Family Fun Staycation Weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona

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We had SUCH a fun weekend in Scottsdale, AZ!! We don’t live super far from Scottsdale and certainly make fun plans there every now & again– especially for fun shopping trips or dinner dates. But, we’ve never gone for a weekend of family fun! And, I’m so glad we did! It was so great to have a vacation that was close to home, yet full of totally new experiences.  We found lots to do (even with 3 little ones in tow) and could have stayed for the whole week! 🙂 So, here’s a recap of our family fun staycation weekend in Scottsdale…Westin KierlandTo start off our weekend of #ScottsdaleAZ fun, we headed to the Westin Kierland Resort! To say that it was fabulous would be an understatement! In fact, it was so awesome, that I’ll be sharing a separate post just about the resort soon! Honestly, I was a little unsure about staying at a high-quality resort like that with such little kids, but we were accommodated so well. And, there actually are many activities for kids and families at the resort! In fact, after checking in & having a yummy dinner at Nellie Chashman’s, our favorite family activity at the resort was the Kierland Campfire & Arizona s’mores! During a rare rainy cold snap in Scottsdale, it was the perfect activity! The boys loved it! S'moresThe boys also just loved being in the hotel room! It’s always a fun experience to stay somewhere else. Even Baby Brother loved the “new digs”! 😉 Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 10.56.05 PMAfter a nice night of sleep, we started out our Saturday out rather low-key in our spacious, comfy room. The view of Scottsdale from our room was incredible. It was so fun to just leisurely get up and enjoy breakfast in our room with some scenic views! ScottsdaleThen, after a little fun scavenger hunt around the resort, we got to check out the Kierland FlowRider. Did you know that you can surf in Scottsdale? Well, you can at the Westin! We were supposed to be enjoying the afternoon at the pool and doing a fun FlowRider event, but the whole thing got cancelled due to the inclement weather. Boo! It is SO rare to have chilly, overcast, rainy days in the Valley of the Sun. So, we were definitely bummed. However, there were a few people brave & crazy enough to try it despite the unfavorable weather! Check out how awesome Becca’s “crazy boys” looked while surfing in Scottsdale (in 40 degree temperatures)! Kierland FlowRiderFun! Our boys are definitely game for trying it when they’re a little bigger (and the weather is a little warmer)! After a while of watching all the fun, they boys were telling us it was time for lunch. So, we took the opportunity to try a local, family-owned restaurant that some of our friends have been raving about: Spinato’s Pizzeria. They won best food winner 2008 at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, so it was a fitting choice! Spinato's PizzeriaWe split some delicious garlic cheese bread and Mamma Spinato’s “signature” fresh spinach pizza. Everything was sooooo good! That pizza selection was a little different than our usual pick (especially for Mr. Mom Endeavors), but it was delicious! We’ll definitely be back! Spinato's PizzaThankfully, the rain had stopped & the sun was just starting to peek out a bit. So, we were able to continue with our plan to go hiking. We love finding local spots to go for desert walks & hikes. But, we’ve never gone in Scottsdale before and boy did we find an awesome spot!! The Gateway Trailhead at Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve! The Gateway TrailheadWe were amazed at the number of trails and the absolutely gorgeous desert scenery! The first thing we did was take the Bajada Nature Trail! It was short & easy to navigate. But, the best part was (aside from the scenery) all the informational signs! This would be the PERFECT trail for visitors who’d like to learn more about the desert while they walk. And, it’s great educational tool for kids too! The boys loved finding the signs and looking at the pictures! Big Brother even liked practicing some reading! 🙂 Scottsdale Nature TrailDesert Nature TrailIn another couple of weeks, the wildflowers should be amazing with this rain we’ve had. So, I’m hoping to go back soon. But, even still, the desert scenery was so beautiful. Arizona Desert FlowersYou can see I had fun taking pictures! 😉 The whole area was just fantastic–lots of cactus, rock, and sweeping mountain views! McDowell Mountainsimage5We loved it and the boys didn’t want to leave! But, we had some fun cowboy dinner plans! After all that fun hiking, everyone certainly had an appetite. And, one of my family’s favorite authentic-Arizona places happens to be in north Scottsdale…Pinnacle Peak Patio! It’s been an icon here in the Valley since 1957!! SO much history here! Pinnacle Peak PatioIt is an awesome place for just about any occasion! I know people who have been married there (we even did one of our out-of-town guest wedding dinners there); we’ve gone there for a date night with friends; and it’s a great place to go for a fun family dinner!Pinnacle Peak Patio EntranceThe boys had a blast checking out all the fun stuff! From rattlesnakes, to the live band, to sawdust on the floor & business cards on the wall–it’s a super fun atmosphere! I LOVE all the pictures of celebrities that have visited!   Pinnacle Peak Patio InsideAnd, you can’t forget the ties! If you go, I highly recommend wearing a tie (from the thrift store) so it can be cut off! 😉 Since the no-neck tie policy began in the 50s, there have been over 1,000,000 ties cut off and hung from the rafters. My grandpa has a tie from many years ago that we would love to find sometime while we’re there! Pinnacle Peak TiesOh…and the food is pretty good too! 😉 Can’t go wrong with cowboy food, like a juicy steak & a sarsaparilla! Pinnacle Peak Patio FoodYum!! We had a blast! And, we were exhausted! So, the rest of our night consisted of leisurely down time. Sunday morning was spent the same way. We soaked up every last bit of our stay at the Westin & had a super nice Sunday brunch (more on that in the next post). Then, after checking out at the very last minute possible, we decided to bring a little of Scottsdale home with us (and to my grandma who is celebrating her 86th birthday)…Sprinkles Cupcakes!Sprinkles CupcakesSprinkles started in Beverly Hills, but has expanded to a handful of major cities. Scottsdale is home to the only location in Arizona! The cupcakes are super rich & delicious and come in an awesome variety of flavors (which vary by days of the week and by month). Their number #1 selling red velvet even comes in gluten-free and vegan options! We ended up with triple cinnamon, lemon, gluten-free red velvet, carrot cake, irish chocolate, chocolate coconut, and a special dark chocolate one for Grandma! 🙂 A perfect treat to end our weekend of Scottsdale fun! Sprinkles Cupcakes- ScottsdaleWhew! A seriously fabulous weekend! Whether you’re local and just looking for some fun ideas or planning a visit to the Scottsdale area sometime, hopefully this has given you some fun ideas! You can see clearly here that there is lots of family fun to be had in Scottsdale–even with little kids in tow!

If you’re considering a trip to Scottsdale, AZ sometime, you can request a  complete visitor’s guide full of lots of info & ideas!  To learn more about Scottsdale, check out their webiste or follow along on their social media channels: Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

What would YOU be most excited to do in Scottsdale, AZ?

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with the Scottsdale Convention & Tourism Bureau. I received a gift card, along with some complimentary items to experience Scottsdale. However, opinions, awesome experiences, and fun pictures are entirely my own.

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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21 Responses

    1. Thanks, Allison! I had serious fun taking pictures! Easy when there are so many awesome things to photograph. And, yes, we did have fun despite the cold! 😉

    1. It’s not too far at all, Lolo! You know, BBC is in Phoenix next month. And, in Scottsdale in fact–you should come! 😉

  1. Still having relatives in the Mesa and Apache Jct area we might make it out there again . I would LOVE to go to teh Sonoran Preserve and Pinnacle Peak. ( We have a resterant called Sneaky Pete’s near here that does the same with neck ties!) Looks like a lot of fun was had. Hugs….

    1. Thanks, Becca! Super fun time, indeed! Still impressed with all your boys and their chilly weather surfing! 🙂

  2. I grew up in AZ, just on the border of Scottsdale. I haven’t been there in years so the photos were nice to see. I totally remember Pinnacle Peak. It was so much fun going there as a child. Thanks for the reminded memories!

  3. Scottsdale is definitely a stand-out city – clean, beautiful, and full of fun things to do!

    I love that you were able to roast marshmallows and have s’mores at the Westin Kierland. Always a hit with kids.

  4. I LOVE the Westin Kierland! (Of course we own a timeshare there too!) But…as far as things I like to do in Scottsdale…The train park, the musical instrument museum, walk around Old Towne, Rawhide, the list could go on…

  5. We’re glad you guys had such a great stay in Scottsdale. If you every make it out in January, might we suggest the Barrett Jackson car auction for the kids? There’s hundreds of cool cars and the excitement from the auction is contagious.

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