There are so many fun things to do in Sedona, Arizona. This beautiful desert destination is a great choice for families who love nature and outdoor activities. It has excellent parks, historical sites, shopping, dining and resort activities as well.
This article was written by my good friend Chris. She is a mother of five and grandmother of 21. She travels often and takes lots of notes to help family and friends plan their own trips to her favorite places. Sedona was an instant favorite.
Sedona has gorgeous views everywhere you turn and is very family-friendly. Here are the top activities for families.
Consider a Jeep Tour early in your vacation to get the lay of the land. There are lots of tour operators and options. They are a great way to dig deep into Sedona's spectacular scenery.
You may find deals for Jeep Tours and other Sedona activities on Groupon. Search for Sedona jeep tours at Groupon.com.
Ancient Ruins and Ghost Towns
Montezuma Castle National Monument, Tuzigoot National Monument and Jerome Ghost Town are all within about 30 minutes' drive of Sedona.
Montezuma and Tuzigoot preserve the cliff dwellings and pueblos of the people who lived here hundreds of years ago. Jerome State Historic Park preserves a ghost town from this region's boom-and-bust mining days.
- Montezuma Castle – https://www.nps.gov/moca/
- Tuzigoot – https://www.nps.gov/tuzi/
- Jerome – https://azstateparks.com/jerome/
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
Out of Africa is a replica of a real African Bush Safari with real wild animals. It's not a zoo or drive-through experience.
The basic ticket includes the African Bush Safari and a variety of shows, exhibits and other experiences. You can purchase additional experiences like zip line and animal encounters. https://outofafricapark.com/
Sedona offers many scenic hiking trails for all abilities in every direction. I recommend doing at least one every day. Try these resources for finding good hiking trails in Sedona:
My favorite Sedona hiking trails include
- West Fork (wear water shoes)
- Bell Rock Pathway with Rector Trail
- Doe Mountain Trailhead
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park is a scenic historic homestead in Oak Creek Canyon. This park has a popular swimming hole, plus historic exhibits and orchards, hiking trails, picnic areas, wildlife and a Junior Ranger program for kids ages 6-12.
Parking is limited. Go early to beat the crowds. https://azstateparks.com/slide-rock/
Red Rocks Crossing
I liked the swimming hole at Red Rocks Crossing at Crescent Moon Ranch better than the one at Slide Rock State Park. It was warmer and less crowded.
This national forest park also has a beautiful view of Cathedral Rock and picnic facilities. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=55286
Jordan Historical Park
Jordan Historical Park is located in Uptown Sedona, and is worth a quick visit. It includes a historic homestead, a pretty picnic area and the Sedona Heritage Museum. There is an audio tour and kids' scavenger hunt here. https://sedonamuseum.org/
Chapel of the Holy Cross
After the scenery, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of Sedona's most recognizable landmarks. It's a tall, narrow church built high into the red rocks.
Don't try to drive all the way to the top. Park as soon as you see an open spot, and start walking up the steep road. Golf carts go up and down the road to help visitors and it is very likely one will pick you up and take you the rest of the way. https://chapeloftheholycross.com/
Posse Grounds Park
This public park is a fun place for families to play. It has a playground, skate park, bike skills park, tennis, basketball, community pool, picnic tables and more. https://www.sedonaaz.gov/your-government/departments/parks-recreation/city-parks/posse-grounds-park
Sedona Rainbow Trout Farm
You can feed, catch and grill rainbow trout at the Sedona Rainbow Trout Farm. They provide everything you need to catch and eat your fish.
You do not need a fishing license. Dogs are welcome. http://sedonarainbowtroutfarm.com/
Los Abrigados Resort has Sedona's best miniature golf course. You don't have to stay at the resort to use it, and at about $5 per person, it's not very expensive. After your game, look for giant chess and checkers nearby. https://www.diamondresorts.com/destinations/property/Los-Abrigados-Resort-and-Spa
Sabrina's Ice Cream
Sedona has many restaurants and cafes with spectacular scenic views. Sabrina's Gourmet Ice Cream at Canyon Breeze Cafe was one of my favorites. I snapped the photo above from the patio. https://www.canyon-breeze.com/
Blazin' M Ranch
Blazin' M Ranch in Cottonwood has a hearty chuckwagon dinner with entertainment for families who want a classic Western experience. You'll also find a frontier town with shopping and family-friendly activities. https://www.blazinm.com/
Sedona is a little over 2 hours' drive from the Grand Canyon South Rim. There are closer places you could stay, but it's definitely within day trip range. If you've never seen the Grand Canyon, don't miss a chance to check it off your bucket list!
Spring Break and summer bring big crowds to the Grand Canyon. Arrive before 9 AM if possible, and plan to use the park shuttle. https://www.nps.gov/grca/
Where to Stay
There are many resorts and hotels in Sedona. I scouted out a few lodging options that would be fun with kids. Here are my top picks for a family of 6.
Red Agave Resort – This is my favorite. It has a beautiful location on the edge of Oak Creek and is moderately priced. This resort has a big grassy area, nice pool, fire pit, and places to sit outside and enjoy the scenery.
Sedona Springs Resort – This resort has condos with full kitchens and bedrooms. Some condos have lofts with extra beds. I liked the indoor and outdoor pools, patios, game room and playground.
Sedona Real Inn and Suites – This family-owned hotel features complimentary breakfast and a nice pool. Many rooms have patios or balconies. It's pet friendly too.
Click the button below to see rates and reviews for all these Sedona hotels and others on TripAdvisor.com.
I fell in love with Sedona, Arizona. I hope that these recommendations will help your family plan a great trip.