Traveling with Kids: Stay and Play Resorts
Wondering where to stay in Scottsdale with the kiddos? You can keep tots tiny and tall happy at any one of these kid-friendly Scottsdale resorts—and still have time to squeeze in a relaxing spa treatment or thrilling round of golf. Just leave the planning to the pros and kick back for an easy vacation that’s full of nothing but sun and fun.
Active Escapes for Older Kids
You won’t find any kids’ clubs or teddy-bear teas at Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale, Curio Collection by Hilton. This high-desert retreat is a top choice for families with teens and up, thanks to its spacious one- to four-bedroom villas and an impressive line-up of outdoor adventures. Rock climbing clinics, desert hikes through centuries-old Native American cliff dwellings, and high-octane mountain biking excursions among the towering Saguaro cacti — it’s all on the menu at this stay-and-play resort. Looking for something a little more low-key? Take things down a notch on an expert-led desert photography tour or a stargazing session with the resort’s resident astronomer. And definitely don’t miss The Boulders’ pair of championship golf courses or more casual play at the “Pebble Tees” short course. While you’re at it, why not sign-up for a family golf clinic at The Boulders Golf Academy!
For The Whole Family — And Fido, Too
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ seasonal programming is practically famous at this point — its annual Christmas at The Princess event alone draws in thousands of jolly visitors with its 4 million-strong LED light display, desert ice skating rink and an enchanted Santa’s Secret Headquarters — but this Arizona kid-friendly resort is a year-round must-visit, too. At the Trailblazers Kids Club & Family Recreation Center, every day is a new adventure with interactive group activities like solar s’more roasts, panning for gold, dodgeball competitions, nature walks and more. Little ones can even craft a souvenir or play in a Ping Pong tournament all while you indulge in some much-deserved r-n-r. Afterward, recoup as a group at any one of the resort’s six sparkling pools. The zero-entry Sunset Beach pool is particularly popular with young children while those who meet the minimum height requirement flock to The Princess’ two 200-foot waterslides. Oh, and we can’t forget: The Princess is pooch-friendly, too. Any well-behaved pups are welcome and will be greeted with a wagging tail by the property’s very own lobby dogs.
All About Arizona
Fun is purposeful when kids stay and play at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, where programming at Camp Hyatt often centers on Arizona culture and the bounty of the Sonoran Desert. Mini explorers learn all about the Grand Canyon State — from geography to flora and fauna — and even take a deep dive into the region’s Native American past and present through hands-on projects, which can include creative crafting of dream catchers, rain sticks or Southwestern sand art. Other themed discoveries include “mad scientist” experiments, Wild West days and “under the sea” journeys. Once the kiddos are ready for some more free-flowing thrills, you can head to Hyatt Regency Scottsdale’s water playground, complete with 10 pools, white sand beach, 30-foot high-speed waterslide and a 28-foot climbing wall. In the Fun Zone, try your hand at giant giant Jenga®, Chess or Connect Four, and even practice your putting skills on the poolside green.
A Timeless Classic
Where to begin, really? One of Scottsdale’s brightest gems, The Phoenician is an evergreen family favorite where kids of all ages have plenty to dig into. In the 2,100-square-foot Game Room, you’ll find an arcade plus video games, classic and modern board games, shuffleboard, and pool and foosball tables. Then, of course, there’s the pickle ball and basketball courts for easy all-ages entertainment, while The Athletic Club offers complimentary two-hour bike rentals for guests — a perfect way to sightsee the resort’s plush grounds or nearby attractions. And, The Phoenician’s pool complex is an absolute must-see. There’s the adults-only Mother-of-Pearl Pool when you need a quick break, as well as a kid-friendly upper pool deck where the real star of the show — besides the 197-foot twisting waterslide, of course — is the Kid Zone splash pad with suspension bridge and treehouse, plus falling buckets of water and spray-guns.
Surfing In The Desert
Scottsdale resorts for kids are chockfull of awesome amenities and The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is no exception. Kids and grownups alike gleefully take on the waves of the Kierland FlowRider, a surfing simulator that pushes out and cycles nearly 30,000 gallons of water per minute with speeds up to 30 miles per hour! Also at the Adventure Water Park, your whole crew can explore the Tommy Bahama “private island,” as well as a 110-foot waterslide and 900-foot lazy river. Then, retreat to your home away from home, one of the resort’s Casita Suites, that’s designed with the needs of a family in mind and well-appointed with a generous living area and kitchenette, and comes with on-demand resort transportation and exclusive access to the water park.