7 Adventures in and Near Scottsdale for Kids on Summer Break
Whether you’re new to the area or you’ve lived here for years, check out these seven great places for kids on summer break:
- Musical Instrument Museum
- Desert Botanical Garden
- Odysea Aquarium
- Sugar Bowl
- McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
- Phoenix Zoo
- Big Surf
Here’s a closer look at each.
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #1: Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum shows kids more than 6,000 years of musical history. Located in Phoenix and open daily, this museum has experience galleries where kids can play a wide range of instruments, a STEM gallery and a number of special exhibitions to explore.
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #2: Desert Botanical Garden
Located in Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden offers all kinds of fun for kids, including play at the Cactus Clubhouse (a nature play space that’s kid-friendly), butterfly exhibits, and planned learning activities. You can also explore the garden at your leisure and learn about research and conservation, desert species, and so much more.
Related: Great Labor Day Weekend hikes in Scottsdale
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #3: Odysea Aquarium
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (and 6 p.m. on Saturday), Odysea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the state – and it’s full of fantastic exhibits that are all family-friendly. From sleek eels to an inquisitive octopus or two, you’ll find all your little ones’ favorite sea creatures at Odysea.
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #4: Sugar Bowl
The Sugar Bowl is an adventure of its own – and it’s located right in Old Town. This fun spot serves sundaes, floats, and other fun treats (as well as sandwiches and soups), and it’s a great place to spend part of an afternoon while you’re out and about. Sugar Bowl has been open since 1958, and it’s still going strong.
Related: The 5 best escape rooms in and around Scottsdale
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #5: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is one of kids’ favorite summer spots in Scottsdale, and for good reason. You can hitch a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad, let the breeze get you on the vintage carousel, sit in the shade beneath a towering tree, and let kids romp in one of multiple playgrounds and play areas. While you’re there, visit the Model Railroad Building, a 10,000-square-foot display, and swing by for special events throughout the summer.
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #6: Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is a great place to spend a whole day (or a few days!). Open every day throughout the summer, this is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the entire country. Whether your kids want to get up-close and personal by feeding a giraffe or would like to hitch a ride on a camel, they can do it at the Phoenix Zoo. The zoo holds special events during summer just for kids, too.
Kid-Friendly Summer Break Adventure #7: Big Surf in Tempe
Cool off at Big Surf in Tempe, where you can get day or season passes to hang out in the wave pool, get a thrill on one of the Hurricane Slides (or The Black Hole – a dark, enclosed water slide), or hang out in the kids’ zone at Bora Bora Bay. There’s plenty of water fun for the whole family at Big Surf.
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