Mar 3, 2024 - Things to Do

Spring training travel tips for Chicagoans headed to Arizona

Silhouettes of people climbing a mountain at sunset.
Hiking Echo Canyon on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix with kids. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

For many years, I've done family-style vacations to spring training, entertaining my kids with activities beyond the ballparks.

The big picture: If you're planning a trip, there are plenty of ways to get exercise and try delicious local food.

🌄 Sunrise hikes: Wake before dawn to snag a parking spot at one of Phoenix's popular trails where hikers flock early to beat the heat.

A young boy sits in the sun on the grass outside of a baseball field.
The sunniness of lawn seats can catch Midwesterners by surprise. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

😎 Shaded seats: Think about paying a bit more to sit in sections with shade.

  • We thought lawn seats would be great for the kids, until we got fried by the Arizona sun with no shade in sight.
  • At the very least, bring lots of sun hats and sunscreen to the game.

🌮 Mexican grocery stores: Check out Phoenix's giant Rancho and Cardenas supermarkets with their in-store tortillerías, cremerías and restaurants serving tacos, breakfasts and freshly squeezed juices. Great for cultural excursions and affordable family meals.

  • I love buying their stacks of warm tortillas made with corn and wheat, but also fresh pineapple, cactus, strawberries and nuts.
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