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Arizona Vacation With Kids- Day 1 & 2 Dude Ranch Fun

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Thank you to White Stallion Ranch for hosting our stay at your beautiful luxury family-friendly dude ranch in Tucson Arizona. All opinions and photographs of the property are ours.

wild west with kids dude ranch guide

Saturday we rode off into the sunset for another adventure.

Actually, we got up super early in the morning, and we were off and driving to Arizona at 6 am. The whole riding off into the sunset sounds so much better, though. After a pretty quick 7 hour drive (we stopped five times, don’t ask) we drove through the gates of White Stallion Ranch in Tucson Arizona. Ever since we rode horses in Hawaii a couple of months ago, we have all wanted to spend more time riding. That was Pete’s first time riding a horse, and I was so happy when he shared how much he loved it. I was even a little surprised, and I wasn’t sure what he would think. I’ve been riding here and there since I can remember, and Maddie and Ashley took lessons for a few years when they were younger.  This was also a new thing for Emmy because she has never ridden without someone holding her lead. 

arizona with kids

Em was so excited about everything here at the Dude Ranch. She had been telling people we were going since the day she found out… and she even talked Pete and me into buying her a whole new wardrobe for the trip. Thankfully cowgirl clothes are a big thing at Target, so that was taken care of really quickly. PS. Target is not a sponsor of this post; I just had to share in case you have a little one at home too that loves this type of clothing.

kids at dude ranches

Speaking of Emmy, she was our self-proclaimed tour guide around the ranch, so I’ll be sharing a lot of her thoughts while we are here. 

all inclusive dude ranch

While you are on the ranch, you feel like you are far away from the everything and in a different world. Gone are the pressures of everyday life. It was like we all did a heavy exhale as soon as we passed through the gates and saw nothing but mountains and cactus. In reality, you are about 10 minutes from all the modern conveniences that you could need. Although you really won’t need anything. Since this is an all-inclusive resort, you never need to leave. 

ranch for kids tucson

white stallion ranch tucson arizona

kids with horses

Our first two days were filled with riding, eating, relaxing and fun!

Since we arrived mid afternoon on Saturday, we were able to all go on a slow ride for almost two hours into the foothills. Everyone regardless of past riding experience goes on a slow ride first, and then you are tested for the ability to handle the fast rides. You don’t have to have much experience to qualify for the faster rides; you just have to know basic riding commands for safety. You also have to be over 8 to go on those rides. The first day Emmy, Pete, and Ash went on the slow ride and also the sunset ride. The pictures that Pete took for me from the sunset ride are just breathtaking.

sunset ride

Earlier in the day when we all went riding, we were each introduced to our horse for the week. They try to pair you with a horse for the entire time of your stay which is cool. They also match you to the horse that fits your riding experience and needs.

dude ranches usa

I love that Pete still wore a CrossFit shirt with his cowboy hat!

horse back riding

I stayed behind to take pictures during the golden hour. That is my absolute favorite time to take pictures, and it was even better than usual because of the golden color of the hills and buildings.

During our visit to the ranch, we are staying in a family suite. It consists of a bedroom for the girls with three twin sized beds and a bedroom for Pete, and I with a huge king sized bed. There is also a bathroom off our bedroom for us all to use. We have found that we are not spending much time in our suite at all because there is just so much to do on the ranch. To facilitate the true relaxing nature of the ranch, there are no TV’s in the rooms. Instead, there is a TV in the lobby for everyone to enjoy. However, there is really good internet throughout the ranch!

Here is a quick look at our suite…

guest rooms

family suite

white stallion ranch arizona rooms

Meals are all served in the dining hall. 

They ring a huge bell when the meals are ready for the full dude ranch experience, and they also share the times at check in. Throughout the day there are always snacks and drinks available. Nobody goes hungry here! The food is pretty fantastic too. Very fresh and homemade tasting. They have been more than accommodating with our vegan and vegetarian food needs too. They pride themselves on being able to cater to the needs of those with special dietary concerns. They even had almond milk for me to add to my coffee each morning. You guys all know how important my morning coffee is. I’ve been drinking it on our front porch… I need to remember to get a picture of that to share tomorrow because it is just about the most peaceful scene ever!

dining room

Here is the dining room and a picture of my breakfast yesterday. That’s a vegetable breakfast burrito. Delish!

food white stallion ranch

In the afternoon we went swimming. The water was the perfect temperature to cool us all off from the Arizona summer heat. We’ve had highs over 100 degrees since we have been there, but the ranch handles this perfectly. The days are broken up with early rides and late afternoon rides to miss the hot mid days. The mornings and evenings here have brought us perfect weather!


I was hoping to put my feet up and rest a bit since it was a Sunday afternoon, but this little dame below had other plans. She wanted to head to the petting zoo… yep, they have one of those too!

dude ranch fun for kids

petting zoo


They have the sweetest animals here, and they are so well cared for.

best family dude ranches

I finally got to kick back and take in the sights while these two went off to explore again…

arizona summer family fun

Here is our day One and two recaps:

I’ll be back with day three tomorrow!

See our full White Stallion Dude Ranch adventure here.

Have you ever been to a dude ranch?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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