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A Roadschool Guide to Sedona - The Flippin' Tilbys

A Roadschool Guide to Sedona

The Roadschoolers Guide to Sedona

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 A week in Sedona, AZ is not nearly enough time to see all the things I wanted to, but we sure tried! If your family is into hiking, ghost towns, eclectic museums, exploring nature and hands-on learning, go to Sedona. Trust me. It’s amazing. 


My kids get so much more excited to visit a place when they know some info before we go. A little educational prep work makes a massive difference for my kids. Some pre-learning before a trip gives the kids more ownership in their education and our travels, and they get so much more out of our road schooling experiences. We like to read a few books, fiction and nonfiction, watch a documentary when we can find it, and maybe do an art project. Our prep varies place to place because each place is so unique!

Here are some of the books and other resources we used to get excited about Sedona.

Crazy Heat: Arizona Tales of Ghosts, Gumshoes, and Bigfoot

Written by a native Arizonian, this book is a great way to learn about the local lore of Sedona. Plus it’s so funny! 

Sedona Through Time: Geology of the Red Rocks by Wayne Ranney

The vivid red rocks of Sedona’s landscape are stunning. I love that beauty and science are friends and by admiring one you can learn about the other! This book teaches the evolution of the Sedona landscape in an engaging and fun way.

Sedona: Images of America by Lisa Schnebly Heidinger

Heidinger, a decedent of one of Sedona’s founding families, wrote a beautiful pictorial history of Sedona from the first settlers to the popular tourist destination of today. This book would be great entertainment for the car ride. Entertainment that’s educational is my favorite. 

Sedona Vortex Energy Exploration Documentary

This documentary is definitely different than the ones we usually watch, but Sedona isn’t like other places. The documentary explores the lore surrounding the “Vorex” energy of Sedona. Some believe that the rocks of Sedona give off a healing energy. This documentary can be found on Amazon Prime for $0.99 for the rental.

Sedona Art Project

What’s the best way I could think of to get my kids excited about climbing the red rocks? Paint them! We like free-form art over here, but sometimes it’s fun to learn new techniques by watching a tutorial like this one by JhuvyGWilson How to Paint Red Rocks in Watercolor 


Now that your brains know what you’re going to see, time for some active exploring! 

Jerome, AZ

Did you know that the world’s largest ghost town is right outside of Sedona? Jerome, AZ used to be the 3rd biggest city in Arizona with 15,000 people but dwindled to less than 100 after the mine stopped producing. The downtown area has been restored and turned into the cutest art and food district.

We started the day touring the mining museum at Jerome Historic State park. They had a fantastic Jr. Ranger program and we all enjoyed completing the scavenger hunt around the historic mansion. We grabbed lunch at the Haunted Hamburger and ate it at a little park in the center of town that overlooked Sedona and the Verde Valley.

After the kids had their fill of playing at the park we grabbed Gelato and then perused a few of the cute shops along main street. Our favorite shop was one called Nellie Fye that claims to be the world’s largest kaleidoscope store and it felt as though we’d stepped into another, much more magical, world! We had to leave early because of a melt down and as we were leaving the owner slipped Mason a kaleidoscope because she enjoyed having them in so much.


Jerome Historical State Park

Admission: Adult: $7, Youth (7-13): $4.00, 6 and under: Free! Hours: 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily, with some holiday exceptions Time: 2+ hours

The Jerome Historical State Park is a museum inside a 1916 mansion. The museum is dedicated to the Jerome area, as well as the Douglas family who built the home.

 Our favorite part about visiting the museum is their Jr. Ranger program. Did you know that all state parks, national parks, and national monuments all have Jr. Ranger programs? They don’t always advertise them, but all you have to do is ask.

We all had so much fun completing the scavenger hunt around the mansion. They got to experience the mansion hands on, instead of simply listening to the tour guide. 100% recommend!

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Hours: 9-5, 7 days a week. Closed Christmas and Easter Time: ½ – 1 hour 

Placed on top of a red rock face, the setting of this Catholic church is breathtaking.  Whether or not you’re Catholic, I recommend visiting. 

While we are not Catholic, I have relatives who are and I appreciated the gracious clergy answering my kids’ many questions. My 7-year-old even bought a 6 hour candle to pray for my grandmother after asking one of the volunteers what the candles were for. This is a great place to add some religious diversity to your kids’ education.

Tlaquepaque Art Village

What I thought would just be a fun shopping trip turned into a beautiful, cultural immersion experience. Tlequpeque is an authentic model of a traditional Mexican Village, and true to its name meaning, has ‘the best of everything’.   

The shopping village is filled with local artists, galleries, fun eateries, and even has a toy store. Even though a lot of the shops are high-end galleries that I had no desire to bring 4 young boys into, we still spent a few hours here, finding hidden gems around every corner, admiring the many sculptures, and totally feeling immersed in the experience. 

I would highly recommend researching the actual city of Tlepuepaque in central Mexico before visiting to create an even deeper experience when visiting!

I could never cover Sedona in one post, we loved it too much! I’ve dedicated an entire post to the hikes we did, both with kids and without. Click here to read 5 Best Hikes in Sedona, AZ! 

Have you been to Sedona? Did you visit the same places we did? Comment below!


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