Budget Family Vacationers
Enjoy a scenic 20-minute boat ride to the Havasu Landing Resort and Casino. The Tecopa ferry puts your family out on the water for just a few bucks round trip per person. Standing on the open second-story deck, you’ll feel refreshed as the wind blows through your hair and the sun glows on your skin. As the clean air and fresh water invigorate your mind and body, take in and enjoy the expansive views of Lake Havasu City surrounding you.
An affordable lunch and dinner menu awaits you at the casino’s Trails End Restaurant. The Indian fry bread is a treat and the dining room’s sweeping, unobstructed views of Lake Havasu’s north basin are a showstopper. The ferry departs at the top of every hour from the London Bridge, and every hour on the half-hour from the casino. The ferry is closed after midnight during the week, 2 a.m. on weekends. Coupons for free ferry rides are available in the local newspaper, if you take the time to dig them up.
Swimming in the safe, sparking blue waters of Lake Havasu and relaxing on our sandy beaches will cost you nothing and bring hours of enjoyment to your family. For a fun, inexpensive and refreshing change of pace from the lake, head over to our indoor Aquatic Center. It has year-round, lifeguard-patrolled aquatic recreation for all ages, including a waterslide, two heated pools, wave pool, lap pool and outdoor splash area.
When you’ve had all of the swimming and splashing around you can handle, go rent some paddleboards for a gentle family excursion through the Bridgewater Channel and beneath the London Bridge. Afterwards, make your way mainland to explore Rotary Community Park, a recreation place unlike any other.
Within its 40 sprawling acres, Rotary Community Park encompasses a traditional city park with Havasu-style add-ons such as boat access, a safe buoyed-in lake swim area, six beach volleyball courts and amazing lake views. Keep your eye on our Events Calendar for free public events and activities held at Rotary Community Park and London Bridge Beach throughout the year.
Rotary Community Park also features a 40,000 square-foot multi-use skate park, the largest in the Southwest. The Tinnell Memorial Sports Complex is open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Admission is free. This waterfront spot is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. The complex was built as a tribute to two Lake Havasu City residents, fallen U.S. Army soldier Patrick Tinnell of Havasu and Havasu native Colin Sasseen, who at age 14 lost his life skateboarding outside his home on the streets of Lake Havasu City.
The sports complex’s signature attraction is a giant rideable replica of Tinnell’s U.S. Army helmet. You don’t need a scooter, a skateboard or a bike to enjoy this attraction; simply watching others ride is fun in itself. For those choosing to ride, safety gear is recommended.
Wrap up your day’s fun with a meal at one of our many affordable dinner spots. Some local and visitor favorites include The Spot, Casa Serrano, Golden Phoenix, Mudshark’s Pizza and Black Bear Diner. But consider returning to Rotary after dinner, as it’s the perfect spot to witness an amazing Arizona sunset before turning in for the night.
On the morning of day two, a half-day pontoon rental might be just the ticket for some quality family time together. Before heading out on the water, pick up some snacks, drinks and sandwiches at a local grocery store. Bring them aboard and enjoy a picnic lunch on the boat or beach.
Take a slow ride through the Channel and moor on the Island side, near the London Bridge, so you can walk to Makai Café and enjoy one of the breakfast specials. There’s outdoor seating with great views of the Bridge and Channel. When you’re done eating, walk upstairs and explore the small specialty shops before heading back out onto the lake.
Search for a nice sandy beach or a cove along the water’s edge. Swim, splash and play with some water noodles or an inflatable water lounger. It’s places like these where good times and great memories are made every day.
Before heading home, wrap up your mini-vacation by following McCulloch Boulevard into the city’s Downtown District for a little souvenir shopping, a scoop of locally-made ice cream, or a delightful specialty cupcake. The area spans about three blocks and features eateries, antique shops and an admission-free splash pad for the kids to stay cool.
We just know you’ll be back for another round.
Lake Havasu City is the year-round, all-out desert adventure capital of the Southwest. It’s also one of the most budget-friendly destinations for families looking to have lots of fun in a safe environment, including a clean lake with no dangerous fish, biting insects, riptides or other hazards to worry about.
Lake Havasu City has a wide range of accommodations to fit any family’s travel budget, from campsites to lakefront resorts. During the week, special promotions or reduced rates are available at most hotels. Weekends are usually busier, especially when visitors are here for events, but weekdays provide a golden opportunity for a little elbow room at a lower price. October through December bring milder weather and, except during special event periods, some great deals on room rates. Places where kids can stay free include the Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn and Motel 6.
Lake Havasu City also has many affordable family dining options. Restaurants with kids eat free specials include Waldo’s BBQ, Black Bear Diner, Taco Hacienda, Denny’s and the Golden Corral. Local shopper publications, available at most grocery stores in town, have coupons with great discounts on meals and other items. The Gold Key Discount Card, available at most hotels and motels in town or online at GoldKeyDiscountCard.com, provides discounts for dining, entertainment, shopping and more.