Family Trip To Arizona And The Toy That Kept My Kids Entertained In The Car!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Grimaldi's, AZ Air Time, and The Children's Museum of Phoenix. All opinions are my own. 

Our spring break vacation in Arizona exceeded my expectations. Truthfully, I wondered if my kids would argue a lot, become overtired and cranky, and possibly spoil the trip. This has happened in the past because kids are still kids and they don’t always leave their fussy ways behind—and neither do parents. I feel badly that I felt that way now because they were truly wonderful from start to finish. Yes, we had our moments, but overall, they drank in every experience and were flexible and thankful for all we did for them. That is probably the best part of the whole trip for me!

This week, I shared about the amazing resort where we stayed for the first part of our trip and you can read about that here. Eventually, we made our way closer to Scottsdale so I could be near the church where I was speaking and sharing about my book, Triggers, to two mom groups. I couldn't have asked for more lovely women to spend time with. 

I was overcome with blessings as I spoke on Monday and Tuesday and had such sweet conversations with many women who are seeking to be more gentle moms. Some had driven many hours to attend, brought me treats, and shared with me how they came to read Triggers. The fellowship was healing to my heart and filled me up. It was truly one of the best times I have had this year and I can’t wait to go back and share with these kind Arizona moms again sometime.

(By the way, if you are interested in having me come to your church or gathering, you can request to do so by clicking here. I am already booking for spring 2018, but I have openings for the fall of 2017 and beyond, so act soon.)

Guy and I have been on Weight Watchers for about 3 months now, and it’s going great. I’m down almost 15 lbs and he’s down nearly 20! Still, we were on vacation so we knew we wanted to splurge for one meal in particular. The amazing people at  Grimaldi's in Scottsdale made us a fabulous meal!

Quade napped while we ate. He really is a dream baby. 

Love the ceiling at Grimaldi's! I'd put this in my house!

The servers brought pizza dough for the kids to play with while we waited for our food. It was a hit--the boys LOVED it. 

We ordered this meat laden pizza, thin crust, and teeming with flavor. We are picky about our pizza--being Italians and all, and this is one we would order again in a heartbeat. Delicious!

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Oliver gets a little crazy over pizza.

Guy and I consider ourselves experts when it comes to identifying the best cannoli. We wondered if Grimaldi's claim for the best cannoli was going to dissapoint us, but it didn't. It was truly scrumptious. Some of the best we have had anywhere! If you haven't been to Grimaldi's yet--go! 

Later on, we took the boys to AZ Air Time and we literally had to drag them away after about 4 hours of straight jumping, climbing, and dodge ball. The wide open lounge area meant I could sit and hang out with Quade or chat with Guy in the comfy chairs while the kids ran circles around us. It was awesome. The staff were wonderful too. They seemed to really enjoy all the kids and were quick to help out with anything we needed. We will be going back, for sure!

I probably would have benefited from jumping around with the boys, but I took it easy instead. Oliver loves to do flips like the girl in the background, but I didn't get a shot of him this time. 

Quinn has always been our master climber. He scaled this wall like it was a walk in the park. He amazes me! Other parents see him free climb structures wherever we go and freak out but we have learned to let go of fear. He knows his capabilities. 

I lounged around with this cutie pie. Can you blame me? I had finished speaking that morning so I was feeling pretty drained in a good way. It was nice to relax and watch the kids buzz around. 

Oakley always loves the foam pit. I'm pretty sure I would never get out once I got in. 

We also spent one morning at The Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Even though my boys range in ages, every one of them had a blast. Again, we had to drag them away from the museum. I was blown away by the creativity with which this museum was designed. Guy and I were both super impressed. The variety of experiences here is what makes it so great! Loved every minute of it and could have spent all day exploring the many levels within the building.

The museum has dozens of little stations like this where kids can manipulate gears, play instruments, or build with various materials. 

This climbing structure was super impressive. All of us explored every nook and cranny!

Pirate crafts? Why we don't mind if we do, Matey!

Quade found a sweet spot in an uber modern chair that spins!

Guy took the boys into this crazy painting structure while I was still in the other room. Good thing it was washable paint!

I have to share about something I bought for the boys for the road trip. I got each of them a fidget spinner. Everywhere we went, people stopped us to ask what they were, including a parent of a sweet autistic boy who ordered one on the spot on their phone. My kids need something to do to get nervous energy out and this is just the thing. Kids often use them in classrooms to help them concentrate too! It was a lifesaver for us on the long car rides or when we were waiting in lines etc. I highly recommend them, especially since they are so cheap! Here is one example, and another one here

Here is Oliver's fidget spinner in action on a table. Usually, you hold it between two fingers and spin away but my kids tried to balance and spin it on their foreheads, elbows, and any and every surface. Yeah, we've got cool tricks!

We had an amazing time in Arizona. You can see more pictures of the other adventerous places we visited and our train ride to the Grand Canyon on my Instagram! Also, this post includes an affiliate link so when you place an order using my link, Amazon gives me a few cents at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Your Turn! What tips and tricks do you have for traveling with kids? What vacation will you be taking next? Have you seen fidget spinners before?

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Amber Lia

A former high school English teacher, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 4 little boys under the age of 10. She is the best-selling author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, say Something New. She and her husband Guy own Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach, or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at Mother of Knights (www.motherofknights.com).