The city of Scottsdale is roughly 20 miles from Phoenix and is a prime vacation spot for families. The landscape is stunning and full of mesquite trees, towering saguaro cacti, bold red mountains, and scrub brush. Families can travel through the city and the desert by hiking, or by jeep. Many guided tours take you on a trip to learn about the cowboy, Native American, and Hispanic culture. Scottsdale is full of relaxing day spas, top-rated children’s programs, and world-class golf courses. If you and your family are planning on exploring both the desert and the city, here are some steps you should take along your way.
What To Do?
Southwest Wildlife Conservation:
Most people believe the Southwest Wildlife Conservation is better than a zoo. Its focus is on caring for and rescuing animals in need. Many of them are unable to survive in the wild due to abandonment, injury, or displacement. Children learn about several exciting species including javelinas, white-nosed coatis, Mexican gray wolfs, mountain lions, and porcupines. Some of the animals are housed there to be rehabilitated to be released back into the wild. The conservation has an annual Discovery Day, where kids ages 8-14 can get an up-close look at the animals and hear their stories.
Old Town Scottsdale:
Old Town Scottsdale has a western vibe and is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Western Spirit. Browse through the shops, the civic center park, or stop for ice cream and lunch. The shops offer handmade jewelry, crafted wares, boots and hats, local artwork and much more.
Wet ‘N Wild Phoenix:
It feels like summer year-round in Scottsdale, so take the kids to the Wet ‘N Wild water park for some family fun. There are two water playgrounds, water slides, a Raging River ride, and the Monsoon Bay wave pool. There are play areas for the little ones, cabanas for rent, lifejackets available, and lockers. The onsite dining options are Sharky’s Eats and Drinks, Point Break CafA, and several snack and ice cream shops throughout the water park.
Where To Eat?
Isabella’s is a go-to family restaurant that features the best sunset views in the valley. Located on the Grayhawk Golf Club, there is a rooftop patio, fire pit, and plenty of rocking chairs and tables. The dining areas are surrounded by grass where children can play and throw golf balls into sand traps.
There are locations in North Scottsdale and Arcadia that offer shaded outdoor dining areas. O.H.S.O has ping pong tables, corn hole boards, and other games making it a fun atmosphere for the family while you wait for your food. Parents can enjoy the locally-brewed beer while the kids play nearby.
Where To Stay?
Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts:
There are several hotels in Scottsdale and Arizona family-friendly resorts, but nothing beats the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. A 2.5-acre water playground surrounds this Scottsdale resort with a 3-story waterslide and a sand beach. Adults can enjoy professional golf lessons and relaxing spa experience in the Himalayan Salt Room after an exciting gondola ride with the kids.