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Scottsdale Stories

The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day

Tell your kids to turn off their smartphone (and then put yours away as well) because you're about to experience some Scottsdale-sized adventure! Here's how my son and I spent our perfect Scottsdale day. 

The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day - Body

My son, Benton, and I kickstart our day with sunshine and comfort food on the patio at ZuZu at the Hotel Valley Ho. After classic buttermilk pancakes, fluffy waffles and two Frosty Oranges (or Ho-Js, as we call this decadent blend of vanilla ice cream and freshly squeezed OJ), we're raring for adventure. 

The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day - Body

Penguins, otters, and sharks are just a few of the sea creatures we encounter at OdySea Aquarium. I'm pretty sure Benton has already added the SeaTREK Helmet Diving experience, a wet-and-wild walk across the bottom of a fish-filled aquarium, to his next perfect-day wish list. 

The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day - Body

After a quick lesson, we don flight suits for indoor skydiving at iFLY. With the help of our ever-present instructor, we float, swirl and twirl in the glass-enclosed wind tunnel like pros! Best of all? We don't have to jump out of a perfectly fine airplane.

The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day - Body

All that flying worked up an appetite, so we head for Frank & Lupe's Old Mexico, a longtime gem tucked amid the galleries of Old Town Scottsdale. Dishes featuring New Mexico chiles are their spicy specialty. Kids will love the all-American eats like the corn dog and fries, while adults will appreciate the frosty margaritas. 

The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day - Body    The Ultimate Father-Son Fun Day - Body

Next, we unleash our inner cowboys at MacDonald's Ranch. Their expert wranglers match us with horses based on our skill level (or lack thereof), and soon we're riding through stands of saguaros and paloverde trees like the cowboys of old. Giddyup!

Nothing soothes a cowboy's parched throat as well as a sundae, shake or banana split at the Sugar Bowl, an Old Town Scottsdale landmark since 1958. We opt for a chocolate sundae and a bowl of the classic mint chip. A cool end to the ultimate father-son Scottsdale day. 

Recognized for crafting clear, compelling and impeccably researched content, Dawson Fearnow is a marketing copywriter and an award-winning freelance reporter (guess which one pays the bills?) based in Phoenix, AZ. A longtime travel junkie and food fanatic, when he’s not crisscrossing the state in search of his next favorite dish, Dawson is daydreaming about scuba diving in far-away places.