Contributor Corner | Indoor & Outdoor Local Gems

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In our last Contributor Corner post, we shared what the fall season was like growing up in our hometowns. This time we’re sticking closer to home. We asked our contributor team to answer these questions:

Now that the cooler weather is here (ahem, any day now…right???), what OUTDOOR place are you and your kids most excited to get back to?

What INDOOR location brought you and your kids some relief from the heat and a bit of sanity this summer?

Take note, mamas! Be sure to hit up all these local spots if you haven’t already – and leave us your favorites in the comments section!

Angela
Can’t wait to get outside: Once the weather cools, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a favorite for my family. There is so much to do there and all the kids love it.
Loved the A/C this summer: In the hot months, we have spent a ton of time up at the Desert Ridge splash pad. I love that there is a Starbucks close by and lots of options for lunch. I also can squeeze in a trip to Target or some other errand while we are there.

Beth
Can’t wait to get outside: We are so happy to just be back outside and on the bicycle. We have an Ibert seat so the munchkin gets a front row seat to all our adventures. Any errand under two miles means we pedal ourselves there!
Loved the A/C this summer: We have been doing swim lessons at Hubbard Family Swim School for over a year. This summer we did not only our regular class, but drop in and “blitz” classes almost every day. The best part is that the pool is indoors so no sunscreen necessary! Also getting a tired, happy and pool safe kiddo is the biggest benefit.

Cate
Can’t wait to get outside: The zoo! Can’t wait for the SMB Zoo Walk & Picnic in a couple of weeks! Through the cooler months, we go almost every week.
Loved the A/C this summer: I know it sounds a bit odd but honestly it was Fashion Square mall. It is close by and provides air conditioned space for walking. Their new Yogurtology was a great hit with a fabulous array of toppings including gigantic marshmallows and baklava!

Joy
Can’t wait to get outside: Ah, the zoo and all the animals at the farmy-area for Reagan to identify… And, since I’m excited about encouraging her horse-obsession, we’ll also be checking out some horse shows at West World.
Loved the A/C this summer: This summer what kept me sane were the fun indoor playdates we put on through Scottsdale Moms Blog! It was so much fun getting to try out some fun new spots around town AND hanging out with other Scottsdale mommies is always a blast.

Kirsten
Can’t wait to get outside: Now that the weather’s (hopefully) cooling down, I love Rotary Park! I have a list of criteria a park needs to meet in order to become a regular spot for us. I like my parks small, with no lakes, not crowded, and they must have a shaded place where I can sit, drink a coffee, and still have full visibility of the playground. Rotary Park not only fits the bill perfectly, but I even drive by a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on my way there. Besides the park, I am really most excited to resume my favorite family activity: evening walks and bike rides!
Loved the A/C this summer: As far as the summer, I am such a mall mom! I love what I refer to as the “PV Preschooler Triangle” of Mesquite Library, PV Mall playground, and a quick Costco run. This summer we were a little older and less worried about sharp edges, so we also logged some serious time sailing the Pirate Ship at the Fashion Square Playground. My son and I seem to have made an unspoken contract that if I give him 30 minutes there, I get one lap to browse around Nordstoms’ shoe department. Not a bad deal when you’re looking for something to do on 115 degree day!

Noelle
Can’t wait to get outside: Our favorite outdoor spot in the cooler months is most definitely the green belt! The stretch of sidewalk takes our family pretty much anywhere. On bikes, or walking (and sometimes I even run) we love enjoying the lush green grass and pretty trees.
Loved the A/C this summer: Our indoor spot of choice is the movie theater. I mean the kids love the experience and I usually end up bringing a sweater it’s so chilly inside.

Sarah
Can’t wait to get outside: We LOVE the Roadrunner Park Farmer’s Market and we’re there almost every Saturday from October through May (okay, April :)). Local produce, a playground, ducks to feed and space to JUST RUN. Love!
Loved the A/C this summer: This year we bought a membership to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and it was so much more than worth it. I had been just once or twice before this past summer, but we are now regulars. If you haven’t been, don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s all the way downtown – we found it easy to get to, it has really convenient parking, and we got in the habit of packing a lunch to eat there, which worked great!

Steph
Can’t wait to get outside: Let’s hear it for cooler weather – woot woot!!  I can’t even explain to you how thrilled I am that we’re under 100 now.  Finally it’s time to spend more time outdoors. We specifically love spending lots of times at our great local parks.  Two of our favorite parks are Desert Horizon Park (off of 56th St. just north of Greenway) and Mountain View Park (off of Mountain View and the 101ish).  Be sure to check out ParkGrades.com for some wonderful park info.
Loved the A/C this summer: Thankfully we were able to find lots of great indoor locations to help keep the sanity at a maintainable level this summer.  One of our favorites was the FREE Playgroup that Scottsdale Bible Church organizes every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.  During the summer they pull all of the childcare toys into a large carpeted gym where we’re able to come and let our toddlers run wild.  And then during the cooler months (thank you Lordie!) we gather around the gated playground.  It’s perfect!

Tracy
Can’t wait to get back outside: When days are cooler and long sleeves are needed (ah, doesn’t that just sound lovely?!) we also love the Train Park. My boys longingly call out to the Train itself all summer long, as we frequently have to drive by it, and tell me that “it’s too hot for the train but as soon as it’s not too hot” we will be back. I am pretty sure that the train runs all summer long but don’t tell my boys that because I can barely handle a trip to and from the car in 115 degree heat let alone a slow ride around the park!
Loved the A/C this summer: When it is miserable outside it is always helpful to be cooled by splashing water (even it is courtesy of your 4 and 2 year old and not a cabana boy with a mister). We spent most of our summer at the Scottsdale Quarter Splash Pad. Oh how I loved this new water pad this summer! It is new, huge, and has lots of seating options for the mamas. I loved it so much and my boys ran the length of that splash pad far too many times to count. Often we would bring a picnic lunch and lay out a blanket on the grass areas that are nicely covered in shade by the trees and extend our morning together. This Splash pad most certainly made the hot hot days not only bearable but downright delightful!

Okay, your turn! What are your favorite outdoor and indoor spots to play?

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