Scottsdale gets national attention for many things such as its fabulous restaurants, gorgeous golf courses and that fun Old Town nightlife.
One thing that often gets overlooked is its family-friendly environment that has continued to grow and evolve over the last few years with big-ticket additions such as the OdySea Aquarium and the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park and Resort.
Let’s dive deep into some of the many family-oriented attractions that Scottsdale has to offer…
OdySea Aquarium – The biggest aquarium in the southwest opened in the summer of 2016 and continues to live up to its lofty expectations. OdySea is home to over 30,000 animals and features attractions like the 3D theatre and OdySea Voyager. It is a great place to view sea creatures in the middle of the desert.
Butterfly Wonderland – Right next door to OdySea and is the largest butterfly conservatory in America. It hosts its own 3D theatre along with a reptile exhibit and a bug-eating vending machine.
Arizona Boardwalk – The OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland are both a part of the Arizona Boardwalk and visiting it is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday with the family. The Arizona Boardwalk is also home to a Titanic exhibit, a Laser Maze, Pangea and VR Xtreme. There are restaurants, shops and the cool (pun intended) Polar Play Ice Bar where there’s family-filled-fun for kids and adults in 23-degree weather.
Great Wolf Lodge – A family-styled resort that is famous for its massive indoor water park, this is a bucket list staycation for all Scottsdale families! If water isn’t your thing, then fear not! The Wolf Lodge also has mini-golf, bowling, rock walls, a ropes course, arcades and a Build-A-Bear workshop on its property.
McCormick Stillman Railroad Park – This is a must visit for any families with small children. What kid doesn’t love riding on a train?! The park also has a carousel, playground and a huge train museum. Plus, it is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch!
CrackerJax – A Scottsdale staple! This fun park has been entertaining guests since 1993 with go-karts, bumper boats, mini-golf, an arcade, batting cages and so much more. Not only is a great place to take the family, it is also a fun place to host your child’s birthday party.
Scottsdale Ice Den – Ice skating in the desert, now that’s a sight to see! The Ice Den is perhaps the busiest rink in the valley, hosting youth tournaments, figure skating, adult hockey and family free skate. Oh, and you may catch an Arizona Coyotes practice during the NHL season.
MacDonald’s Ranch – How about the most Arizona activity of them all… riding horses! Head over to MacDonald’s Ranch for a great “wild west” experience with horseback riding, stagecoach rides, hay rides, pumpkin patches and cowboy cookouts!
This is just a partial list of the many great Scottsdale family-fun options. Feel free to add any of your favorites in the comments!