Trip Ideas

FAMILY GETAWAYS

Planning a vacation for the whole family? Scottsdale has you covered with age-appropriate activities and attractions that everyone will enjoy! Exciting desert adventures, hands-on museum exhibits, kid-friendly restaurants, and accommodating resorts and hotels are on tap and ready to be added to your itinerary.


EXPLORE THE SONORAN DESERT

Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert is an amazing landscape filled with unusual plants and animals. Adventure options include off-road tours by Jeep or Hummer, horseback rides, hiking, hot air balloon flights and kayaking or paddle boarding on desert lakes and rivers.

clockTimeframe: 2 hours to full day


PLAY AT YOUR RESORT

Scottsdale’s full-service resorts welcome families with a variety of on-property amenities, ranging from kids’ camps, Native American cultural programs and spectacular holiday events to surfing simulators, multi-story waterslides and lazy rivers for tubing.

clockTimeframe: At your own pace


DISCOVER BUTTERFLIES

Butterfly Wonderland features exotic species from around the world. Activities include a 3-D feature film on Monarch butterflies, Butterfly Emergence Gallery, and the spacious Pavilion with thousands of free-flying butterflies.

clockTimeframe: 1 to 2 hours


RIDE THE RAILS

Ride the Paradise & Pacific Railroad at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The P&P was built as an exact 5/12 reproduction of a Colorado narrow-gauge railroad. The park also offers carousel rides, museum exhibits and playgrounds. 

clockTimeframe: 1 hour 2 hours


LISTEN TO WORLD MUSIC

The Musical Instrument Museum allows you to see, hear and play instruments from around the world! More than 5,000 instruments and cultural artifacts are on display. Stay for lunch and enjoy global cuisine, as well as kid-friendly favorites, at MIM’s Café Allegro.

clockTimeframe: 2 to 4 hours


SATISFY YOUR SWEET TEETH

For more than 50 years Old Town's Sugar Bowl has been serving ice cream treats and classic American comfort food in this 1950s-style soda fountain. Stop by for a PB&J or cheeseburger, but be sure to save room for dessert!

clockTimeframe: 1 to 2 hours


TALK TO THE ANIMALS

The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals, including 30 endangered or threatened species. Daily activities include Safari Train tours, Monkey Village, Giraffe Encounter, Stingray Bay and a petting zoo. Enjoy lunch or snacks at the zoo’s Savannah Grill or Cavern Café.

clockTimeframe: 2 to 4 hours


SEE UNDER THE SEA

OdySea Aquarium, the Southwest’s largest aquarium, takes you on a one-of-a-kind voyage through the rivers and oceans of the world. You’ll see thousands of sea creatures, including sharks, penguins, sea turtles and exotic fish. Next door to OdySea, you can enjoy an interactive experience with bottlenose dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona.

clockTimeframe: 1 to 2 hours


EXPLORE THE GARDEN

Learn how plants and animals thrive in arid environments at the Desert Botanical Garden! The Garden offers five thematic trails as well as seasonal activities like the Butterfly Pavilion (fall and spring) and after-dark Flashlight Tours (summer).

clockTimeframe: 2 to 4 hours


FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED

Octane Raceway’s electric European racing karts have a top speed of 45 MPH – perfect for high-speed laps on the 1/3-mile indoor/outdoor track. Beginner and experienced racers battle for position through the track’s switchbacks and use straightaways to gain speed. There’s no age limit for racing, though unlicensed junior drivers must be accompanied by an adult. 

clockTimeframe: 2 to 4 hours


TAKE FLIGHT

iFly Phoenix is an indoor sky diving simulator that lets you experience the freedom of flying! This adventurous experience includes all necessary equipment, a personalized training session and flight time in the wind tunnel.

clockTimeframe: Approximately 2 hours


For more information on these and other Scottsdale adventures, contact our destination experts at visitorinformation@experiencescottsdale.com.