25 Things to Do in Scottsdale with Kids

8/7/15 - By Anna Fader

If you’re planning a family vacation to Scottsdale, Arizona, there are plenty of wonderful resorts with large pool complexes for plenty of fun in the sun—and there’s lots of sun. But, don’t go all the way to Arizona just to jump in a pool. Scottsdale offers loads of cultural and natural attractions to explore the unique Southwest. We visited to experience it for ourselves so we could share the best things to do with kids in Scottsdale.



  1. Go ape for the 1400 animals on 125 acres at the Phoenix Zoo.

  2. Get a taste of the beauty of the desert walking the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden.

  • Hike, ride or drive through the beautiful desert at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

  • Get hands on with world music at the Musical Instrument Museum.

  • Explore a Navajo hogan and learn about Native American culture at the Heard Museum.

  • Saddle up for a desert trail ride at MacDonald’s Ranch. There’s also a petting zoo and free pony rides for the little ones.

  • Ride the mini-train and marvel at the model rail displays at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

  • Relive the wild west at Rawhide 1880s Western Town.

  • AZ on the Rocks

  • Explore a real life ghost town, watch a gunfight and ride the rails at Goldfield Ghost Town.

  • Relive life as a pioneer at the Pioneer Living History Village.

  • Experience art “brains-on” with PhxArtsKids at the Phoenix Art Museum.

  • Explore the Noodle Forest, use Pedal Power, and have fun with 300 other exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

  • See the dinos at the Arizona Museum of Natural History.

  • Learn cowboy skills and more at the Museum of the West.

  • Discover a science museum with a climbing wall at the Arizona Science Center.

  • See 90 historic fire engines and other apparatus at the Hall of Flame.

  • Walk amongst the butterflies at the Butterfly Wonderland.

  • Play disc golf at Spinners on the Green.

  • Play on the rides and games at CrackerJax.

  • Go skating and chill out at the Ice Den.

  • Get speedy with kart racing at Octane Raceway

  • Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright house and gardens at Taliesin

  • Pretend you’re on Tatooine at Arcosanti, the otherworldly home and garden of local artist Paolo Soleri.

  • Explore Old Town Scottsdale and take a ride on Ollie the Trolley.