Traveling with Kids: Stay & Play

By local contributor
Katarina Kovacevic

Traveling with children can be great. It also can be challenging. How do you keep the kids occupied and happy while squeezing in some “me” time for a spa treatment or a round of golf? That’s easy – just leave the planning to the pros and kick back for a vacation full of sun and fun at these family-friendly Scottsdale resorts.


There comes a point in life when even your youngest has outgrown kids’ clubs and teddy-bear teas, and that’s when it’s time to check into the Boulders Resort & Spa. Active families with teens and up love this high-desert escape for its spacious one- to four-bedroom villas, not to mention a jam-packed list of adventure options: night biking, rock climbing, desert fly-fishing and water rappelling, just to name a few. Its award-winning golf club caters to families, too, with short courses and a 30-minute golf camp.



You can keep tots tiny and tall busy all day long at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ Trailblazers Kids Club. Each day of the week brings a different hands-on activity, like exploring the resort’s wildlife or roasting s’mores in a solar oven. Mornings are all about sports or arts and crafts, while afternoons bring swimming and poolside games. And speaking of pools, the Princess has six of them, plus 830 tons of white sandy beach and two of Arizona’s longest resort waterslides.



At Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, kids and teens are welcomed with age-specific, regionally inspired amenities upon check-in and have their choice of diversions through the Kids for All Seasons program, including a movie theater, ping-pong, foosball and cultural crafts, plus a weekly calendar of stargazing, hiking and other desert-dwelling outings. Proof, An American Canteen entertains the whole fam with shuffleboard and a vintage Etch-a-Sketch, as well as special Sundaes on Sunday for an extrasweet treat.



If you can peel your kids away from Hyatt Regency Scottsdale’s pool – and it’ll be tough, because it’s really a 2.5-acre aquatic playground with 10 swimming pools, 16 fountains, 40 waterfalls and a 30-foot, high-speed waterslide – they’ll flip for Camp Hyatt Kachina. Here, mini explorers learn about the Sonoran Desert through creative crafting of dream catchers, rain sticks and Southwestern sand art. Fridays bring free Native American song and dance performances, and cowboy storytellers roam throughout the resort.



There’s much to dig into at The Phoenician’s Funicians Club, including crafts, games and activities that shine a light on Grand Canyon State history. October through April, the resort offers 90-minute I.FLY Trapeze classes for guests 4 and up, where you’ll learn timing and techniques for swinging, locking your legs on a bar and completing the famous wrist-to-wrist catch. Meanwhile, iScavenger hunts provide fun on the ground with a journey of puzzles, games and exploration of the resort.



It’s impossible not to have a good time at The Westin Kierland, where there’s a staff member whose job is to make sure that you do! The resort’s “Director of Fun” runs a kid-friendly check-in at Kierland Mining Co., where tykes receive a specialized scavenger hunt. Rotating resort activities range from s’mores roasts and PJ parties to Kids in the Kitchen cooking lessons. And lest we forget, water babies (and kids and grownups) go gaga for the Adventure Water Park, complete with lazy river, waterslide, pop-jet fountains and FlowRider surfing simulator.