Drop in Day Cares in Scottsdale


Let’s talk about a Scottsdale Mom’s saving grace. In my house we call it KidsPark. There are a couple of these “drop in daycare” places around the Valley. If you have not been to one before, here is how it works: you have to wait until your child turns two years old, and then when you have a doctor’s appointment or would like to go to Costco without your child throwing their Crocs at a complete stranger while you lift a 50 lb. box of Tide into the shopping cart, you take them here.

The ease of going to these places is you normally do not need a reservation. Also, you can drop off and pick up your children on your schedule. So for a fee (completely comparable to a babysitter), you can get a much deserved break to run some errands, get an iced coffee and read a book, or go get that Brazilian blowout you just bought from Groupon.

KidsPark is located by Paradise Valley Mall, on the NE corner of Cactus and 48th Street. It can be tricky to find, so look at a map before you get in the car, especially if you are not familiar with the area. A snack is provided at certain times as part of the hourly rate, and meals can be bought for extra. They have an outdoor covered play area as well as the indoor area, so on nice days the children can get outside. I love that my two-year old always runs inside and barely looks back. Well, maybe it hurts my feelings a little, but I know this is a good thing! (Tip: Fill out the paperwork at home before heading over there with the kids. Also don’t forget to bring socks.)

KidsPark has been so generous to offer a 15% discount on one visit per person and 50% off registration fee if you aren’t registered already (a $12.50 value) if you mention this article when you visit.

Safari Kids just opened its doors a few weeks ago in Scottsdale across from the Kierland Commons shopping center, next to Chipotle and Girly Girlz on Scottsdale Road. The store front and set up is really adorable in a fun animal theme – hence the name. It looks fun for all ages, with a rock climbing wall and XBox for the older kids, and bouncy house and crafts for the younger kids. It also is in a great location right by tons of shopping and restaurants. Like KidsPark, they do offer meals, for an additional fee. My two-year old was the tester for this location (yes, my other kids are super jealous). She loved all the play areas; I imagine any child would. I think that even an apprehensive kid would be wooed inside by the safari theme and fun stuffed animals. The staff was very polite and, most importantly, she had a great time.

Safari Kids has also been so generous to offer a 10% discount on one visit per person during the month of May if you mention this article when you visit their brand new location.

Sidenote:If you just need to get some grocery shopping done, the Fry’s Food at Tatum and Bell has a childcare inside of the store. The children do need to be at least two years old there as well. It is free, the ladies who work there are as sweet as can be, and sometimes grocery shopping without your children can make your day seem just a little bit brighter.


  1. The Bashas at Scottsdale Rd. and Grayhawk also has free, secured, childcare while you grocery shop! There are t.v. screens with live video feed so you can check up on your kiddo (honestly, they are a bit hard to see). The kids have to be 2 or 2.5 years old, and I believe they can stay up to two hours (you have to stay in the store, of course). It’s usually one of two of the same nice ladies working. The area is clean and fun (they also get a squirt of hand sanitizer by the ladies both on the way in and out), and they get a sticker when they leave. My son asks to go there! I’ve heard there is also a “Cub House’ at the Bashas off of Bell near McDowell Mtn. Ranch in addition to the one at Grayhawk. They are open every day, but close around 6 or 6:30 p.m.

  2. Oh, there is also a Maui Playcare drop-in care off of Pima Road and Legacy, just south of DC Ranch, not too far from the 101 loop. The kids have to be 1 1/2 or 2 I THINK. It’s a bit pricier than the other two mentioned in this article (however not too out of line), but they do have specials. They have occasional activities planned for the kids, but it’s primarily open play (bounce house, train table, slides, etc.). I heard that they will be adding a ‘preschool program’, but I haven’t heard much else about it. It’s a friendly, clean place. Kids get a treat on the way out.


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