Top 30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Scottsdale

Find a wealth kid-friendly attractions for all to enjoy

By Veronica Leon Editor/Publisher Macaroni KID Scottsdale January 1, 2023

Top 30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Scottsdale

Scottsdale is known for the best family fun! Scottsdale has destinations intended for kids and families. Here are our picks for the best and fun things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona that you should add to your family fun!

1. Arizona Boardwalk 

Scottsdale's one-of-a-kind entertainment destination that features eight marquee attractions - OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Laser + Mirror Maze, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, Surprise Your Eyes, VR Extreme, and Johnny’s Playground - in addition to multiple dining, shopping, and amusement venues. The outdoor courtyard regularly hosts a variety of free events and family entertainment throughout the year. 

2. Arizona Cowboy College

Did you know Scottsdale has a cowboy college? Arizona Cowboy College offers all sorts of activities that focus on teaching you how to be a cowboy. Arizona Cowboy College opened in 1969 and you might recognize Rocco Wachman, its senior instructor for being a part of the Original Cowboy Series of Country Music Television.

3. Bam Kazam

The Ultimate Physical and Mental Challenge! Bam Kazam is conveniently located in Talking Stick. The human-seized arcade from the creator of Escape the Room with Part Art Museum, Part Escape Room, Part Adventure and Completely Entertaining.

4. Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale

This guided walking tour is one of this Arizona city’s most exciting activities, especially if you can’t resist a treat or two. Tour six different chocolatiers and bakeries are a part of the tour, each one offering delicatessen chocolates that are sure to wow your tastebuds. You’ll get to learn a little bit about how each item is made when you meet the owners and makers behind these tasty treats.

Address: 7051 E 5th Ave J, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States

5. Image3D Mini Golf Scottsdale

Play 18 fun glow in the dark 3D mini golf holes with no reservations needed. 

6. iFly Phoenix

Children as young as 3 and adults of any age can get a taste of what it’s like to soar in the air at iFLY in Scottsdale. iFLY explains how their experience differs from skydiving on their website.

7. Mavrix

Mavrix, the best entertainment venue in Scottsdale, is the place for a memorable night out with friends or a day of family fun, this new hot spot is an epic entertainment destination. Be sure to check out everything Mavrix has to offer including bowling, laser tag, arcade games and a chef-driven menu of entrees and delicious beverages.

8. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park 

The kiddos will love riding the 1/12-scale Paradise and Pacific Railroad along its one-mile track. The park also offers playgrounds, picnic areas, model railroad exhibits and an old-fashioned carousel.

9. McDowell Sonoran Preserve

It is a permanently protected desert habitat, designed to be sustainable, and hosts one of the planet’s most diverse animal environments. With 30,000 acres along the eastern side of Scottsdale with no admission fee and more than 100 miles’ worth of trails, all at varying levels of difficulty to cater to most visitors, stretch throughout the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

10. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament 

For a roaring good time, make reservations for the Scottsdale Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Families root for their knight while chowing down on food like tasty chicken, potatoes, and corn on the cob. (No utensils allowed!) Vegetarian options are available as well. Expect jousting horses, sword fights, falconry, and a queen overseeing it all.

11. Octane Raceway

Octane Raceway is an indoor and outdoor racing venue that operates full time, providing a mix of competitive and casual kart racing suitable for many different ages. Octane Raceway boasts a third-mile track, European electric race karts that produce no emissions and reach speeds of 45 mph, and generously provided lap time, few come out of Octane Raceway unsatisfied.

12Old Town Scottsdale

Wander Old Town Scottsdale’s art galleries and shops peddling Southwestern jewelry and souvenirs. ArtWalk takes place every Thursday night (besides Thanksgiving). That’s when galleries throw open their doors from 7 to 9 pm and invite guests to get a closer look at masterpieces created by Southwestern artists. Read more of Old Town Scottsdale best things to do HERE.

13. Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs 

Dinosaur lovers will roar with delight at Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs at Arizona Boardwalk. In addition to life-sized animatronic dinos on display, kids will enjoy a T-Rex obstacle course, fossil digging area, dinosaur temporary tattoos, and a small dinosaur ride.

14. Parada del Sol Parade

Parada del Sol Parade is not one of Scottsdale’s permanent places to visit, but an annual event that serves as one of the Arizona city’s biggest tourist attractions.

It’s the world’s largest horse-drawn parade, consisting of almost 150 floats, parties, and troupes that make their way down Scottsdale Road each February.

15. Penske Racing Museum

Great for all ages, Penske Racing Museum is located in the car dealerships of the Penske Automotive Group, with 9,000 square feet across two floors showcasing memorabilia and items that color the history of Penske Racing.

16. Pinnacle Peak Park

Pinnacle Peak Park is one of Scottsdale’s most popular spots for hiking and sightseeing offering a 1.75-mile trail that leads up the 1,300 feet to the very height of Pinnacle Peak itself.

17. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is one of the city’s prime tourist attractions for live entertainment and performance education. Over a thousand performances are showcased here on an annual basis, not including education programs and festivals, both of an outdoor and indoor variety.

18. Scottsdale Civic Center Mall

Also located in Old Town Scottsdale is the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall a beautiful outdoor space filled with whimsical sculptures, flower-filled gardens, and burbly fountains. Pop into the expansive Scottsdale Public Library’s children’s section to cozy up with a good book. 

19. Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Fashion Square is the biggest mall in Arizona and is among America's 30 largest ones. A luxury shopping center that boasts all the famous brands you can probably think of; Gucci, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, call this mall their home. With two million square feet of floor space to its name, this retail outlet is nothing short of luxurious and opulent.

20. Scottsdale Historical Museum

The Scottsdale Historical Museum sits in the Little Red Schoolhouse, in Old Town Scottsdale, which dates back to 1909. It’s one of the best ways to get a glimpse into this Arizona city’s past, especially its culture and heritage, as well as what the near areas of the Southwest were like a century ago in general. There’s the One Room Schoolhouse, which shows you how eight-grade one-room schools were operated and appeared between the 1800s and 1900s.

21. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

A relatively small museum in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, it offers the eclectic, contemporary visions of numerous paintings, sculptures, murals, fabric art, and more.

All artwork at the Museum of Contemporary Art provides a thought-engaging visual for visitors to delve into.

22. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is dedicated to the rehabilitation and rescue of wildlife, offering sanctuary for injured or orphaned animals of all kinds before releasing them back into the wild, if possible. You will find a wide range of animals at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, including black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, javelinas, Mexican grey wolves, coyotes, and so many more.

23. Scottsdale Artwalk

The Scottsdale Artwalk brings you through the Historic Arts District of the city, occurring on Thursday nights with multiple participating artists, performers, and galleries. It’s one of the best ways to get a glimpse of the cultural scene of this Arizona city, and it certainly helps that there are numerous activities to keep you occupied.

24. Scottsdale Stadium

Arizona’s weather makes it a beloved location for baseball spring training, so you might want to catch the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and various other teams practice at the stadiums of Arizona in preparation for the regular season.

Scottsdale Stadium has been the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants since 1984. If you’re not visiting in the spring, the stadium is home to the Arizona League Giants in the summer and is the host for the Fall League’s championship game.

25. Scottsdale Wine Trail

Four different tasting rooms for wine are a part of this Wine Trail, namely Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek, LDV Winery, and Salvatore Vineyards. Your Wine Trail tour will earn you a special “passport” that gives you discounts and even lets you compete for prizes!

Address: 6951 E 1st St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States

26. Sugar Bowl

Since 1958, the Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor/Restaurant has been dishing out delicious American food and scrumptious ice cream treats to devoted local in Old Town Scottsdale. 

27. Taliesin West

Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark that sits in Arizona’s McDowell Mountain foothills, engulfed by the Sonoran Desert of Scottsdale on most sides.

Spanning approximately 600 acres, it once belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest architects known to the world, who used it as a winter home. Now, it serves as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

28. The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden

The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat of the National Wildlife Federation. Located at Chaparral Park, it’s one of the city’s most unique things to do, with a 5.5-acre expanse to its name, it is home to more than 200 different species of flora, with more than 7,000 individual plants, all fed and kept healthy by an underwater reservoir.

Address: 8111 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States

29. Top Golf Scottsdale

The premier entertainment destination in Scottsdale, AZ. Enjoy their climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay and throughout the sports bar and restaurant. Using their complimentary clubs or your own, take aim at the giant outfield targets and their high-tech balls will score themselves.

30. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Western Spirit, situated in downtown Scottsdale, was created primarily to look at current, present-day issues through the lens of Western history in an attempt to learn from actions and events of the past. It makes use of interactive and interpretive art, exhibits, events, and experiences, including a multi-sensory theater that screens the work of artists of Arizona and the rest of the west.

Continue to plan your Scottsdale Fun with additional amazing places to visit in Scottsdale or surrounding areas with our Arizona Bucket List: 50 Activities To Do in Arizona


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