They came, they played, they conquered. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa was kind enough to invite us for a weekend of swimming, Legos and science experiments last weekend. If that doesn’t sound like little boy paradise then I don’t know little boys.
Dragging our bags behind us through the parking lot trailed by three slap-happy boys who were taking full advantage of their freedom from car seats, a knot formed in the pit of my stomach. The same knot that precedes a visit to any hotel or restaurant. Sure they say they’re kid friendly and they may well be, but are they ready for my kids? The check-in staff seemed unfazed by my brood’s antics (a good sign) and the long trek to our room wore the bunch down a bit. Of course they got a second wind when we caught a glimpse of our posh accommodations.
We checked things out, dropped our bags, changed and kicked off the weekend with a swim in one in a chain of kid friendly pools, some with zero entry, referred to by my kids as a “beach!”. We had several other families for company, all with kids just about Lego-building age. We were sure we would see them in the morning at the Mini-Build.
An hour later, we lured the kids to our room, into the bath and under the covers with promises of Legos galore the following morning as we would join dozens of other lucky kids in working with an expert from the Chandler Lego store to build a commemorative Lego horse followed by a free build.
In response to our enticements, the kids woke us up at a hideous hour leaving just enough time for a bagel breakfast and another swim before hitting the Lego bricks. We had to get out of the water before the water slide opened and as it was we were almost late to the event.
We arrived to a packed room with lots of friendly, helpful staff milling around making sure everyone had seats and all the parts of their commemorative Lego horse. A stamped Lego told the year and place of the bucking broncos’ birth.
Stephanie, from the Adventure Club was nice enough to jump in and help Christopher with his horse after I tried and failed miserably. Stephanie, you saved the day!
Jack and I enjoyed fruit and other snacks at a table in the back until the cranky, sleep-deprived boy expressed his boredom loudly enough for another Adventure Clubber (Kayli?) to hear. She hastily found him some Legos and dumped them accross our table, buying me peace for a moment.
With horses completed the boys joined hoardes of other kids on the floor for the free build.
Jack’s patience once again at an end, he and I wandered the halls, checking out ballrooms until one nice woman paused from changing a wastebasket liner to admire my boy. “Have you taken him on the boat?” she asked. “There’s a boat?” This was an exciting development. She explained that a little boat right near the Lego room shuttles passengers from there to the casino. Five minutes later, Jack and I were passengers.
The boat wound down a man-made river through the desert, towards the casino. My little boy who was just pitching a hollering fit sat still and calm enjoying the splish-sploshes of the boat, the sounds of the desert and Mom’s chit-chat with the very nice boat operator. The tunnel was probably the highlight of the trip. The worst part was arriving at the same spot he’d been grateful to leave.
Before departing, we had to check out the liquid nitrogen show put on by a rep from the Arizona Science Center. While the information presented was definitely over my kids’ heads, the explosions of vapor, shrinking and expanding balloons (see Jack’s hands in the first picture), and shattered frozen onions held their attention (for the most part). The show concluded with each child being able to blow into the liquid nitrogen canister creating a face full of steam.
After a fun but exhausting weekend, we packed and headed out. But not before each kid got his hands on a plush “wild” horse for the road. We came, we played, we conquered… and we’d do it again!