My 2018 Vacation Recap + Arizona Travel Ideas!

Hey guys! I am back! I had the best time this last week and a half! I had some family come in from out of state and we did so much stuff! It wasn’t as brutal as our vacation last year – we had a newborn this time to be careful of – but we still did a ton of stuff and had so much fun! So, today I’m going to share what we did on our vacation, and also point out some great things to check out if you ever vacation in Arizona!

My family was here for 9 days. On the first day, we went to a nearby splash pad with the kids. It was a ton of fun! The splash pad we go to is huge, and my kids always have such a good time when we get a chance to go. Even Ramsey got into it this time!

On day 2, we went to Uptown Jungle, which is an indoor playground mega-structure. We had never been before and I was so shocked when we got there – they have so many attractions! They have trampolines, a ninja course, climbing walls, an obstacle course, super slides, mega play structure, a mini zipline, a ball blaster arena, and a spider tower. My kids LOVED the toddler play area they had, and the trampolines.

This was part of the mega play structure. Monroe loved trying to walk over the balance beams to get to the other side.

Gibson loved pretending to surf on this!

After Uptown Jungle, we went to Coldstone Creamery to get some ice cream! Obviously, the kids loved this. They both got Cotton Candy ice cream. Monroe literally inhaled hers!

On Day 3, we went to Arizona Mills mall, and stopped at Auntie Anne’s for some pretzels. Gibson requested some hot dog pretzels. He normally doesn’t eat hot dogs, so that was a nice surprise. I got some new camis from Forever 21 (I’ll be posting a mini haul on my Instagram soon, @mommymessmer) and I got the kids some new shoes from Rack Room Shoes. Gibson got the cutest red Converse shoes and Monroe got some Minni Mouse shoes that look like her giant bow when she puts her feet together! 🙂

We rode the carousal at the mall. Man, that thing moves!

Later that night, my sister and I went to Target to do some sisterly bonding/shopping. I got some cute clothes for the kids, some new hair stuff for the girls, and a couple of new movies that had recently come out that I was dying to see! And lastly, we had a mini game night with everyone!

On day 4, we got some lunch at Taco Bell (nacho fries for the WIN!), and then we checked out the Gilbert Historical Museum. The museum was much more interactive than I thought it would be, which was really cool!

The kids were interested in it for a little bit, but got a tad bored by the end. Gibson loved seeing all of the old tractors, though! We did another game night before bed.

On Day 5, we picked up another family member from the airport and grabbed lunch at Red Robin – delicious! We spent the rest of the day visiting, playing some more games + then we had a movie night! We watched Happy Gilmore, which I had never seen before, even though we have owned it for years. It was pretty good 🙂

On Day 6, my husband and my dad went out shopping for a bit. After they got back, the girls all went out to TJ MAXX to do some girly shopping. I found some really good deals – including a Marc Jacobs bracelet for $32! (I’ll be posting my finds from TJ MAXX on my Instagram as well). That night, we went to NightSplash! It was crazy packed, but my sister and I got to ride a water slide together (I was pregnant last year, so I had to sit out the water slides), and the kids absolutely go crazy for the toddler areas at SunSplash. It was really nice to be able to swim without the sun beating down on us!

On Day 7, we went on a roadtrip to Sedona! We made a pitstop at Sunset Pointe, just like we did last year when we went to the Grand Canyon. When we got to Sedona, we stopped to grab some lunch and then. . .

we went to the Rainbow Trout Farm! This was a place that my husband had found. It was so cool! Much better than regular fishing, in my opinion.

The fish were kind of difficult to catch, but it was a blast trying! Our original plan was to catch and release the fish, but they actually charge a fee to do that, so we ended up taking the fish we caught home – much to my dismay.

Monroe even caught a fish!

And then realized, in horror, what she had done. About 4 seconds after this picture was taken, she took off running. It was a nice experience, though.

After the trout farm, we took a Trolly Ride through Sedona. It was a 55 minute trip.

And if you think the AZ Mills carousal is fast, you should check out the Sedona Trolly! The kids were excited because they are HUGE fans of Daniel Tiger, who goes everywhere in a trolly.

We got to see some really beautiful parts of Sedona.

And some beautiful moments between sisters.

After the Trolley Ride, we went to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory + a local fudge store to get some treats for the ride home!

We tried to go to the Broken Arrow Trail, but we were in the mini van and it was dark outside, so we turned around almost immediately.

On Day 8, we went to Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs. Our original plan was to go the aquarium, but the kids love dinosaurs, and we went to the aquarium last year, so we decided to do dinosaurs instead!

Gibson was so amazed. I was too, actually! The dinosaurs are super realistic, and kind of creepy at time. Plus, there’s lots of fun activities for the kids to do.

After we finished at the dinosaur exhibit, we headed over to Dolphinaris, where my sister got to swim with some dolphins! I was so excited that I got to see her experience that – for the most part anyways. When you aren’t in the water, it gets hot really fast. Kylor mentioned that they have family packages, so we plan on taking the kids to swim with the dolphins when they’re a bit older!

After that, we headed over to Desert Ridge, where the girls took a Hot Topic shopping break while the guys hung out with the kiddos taking naps in the car. I found some amazing deals at Hot Topic! Then, we all headed to Dave and Busters for some food and fun. Monroe played this wheel spinning game, and won big (500 TICKETS!) twice! She thought collecting the tickets was the best thing in the world.

On Day 9, my dad and step-mom went to the Grand Canyon, and my sister and I hung out with the babies and spent some much needed time together. We went out to dinner as a big family at the end of the night, and then looked at pictures before finally going to bed – way too late considering they had to be up at 6 AM to catch their flight the next morning!

I seriously had such a fun time on this vacation. And the one last year. I’m already thinking about what to do next year if they are able to come visit again. What do you recommend? What’s your favorite thing to do in Arizona (or anywhere!)?

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Wifey. Blogger. Mommy. Subscription Box Hoarder. Shopper. Cleaner. Organizer. Doggy-Lover. Cook.

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