One of Arizona’s premier resorts, JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa puts the fun back in winter, especially for families looking to escape snow and cold. Guests enjoy daily hikes, swimming, a kids’ club, teen fun and plenty of sunshine.
Located just 20 minutes from downtown Tucson, the resort overlooks the city from its perch in Tucson Mountain Park. A basic room with two queen beds starts at just more than $210 per night (plus resort fee), but families have several package options, including breakfast for two adults and two children for $285 per night (plus resort fee). Want a little more space? Suites (from $500 per night) offer separate living and sleeping areas.
Plan to arrive early enough to catch The Legend of Arriba Abajo, held on the patio every evening at 5:30 p.m. Although your kids won’t be able to partake in the traditional tequila toast, they can sip soda and watch the city lights twinkle before heading to dinner. The resort has seven restaurants, including upscale Primo, but when dining with kids, make a reservation at Signature Grill or Catalina Barbecue Co. Not only do both serve delicious food but kids 12 and under eat dinner for free.
Fun for Kids
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass has plenty of activities for the whole family. Start the day at 6:30 a.m. with a guided hike into Tucson Mountain Park. (If you can’t wake up that early, book a guided hike later in the day with Southwest Trekking. Then participate in the traditional Native American morning ritual of Mitakuye Oyasin (Mee-tah-kay Awe-sin), which includes burning sage and an eagle feather blessing.
After breakfast, take advantage of the sun at the swimming pool, lazy river, waterslide and splash pad. Cabanas are available for rent starting at $100. The resort works hard to maintain a family-friendly environment, limiting the pool’s use to guests and not allowing coolers, radios or foul language. Pool toys and swim diapers are available.
Even More Fun
Active families can also attend kid-friendly yoga classes, rent mountain bikes or golf at Starr Pass Golf Course where kids 15 and under can take one-hour lessons for $50 (or free with a paying adult lesson) or even play a round for free after 3 p.m. with a full-paying adult. Need some downtime? The concierge has a small library where kids can check out age-appropriate books.
Depending on availability, younger kids can check into the Rising Star Kids Club for crafts, games and fun activities while teens can play videogames and foosball at Blur, the teen lounge. Call ahead to see if the kids’ club and teen lounge will be open during your planned stay.
While large areas of Colorado are experiencing exponential growth with far too many trees being clear-cut (it’s one of the fastest-growing states in the country), it’s still the home for great businesses striving to make the world a little greener. Those businesses include Sherpani, creators of women’s day bags, backpacks and travel bags, including a line of sophisticated, beautifully crafted items made from recycled plastic.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
The zoo is the perfect place for children to see and potentially interact with wildlife. Whether your family is filled with animal lovers or you just need a good excuse to get out and about, here are some of the country’s best zoos for your next family adventure:
By Hainan Airlines
The mad bobbing of sunny yellow toy ducks vying for the finish line has become a popular community event and fun family activity around the world — with many events staged to benefit local or national charities. Event-goers “adopt” a brightly colored, numbered rubber duck, pop it into a water source (usually a river or a stream) and wait to see which duck crosses the finish line first. Winners typically are awarded a prize donated by a race sponsor, while proceeds from the duck adoptions go to benefit a specific cause.