Add my Contact
The Ultimate Guide to Family Fun in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a vibrant city known for its stunning desert landscapes, upscale shopping, and abundant outdoor activities. It's also a fantastic place for families looking for fun, educational, and engaging experiences. From interactive museums to thrilling outdoor adventures, Scottsdale offers a wide range of activities that cater to children and adults alike. This ultimate guide will help you discover the best family-friendly attractions in Scottsdale, ensuring memorable experiences for the whole family.

Explore the Wonders of the Desert at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Start your family adventure in the great outdoors at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. With over 200 miles of trails, the preserve offers numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The Bajada Nature Trail is perfect for families, featuring interactive exhibits and activities that teach kids about the desert ecosystem. Guided family hikes are also available, providing an educational and fun way to explore Arizona's natural beauty.

Step Back in Time at Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West

For a dose of culture and history, visit Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West. This museum celebrates the art, history, and stories of the Western United States. With engaging exhibits and interactive displays, children can learn about the pioneers, Native American cultures, and the wildlife of the West. The museum also offers hands-on activities and workshops, making history come alive for young visitors.

Cool Off at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a must-visit for families looking to enjoy a day outdoors. Kids will love riding the vintage carousel and the miniature train that winds through the park. The playgrounds, picnic areas, and a museum dedicated to model railroads add to the park's family-friendly appeal. Throughout the year, the park hosts various events and festivals, offering fun-filled activities for all ages.

Discover the Thrills of OdySea Aquarium

Dive into the underwater world at OdySea Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Southwest. The aquarium features more than 65 exhibits, including a shark tank, a penguin habitat, and a touch pool where kids can interact with sea creatures. The highlight is the Voyager, a rotating platform that takes visitors on a guided tour through the deep sea, offering close encounters with marine life. Educational programs and interactive experiences make OdySea a fascinating destination for curious minds.

Enjoy Family Playtime at Butterfly Wonderland

Adjacent to OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland offers another enchanting experience for families. It's home to America's largest butterfly conservatory, where thousands of butterflies fly freely in a lush, rainforest environment. The interactive insect exhibit, a 3D movie about the butterfly lifecycle, and the chance to witness butterfly emergence make this a magical and educational outing.

Adventure in the Treetops at Adventure Zones

For families with a sense of adventure, Scottsdale's Adventure Zones offer thrilling treetop obstacle courses. Courses are designed for different age groups, ensuring a fun and challenging experience for everyone from young children to teens and adults. Zip lines, rope bridges, and climbing walls provide an exhilarating way to enjoy Scottsdale's scenic outdoors while promoting teamwork and physical activity.

Fun and Learning at the Scottsdale Science Center

Dive into the world of science and discovery at the Scottsdale Science Center, a haven for curious minds of all ages. Interactive exhibits cover topics from physics and biology to astronomy, making learning fun and engaging. Special workshops and live demonstrations spark creativity and innovation, allowing children to experiment, play, and learn about the wonders of science. It's an educational adventure that encourages exploration and fosters a love for learning in a dynamic environment.

Splash Around at the Aquatic Parks

Beat the heat and make a splash at one of Scottsdale's aquatic parks. With wave pools, water slides, and lazy rivers, these water parks offer a refreshing escape from the desert sun. Children's play areas and splash pads ensure that even the youngest family members can safely enjoy the water. Lifeguards are on duty, providing a safe environment where families can relax and enjoy a day filled with water fun.

Horseback Riding Through the Sonoran Desert

Experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert from a new perspective with a family horseback riding adventure. Local stables offer guided trail rides that meander through the picturesque desert landscape, offering a chance to learn about the local flora and fauna. Suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike, this activity combines outdoor adventure with the unique thrill of horseback riding, creating lasting memories for the whole family.

Artistic Exploration at Scottsdale's ArtWalk

Ignite your family's creativity by exploring the vibrant art scene during Scottsdale's weekly ArtWalk. Galleries open their doors to the public, showcasing a diverse array of artwork from local and international artists. Special events, including live painting and artist meet-and-greets, offer an interactive art experience. It's a cultural stroll that allows families to immerse themselves in art, inspiring creativity and appreciation for the arts in a lively and welcoming atmosphere.

Stargazing at the Desert Sky

Gaze up at the mesmerizing desert sky with a family stargazing night. Scottsdale's clear skies and minimal light pollution offer ideal conditions for observing stars, planets, and constellations. Local astronomy clubs often host public stargazing events, equipped with telescopes and guided by experts, making the cosmos accessible to everyone. It's a peaceful and awe-inspiring activity that highlights the natural beauty of the night sky, sparking curiosity and wonder about the universe.


Scottsdale is a playground for families, offering a mix of educational, cultural, and outdoor activities that cater to all ages. Whether you're exploring the natural wonders of the desert, stepping back in time at a museum, or seeking thrills at an adventure park, Scottsdale promises an unforgettable family experience. So pack your bags, gather the kids, and get ready to explore all the family fun Scottsdale has to offer.

Scroll to Top