Day 1: Exploring the City
Scottsdale is a vibrant city, teeming with attractions that cater to all ages. Start your family weekend by immersing yourselves in the city’s heart and soul.
Interactive Museums and Centers
Kickstart your exploration at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum is not your run-of-the-mill art display. It pushes boundaries by offering a range of exhibits that captivate both adults and children. The museum’s interactive nature makes it an excellent place for kids to learn about art in a fun and engaging way. From digital art to pop culture exhibits, every corner of this museum is designed to stimulate the senses and ignite curiosity.
Once you’ve had your fill of contemporary art, head over to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. This park is a paradise for train enthusiasts, regardless of age. Home to a 15 in-gauge railroad, a Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive, a railroad museum, and more, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Kids will love riding the miniature trains and exploring the historical railroad artifacts.
Kid-Friendly Dining Spots
After an exciting day of exploring, it’s time to refuel. Scottsdale is known for its culinary scene, and there are plenty of family-friendly dining options to choose from. One such spot is the Sugar Bowl. This retro diner has been a Scottsdale staple for over 60 years, known for its vibrant pink facade, nostalgic interior, and mouth-watering menu. From hearty sandwiches to delicious desserts, there’s something for everyone. Plus, the kids will love the old-school arcade games.
Day 2: Nature and Adventure
Scottsdale’s natural beauty is breathtaking, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than by spending a day outdoors.
Hiking and Picnics
Begin your day at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This sprawling desert preserve offers over 200 miles of trails, providing options for all skill levels. You can choose a leisurely walk or a challenging hike, depending on your family’s preference. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Sonoran Desert, complete with its diverse flora and fauna. Don’t forget to pack a picnic. There are plenty of scenic spots to sit back, relax, and enjoy a meal amidst nature.
Next, head to the Phoenix Zoo for an exciting wildlife experience. As one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., the Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals, including many endangered species. From the Africa Trail, which showcases the diverse wildlife of Africa, to the Forest of Uco, a habitat for South American animals, the zoo offers a unique educational experience. Kids will love the petting zoo and interactive exhibits.
Safety Tips and Recommendations
Traveling with kids can be a joy, but it also requires extra precautions. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and memorable trip:
- Stay Hydrated: Scottsdale’s desert climate can be intense, especially for little ones. Make sure to carry plenty of water and take regular breaks to avoid dehydration.
- Use Sunscreen: The Arizona sun can be strong, even in cooler months. Protect your family’s skin with a high SPF sunscreen, and reapply regularly.
- Follow Trail Rules: If you’re hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, stick to marked trails, respect the local flora and fauna, and leave no trace.
Scottsdale is more than just a desert city. It’s a vibrant, family-friendly destination filled with art, culture, adventure, and culinary delights. Whether your family is into museums, outdoor activities, or food exploration, this city has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to create lasting memories on your family weekend in Scottsdale.
Remember, the key to a successful family trip is planning and flexibility. Use this guide as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to veer off the path and create your own adventure. After all, the best memories often come from unexpected experiences.
Note: This itinerary is a suggestion and may need to be adjusted based on your family’s needs and the weather conditions. Always check the opening hours of attractions and restaurants before your visit. Consider booking tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.