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Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

guineapickle
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Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

Hi all,

My in laws ( healthy mid 60's) are flying in to Tucson to visit my family. We have three boys, ages 2.5, 4, and 9. We plan to rent a medium sized RV And drive North for a 3 night 4 day tour. For the dayswe have, I found only ONE camping site available, at Pine Flat Campground. so we'll be parking and sleeping there. Will it be cold in mid October? I'mexpecting chilly at night, warmish by day, correct? We hope to see many ruins, with casual stops for kid friendly eating (NOT fast food) and play breaks. We will not be bringing an extra vehicle, so we need to only go places accessible to a class C RV ( the little truck kind)

Day 1 I'm thinking wupatki ruins complex. Accessible by RV?

Recommendations for sandwich shop or kid tolerrant cafes in flagstaff?

Day 2 walnut creek, and possible nearby kid play park, etc?

Day 3 oak creek canyon. Will the water be unbearably freezing by mid October?

Kid tolerant cafe, sandwich place, deli etc in Sedona? Any good playgrounds in Sedona?

Cathedral in the rocks.

Day 4, heading back, we'll stop at Montezuma's castle and Then hopefully Fish Camp Hill

Any feedback on this itinerary for small kids? I believe these ruins are all pretty accessible for kids, and also for an approach by RV. Correct?

Jackson, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

Walnut Canyon has a lot of steep stairs ,may not be very feasible with the 2 youngest

Another option might be Meteor Crater

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

Good route and attraction plan ... Poor choice of vehicle ... As there will be plenty of accommodation available. Rent a standard sedan or small van and, enjoy ... carracar

Edited: 22 September 2013, 05:37
Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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3. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

Good advice from carracar. Rent a car or an SUV. Wupatki involves walks that are doable for all, but you'll probably end up carrying the youngster at times. Walnut Canyon does have a lot of steps that you MUST climb. Allow plenty of time. Meteor Crater is a lousy alternative. It has nothing to do with ancient ruins.

Oak Creek Canyon weather will be pleasant with chilly nights. The creek will be extremely cold.

Kids love the Red Planet Diner in Sedona. Lots of other choices too.

Sedona, AZ
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4. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

That's going to be one crowded RV for sleeping! And at a campground that has no hookups and vault toilets. Do you know that RVs only get around 8-10 mpg? Just sayin'.

Other than that, this sounds like a good trip. You should be able to do everything as planned. Sunset Park in Sedona (up Sunset Drive) has a nice playground.

Edited: 22 September 2013, 07:51
Harleysville...
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5. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

Red Rock Crossing in Sedona is a great place for kids your ages. It's right along the creek with great views of Cathedral Rock and plenty of room for them to run and play and burn off some energy.

tucson az
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6. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

A Class C RV is not a "little truck kind," but rather a large vehicle compared to passenger vehicles, but it will take you everywhere that you want to go. It's going to cost you a lot more than you think when everything is included. It will cost a little less than staying in a hotel, considering that many people. But then it's also going to be quite uncomfortable with that many people in it, and no privacy. The 2 younger children are required to be in a proper child seat, the older 4 yo possibly in a booster seat, which could apply to the oldest 9 yo as well based on weight and height. Arizona law requires that children be in proper safety restraints at all times when a vehicle is moving.

West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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7. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

I have looked into rental RVs in the past. The rental price is one thing, the mileage charges are another! They are exorbitant. Consider whether this is something you want to do because you want to experience this trip as a family camping, or if you're doing it to save money. Then make your decision. Another option may be to rent a private home, or a place like Comfi Cottages for your nights in Flagstaff. If you do decide camping is the way to go, next, look at the cost of renting a second vehicle for your moving around during the day. With the high price of mileage in the rental RVs, and the inconvenience of packing up and disconnecting all your hook-ups, it might be worth it to rent a vehicle for your day trips.

As far as visiting the sites you've mentioned, I agree with the other replies - Wupatki will be doable. Walnut Canyon is wonderful, but you'll need to decide whether you are up to climbing back out of the canyon with the youngest child in your arms. It's a challenge for many adults (especially at that altitude); adding a toddler in arms could make it a chore. At least there are four healthy adults to split this between, so it's up to you. Or one could stay in the visitor center, which affords a minimal but decent view of the canyon and a small portion of the ruins. The other children will probably relish the opportunity to burn off some energy and be the least likely to complain.

Another, oft-overlooked, ruins site in/near Flagstaff is Elden Pueblo, not far from the Flagstaff Mall. http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwgAykeaxcN4jhYG_h4eYX5hPgYwefy6w0H24dcPNgEHcDTQ9_PIz03VL8iNMMgycVQEAHcGOlk!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfME80MEkxVkFCOTBFMktTNUJIMjAwMDAwMDA!/?ss=110304&navid=110000000000000&pnavid=null&cid=FSE_003741&recid=55092&ttype=recarea&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&pname=Coconino+National+Forest+-+Elden+Pueblo+Interpretive+Site+(minor) It is an easy and enjoyable site to view. Last time I was there, a group of students was working on a dig, something you don't see at most sites, and a real education for all to see.

Weather will likely be as you suspect - warmish (but a sweater is a good idea) during the days and cold at night.

For kid-friendly food, try Wildflower Bread Co. in the Aspen Place center, just off Butler Ave., Mix in the Old Town Shops (downtown), and Bigfoot Barbecue in the basement at the Old Town Shops. There's also the newly renovated Fratelli Pizza south of the tracks downtown. These off the top of my head, you'll find reviews for others here on TA. For parking downtown, there is a parking area just across from Fratelli and also possibly near city hall that should accommodate the RV and close enough to make a short stroll through historic and charming downtown Flag to get to the dining spot. If you're looking for sandwiches to go, I also like Pita Pit (also downtown), which is a chain, but tasty and fresh - you order Subway style and get exactly what you want.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your visit to Flagstaff!

West Yellowstone...
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8. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

Ah, forgot. One more kid-friendly dining establishment in Flagstaff. The Crown Railroad Cafe is a hit with kids. The food is diner style, but the highlight is the model train running around the entire establishment on a rail on the wall near the ceiling. I prefer the location at the Walmart/Basha's center on the south end of town at Beulah and Woodlands Village Blvd. This will keep the kids plenty entertained while you wait for your food. Adults who like trains will enjoy the decor, as well. They are open for breakfast-lunch-dinner.

9. Re: Quick tour of ruins and more with toddlers and grandparents

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