Best Playgrounds in Northeast Scottsdale for Preschoolers

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Last month we started a series on the best playgrounds in Scottsdale (and the surrounding areas). Follow along with our contributors as they share their playground picks in various parts of town. This time, Sara Frederick takes on Northeast Scottsdale. Below Sara’s post you’ll find an interactive map that includes all the parks on our list so far. Enjoy!

North East Scottsdale

You’ve already got the list of top playgrounds in the North Phoenix / PV-Mall area.

Now, enjoy my picks for the best playgrounds in Northeast Scottsdale for preschoolers!

Horizon Park (100th Street between Frank Lloyd Wright and Thompson Peak Parkway)

What I love: My children love that this playground has swings – both for babies and big kids. It also has separate play structures and slides for big and little ones.  The big grassy area is great for kicking a ball around, and the looped paved pathway is great for scooting or biking (since you can see the children the whole way around!)  The bathrooms inside the building are clean and close.  It’s not always shady, but there are plenty of trees and shade-structures to break up the sun.

What I don’t love: There’s a water spout near a corner of the sand, so unless you train your kids to avoid it, they will end up muddy.  The playground also can get busier than we’d like, especially on the weekends or after school, so I’m constantly watching out for the kids.

The Homestead Community Center at DC Ranch (98th Street off Legacy Blvd by Thompson Peak Parkway)

What I love: It’s small and contained, so you can get lost in conversation with your mommy friends without worrying too much.  If you come prepared with bathing suit and towel, the splash pad is gorgeous.  There’s a fabulous grassy area for running around, and one play structure on wood chips (not sand) which makes it easier for cleaning up.

What I don’t love: The bathrooms are not open on the weekend unless you have a community key-card; during the weekdays you can walk in through the community center building.

McDowell Mountain Ranch Park (105th Street off McDowell Mountain Ranch Road)

What I love:  It’s fairly private, so rarely are there an overwhelming number of children.  There are shaded areas with picnic benches for hungry snackers (and parents), a basketball court for ball-play or scooting, and a shaded play structure that provides just enough challenge for little ones without seeming too dangerous.  Many kids dig in the sand and play.

What I don’t love: One pathway leads up to the nature trails, so you want to keep an eye out for wandering children.  The bathroom is in the enclosed pool area and requires a key card for entry, so you want to go with a friend or when kind strangers are willing to lend you their card.

See you at the playground!

PS: Find a more comprehensive updated park list here. 

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