If you’re on the hunt for some family-friendly excitement in Arizona, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’re going to cover where to stay, what to do and where to eat during your family vacation to the Salt River area, Arizona!
Where To Stay:
Look no further than the Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale. This place is THE place for kids and parents alike. Get ready to dive into a world of waterpark wonders, meet characters Wiley and Violet, chow down on some seriously tasty bites, and make memories!
Our Favorites parts of the Great Wolf Lodge:
Make a Splash, Rain or Shine
Imagine a place where the water fun never ends, rain or shine. Yep, that’s the indoor waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge. From heart-pounding slides that’ll have your hair standing on end (in a good way!) to a lazy river that’s like a chill adventure, this waterpark is the definition of awesome for all ages. Our toddler loved the slides and the wave pool the most!
High Fives and Hugs with Wiley and Violet
Hold onto your hats, because meeting Wiley the Wolf and his buddy Violet is like stepping into your favorite storybook. These characters are more real than you can imagine, with games, stories, and photo ops that’ll have your camera roll bursting at the seams. It’s like meeting old pals and creating memories you’ll giggle about for years to come. We didn’t get to meet Wiley while there but we did get to take some photos with Violet!
Nom Nom Time: Food Adventures
Now, let’s talk about the food. The Great Wolf Lodge doesn’t just satisfy your appetite, it takes it on a wild ride. They’ve got all kinds of dining spots that’ll make your taste buds do the happy dance. Whether you’re into hearty buffets, casual bites, or something a bit more gourmet, you’re covered. We tried just about every food option that they had available and can honestly say you can’t go wrong with either of them!
Unleash Creativity and Curiosity
Besides all the splashing and munching, the lodge packs a punch with activities that’ll make your inner artist and explorer jump for joy. Dive into arts and crafts sessions, become a super sleuth on a scavenger hunt, and get in on interactive games that’ll have you all laughing and learning together. It’s like a fun school day without the homework.
Things To Do:
1. Visit The Odysea Aquarium
If your little explorers are still craving more aquatic excitement, Kids Cove at Odysea Aquarium is the place to be. This interactive play area is like a mini-aquarium wonderland, designed to educate and entertain. Kids can put on their marine biologist hats as they engage in hands-on experiences, interactive displays, and even a chance to become pint-sized aquarists. From discovering marine life secrets to getting their hands wet in touch tanks, Kids Cove is where curiosity meets fun.
Glimpse the Magnificence of Reef Jewels
Prepare to be mesmerized by the underwater beauty of Reef Jewels, a living kaleidoscope of vibrant coral and marine creatures. It’s like stepping into an enchanting underwater kingdom, where the colors are so vibrant you’ll wonder if you’ve stumbled into a dream. As you wander through this mesmerizing exhibit, you’ll witness the delicate dance of marine life, reminding you of the astounding diversity our oceans hold.
Get Hands-On at Touch Pools
Ready to shake fins (or should we say hands?) with the ocean’s finest? The Touch Pools at Odysea Aquarium are an opportunity for kids—and kids at heart—to interact with fascinating marine critters.
Treasures Await at Odysea Treasures
Before you wrap up your journey through the aquatic wonderland, don’t forget to take a piece of it home with you. Odysea Treasures, the gift shop at the aquarium, is a treasure trove in itself. From adorable plushies to educational books, and ocean-inspired keepsakes, this is the spot to pick up a memory to commemorate your underwater adventure.
2. Visit The Museum of Illusions
Hold on tight, because your Phoenix adventure just took a mind-bending turn! After you’ve soaked up the aquatic wonders at OdySea Aquarium, get ready to question your senses and explore the extraordinary world of illusions at the Museum of Illusions.
Enter a World of Mind-Bending Fun
Step through the doors of the Museum of Illusions, and you’ll quickly realize that not everything is as it seems. Prepare to have your perception challenged and your brain tickled as you journey through a series of mind-bending exhibits. From gravity-defying rooms that make you question up and down to optical illusions that play tricks on your eyes, this museum is a playground for the curious and the imaginative.
Reimagine Reality with Interactive Illusions
Get ready to immerse yourself in illusions that go beyond mere observation. The Museum of Illusions encourages active participation, meaning you can literally step into the artwork and become part of the illusion. From walking on walls to defying gravity in mind-bending rooms, your family will be laughing, amazed, and rethinking the laws of reality.
3. Embark on an Extraterrestrial Adventure
Prepare for an out-of-this-world detour during your Phoenix escapade! If you’re intrigued by the mysteries of the cosmos, the Scottsdale UFO Experience is a must-add to your itinerary. This unique attraction takes you on a journey through the realms of unidentified flying objects, inviting you to ponder the possibilities of life beyond our planet.
From interactive exhibits that delve into UFO sightings to thought-provoking presentations that explore the unexplained, this experience adds a touch of cosmic wonder to your family getaway. Whether you’re a firm believer in extraterrestrial encounters or simply curious about the unknown, the Scottsdale UFO Experience promises to spark your imagination and leave you contemplating the vastness of the universe.
4. Visit The U.S.S Memorial Gardens
Hey, while you’re diving into all the fun stuff, how about taking a moment to honor the real superheroes? Swing by the U.S.S. Memorial Gardens for a family visit that’s both touching and important. It’s a chance to remember the awesome folks who’ve served in the U.S. Armed Forces. As you stroll through the peaceful gardens with all those cool memorials and plaques, you’ll find a spot to just soak it all in. It’s a chance to show your kids the power of saying thanks and giving a nod to the people who’ve kept our country safe. And yeah, it adds a different layer to your trip – one that’s all about respect and gratitude.
6. Take your family to Imagine 3D Golf
Now, let’s talk about kicking up the fun a notch with a little friendly competition. Imagine 3D Mini Golf is a spot where you and your crew can putt your way through a whole new world of excitement. This isn’t your regular mini golf—it’s like stepping into a different dimension where dinosaurs roam, underwater worlds come alive, and outer space is just a putt away. Get ready to unleash your inner golfer as you navigate through mind-bending courses that challenge your skills and spark your imagination. It’s the perfect blend of family bonding, laughter, and a bit of healthy rivalry.
Where To Eat:
Below you’ll find some of our favorite dining options that we experienced while visiting!
Onsite Dining At Great Wolf Lodge
Options that we loved include Campfire Kitchen, Barnwood, and Hungry as a Wolf. Don’t forget to stop by Ben & Jerry’s for an ice cream treat!
Pangea Grill: A Feast for All Ages
Pangea Grill—a spot where flavors from all around the world come together for a delicious rendezvous. From mouthwatering pasta to sizzling steaks and fresh seafood, there’s something for everyone. Plus, you get to eat with dinos- perfect for toddlers!
Johnny Rockets: Classic Fun with a Side of Yum
For a taste of classic American goodness, Johnny Rockets is the go-to spot. Burgers, fries, shakes—you know, all the good stuff. It’s like stepping back in time to the good ol’ days of diners, jukeboxes, and smiles all around. And here’s a secret: even the pickiest of eaters won’t be able to resist the tasty temptations.
Butters Café: Where Comfort Meets Flavor
When you’re in the mood for some comfort food that’s warm and satisfying, Butters Café is your spot. They’ve got all the comfort classics you love, from fluffy pancakes for breakfast to hearty sandwiches for lunch. It’s like a big food hug that’ll leave everyone at the table with a happy tummy.
Hash Kitchen: Brunch, Bites, and a Whole Lot of Yum
Now, who doesn’t love a good brunch? Hash Kitchen brings the brunch party to the Lodge with a creative twist. From mouthwatering hashes to delectable omelets and all things brunchy, this spot is perfect for those who believe breakfast is the best meal of the day—no matter what time it is!
Wrapping Up the Fun: Unforgettable Scottsdale Family Adventures
And there you have it, folks! Your Arizona family adventure wrapped up with a bang. From waterpark splashes and mind-bending illusions to paying respects and sinking putts, you’ve rocked every moment. It’s been a blast meeting characters, pondering UFOs, and exploring new dimensions. But guess what? The coolest part is that the adventure isn’t over. The memories you’ve made will stick with you long after you’ve left.