It is fall break time for the area schools and with the cooler weather approaching this is a great time to have fun with the kids. Here are 15 easy ideas:
1. Go to The Farm at South Mountain for lunch. It is such a great time to be outside, order your lunch and enjoy it under the trees with your kids. Invite a friend and let the kids play while you catch up with your friend.
2. Boyce Thompson Arboretum has a great easy hiking trail, beautiful picnic area, and it’s educational.
3. The Phoenix Zoo. I realize this is a very popular place, but the zoo is fun, educational and a great place to hang out.
4. Go fishing. Why not hit the Mogollon Rim lakes before the snow hits? It is cool weather and only two hours from Phoenix, and catching trout is fun and delicious.
5. Movies in the Park on Friday evenings at Kiwanis Park. Movies start at approximately 6 p.m. during the month of October.
6. Take a bike ride. One of my favorite places is along the canal; we load up the bikes and head over to Kiwanis Park. The trails are paved and in great condition. We usually stop at one of the neighborhood greenbelts for a game of tag or to just chill out.
7. Take a road trip out to Saguaro Lake and eat lunch. Good food and beautiful view of the lake.
8. Camp in the backyard. If you don’t have a chance to head out of town, it is still fun to set up the tent in the backyard and camp out. Look at the stars and enjoy the nighttime cool temperatures.
9. Pick out a new park to try, as much fun as Pecos Park is, my boys love checking out new parks. Currently, out new favorite is in Anthem, it is a long way to drive for a park, but we easily spend the entire day playing on the playground equipment and then have a picnic afterwards.
10. Head to the Children’s Museum. If you were lucky enough to buy the “Deal Chicken” coupon for the Children’s Museum, now is the time to use it. Great place for the kids to explore, make noise, get artsy and explore.
11. Take the light rail train downtown, go to the downtown library. If you haven’t been to the downtown library, it is absolutely beautiful. The best part is that if you check out books or movies from the downtown library, you can return them to the Ironwood library in Ahwatukee. If you want to eat downtown, The Spaghetti Factory is right across the street from the library, nice restaurant and very kid friendly.
12. Host a game afternoon or game night at your house. Invite a few of your child’s friends over to play board games and have snacks.
13. Go to the Farmer’s Market. There are quite a few Farmer’s Markets to check out around the Valley, including right here in Ahwatukee. Pick a new one, take the kids and let them pick out healthy foods to eat for the week.
14. Horseback riding. There are plenty of stables around the Valley that offer trail rides like the one near Ahwatukee by South Mountain — this is one of my older son’s favorite activities.
15. Take a drive up to the mountains and look for the fall color. The yellows of the Aspen trees among the green pine trees is just relaxing and pretty, also the cool mountain air is wonderful for hiking.
A fun activity is to have your child pick out their favorite activities, write it on small sheets of paper, fold them and put them in a bowl. Each morning your child gets to pick the activity for the day. A surprise for everyone! Have a wonderful fall break, spend plenty of time with your kids, and laugh until your belly hurts.
• Leah Derewicz is a 15-year Ahwatukee Foothills resident. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.