In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks.”John muir
When the kids are on breaks, it can be a challenge to getting out of the house in the mornings. My kids enjoy having lazy mornings and full pajama days during their breaks from school. I’ve learned that after a day of lazing around, they will start to bicker and argue more and more often. One of most sure ways to improve our moods is to head outdoors.
During breaks from school we like to hike, visit parks, have picnics and explore new places.
While there will likely be complaining about leaving the house, once we are out and about, the kids end up enjoying themselves and I do too. Here are five of our favorite places to get outside in and near Phoenix.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is Arizona’s largest and oldest botanical gardens. The park includes plants from the world’s deserts, a cacti garden, trails near sheer mountain cliffs, a stream and forest, panoramic vistas, as well as natural habitats with varied wildlife. It includes a children’s garden and it is dog friendly. It offers easy hiking trails and moderate hiking trails perfect for doing with children and/or pets. The park is 323 acres which is why it offers such a range of gardens, habitats and trails.
Lost Dutchman State Park
The Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Superstition Mountains west of Phoenix. It is an easy day trip yet it feels like you are in a more remote area. There are very accessible easy trails but also more challenging trails such as Siphon Draw and Flatiron. There are plenty of ranger led hikes, Moonlight hikes and even a Hike With you Dog event. The proximity to Phoenix makes it an easy and fun day out with the kids.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden if one of my favorite places to visit throughout the year. I often go without the kids but during school breaks it is a lovely place to visit to simply walk around in nature. The garden has well curated cacti collection and a wonderful wildflower trail. The walking trails are fully accessible to wheelchairs and most strollers. The website lists nature walks as well as activities for families. It is easy to spend a morning or afternoon there. The kids enjoy going in the morning then having lunch out as a treat.
The Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden is located in downtown Phoenix. It is a very lovely and peaceful place to visit. The have cherry trees which are about to blossom and there will be Cherry Blossom Festival during the week of March 18th. With such a central location, the kids and I enjoying heading downtown to visit the large Phoenix Library branch, visit the Japanese Garden and have lunch at Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles. The garden offers a nice break from exploring other downtown sights since it is so peaceful.
South Mountain Park and Preserve
This is the easiest place for us to visit since we live close to a trailhead. The Arizona wildflowers are in full bloom right now and the mountain is covered in green. The park offers many trails and the kids often take it for granted that we have this preserve so close to home. This spring, I want to explore some new areas of the park that we have not hiked or run on.
The mountain are calling and I must go.”John Muir