When we’re roadschooling or just out of town during a holiday it can be a challenge to know what to do for our kiddos. We want to make holidays special for them. But it’s easy to just ignore holidays like Halloween, which we’re not big on anyway.
We happened to be traveling through Flagstaff, AZ during the holiday last year so we decided to join in their festivities.
It ended up being one of those great experiences you have traveling with your kids that opens your eyes to why it’s so great. We would have enjoyed Flagstaff anytime of year, but how often do you visit a town on Halloween? It was like a unique peek into the community and lives of the people here.
My kids got to enjoy a normal childhood thing in a place we’d never been.
Plus there are some awesome educational spots to check out for learning opportunities, which I’m always on the lookout for. And, some unique archeological and geographical things to check out in this part of the country.
Why I fell in love with Flagstaff in October and why you will too.
Flagstaff, AZ is a small town on historic route 66. It has one of the highest elevations of any city in the USA at almost 7,000 feet above sea level. That’s some crazy altitude people!
On the way into town their were cool signs along the highway telling us how high up we were getting, 4,000 ft, 5,000 ft, 6,000 and up.
The town was so comforting, like being in any small hometown USA, but with a hip vibe. The buildings are beautiful and everywhere you look there’s some beautiful architectural feature or street art to look at.
The people in Flagstaff are amazing. It’s like the whole town supports the kids in the community. Every small business owner had it’s doors open for the kids to Trick-Or-Treat. And, they weren’t just handing out candy they were dressed up in full costume and genuinely happy to see us. Like this sweet lady who posed with my daughter.
They call the walk through town the Twisted Trick-or-Treat Trail, part of Halloween Harvest in Downtown Flagstaff.
The Halloween Harvest also includes games, music, and great photo ops in downtown. The community gathers here after finishing their rounds of trick-or-treating at the local shops.
We got to hang out with the Green Arrow, A.K.A. my son. This is him saving the town from a giant arachnid.
We were just passing through Flagstaff on our way to the Grand Canyon, but I wish we could’ve stayed longer.
Here’s a list of educational links to things to do or see in or near Flagstaff, AZ. Some of them are things you can do virtually, which is great when you can’t visit in person.
One thing I wish we’d had time to do is visit the Lowell Observatory.
It is located at 7,200 feet and is where the planet/non-planet Pluto was discovered in 1930.
If you get a chance to visit, the observatory has started a program similar to the NPS Junior Ranger program called Junior Astronomer. It isn’t free, but it is cheap at only $3. It looks like you can’t currently get this online and have to buy it and do the activities at the observatory.
Links for a virtual visit
Here’s a link to the Lowell Observatory website if you want to check it out.
You can read the story of Pluto’s discovery here.
Here is a link to the Lowell image gallery and some literally out of this world photos taken by their giant telescope.
The sight also has a link to some cool science experiment videos for kids at Kelly’s Space on You-Tube.
Walnut Creek National Monument
This is a national monument just outside of Flagstaff where they preserve ancient cliff dwellings.
Here is a link to six virtual tours that follow the Walnut Canyon National Monument’s Ancient Trail to Water that people who lived here so long ago actually used.
Here is a link to several NPS lesson plans having to do with Walnut Creek.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you’re visiting Flagstaff you’re almost to the Grand Canyon so definitely check it out. Here is a link to the NPS page for info about the Grand Canyon.
The Arizona Divide marker found on 1-40 both east and west bound just outside of Flagstaff, is for a high point where the watershed changes at 7,335 ft.
Walking around Flagstaff you’ll see Humphrey’s Peak, the highest point in Arizona. Part of the San Fransisco Peaks, it is located just a few miles outside of Flagstaff and is a whopping 12,633 feet above sea level!
This roadschooling holiday was so much fun for us and our kids. Flagstaff is a great city and we hope to make it back someday.
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Where have you spent your roadschooling holidays?