Top 10 Fun Things To Do With Kids In Scottsdale & Phoenix



This post was originally run a year ago but the fun things remain the same – especially for all of our visitors in town for the golf and Super Bowl – so we wanted to make sure you saw it again! 

Looking for something fun to do with kids in Scottsdale?  Our area is filled with so many options that are inexpensive and fun for kids. Take a look at this list and you may be inspired to give one of these attractions a try!

1. Musical Instrument Museum

Ranked as the#1 attraction on Phoenix Trip Advisor, children of all ages will love looking at the instruments from various countries. The museum also provides a hands-on-music experience where children can beat on drums or hit the gong. Learning about culture and making music is a worthwhile experience for kids.

2. Garden Trails 

Do your kids enjoy nature? The Desert Botanical Gardens is a perfect place for your little adventurer. Children will learn about the various plants and cacti found in the desert. They offer flashlight tours in the summer and experiences in the Butterfly Pavilion in the fall.

3. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

What kid can resist a carousel and a train ride? With its spacious lawns and great playground equipment, children of all ages will love visiting the train park. After their ride on the tracks, they can even get an ice cream cone at the darling train-themed “County Store”.

4. The Butterfly Wonderland

This a new attraction that will definitely captivate children! Step into America’s largest butterfly atrium where children can watch a movie in the IMAX theater, observe a variety of multicolored butterflies, and visit a honey bee display.

5. Sugar Bowl

Remember Bill Keane’s Family Circus? Several of the former Scottsdale resident’s classic comic strips decorate the walls of this old-time sundae parlor. You can choose to have dinner and ice cream in this cozy space. While you wait on your food, the kids can play on the arcade toward the back of the parlor.

6. As You Wish Pottery

If your kids love to paint, they can create their own pottery masterpieces. Paints, brushes, and pottery are available on-site where the staff will help your kids with various techniques. If your kids are interested in painting on canvas, that option is available too.

7. Splash Pads

Many of the local malls and outdoor shopping areas contain splash pads. Places like Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, and Desert Ridge have an area dedicated to water fun. It is a great way for children to channel their energy and, in a few months, when the playgrounds start heating up, it’s a favorite alternative for outside play!

8. Hiking

There are several places to hike in and around Scottsdale and Phoenix. If you’re looking for kid-friendly hikes, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a good bet. With over 60 miles of various trails,  kids can climb their path of choice and maybe even do some bird watching.

9. Arizona Science Center

One of the hallmarks of the Arizona Science Center is that many of their exhibits are interactive. The kids can discover how the human body works or visit the planetarium. Because this museum contains almost 300 hands-on exhibits there is plenty of fun for kids of all ages.

10. Old MacDonald’s Ranch

Kids will get a taste of the West when visiting this local ranch. Pony rides, petting zoo, and a pumpkin patch in the fall will definitely appeal to all kids. This is not only a great place for locals, but would a fun spot to bring out-of-towners looking for a cowboy experience!