Scottsdale Family Attractions: Where to Share Adventures Together

Known as a great destination for families, Scottsdale welcomes multi-generational groups and has attractions suited to different interests. With action-packed thrills and more than 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s easy to plan fun activities. Keep reading to learn about the top Scottsdale family attractions and things to do.

Scottsdale Family Attractions: Find Fun, Entertainment and Nature

scottsdale family attractions vacation

OdySea Aquarium

Perfect for exploring with the whole family, OdySea Aquarium offers two levels of interactive exhibits. On level one, visitors have access to a rotating aquarium, barrier reef tunnel, deep ocean theater and gift shop. On level two, families will see coves, streams, touch pools and a lighthouse.

The aquarium also houses dozens of animal species. Examples include sharks, octopus, sting rays, penguins, sturgeon, otters, sloth and birds.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

This 30-acre park caters to train enthusiasts and active types. Families can start by riding the train and carousel. Then learn about railroad history, see model trains and cars, and play on playgrounds. In addition, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park hosts family-friendly events.

scottsdale butterfly garden

Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland ranks among the top Scottsdale family attractions because it helps guests experience a rain forest environment. It’s also one of the largest butterfly conservatories in the world.

Thousands of butterflies, consisting of 70 species, live here with tropical flowers and Koi fish. In addition, visitors enjoy seeing exhibits that feature Asian water dragons, frogs, crocodiles, geckos, honey bees and spiders. There’s even an edible insects section.

Desert Parks

Families who love outdoor adventure can’t miss Pinnacle Peak Park. The park has a trail that meanders into the Sonoran Desert where hikers see interpretive displays, picnic areas and rock climbing routers. For an up-close look at the area, book a full moon hike or daytime interpretive tour.

For more hiking trails, head to Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, Sunrise Trailhead, Lost Dog Wash Trailhead Inspiration Point and McDowell Sonoran Preserve. In addition to its 225-plus miles of hiking trails, McDowell Sonoran Preserve has mountain biking trails and horseback riding. Read about the best parks in Scottsdale.

arizona western scotts

Western Spirit Museum of West

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW) features fine arts across different mediums and time periods. All aim to showcase the Western region, lifestyle and culture.

Main exhibits include beaded gauntlets, prints, paintings, clay and photography. Past exhibits have included Native American culture, military saddles, dolls, cowboys and artifacts. SMoW also has an outdoor sculpture courtyard with works by seven regional artists.

Area Water Parks

Scottsdale has large water parks perfect for cooling off and having fun. Some have huge slides and wave pools while others offer outdoor sanctuaries. These options make it easy for families to customize their day and plan outdoor recreation.

For traditional water park fun with pools and slides, visit Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix; Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa; Wet N Wild in Glendale; and Big Surf in Tempe. Those who prefer resort-style water parks will love Great Wolf Lodge.

scottsdale sports family vacation

Scottsdale Stadium

Scottsdale Stadium is the place for baseball fans. The venue serves as a spring training facility for MLB’s San Francisco Giants. For more action, drive 25 minutes west to nearby Phoenix. Here sports fans can cheer for NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, NBA’s Phoenix Suns, MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

The area also hosts live sporting events throughout the year such as college football bowls, PGA Tour events, NASCAR races, WNBA games and soccer tournaments. Youth sports and local tournaments are popular as well.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is one of the top Scottsdale family attractions for dining and shopping. The district has more than 100 restaurants, and many in Old Town welcome families. Plus, there are international and American flavors sure to delight hungry travelers.

After dining, spend time shopping. Old Town has dozens of gift shops, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Native American Jewelry stores. Families also enjoy taking local tours, admiring historic sites and strolling local art galleries.

Ready to explore these Scottsdale attractions? Book a vacation home in Scottsdale perfect for families.

Main photo: Photo by Lisa Campbell on Unsplash