Scottsdale for Kids

People often think of Scottsdale as a golf mecca and it certainly can be. However, it is also a great place for kids. When the weather is warm, there is golf, tennis and swimming. This last week, our weather was in the 30s and 40s so it was not exactly swimming weather. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we found all kinds of other activities and learned about all that Scottsdale has to offer. We went for a truly authentic Southwestern adventure.

Camelback Mountain: Photo by Jeff Turner
Camelback Mountain: Photo by Jeff Turner

There is no shortage of great hiking to choose from, literally something for every hiking enthusiast. Hiking Camelback Mountain tested my athleticism like nothing I had experienced before. It was closer to rock climbing than hiking, but if you have fit teens, they will love it. I, however, might opt for an easier hike next time, like Pinnacle Peak.


Next, we drove Tom Cars in the desert. They are sort of like ATVs. The vehicles belonged to the Israeli army and can be driven in the sand or, in our case, the mud of the Arizona desert. They were fun to drive and somehow seemed fairly safe. Our guide told us lots of interesting facts about the cactus and other native desert plants.

On day three, we went horseback riding through the mountains of the Yavapai Native American reserve. It was a beautiful ride that culminated with pistol shooting, archery, and tomahawk throwing, for those mature enough. It provided a fairly authentic experience of how the West was 200 years ago. They had recreated a Western town with an old saloon, hotel and church along with a campfire.

Taliesin West: Photo by .dh
Taliesin West: Photo by .dh

If you have younger kids, or are not into such adventurous activities, Scottsdale has a great music museum, zoo and aquarium, You might choose to visit a Native American museum or Frank Lloyd Wright’s house, called Taliesin West. In addition, many of the baseball teams have spring training in the area and you can go watch a game. The shopping and restaurants are amazing, with every store you have ever heard of.

We stayed at the Hyatt at Gainey Ranch, which was perfect for our family. They have casitas, as well as hotel rooms, a world class spa, gondola rides in the canals, golf, tennis, multiple swimming pools, and one even has a large waterslide.

If any of this sounds like fun, call me and I’ll put together an amazing Southwestern Adventure trip for your family.

headshot3Liz Kohler
The Family Odyssey

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