With school fall breaks coming up in October, many families are planning travel adventures to faraway places.  Disneyland and the beach are common destinations, but these seven local attractions make it tempting to stay in town instead, enjoying an activity-based week-long staycation from your own home or a local hotel.  The weather will still be warm, so find a place with a pool and great restaurants nearby, and try the jam packed schedule below.  One fabulous adventure each day!  🎃

Sunday:  Trapeze at the Phoenician

You may want to run away and join the circus after a class at the Phoenician’s new IFLY Trapeze School.  Start your lesson with nerve-calming safety tips, then a gentle harness-assisted drop into the safety net, and eventually even most first-timers can complete the exciting swing and catch move by the end of the session.  Phoenix is one of only a few cities with trapeze rigs open to the public, so take advantage of this unique opportunity!  details

Monday:  IFly Indoor Skydiving

Don a squirrel suit, step into the magical wind tunnel, and up you go!   Experience weightlessness in this beautiful new facility in Scottsdale, located at the 101 and Indian Bend.  IFly is appropriate for all ages, fully guided, and a lot like Willy Wonka’s Fizzy Lifting Drink chamber where Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe laugh their heads off, just a tad breezier.  Flights are purchased and facilitated in 60-second increments, similar to the air time in traditional skydiving from a plane.  details


image courtesy of Visit Phoenix

Tuesday:  Arizona Science Center

Have fun while you learn on a visit to the Arizona Science Center in Downtown Phoenix.  The futuristic Create Makerspace is a hands-on workshop where visitors 13+-year-olds can either observe others or design and create almost anything they can imagine via cutting edge tools, a wide variety of available materials, and a huge 3D printer.  An entire day could be spent in the workshop, and the other on-site permanent and featured exhibitions like the SkyCycle and Dorrance Planetarium guarantee a thrilling day for non-tinkerers and youths under 13 as well. details

Wednesday:  Salt River Horseback Riding

Check the weather ahead of time, and pick the coolest day of the week for a horseback riding tour along the scenic trails of the Saguaro Lake Ranch, just off the Bush Highway in the Tonto National Forest.  Pick a 30, 60, 90, or 120-minute trail ride, or a 10-minute pony ride for young children.  Round out the day with a meal at the Saguaro Lake Marina, or maybe even a boat ride there. details

Thursday:  AZ on the Rocks

Psych the family up for a great workout at this cutting edge gym in Scottsdale.  A day pass here gives full access to yoga classes, belay climbing, bouldering, and the ninja warrior course.  Autobelays are available, and first-time hand-belay lessons are required for beginners for an additional fee.  Emphasis on both fun and safety makes this an ideal way to spend the day, burn calories, and build an appetite for a fabulous dinner out at one of Scottsdale’s many restaurant offerings. details


Friday:  Stand Up Paddleboarding  

October is still plenty warm for outdoor water activities, but not high season.  So a call ahead to the No Snow Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) shop in NE Mesa will be required.  Use their equipment and recommendations to plan a guided or freestyle outing to either Tempe Town Lake or the Salt River.  Moonlight tours are particularly lovely, and the shop will provide everything you need, from board rentals to car racks. details

Saturday:  Arizona Soaring

Book a lesson or introductory ride in a graceful, engine-free glider at Arizona Soaring in Maricopa, about 30 minutes southwest of Phoenix.  Two-passenger gliders (one instructor and one guest/student) are towed up by rope and released at an altitude sufficient to give gorgeous views of the entire Valley.  Defy gravity and savor the ride by finding thermals that take these beautiful crafts on an invisible roller coaster in the sky.  You’ll be amazed by the maneuvers and precise landing capabilities of gliders and the experienced pilots will take you soaring. details

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