When it comes to kid-centric holidays, with its colorful sweets and cute fuzzy creatures, Easter ranks toward the top of the list. So, instead of everyone getting dressed in their Sunday bests only to settle for a grown-up elegant feast with bubbly, why not head to a spot that has something with the kiddos in mind?
From simple just-for-children menus to Easter Bunny encounters with photos to full-on spring celebrations with egg hunts and petting zoos, hop on over to your ideal family-friendly experience at one of these Valley venues.
All events take place on April 17, except where noted. Reservations are highly recommended and in some cases are required.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., adults can linger over elegant brunch plates while the kids explore the lawn and stay entertained with a springtime garden party, an Easter-themed petting zoo, face painting, cotton candy stand and photo backdrop.
Spread across the Aztec and Gold rooms that connect through an outdoor space, a brunch buffet ($190, $90 for ages 5-12) will include traditional breakfast favorites plus a Japanese pancake station, seafood raw bar, a station featuring an assortment of fresh salads and carving station with slow-roasted rib roast with bourbon sauce and horseradish cream and leg of Colorado lamb. Featured entrees include sea bass with braised baby fennel, lemon marinated roast chicken and spinach ricotta ravioli.
Choose from an array of individual desserts, like a chocolate mousse eggs or strawberry shortcake, slices from a whole carrot or coconut cake or build your own nutella- or vanilla cream-stuffed beignet with a bevy of toppings.
The special kids station offers young diners scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, mini burgers and hot dogs, mini sandwiches filled with tuna, turkey or peanut butter and jelly, and an Easter cupcake display. Reservations are required.
Details: 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix. 602-955-6600, arizonabiltmore.com.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Easter egg hunts await eager explorers as do Alice in Wonderland-themed activities and decor. Hunts start every 15 minutes starting at 9 a.m. and guests who attend Easter brunch will receive one complimentary family photo with the Easter Bunny in the Palomino Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Also in the ballroom, a lavish brunch ($124, $59 for ages 5-12) will be served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring handcrafted omelets, waffles, bacon and sausage, eggs benedict, smoked salmon, shellfish on ice, fresh fruit and fruit juice. The spread will also showcase specials from the resort’s signature restaurants like artisan pastas, Queen Creek Olive Oil roasted chicken and rosemary-rubbed lamb leg from Ironwood American Kitchen; horseradish crusted prime NY strip from Bourbon Steak; Barbacoa de Res with homemade corn tortillas from La Hacienda and a hand-rolled sushi station from Toro.
Special kid dishes include chicken tenders and shell pasta in marinara. The desert lineup includes a strawberry shortcake action station. Reservations are required. Cancellations require 72-hour notice to avoid a 50% cancellation fee.
Details: 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale. 480-585-2694, scottsdaleprincess.com.
Royal Palms Resort and Spa
Bring the kids for one of two Easter egg hunts that start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. during which they can roam the property searching for prizes. Throughout the day, the Easter Bunny, a caricature artist and balloon twister will keep everyone entertained along with a digital photo booth and live music.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., brunch ($150, $75 for ages 6-12) will feature traditional favorites plus made-to-order omelets, from-scratch Belgian waffles, a charcuterie and cheese selection, Spanish paella and seafood buffet. A carving station offers roasted ham and gravy, prime rib and salmon wellington in a white wine butter sauce.
A special kids buffet will showcase favorites like corn dogs, mac and cheese, cheese pizza, chicken tenders and french fries. Reservations are required
Details: 5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-283-1234, royalpalmshotel.com.
The Farm at South Mountain
Sprawl out with a picnic amid the lush environs of The Farm at South Mountain while the Easter Bunny hops by to greet guests throughout the day. All picnic packages ($125 for 2, $225 for 4, plus 20% production fee) come with a blanket and bottled water along with The Farm cheese board with fresh and dried fruits, spicy pecans, aged white cheddar cheese and toasted pita triangles; build-your-own avocado toast; carrot hummus with dipping veggies; artisan sandwiches featuring Italian meats and cheese on focaccia with pesto and crunchy Waldorf chicken salad on baguette; The Farm salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, feta, Persian cucumber salad and farm greens and Easter daisy cookie and strawberry shortcake with whipped cream and sweet basil syrup for dessert.
Adults can add a bottle of champagne ($30) or red or white wine ($35). And you can add on a kid’s Easter bag ($16.95) packed with a Peep PB&J with fruit, juice box and an Easter egg with a special treat inside.
Pick-up times are every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Prepaid online reservations are required. No cancellations granted after April 11.
Details: 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix. 480-682-7674, thefarmatsouthmountain.com.
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Rita’s Cantina & Bar, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
A buffet complete with live music, face painting, a caricature artist and the opportunity to have professional family photos taken with the majestic Camelback Mountain as the backdrop awaits. Expect the Easter Bunny and Camelback Inn’s falconer and Hawk to swing by, too.
From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., brunch ($130 includes bottomless bubbles and mimosas, $39 for ages 4-12, ages 3 and younger eat free with the purchase of an adult brunch) features classic breakfast favorites and assorted pastries. Expect shrimp cocktail, roasted prime rib, chimichurri lamb chops, roasted and grilled vegetables, made-to-order carne asada tacos, fresh guacamole, a salsa bar and desserts.
Details: 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale. 480-948-1700, camelbackinn.com.
Renaissance Downtown Phoenix
From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., head to the top of the hotel for a rooftop buffet ($65, $15 for ages 5-13) complete with an Easter egg hunt, an appearance by the Easter bunny, live music and views of the city.
Brunch highlights include an omelet station, breakfast quesadilla station, salad bar, buttermilk pancakes, bacon and sausage, carved Easter ham, cherry wood smoked ribs, cedar roasted salmon and citrus, garlic and rosemary chicken.
Details: 100 N. First St, Phoenix, 602-763-6071, marriott.com.
Celebrate a day early on April 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at this 10-acre farm and nonprofit organization. The event includes an egg hunt for children 9 and younger and an egg toss tournament.
Food will be served by Wok This Way food truck with beverages available from AZ Lemonade Stand. The ticket price of $20 per child (ages 2-9) includes the egg hunt, an entree and photo opportunities. Adults get in free and may prepay for their entrees ($11) when purchasing tickets via Eventbrite. Bring your own basket.
Details: 12051 N. 96th St. Scottsdale. 480-393-0870, hunkapi.org.
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Organ Stop Pizza
The family-pleasing Easter Musical Lunch returns with a concert by Brett Valliant on the iconic Mighty Wurlitzer.
Enchanting to kids and grownups alike, soak up the sounds while you enjoy the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, salad and unlimited soft drinks ($15, $13 for ages 9 and younger).
The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with doors opening at 11:15 a.m. and the show commencing at 11:45 a.m. Advance online ticket purchase is required.
Details: 1149 E. Southern Ave., Mesa. 480-813-5700, organstoppizza.com.
Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
Get the kids ready for an Easter egg hunt on the Sunset Lawn and gather everyone around for a complimentary photo by the on-site photographer.
A three-course prix-fixe brunch ($125, $35 for ages 12 and younger) boasts highlights such as corn and seafood chowder with Cajun shrimp salad and andouille gougères; spring peas and burrata salad with prosciutto di parma, cantaloupe, mint and charred bread; lobster avocado toast with butter braised Maine lobster, poached eggs, ninja radish, watercress and a basil emulsion; carrot and ricotta gnocchi with fava beans, confit baby artichokes, morel mushrooms, preserved lemon and parmesan fondue and grilled opah with avocado yuzu mousse, charred octopus, crispy rice, mango and pickled kimchi vegetables. Reservations are required.
Details: 5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley. 855-245-2051, sanctuaryaz.com.
Palo Verde Restaurant, Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., savor a brunch ($90, $45 for ages 12 and younger) amid a setting of ancient rock formations, mountain backdrops and a duck pond where a covey of Gambel’s quail and newborn rabbits scamper. The Easter Bunny will also saunter by.
The menu includes a demi-buffet with freshly baked breads, cheese and charcuteries and a gourmet salad bar. Other highlights include freshly harvested spring salads, a sumptuous seafood display, carved beef station, made-to-order omelets and decadent dessert table.
Details: 34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Scottsdale. 480-595-1668, theboulders.com.
The Easter Bunny will hoppily pose for photos during the brunch buffet ($65, $26 for ages 4-12) served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ballroom.
In addition to fresh salads, an imported and domestic cheese display, pastries and artisan breads, scrambled eggs and bacon and sausage, there will be shrimp and snow crab claws, seared mahi mahi, goat cheese and pesto tortellini and an assorted dessert display. Carving stations will offer New York strip with au jus and horseradish sauce, leg of lamb with a mustard shallot sauce and maple peppercorn glazed ham. Reservations are required.
Details: 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park. 623-935-3811, wigwamarizona.com.
Maple & Ash
Bring your young searchers out for the Golden Easter Egg Hunt, where they will forage for golden eggs hidden throughout the restaurant. The eggs will be filled with treasures like candy, Maple & Ash gift cards and more.
The Easter brunch special ($75) is braised lamb with panisses, green garlic, cucumber & herbs.
Details: 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-400-8888, mapleandash.com.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub
Bring the kids for their own specialty Easter menu served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can choose from dishes such as French toast coated with crunchy flakes and topped with whipped cream and maple syrup ($7.95); a Belgian Waffle served with butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup ($7.95) and the Kids Breakfast with two eggs any style with grilled bacon, breakfast potatoes and toast ($7.95).
Mom and dad can mull over specials including spicy fried chicken and waffles marinated in jalapeno buttermilk batter ($14.95); huevos rancheros served with flour tortillas, red chili pork, Santa Fe bacon black beans, cheddar, jack and cotija cheeses and roasted Yukon potatoes ($14.50); spinach and feta cheese omelet with hollandaise sauce and roasted Yukon potatoes ($13.95) and the Gastropub breakfast served with three eggs cooked to order, grilled spicy sausage or maple pepper bacon, roasted Yukon potatoes and rustic Bianco toast ($13.95).
Details: 3077 W. Frye Road, Chandler. 480-786-5799. Also, Desert Ridge, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. 480-419-5070. Other locations at thirstyliongastropub.com.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Easter 2022: The best family-friendly brunches in metro Phoenix