Fun for the whole family, where to stay, where to dine, where to go

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Scottsdale Family Vacations 

Coming to Town with kids, wondering about family resorts in Scottsdale and wondering what to do with them when you get here? There are lots of entertaining events, and places to go and see. Some of the attractions are FREE! Check out the list below to make your Scottsdale family vacations a winner.

Island of Big Surf - Water, Water everywhere - the best water slides in Arizona - Swimming and other fun water sports at this great spot. 1500 N McClintock, (On McClintock/Hayden Road between McKellips Rd. and Loop 202)Tempe Call 480-947-SURF or 947-7873

Bagdad Copper Mine Tour Off of Highway 97 between Wickenburg and Kingman. 928-633-4107; Founded in 1882 and named for a mining claim. Free tours of the working Cyprus Bagdad Copper Mine. 928-633-3490

Bank One Ball Park
Kids who like baseball will enjoy a tour of the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks!

Castles & Coasters- located at I-17 and Peoria Avenue in Phoenix. Roller Coasters, bumper boats and small rides for kids. Call 602-997-7575

Cave Creek Recreational Park - located in Cave Creek on the east side of Carefree Highway, a few miles west of Cave Creek Road at 37904 N. Cave Creek Parkway. Offers a playground and picnic areas and all degrees of hiking and bicycling trails. Call (623) 465-0431 for information.

Challenger Space Center -
21170 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria. Your budding astronaut will love the aviation exhibits, space missions and star gazing. Call 623-322-2001

Champlin Fighter Aircraft Museum - located in Mesa 4636 Fighter Aces Drive, Falcon Field Airport, Mesa.(602)830-4540 You and your family will enjoy seeing Thirty-three flyable fighter aircraft from World Wars I and II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. International prop and jet planes and other American Fighter Aces Association and Flying Tigers memorabilia.

Cowtown-AZ 10402 W. Carefree Hwy. Old West Town, Play Paintball (looks painful to me), Shooting Range and Stables. 480-530-6831

Cowboy Adventures - Don Donnelly Stables at Clearwater Ranch 15371 East Ojo Road, Gold Canyon, AZ 85218  - (480)982-7822) Call for directions. The Superstition Mountains are the backdrop for a horseback riding experience at the Don Donnelly Stables. Must be 8 or older. Get a feeling for the days of old with an  "Old West" ride that will be matched to your wishes. Go for an hour or more! Great way to experience the olden days here in Arizona. 

CrackerJax Family Fun & Sports Park - located in Scottsdale at 16001 N. Scottsdale Road. This complex includes miniature golf courses, a video arcade, bumper boats, driving range, 18 hole putting course and batting cages. Call (480) 998-1700 for more information.

Encanto Park's - Enchanted Island Amusement Park 1202 W. Encanto Blvd. Phoenix 480-254-2020. Family fun on the flying Jenny Carousel or CP Huntington Train.

Fiddlesticks Family Fun - located in the Scottsdale Pavilions at 8800 East Indian Bend Road. Call (480) 951-6060 for more information.

Fountain Park - located in Fountain Hills on Palisades Boulevard. See the world's tallest fountain and bring Frisbees for a round of Frisbee golf, (480) 816-5152.

Golfland - located in Mesa at 155 W. Hampton Avenue. This entertainment center has miniature golf courses, a 15,000-square foot castle with an arcade, pizza parlor, bumper boats and motorized race cars. Call (480) 834-8319 for information.

Jeeper's Playland - located in Mesa at 2726 S. Alma School Road. This indoor entertainment center features rides, a giant soft play area, dress-up area, games and food. Call (480) 820-8300 for information.

Katydid Insect Museum - Located at 5060 W. Bethany Home Road, Suite 7, Glendale. 623-931-0266; See a bearded dragon, plus the most deadly spiders in Arizona also many live and preserved insects. Plus hands-on activities. 11AM – 4:30PM, Mon-Fri. $3.00 ages 12 and older, $2.00 students and seniors, $1.00 ages 5-11, free for ages 4 and under. Coupons for 2-for-1 admission available at the Glendale Visitor’s Center. 623-930-4500.

Lowell Observatory
1400 W. Mars Hill Rd., Flagstaff. 928-774-3358; Worth the trip! Explore the starry skies through the Clark Telescope at this 108-year old museum. Go for day or night programs.$4.00 ages 18 & older, $2.00 ages 5 to 17, $3.50 AAA/senior/student, free for ages 4 and under. A 2-for-1 coupon available online.

Kiwanis Park Recreation Center 6111 S. All America Way Tempe, 480-350-520. An indoor wave pool and water slide, play volleyball, try the tennis courts, they've got it all. Open Year round. 

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park - located in Scottsdale at the southeast corner of Scottsdale and Indian Bend roads. This theme-based 30 acre park has miniature train rides, a railroad museum and gift shop, playgrounds, carousel rides and a concession stand, (480) 312-2312.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park - located in Fountain Hills, 2 miles north of Shea Boulevard off Beeline Highway 87. Take an African safari. Call (480) 837-7779 for information.

Phoenix International Raceway - One-mile paved oval track. Be a NASCAR fan November thru April. Midgets, Indy and sports cars. Baseline Road and 115th Avenue near Phoenix
Phoenix International

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-495-0900.  National historic landmark built on a 1,000-year old Hohokam dwelling site. 9AM-4:45PM. Mon to Sat., 1-4:45Pm. Sun $2.00 adults, $1.50 seniors, $1.00 children. Free admission on Sundays.

Rawhide Western Town - located in Scottsdale at 23023 N. Scottsdale Road. - Old West Shoot-outs, Wild West Museum, Great shops, Kids love it!

Schnepf Farms 22601 E. Cloud Rd., Queen Creek. 480-987-3333. A petting zoo and train ride. There is a picnic area as well, so you can make a day of it! Fruits and vegetables available for picking.A farm with 

Tortilla Flat, Arizona One Main St., 18 miles northeast of Apache Junction on Hwy.88. 480-984-1776. An historic Old Western town (Pop. 6) with a gift store, ice cream/candy store, restaurant, and saloon and famous chili.

Bank One Ball Park
Take a tour of the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks Call 602-514-8400

Heritage Square
7th and Monroe Streets, Phoenix - Historical homes, on their original site of Block 14 of the historic city of Phoenix, have been restored to their former splendor. Rosson House, the grand old Victorian mansion build in 1895, is open for public tours Wednesday thru Sunday 10am-3:30pm ($1-$3). The other buildings, including the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum and Salt River Project's Silva House, are open Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm and Sun, Noon-4pm.

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
4619 E. Washington St. , Phoenix - Very interesting to find a 1000 year old prehistoric Hohokam ruin right in the heart of Phoenix!. Fascinating exhibits feature the ancient Hohokam archaeology. Workshops and tours. Museum Store with authentic Indian arts and crafts. For more information call: (602) 495-0900 or for Ticket information: (602) 495-0901 

South Mountain Park
10919 S. Central Ave., Phoenix -  South Mountain, with 16,500 acres, is a habitat for more than 300 specimens of plant life and a variety of wildlife. There are picnic areas and ramadas, hiking trails and scenic lookouts. A paved road leads to the summit for a panoramic view of the valley.  For more information call: (602) 495-0222 

The Ensemble Theatre
The magic and excitement of live theatre! The Ensemble Theatre presents the latest in Broadway and off-Broadway material. Call for show times.
Ticket Prices: Call for ticket prices Info 480-874-0806

Museums Are Cool Places!

Arizona Science Center 600 East Washington St. Phoenix - a great favorite of many natives. Explore physics and biology with hands-on exhibits. Travel to outer space by way of the giant screen theatre. Have lunch and explore the gift shop.  Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  On Display until June 2. 602.716.2000

Buffalo Museum - 10261 N. Scottsdale Road- A tribute to the noble buffalo with likeness captured on animal hides as well as canvas. The "Buffalo Bill" Room (dedicated to William Cody) features posters, old show bills and photographs. Children usually enjoy this museum because of the animated life-size animals. Call 480-951-1022

The Fleischer Museum has closed - effective 11/18/02. Watch for possible re-opening in new location.

Heard Museum 2301 N. Central Ave. Phoenix  Get a visual fix of Native American Artifacts and learn about there way of life. A wonderful collection of art and artifacts with permanent and changing exhibits. Learn about basket weaving, Indian rugs and more. A great shopping spot as well! Authentic Indian jewelry.  480-252-8848

Heard  Museum North located in el Pedregal on the 2nd Floor  A smaller version of downtown Phoenix location but with great displays.  Call 480.488.9817 

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art 7380 E. Second Street  Free on every Thursday. Admission $5.00 adults, $3.00 Students. Call 480.994.2787

COMPLIMENTARY TROLLEY - If you're downtown be sure and hitch a ride on one the great trolleys rolling around to different spots. Scottsdale Roundup will drop you off at shops or galleries in the downtown area. You can also wave one down if you need a ride. Try it, it's fun. For more information call (480) 994-7656

ARIZONA THEATER COMPANY - I know this isn't strictly an event, but I had to talk about this somewhere. If you live here you owe it to yourself to buy a series of their productions. If you are going to visit be sure and get tickets for one of their plays. You will not be disappointed. The theater is an ideal size (about the size of the "Little Theater Off Times Square"). The sets are imaginative and beautifully executed. The talent is superb. One production is better than the next.  Don't miss going to at least one production, better by the season. A touch of Broadway right here in Scottsdale. Herberger Theatre - 222 East Monroe, Phoenix. Box Office (602) 252-8497. Tell them you read about it on ""

BORGATA FARMER'S MARKET - Scottsdale Road, south of Lincoln.  Fridays 1:00 - 6:00 PM.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, great breads, appetizers and live entertainment. Special! (480) 998-1822



Following are Restaurants, where families with children can feel comfortable and not pay a fortune!

Rustler's Rooste
7777 S Pointe Pkwy W
Phoenix, AZ 85044

El Paso Bar-B-Que Company
8220 N Hayden Rd # 112
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Nonni's Kitchen
4410 N 40th St # 200
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Streets of New York
9301 E. Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
16495 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Blue Burrito Grille
7318 E. Shea Blvd.
Shea Scottsdale East
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

El Torito
6200 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Nick's - A great family restaurant. When you just want good food without the hassle! Informal and great. Usually a waiting line, it's worth the wait. I always enjoy the linguine with white clam sauce. Go early about 5:00 or about 7:45 when the crowd thins out ...and bring your own bottle of wine. Located at 13910 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. on West side going north. Nick told us the other night, he is opening his second restaurant at Pima & Pinnacle Peaks Roads. There will be a nice bar and the same good kitchen, still no reservations. Call 480-314-9445



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