If you’re like me then the idea of spending quality time with our kids is something we think about but sometimes we run out of ideas or just don’t know where to start. It was definitely a lot easier when my little one was younger. Going to the park and having lunch at Target was a Mom/Son date and we both had a ball! But now as he gets older, I’m competing with the digital world and I’m having to really think of better ways for us to connect and have fun together. That’s the goal creating deeper connections with our kids, ones that lasts a lifetime. As I was putting this list together for myself, I thought why not share, as I might not be the only person trying to answer the question “How do I spend time with my kids”.
Disclaimer: I put the list with Mom’s and their sons in mind because I’m a #BoyMom but these are activities that work for any kid, boy or girl. Also, you’ll notice these are places based in Arizona. Some of these are franchises so check to see if there’s a location in your city.
1) Mini Golf in the dark - Mini golf is fun, mini golf in the dark is more fun. Get fully emerged in black light and get your glow on at Glow Putt AZ . It’s $10.95 a round for 18 hole for anyone over 9 years old. If you’re 8 or under its $6.95 for 18 holes. And just $5 per replay. Each ticket comes with its own glow in the dark bracelet.
Glow Putt AZ - 9160 E Shea Blvd #110, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (NW corner behind Bank of America) - (480) 451-4569
2) If your son is going through a Nerf-gun phase then he might love taking in a nerf fight at the Doge Haus - Nerf Arena at Tempe Marketplace. It is open from 3pm-8pm during the week and 12pm -8pm Sat-Sun. There are obstacles and more to help set the stage for an epic fight. Pricing starts at $17.99/15 min, 30 min for $22.99, 60 min for $27.99, includes grip socks and basic nerf blaster; you can upgrade your equipment at an additional cost, however they do allow you to bring your own equipment.
Doge Haus - 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy Unit 1029, Tempe, AZ 85281 (408) 341-9142
3) Have dinner out at an old fashioned diner like no other. From Thursday - Sunday find all of your old-fashioned diner favorites from a food truck in the heart of downtown Phoenix. But this isn’t just a food truck, its games, a boxing ring, live music and delicious desserts like S’mores Cheesecake. Yes that’s all at the same restaurant. A place called The Duce found downtown. This place is great for many reasons and I’m not even referring to ones listed above.
The Duce Phoenix 525 South Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004 (602) 866-DUCE (3823)
4) Challenge someone to a round of bowling AMF Cosmic Bowling. There’s always a few locations to pick from. Check their website for locations, hours and most importantly deals. Most of these locations will have some sort of deal or discount during the week. We find that going as early as possible on these days are your best bet to try to beat the crowds, but other than more people its way more valuable to take your kids on those days. You get to say Yes more! Like on triple play Tuesdays where the games and the tacos are $3.33 each you get more and everyone has more fun!
5) Make a plant terrarium together at The Plant Bar at Jade & Clover. With 1 location in Phoenix and the other in Dallas, TX this is a unique way to maybe merge your son’s love of nature into something creative and a one of a kind experience. Even if nature isn’t your passion, you’ll both feel some accomplishment putting one of these together and you can give it away as a gift. Pricing ranges from $8 to $90+ it all depends on the size, style and based on what’s available. Included however is your soil, sand and gravel rocks.
The Plant Bar - Jade & Clover 3939 E. Campbell Ave Suite 130 Phoenix, AZ 85018 (623) 203-1156
6) Ride a zip-line through a Ghost-Town. I feel like no other explanation is really needed for this one. Other than knowing that Goldfield Ghost-Town located in Superstition, Arizona and is safe for all ages and open 7 days a week.
Visit their site here -
Superstition Zip-Line - 4650 N Mammoth Mine Rd, Apache Junction, AZ 85119
7) Take a day trip to Out of Africa/Camp Verde - Forget the zoo, you and your child will get a kick out of feeding the giraffes and the variety of wild animals they have on the property. Head on the I-17 and you’ll run into Camp Verde. Not particularly well known as a destination, however it does have a few things to offer one big one is the Out of Africa Wildlife Park where it feels like you’ve been transported to the wild. If you’re there on a Sun/Wed/Fri at 3pm you can see the predators getting fed, which is particularly interesting. Tip: After that unwind at the Verde Brewing Comp any before you head back. They have 8 beers on tap and delicious food. It’s a great place to stop when visiting Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot, Fossil Creek, Clear Creek, Fort Verde State Historic Park. We love making it apart of the agenda when we go up that way.
Out of Africa - 3505 W. Camp Verde Bridgeport Highway | Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Verde Brewing Company - 724 N Industrial Dr Unit 7A, Camp Verde, AZ 86322
8) Take a day getting in with local nature at the Center for Native Wildlife Diversity at Scottsdale Community College. Home to our collection of Arizona wildlife, including Gila Monsters, Desert Tortoises, and Toads, of course. Open to the public during our open house hours and scheduled visits. Then go for a sunset hike at Papago Mountain, climb the boulders and take in the view from “Hole in the Rock”. Bring a picnic and chill at one of the ramada’s. Having these stunning natural attractions is something we have to appreciate and this is one of those places. People come from all over the world to view, climb and experience this and they’ve got it in their backyard.
Scottsdale Community College - 9000 East Chaparral Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85256 | (480) 423-6000
Hole in the Rock Trail - 625 N Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85008
9) Play a round of Laser Tag at Mavrix - Of course if your son’s into video games and more tech like activities he will be all over this. There are some age/height requirements so check for that. But Mavrix is also an arcade, bowling alley and restaurant, so he’s bound to find something he likes. Their top special is during the week Monday - Thursday you can get 2 Unlimited Fun passes with unlimited laser tag, billiards and bowling for $35 or 1 for $18.
Mavrix 9139 E Talking Stick Way Scottsdale, AZ 85250 (480) 291-7500
10) Take in the Art-Scene-Roosevelt Row/Downtown - Take a walk or ride a bike and view all of the street-art, there’s so much to uncover and it’ll all outdoors. Grab one of the best ice-cream sandwiches and hand-made ice cream at a shop on Grand at Novel. After that get your energy out with some play-time on the climbing walls at Margaret T Hance Park
Margaret T Hance Park - 67 W Culver St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Novel Ice Cream - 1028 Grand Ave Ste 6, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Hope you find something that you and your kiddo(s) would enjoy doing on this list. How cute would it be if you have something you two absolutely love doing, that you begin doing it more often and it becomes your thing over the years. Imagine how much deeper your connection would be. Please share your experience with us by commenting below. We’re always looking for new places so please share if there’s a place you love that we missed. We’d love to hear from you :)