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STAYCATION SAVINGS: Low-cost adventures before the new school year begins

Posted at 6:05 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 22:55:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — If you and the family want to take a quick summer break before school starts, here are some ideas across the state:


Just 15 minutes southeast of Tucson lies one stop, Colossal Cave Mountain Park. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visitors can explore the area through hiking trails, on horseback, through wagon rides, stay a night or two at the campground and even explore Colossal Cave.

Tours inside the cave start at 10 a.m. and range in difficulty. The Classic tour is a half-mile long guided walk that takes about 40 minutes to complete. Tickets start at $10 for children 5 to 12-years-old and $20 for adults. There are discounted prices for active military with IDs and active first responders. No children under 5 are allowed. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.

There is also the Ladder and Wild Cave tours that are available with a reservation. The Wild Cave tours have two options: intermediate and advanced levels.


In Santa Cruz County, Patagonia Lake State Park offers both fun in nature and in the water.

The park offers a campground, beach, picnic area with ramadas, a creek trail, fishing opportunitiesand even a marina.

Keep in mind, there is an entrance fee for vehicles that range from $15 to $20.

If you want to plus-up your overnight stay, cabinsare available to rent.

Keep in mind, fire restrictions are in place.


Families can lace up their skates and head to Skate Country on Tucson's eastside. The only roller skating rink in town is open 7 days a week with admission costing as low as $4 per person.

There are different rates depending on the time of day you visit. Skates are also available to rent or you can bring your own.

Classes are available if you do not know how to skate.


Up the road in Scottsdale, the Great Wolf Lodge may be a perfect getaway for the whole family.

The resort has an indoor water park, fun attractions and events on dry land. And another perk -- it is all under one roof!

There are summer deals going on that families can take advantage of:

  • All in One Package: 15% off your stay, unlimited access to the resort’s endless activities like mini golf, ropes course, rock climbing, bowling, snacks and $100 F&B credit.
  • Summer Camp-In: Book a suite and receive an exclusive Summer Camp-In package that includes unlimited snacks, game card, s’mores, and a large lantern to take home.


West of Tucson Mountain Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum showcases animals, plants and art unique to Southwest. Founded in 1952, the museum is now home to a zoo, natural history museum, art gallery, aquarium and botanical garden.

From July through September, the museum is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. General admission tickets cost $23.95. Seniors (ages 65 and older) can visit for $21.95. Kids (ages 3-12) cost $11.95. Kids ages 3 and under get in free.

On Saturdays in August, the museum will stay open until 9 p.m. so guests can view nocturnal animals.

The museum also offers virtual programs and education.