A-Z Summer Bucket List

Your Guide To A Fun Family Summer In Scottsdale

Get ready to embark on the ultimate A-Z Summer Bucket List adventure right here in sunny Scottsdale! We’ve curated a sizzling lineup of family-friendly fun for every letter of the alphabet, guaranteeing a summer jam-packed with unforgettable memories. From action-packed outings to laid-back leisure, our guide has something for everyone. So, gather the whole gang, slap on some sunscreen, and prepare to explore the best that Scottsdale has to offer from A to Z! Let the summer fun commence!

A = Art Project:

Make a fun and messy art project! Finger paint, use glitter, go crazy! You can also keep the mess to the professionals by checking out an awesome art class or camp.

Our faves:

B = Bowl:

Beat the heat with a fun afternoon of good old fashioned bowling! 

Our faves:

C = Cook Together:

Throw on an apron and roll up your sleeves! Get some quality family time in by cooking a meal together. Or, better yet, take a family cooking class and everyone can learn something new! 

Our faves:

Get ready to be dazzled by the spiky, colorful world of desert plants at the Desert Botanical Garden! Wander through 140 acres of cacti, succulents, and wildflowers, and find your family’s new favorite prickly pals in this enchanting Sonoran Desert playground.

Events to check out:

  • Sonoran Sippin’ 
  • Flashlight Nights 
  • Dog Days In The Garden
  • Children’s Storytime

E = Escape Room:

Bond with the fam by solving the puzzles together in one of the local escape rooms!  

Our faves:

F = Fireworks On The Fourth:

Light up your 4th of July with a bang by watching mesmerizing fireworks paint the night sky! Gather the family, sit back, and enjoy the spectacular, glittering display as it unfolds in a dazzling celebration of freedom and fun.

Our fave 4th fireworks:

G = Give Back:

Team up with your kiddos this summer for a feel-good, do-good adventure by volunteering together! Create unforgettable memories while spreading smiles and positivity as you and your mini-superheroes make a lasting impact on the community.

Our fave places to volunteer with kids:

H = Hike:

Grab your little explorers and hit the trails for an early morning adventure! Together, discover the wonders of nature, snap some epic family selfies, and create treasured memories, all before it gets too hot in the afternoon. See our guide to stroller-friendly hiking trails and paths around Scottsdale. 

Our fave trails for families:

  • Bajada Nature Trail at McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Kavach Family Nature Trail at Lost Dog Wash

I = Ice Cream:

Cool down with a tasty treat from a local ice cream shop. From froyo to gelato, Scottsdale has so many great options.

Some of our faves:

J = Jump Around:

Burn off some energy at an indoor trampoline park.

Our faves:

K = Kayaks & Tubing:

Unleash your family’s inner adventurers with an exhilarating kayaking or tubing escapade down the Salt River! Share laughter, splash around, and soak up the stunning scenery as you and your little water warriors embark on an unforgettable, sun-soaked journey together.

Our fave adventure tours & rentals:

L = Library:

Reading books is quintessentially summer! Join the Summer Reading Program at the Scottsdale Public Library and earn prizes for reading time! 

Our faves:

  • Civic Center
  • Mustang Library

Saddle up for a wild, family adventure at MacDonald’s Ranch in Scottsdale this summer! Whether you’re trotting along sun-drenched trails or embarking on a magical moonlight horseback ride, you’ll be making unforgettable memories with your favorite cowboys and cowgirls. Want to amp up the excitement even more? Hop aboard a good ol’ fashioned stagecoach ride, where you can hold onto your hats and explore the beauty of the desert like never before. So, gather your gang, dust off your boots, and get ready to experience the thrill of the Old West at its finest!

Get ready for a howling good time at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center‘s Full Moon Tours! Gather your pack and embark on a thrilling, moonlit adventure as you explore the fascinating world of nocturnal creatures. Experience the excitement of seeing wildlife up close and personal under the enchanting glow of the full moon. As you listen to the captivating tales of the rescued animals, you’ll be spellbound by the magical atmosphere of the nighttime sanctuary. So, grab your flashlights, throw on your explorer hats, and prepare for an unforgettable family night in the wilds of Scottsdale! 

Rev up your engines and get ready for a day of adrenaline-packed fun at Octane Raceway! Start your engines on the high-speed kart racing track, where you and your little speedsters can zip, zoom, and vie for the title of family champion. Once you’ve had your fill of burning rubber, why not switch gears and try your hand at axe-throwing? From the roar of the raceway to the triumphant ring of a high-score in the arcade, a summer day at Octane Raceway is sure to be a hit with the whole family!

P = Pink Jeep Tours:

Buckle up for an unforgettable off-road adventure with Pink Jeep Tours in the stunning Sedona landscape! With a variety of tours to choose from, every family is sure to find their perfect ride through this dazzling red rock playground. And while you’re in Sedona, don’t miss the chance to make a splash at Slide Rock, where you’ll zoom down a natural waterslide carved into the breathtaking red rocks! Ready to kick your planning into high gear? Dive into our comprehensive Sedona Adventure Guide and embark on the ultimate family getaway in this vibrant desert oasis!

Embark on a mouthwatering journey through Scottsdale’s scrumptious culinary landscape by sampling delectable bites from a variety of restaurants and food trucks! From hidden gems to local legends, there’s a flavor for every craving. Hungry for more? Feast your eyes on our Eats & Drinks page, where we’ve dished up a smorgasbord of guides to the tastiest spots around town. Get ready to treat your taste buds to the ultimate foodie adventure!

R = Resort Spas & Day Passes:

Guess what? You can dive into the splashtastic fun of Scottsdale’s fabulous resort pools without spending the night! Many resorts offer day passes, so you can float along lazy rivers and splash in play pools without the overnight price tag. Get ready to make a splash and soak up the sun with the whole family!

Our top picks for kid-approved pool fun:

And for a little grown-up indulgence, check out our fave spas:

S = Sloth Encounter:

Get ready for the ultimate “slow-down” adventure at OdySea Aquarium’s Sloth Encounter experience! Prepare to be charmed by the adorably unhurried world of sloths as you step into their cozy habitat for an up-close and personal meet-and-greet. Snap priceless selfies with your new furry friends, and watch your kids’ faces light up with delight as they learn all about these fascinating creatures from the knowledgeable staff. The Sloth Encounter at OdySea Aquarium is sure to leave your family with warm memories, big smiles, and a newfound appreciation for life in the slow lane! 

T = Theater:

Catch a family-friendly performance at a local theater or head to the cinema to screen the newest release.

Fave Youth Theaters:

Fave Cinemas:

U = Unplug At The Pool:

Say hello to blissful relaxation as you unplug and unwind at the pool this summer in sunny Scottsdale! Kick back with your shades on, savor the cool water, and soak up the good vibes while you leave the buzz of the digital world behind. It’s time to recharge your batteries, Scottsdale-style!

 

Our faves:

V = Vacation Staycation:

Who needs a passport when you’ve got paradise right here in Scottsdale? Uncover fantastic vacation spots with sizzling summer deals that are just a stone’s throw away! Dive into our Staycation Guide and start plotting your sun-soaked, fun-filled escape without ever leaving your hometown. Adventure awaits!

A few of our faves:

W = Western Culture:

Yeehaw, partners! Saddle up for a rootin’ tootin’ good time as you explore the captivating Old West culture right here in Scottsdale. Gallop on over to the Museum of the West, lasso up some fun at Rawhide, or hit the dusty trail down to Old Tucson or Tombstone. With a mix of fun and learning, you’ll create unforgettable memories and spark a love of history in your little cowpokes! Giddy up and get ready for a wild family adventure!

X = Xeriscape Gardening:

Get ready to embrace your inner green thumb and dive into the eco-friendly world of xeriscaping! Visit Chaparral Park’s Xeriscape Garden in Scottsdale to get inspired, and then plant your very own drought-tolerant garden that’s as gorgeous as it is sustainable. And while you’re at it, why not explore more lush oases? Check out our guide to all the parks and playgrounds scattered throughout Scottsdale for even more sun-soaked adventures!

Y = Yoga Time:

Stretch your way to family fun with a lively and rejuvenating yoga class! Unroll your mats, and join forces to create a symphony of breath, balance, and laughter as you bond through sun salutations and playful poses. Not only will you strengthen your bodies and minds, but you’ll also create unforgettable memories and discover the joy of moving and grooving together. Say “Namaste” to your new favorite family activity!

Z = Zoo:

Get ready to unleash your inner zookeeper and embark on an unforgettable Scottsdale safari! Kick off the fun at the Phoenix Zoo, where you can meet furry friends and then cool off with a refreshing splash at the on-site splash pads. Craving more adventure? Swing on over to Out of Africa Zoo and soar through the sky on an exhilarating zip-line escapade! And if you’re in the mood for a climate-controlled adventure, buckle up and cruise through Bearizona Wildlife Park, where you can encounter incredible creatures from the comfort of your air-conditioned car. Let the animal antics begin!