5 Fun Things to do in Scottsdale, AZ & Nearby
Known as the “West’s Most Western Town,” Scottsdale, AZ enjoys days full of sunshine for most of the year. Should you find yourself in the area with about 72 hours or so to spare, try my family’s suggestions for 5 fun things to do in Scottsdale and nearby to help you pass the time.
Favorite Scottsdale Attractions for Families
Practice your golf swing
TopGolf is a multi-story driving range offering fun for all sorts of proficiency levels. We saw families like ours enjoying themselves, as well as college students, a group in the throes of a girls night out and a foursome on a double date all laughing, having a good time, and swinging the irons.
Golfers swing into a 240-yard outfield with dartboard-like targets in the ground. The closer to the center or “bull’s-eye” you get and the farther out you hit TopGolf’s micro-chipped balls, the more points you receive. Our kids love, love, love, loved it!
Visit the Phoenix Zoo
The largest privately owned zoo in the U.S., the Phoenix Zoo is home to an impressive range of animals. My family loved that were so many opportunities for visitors to interact with them, too!
The Monkey Village, an open exhibit where the squirrel monkeys live, was a particular favorite. They jumped over our heads and scampered through bushes just inches away from our feet! It was amazing to be so close to them and watch them play and explore their surroundings.
From the zoo’s overlook tower, we also enjoyed a great view of a vast habitat where giraffes, zebras, and antelopes roam. Oh, and the massive collection of snakes in this zoo is the creepiest I’ve seen, and my admission of that just upped the cool factor in my kids’ eyes!
Get close to area history at these museums
Part archaeological site, part museum, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is located next to the 1,500 year-old ruins of a Hohokam Village. The Hohokam were the Native America culture centered around what is now Arizona. Explore a platform mound, irrigation canals, an excavated ball court, and reproductions of Hohokam homes.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History looks small when you approach it from the front, but small it is not! This place is deep and full of exhibits that include an amazing collection of fossils and an extensive geology area. There are opportunities to get acquainted with the Hohokam people here as well. We also panned for gold and learned just how popular a location the state is for making Westerns and other films.
Satisfy your sweet tooth
Located on the edge of old town Scottsdale, you will swear you’ve traveled back to a time of saddle shoes, poodle skirts, and bobbie socks the minute you walk into the Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor! The interior of the place is all white and pink. The shop is often filled with patrons perched upon antique ice cream stools along the counter and devouring sundaes and other large scoops. It’s a wholesome atmosphere with a happy ambiance and very family-friendly. Once the sugar kicks in, take the kids to the small arcade in the back room and play some games!
Where to Stay in Scottsdale, AZ
Rest your head at Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas. Located within walking distance of a great deal of fine dining, high end shopping, and plenty of other area activity, the resort offers a quiet and tranquil stay. It is like an oasis among all of the activity.
You may also enjoy:
- Downtown Scottsdale Restaurants and Shopping
- Favorite Things to do in Phoenix with Kids
- Top 7 Things to do in Sedona with Kids
- 3 Unique Day Trips from Sedona, Arizona
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Lead photo courtesy of Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park.