updated for 2021
Spring Break. This week varies anytime between February and April. For some schools, it’s even 2 weeks long.
Whether you live in Phoenix or coming to visit, we have some great ideas for you. Spring is the perfect time to visit Arizona. If the snow is still lingering where you live, spend some time soaking up the sun. The heat starts to arrive as early as mid-March, so be prepared and drink lots of water and wear sunscreen. For more tips on traveling in the heat, check out our 17 tips for staying cool when traveling in the heat.
2021 update: With the current pandemic, some events have been canceled or post-postponed. Other places and events may have capacity restrictions in addition to mask-wearing requirements.
- The Arizona Renaissance Festival has been canceled for 2021.
- The WM Open is being held but admission numbers are limited and pre-purchase of tickets is required.
- Many museums are requiring prepurchase of tickets online to control admission numbers
Make sure you check out our post on 40+ Things to do with Teenagers Outside in Phoenix as a way to find ways to have fun but stay safer.
20+ Things to do with teens during Spring Break in Phoenix, AZ
One: Attend a Spring Training Game. One of the best things about Spring in Phoenix is Spring Training. Home to the Cactus League, Arizona hosts a majority of MLB baseball teams all over the valley.
Two: Enjoy one of our luxurious AZ resorts. Book a staycation or a day pass at one of Arizona’s many resorts. Enjoy laying by the pool soaking up the sun, while the rest of the country is still getting hit with snowstorms. A few that I would recommend when traveling with teens:
- Fairmont Princess Scottsdale
- JW Marriott Desert Ridge
- Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
- Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa
- Arizona Grand
- Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
- The Phoenician
Three: Hole in the Rock, a short hike (very short) with amazing views.
Four: Go for a Hike. Arizona has so many gorgeous hiking trails for every level. Spend some time with nature, enjoy the fresh air and the gorgeous cactus blooms.
Five: Desert Botanical Gardens. The Arizona desert landscape is so unique. The cactus. The succulents. We love to stroll the paths of the DBG.
Six: Love animals?. Visit the Phoenix Zoo. For sea creatures, OdySea Aquarium is a must, and make a stop next door to Butterfly Wonderland. Love reptiles? Then you must visit the Phoenix Herpetological Society
Seven: Kayak our lakes and rivers. Some of the best places to kayak include Tempe Town Lake (a bit more urban experience), Lake Pleasant, or the Salt River
Eight: Spend the day at a Water Park. Arizona has lots of water parks to help keep us cool during our hot winters. The parks start to open on weekends during Spring Break (and some for a week or two in March). Our favorites are Hurricane Harbor 6 Flags and Golfland Sunsplash. Read more about our trip to Hurricane Harbor Six Flags last year – excited for this season!
Nine: Arizona Renaissance Festival. Step back in time for a day at the Arizona Renaissance Festival.
Ten: Take a day trip. Grand Canyon, Sedona, Prescott, Flagstaff, Tucson, Jerome are just a few of our favorite places.
Eleven: Explore Downtown Scottsdale. The western shops. The public art. Fun shopping and tasty local restaurants. Finish the day with ice cream at the Sugar Bowl. Join in on the Scottsdale ArtWalk and explore Scottsdale’s art galleries.
Twelve: Visit a museum. Here are a few we recommend:
- Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
- Arizona Science Center (Phoenix, AZ)
- Scottsdale Art Museum (Scottsdale, AZ)
- Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
- American Museum of Natural History (Mesa, AZ)
Thirteen: Food Festival – Two of our favorite all-ages food festivals held each spring are the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and Arizona Taco Festival (currently postponed for 2021)
Fourteen: Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts. Such a fun event hosted in Tempe twice a year. So many booths to browse and fun art to buy. And the eats – festival food and food truck alley. Check out our write-up about the Festival of Arts.
Fifteen: Go to a professional golf tournament. The WM Phoenix Open (February) is held in Scottsdale and the LPGA Bank of Hope Founder’s Cup in Phoenix (in 2021 the event has been moved to New Jersey in October).
Sixteen: Play Golf. How about a round of golf on one of our beautiful courses. Don’t know how to play? Sign up for a few days of lessons.
Seventeen: Go shopping. Do you teens love to shop? For luxury, hit up Scottsdale Fashion Square. For the bargain hunters, try Last Chance, Nordstrom’s National Clearance Center. Thrifter or Boho-chic? Hit up Buffalo Exchange in Tempe.
Eighteen: Go Fishing
- Rio Vista in Peoria
- Kiwanis Lake in Tempe
- Riverview Lake in Mesa
Or head out of town to the lakes in the Tonto National Forest for a better catch
- Apache Lake
- Bartlett Lake
- Canyon Lake
- Horseshoe Lake
- Roosevelt Lake
- Saguaro Lake
Nineteen: Head north for snow: Skiing and snowboarding at Arizona Snowbowl and Sunrise. Snow tubing at Flagstaff Snowpark (closed at the end of February for 2021).
Twenty: Hot Air Balloon. There are several Hot Air Balloon businesses in the valley for an amazing experience with unique dessert views.
Twenty-one: Japanese Friendship Garden. See the Cherry Blossoms in bloom at the Japanese Friendship Garden
Twenty-two: Taliesin West. Are your kids interested in architecture? Then you must tour Taliesin West, architecture school and former home of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright.
Twenty-three: Eat, eat, eat. If your teen is like mine, he loves anything to do with food. The jumbo (18″ pancakes) at Hen House in Mesa are a fun breakfast out (and sharable).
Twenty-four: Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream. We love ice cream and have 2 favorite stops for over-the-top ice cream sundaes: Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale for the Show Stopper Shakes and Soda Jerk Co. Milkshake Bar in Desert Ridge’s High Street.
Make sure to check out these posts for Things to Do In Arizona
- Mesa’s Natural History Museum
- Kayaking Essentials for Beginners + Kayaking in AZ
- 40 Things to do with Teenagers OUTSIDE in Phoenix
And stay cool
We’d love to hear from you and what you did for Spring Break. Tag us on social media, @sweetshoppemom or leave a comment below.