Oasis Wave Pool & Zuni River!

While you are there head to a local favorite at Rustler’s Rooste!  Since 1971 this family-owned, mountaintop landmark has overlooked the Valley and is adjacent to Arizona Grand Resort & Spa. This hilltop Western steakhouse offers a fun, Old West atmosphere, complete with the finest views of the fabulous Phoenix skyline. “Horny the Bull,” a live steer, resides outside the eatery’s old mineshaft. You can even enter the dining room by sliding down a tin slide. Enjoy what National Geographic calls one of the best mountain views in the country while dining on mesquite-broiled steaks, meaty barbecued ribs, pork chops, chicken and award-winning chili. Homemade apple pie or bread pudding make for a delicious dessert. After dinner, you can work off the calories dancing to the live Country and Western music. Dinner is served nightly.



*Arizona Biltmore Resort-Set on 39 lush acres in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is one of few hotels worldwide with an architectural imprint by Frank Lloyd Wright. Exemplary Waldorf Astoria service and a historical pedigree meet with luxuriant grounds for an inspired experience.

Why we love it: With a total of 6 resort swimming pools the Paradise Pool is our favorite!

Paradise Pool: Watch the kids on the 92-foot waterslide in this combination of three pools. Enjoy a Dive-in Movie during summer months.

Catalina Pool: The favorite pool of Marilyn Monroe, this pool is lined with special tiles from Catalina Island.

Bring children between the ages of 4 and 12 to participate in Kids Korral, a supervised activity program with a fun, camp atmosphere. Kids can play golf or tennis, join nature walks and bike rides, swim, and do arts and crafts between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Watch the kids play on the Arizona Biltmore’s canvas-canopied playground which features a top turf rubberized floor to keep kids protected from the desert sun. The playground includes a track ride, floating stones, bowed ladder, tunnel spiral slide, arched bridge, and a variety of climbers.



Mom & Dad can also have some “couple” time with Camp Hyatt.  Camp Hyatt is open to all children ages three to five and six to 12, and is offered daily, year-round.  Their counselors are well trained to entertain and care for your children.  Take a little ride on the Gondolas while you are there! Sign me up!


*Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort-a family-friendly Phoenix hotel with a water park, sports pool, 18-hole miniature putting course and so much more. River Ranch stands as the heart of the resort with more than four acres of fun and activities for the whole family. Squaw Peak offers a fun escape from the day-to-day nestled in the graceful beauty of the Sonoran Desert and Phoenix North Mountain Preserves.

Why we love it: the miniature putting course is a fun change from hanging by the pool!

The award-winning Coyote Camp’ program is perfect for children ages 4 – 12 and offers a variety of educational events and activities as well as swimming excursions and more.

Each day of Coyote Camp centers upon a specific theme like “Desert Friends” and “Arizona Day.” Every activity is geared towards educating the children on Arizona’s colorful Western folklore, culture and geography. The kiddos can try their hand at gold panning, arrowhead hunting, tepee building, and so much more. Children receive a Coyote Camp t-shirt on their first full day, or a t-shirt can be purchased, for your little one so they never forget the amazing times they had at the resort.

Coyote Camp is available for the children in half-day sessions, full day sessions and evening sessions.



*Scottsdale Princess Resort-Perfect for a weekend stay-cation or for one of their fabulous holiday weekend celebrations, we love the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess!  NEW IN 2016::

Sunset Beach Opening this Memorial Day Weekend, the Princess’ sixth and largest pool, 9,000 sq. ft. white sand beach, 102 brand new luxurious guest rooms and giant Splash Pad are ready to provide family fun all summer long.

Why we love it: The Sonoran Splash pool!


Kids aged 5-12:

  • Trailblazers Family Adventure Center
  • Sport court
  • Playground
  • Lagoon fishing
  • Ping pong
  • Sonoran Splash featuring two, 200 ft. waterslides including our after-dark, Techno waterslide featuring fog, disco lights and music (offered Friday and Saturday nights seasonally)
  • Dive-In movies (seasonal)

Find out more about their seasonal events here.



*Westin Kierland Resort-One of the Resort’s biggest attractions is its Adventure Water Park which offers a 900-foot lazy river ride and a 110-foot waterslide. Rent a family-friendly poolside cabana to relax in shaded luxury or soak in one of our two hot tubs. Open daily, hours vary seasonally.

Why we love it: the KIERLAND FLOWRIDER!

Bringing the beach lifestyle to Scottsdale, the Kierland FlowRider is a boardsport simulator that lets even first-time flowboarders enjoy the fun-filled challenge of catching a wave. “Flowboarding” is not just a ride, it is a sport – a 21st Century alchemy with the look of surfing, the ride of snowboarding, the tricks of skateboarding and boards derived from wakeboarding.
More information on the Kierland FlowRider.




Located adjacent to the Adventure Pool and shaded from the Arizona sun, the “OK Corral” provides hours of FUN with activities that include lawn chess, basketball, game tables and RC Car Race Tracks.

The OK Corral also offers a seating area with tables and open space that’s perfect for activities with the Westin Kierland FUN team such as water balloon games, hula hoop contests, limbo, relay races and more. In the evening, the area’s fit pit is the place to be for “Kierland Kampfires” and Arizona S’mores.



*Wigwam Arizona-Head to the West Valley to The Wigwam’s in Litchfield Park. With a rich 80-year history there is something here for everyone!

The Wigwam is Arizona’s only 54-hole golf resort plus has 9 illuminated tennis courts; bocce ball and hiking in the White Tank Mountains. They get bonus points for having separate adult and children’s pools.

Completely redesigned and expanded, the Lodge Pool water complex provides two separate and distinct experiences for children and adults at our Arizona family resort. The Lodge adult pool is an ideal place for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing in the new poolside cabanas. The Lodge children’s pool features a 25-foot tower with a twisting water slide and dancing water fountain play areas. Joining the two is a swim canal with overhead pedestrian bridges. Near the adult pool is a Jacuzzi™ and poolside Tower Bar with outdoor grill and dining areas.

Don’t miss out on Red’s Bar & Grill! Red’s Bar & Grill offers a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner destination overlooking the elegant, arched palms and rolling greens of the historic Gold and Patriot golf courses.  Join us at Red’s this summer and have the chance to meet your favorite characters, like Ana & Elsa, Spiderman & more! Plus, take part in fun activities like face painting, balloon twisting, story time, archery lessons or super hero training. For a full list of characters view the list here.





*The Westin La Paloma Resort-Featuring the largest guest rooms in Tucson, plus the world-renowned Westin Kids Club, a fully-enclosed pool oasis with 5 pools and the thrilling 177’ Slidewinder water slide, your kids will create exciting vacation memories, giving you have the opportunity to create memories of your own.



*Loews Ventana Canyon Resort-Loews LOVES kids and was named in Travel + Leisure’s 2014 list of the Top 50 Hotels for World’s Best Family Travel!

A “Kids Closet,” offering items available for guests to use during their stay. These include toys, books, car seats, strollers, night-lights, potty seats, baby bathtub, baby blankets, outlet protectors, self-contained DVD players with age appropriate DVDs—and more.

Why we love it:

  • Children’s menus with healthy options plus fun books with crayons
  • Cribs and roll-away beds available for in-room use
  • Child-proof kits for families with children under 4
  • List of nearby tourist attractions and activities recommended for children, as well as nearby pharmacies, pediatricians and bonded babysitting services

Coyote Kids Club

Whether going on a nature hike or a scavenger hunt, your children will be treated to a day of adventure they’ll talk about for months, thanks to Coyote Kids Club, an active recreation program for our young guests (ages 4 to 12). Activities include Koi Fish-feeding, desert walks, playground time, ping-pong, ‘back-of-house’ tours, and variety of arts and crafts.



*Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain-Time stands still at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain.  Nestled in the mountins in Marana, just North of Tucson, your family will love this private getaway!

Why we love it: The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain is our favorite out of town staycation spot! In-Room Camping for children visiting with their friends and families will do away with the traditional rollaway bed and replace it with an in-room tent large enough to become a private home-away-from-home for younger guests. The In-Room Tent Experience will feature The Ritz-Carlton tent delivery to the family’s guest room, tent setup, a fun and educational book about Arizona’s spectacular High Sonoran Desert, and a keepsake desert tortoise stuffed animal. In-Room Camping not only provides “shelter” for young travelers; it also helps them imagine what the same tent adventure must have been like for the early cowboy settlers who slept outdoors under the desert stars, in the midst of the same lush Saguaro cactus forest that surrounds the resort.



Taking a family vacation doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money, planning for weeks or even spending hours traveling.  With so many great local options you’ll be able to take some R&R this summer!  Be sure to call the hotel directly for last minute travel deals and check awesome apps like Hotel Tonight for night of deals!

Happy travels!



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