Family vacations in Arizona can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters -- it all depends on pretrip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are recommended attractions for those planning Arizona family vacations.
Grand Canyon National Park
Address: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ Phone: 928-638-7888 Hours: The south rim is open all year every day. The north rim closes from October through mid-May due to snow. The visitor centers are open from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. daily Price: The entry fee is $25 per car or $12 per person (for pedestrians or bicyclists), good for seven days
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Address: 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005 Phone: 702-293-8990 Hours: Lake Mead is open year-round, 24 hours, seven days a week. Some beaches and other areas (clearly marked with signs) are open for day-use from dawn to dusk. Price: Entrance/lake fees: $10 per vehicle, $16 per vessel, $5 per person, $10 lifetime Federal Lands pass for seniors 62 and up
Address: 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 602-252-8848 Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed major holidays Price: Adults, $12; seniors, $11; students, $5; kids 6 to 12, $3
Sonoran Desert Tours
There are many ways to tour the Sonoran Desert either by day or night to view ancient ruins, saguaro cactus, tarantulas, rock formations, abandoned gold mines, mountains and more. You can tour the desert by all terrain vehicle, a Hummer, or hike it yourself. Many tour companies are based in Phoenix and Scottsdale and will pick up family vacationers who are staying nearby.
Address: 2144 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016 Phone: ATV tours, 602-400-2445; Hummer tours, 480-922-0020 Hours: All year long, seven days a week. In summer, tours start as early as 5:30 a.m. to beat the heat. In winter, many start at 8 a.m. Hours dependent on type and length of tour and time of year. Call for reservations Price: Varies; from $160 for an ATV (minimum two people) to $100 and up for a Hummer tour (per person)
Deer Valley Rock Art Center
Address: 3711 West Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, AZ 85308 Phone: 623-582-8007 Hours: Summer hours: Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Price: Free admission
Stuffington Bear Factory
Address: 2302 East Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016 Phone: 602-225-9513 Hours: Tours take place Monday through Saturday at 1 p.m. Reservations are not required. Price: Free factory admission
The London Bridge at Lake Havasu
Yes, it is the famous London Bridge, and no, it is not falling down. When the bridge truly was sinking and leaning in London over 40 years ago, the founder of Lake Havasu City decided he needed more people to come to his planned development in the Arizona desert. So he bought the 900 foot-long London Bridge from the British and had it constructed in the desert -- and they came. Today it's a very busy tourist spot known for watersports on Lake Havasu.
Address: 420 English Village, Lake Havasu, Arizona 86403 Phone: 800-242-8278 Hours: The London Bridge Visitors Center is open seven days, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The London Bridge is always open Price: Free admission
What's your favorite family-vacation destination in Arizona?
Check out more FAMILY TRAVEL GUIDES.