The sun always seems to be shining in Scottsdale. When Los Angeles is having yet another battle with the marine layer and beach days require sweaters, visitors to Scottsdale can be found sitting by a resort pool working on their tans, playing golf at one of the nearly 100 area golf courses, or enjoying a ballgame at one of the Cactus League stadiums. If your kids love trains, pools, baseball, or horses, a weekend in Scottsdale could be the perfect family getaway.
Unleash your inner railroad enthusiast at Mc Cormick-Stillman Railroad Park
This park in the heart of the city is like heaven for kids who love trains. $2 rides on the Paradise and Pacific Railroad are the star of the show but carousel rides, an expansive indoor model train display, and two large playgrounds keep families entertained for hours. Various historical train cars can be found on the grounds including a Magma Arizona Railroad Engine, a Pullman car, and the baggage car that houses the Scottsdale Railroad Museum.
Get back in the saddle at McDonald’s Ranch
It wasn’t so long ago that cattle roamed over much of North Scottsdale and horses were much more commonplace than BMWs. While much of the ranch land has since been sold off and turned into custom homes or golf courses, McDonald’s Ranch still clings proudly to its little slice of the Old West. Trail rides through the Sonoran desert landscape are led by energetic and entertaining cowboys who are happy to point out Saguaro cacti shaped like your favorite celebrities all while educating riders on ranch history and desert critters. Since the terrain is quite flat and the horses are incredibly gentle, children as young as five may ride, making this ranch the perfect spot to let your kids move up from those monotonous pony rides at the fair.
Live the resort life
Scottsdale has no shortage of luxury resorts but the Four Seasons continues to be the most family friendly luxury brand around. The property features three pools offering gorgeous views of Pinnacle Peak, as well as the Kids For All Seasons children’s program which is complimentary to all guests and is sure to keep kids entertained for hours while mom and dad enjoy tennis, a quiet meal, or time at the spa. Between the video game room, crafts, ping pong table, movie theater room (complete with reclining seats and a popcorn machine), Barbie Dream House and fun nature excursions around the property, you will probably have to drag the kids out of there! Even meals at the upscale yet casual Talavera steakhouse can turn into a family-friendly affair as the kids decorate their own chef’s hats, order off adorable cow-shaped menus, and sneak back into the kitchen to help the chef put the finishing touches on their dessert.
Baseball Spring Training
Take them out to the ball game
During March and early April, baseball fans flock to the Valley of the Sun to watch their favorite major league teams warm up in preparation for the regular season. Spring Training games are relaxed, inexpensive, and perfect for kids. The smaller stadium size keeps kids focused on the action on the field and grassy areas behind the outfield are perfect spots for your little guys to stretch their legs between innings. Players also seem more willing to sign autographs before and after Spring Training games or toss practice balls to an eager kid with a willing glove.
Sharlene Earnshaw is blog editor for Trekaroo, a website dedicated to helping families travel better.