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In Phoenix: family fun and safety first

Drowning Prevention Coalition event at Pointe Hilton
Drowning Prevention Coalition event at Pointe Hilton

PHOENIX, AZ — Have you played the “what if” game lately?

What if someone gets in trouble in the water—right in front of you?

Seconds count.  No one knows that more than Arizonans who live in their pools all summer. But vacationers may not be so wise.  That’s why the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort has teamed with the Phoenix Fire Department Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona to help visitors be more water smart while playing at the resort’s famous four-acre Hole-in-the-Wall ‘s River Ranch water park:

–Teach the kids to swim as soon as possible.
–Never swim alone or let the kids swim alone.
–ALWAYS have a designated child-watcher whose sole job is watching the kids. (Some –Families: pass around a bracelet or card to the designated watcher.
–Never swim under the influence of alcohol or medications.
–Never swim when you hear thunder or see lightning.
–Never dive into an unfamiliar body of water.

And should you see someone in trouble:

–Yell for help and pull the person out of the water.
·–Call 9-1-1 immediately! Stay on the line.
–Begin CPR.
–If you are not CPR-trained, follow the instructions from the 9-1-1 operator until help arrives.

Guests at the resort will get a CPR Awareness and Water Safety Tips CD when they check in. Great idea, I think.  We just held our TMS Family Travel Summit here.  I was impressed with an affordable resort  at the base of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve that offered  so much for families with suite accommodations to spread out complete with mini-fridge as well as townhouse-style casitas.  And good eats –we loved the BBQ at the Hole-In-The-Wall restaurant and farm-to-table Southwestern fare at Rico’s American Grill.  Plus mini putting course and Coyote Camp, though I wish the activities were complimentary (they cost $35 per half day or evening; $65 for a full day.)

Coyote Camp at Pointe Hilton
Coyote Camp at Pointe Hilton

This summer, the resort  is celebrating a decade each month—all things 1950s in May, the 1960s and 1970s in June and the 1980s in July with special poolside activities at the Resort’s four-acre River Ranch water park, games like Twister and hula hoop contests and dive-in movies. The resort’s restaurants will celebrate the decades with special menu items and the Tocasierra Spa will offer themed hairstyles (ready for hairspray?), nails and more.  There will be special kids’ activities and crafts.

Yes, it’s hot in Arizona in the summer but rates start at just $109.  As long as you keep everyone well-hydrated and smeared in sunscreen, you’ll have lots of fun.  You’ll also find great deals at the Fairmont  Scottsdale Princess (Memo to the adults:  the resort’s Hacienda Restaurant reputation for margaritas is well deserved!).  Weekends, there will be fireworks, all-day pool activities and even remote-control boat races and fishing derbies. Rates start at just $139 this summer!  

Kids cooking at AZ Biltmore
Kids cooking at AZ Biltmore

The historic Arizona Biltmore is celebrating its 85th anniversary with an array of $85 specials, everywhere from the spa to gourmet meals. The kids will love the kids’ cooking classes and Paradise Pool with DJ Pool Parties, live music and “glow in the dark” family night fun.  Moms will like the Poolside Spa Team offering mini treatments and sun blocks and moonlight yoga. Rates start at $154.

Turkey Exhibit at Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ
Turkey Exhibit at Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ

Meanwhile, I loved that the Pointe Hilton gave us rainy day ideas when we checked in—yes, it was raining in the desert here.  My top rainy-day pick or when you need to get out of the sun—don’t miss the Musical Instrument Museum housing nearly 15,000 instruments and artifacts from around the world with nearly 5,000 on display at one time. Musical instruments have been acquired from more than 200 countries and date back to between 4000 and 5000 BC (a drum from China). But this isn’t just about seeing the instruments. It’s about hearing them played by people in their native countries.  Thanks to 21st Century technology, you can watch a video and hear the music as soon as you walk up to the exhibit, headphones on your ears. Kids will love the Experience Gallery where they can bang a Chinese gong, try a xylophone, a drum or tiny guitar.–with no one telling them to be quiet.

Let’s not forget the Museum Café that serves food using fresh local ingredients. The menu changes daily.

That’s assuming you can get the kids out of the pool!  Just make sure to play in the water safely.

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