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Our Favorite Indoor Activities for Kids in Scottsdale

In a previous blog for Zoolikins, I shared several of my favorite outdoor activities to do with toddlers and kids in the Phoenix area. When we travel to Arizona to visit my brother and his family, we are almost always ready for warmer temperatures than we would find back home in Illinois. That is until we visited in August 2021 for my sister-in-law’s baby shower.  I now understand why they complain about heat during the Arizona summer months.  Dry heat or not, 120 degrees is still one hundred and twenty degrees. So on that trip in between swimming in the pool at our Air BNB (the water felt just as hot as the air temperature) and baby festivities, we sought out some indoor things to do. Since this was a girls’ trip, I only had my three-year-old daughter with me, but these are all activities I would do with my son in toe too. 



1. Butterfly Wonderland truly is a wonder! I took my daughter here when she was a year and a half. The amazement in her face when the butterflies were flying and landing all around her is an amazing memory. Aside from the Butterfly exhibit visitors can also explore and learn about jungle reptiles, observe creatures from tropical waters around the world, understand the buzz about honeybees, and even eat insects! You can take a break for a snack or lunch in the café and take home a memento (if you so choose) in the gift shop. This is a fun and educational chance to escape the desert for a while and explore the rainforest.

2. Our children never leave home without a box of Crayola crayons in their backpacks. When we found out not too far from Tempe in Chandler there was a Crayola Experience, we had to find out what this was all about. With 19 hands-on experiences kids and adults can immerse themselves in creativity, colors, and imagination. You can purchase your tickets ahead of time online or upon arrival. My daughter loved that she got to take home her art projects and I loved that those were her souvenirs instead of another stuffed animal!

3. I mentioned that during this visit it was very hot in Arizona. That meant a trip to the Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant in Scottsdale was a must. This has been a favorite stop for my family since I was younger and visited the area. The menu has plenty of meal options for the whole family at affordable prices. You can get your own ice cream or choose to share one of their delicious cold treats.

4. A trip to Scottsdale would not be complete without a stop into Zoolikins. Just a short walk around the block in Old Town, we visited our friends to look around. Clara, my daughter, had to buy two matching dresses for her and her baby cousin to wear when we visited in 2022 (and they did!) Zoolikins is a woman-owned small business ran by Moms and women who select the products to add to shelves for their customers. Living in Illinois I make it a point to shop online from Zoolikins for holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. I can get unique gifts that I cannot find at home while getting to support a small business I love.

5. After checking out at Zoolikins, a stop into Mini Social AZ during drop-in play days is a must! It gives you as a parent a chance to relax while your child(ren) play with the assortment of toys in the 2,700 sq.ft. newly renovated space. Mini Social AZ is the sister store to Zoolikins and accessible through its own front door or inside Zoolikins. Drop-in play at Mini Social is the first introduction I had to the sister stores of Mini Social and Zoolikins. I first stopped in here in October 2019 with Clara to escape the sun while shopping. I know many parents are very excited that drop-in play is back! Check out their website for open days and hours.