Last-minute family summer getaway ideas

Man and child at beachThough summer’s heat is pushing on, children’s summer break is soon coming to an end. Amidst getting ready for kindergarten and preparing for the new school year, families are still making time for last-minute fun in the sun.

Vacations offer unique windows of opportunity for family bonding time, learning and good old-fashioned fun. Destinations near and far have plenty to offer Valley families who are hoping to squeeze in their last getaway until the holidays.

San Diego, California |

San Diego is a beloved destination by many Valley residents. A mere six-hour drive away, the beachside city offers an abundance of family-friendly activities. Explore wildlife at the Birch Aquarium and San Diego Zoo, games at the Mission Beach carnival and more.

Families on a budget can enjoy a day at one of the many beaches San Diego has to offer. While southern beaches offer countless restaurants and activities, a short drive north to La Jolla may give you a glimpse into the lives of sea lions by the cove. Always remember swim safety around any body of water.

Flagstaff, Arizona |

A true desert escape, Flagstaff offers an abundance of trees and double digit temperatures—all less than a three-hour drive from the Valley. Because summer temperatures usually max out in the 80s, outdoor activities are manageable for children and adults with proper hydration and sun protection.

Summer activities in Flagstaff include an adventure Bearizona Wildlife, lakeside fun and camping at Lake Mary and a stroll through the heart of Downtown Flagstaff. The city exudes rich culture and provides an optimal setting for teaching young children about Native American history and Route 66 nostalgia. The Museum of Northern Arizona offers free admission for children under 10 years of age.

Sedona, Arizona |

Sedona is a staple Arizona attraction for adventurers and families alike, boasting iconic red rock mountains. Children and families can browse shops in town or take a stroll through one of many local trails.

West Fork Trail is kid-friendly and provides striking scenery at every turn. Trailhead parking fills up fast, so be sure to arrive early and bring cash for parking. Parents can use the outdoor adventures to teach children how to protect the environment, safely observe nature’s wildlife, practice outdoor safety and more.

Valley Staycations | Best staycation deals of 2018

Valley residents commonly consider Arizona’s landscape ideal for a permanent vacation. With sunny days and blue skies spanning the annual weather forecast, great staycation getaways are not far from your front door.

Many Valley luxury resorts offer generous rates during Arizona’s summer months. Summer deals are created with Arizona residents in mind to ensure that families of all sizes and budgets can enjoy what they have to offer. Some resorts provide activities for family fun like lazy rivers, kid pools and more. When selecting a staycation destination, do research to make sure that your resort is kid-friendly and appropriate for the whole family.


All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.