A Day in Fountain Hills With Kids
Fountain Hills is about 20 minutes from Scottsdale, and a great day trip option. Day trips from Phoenix with kids are a fun way to see a new area without a huge weekend commitment. And Fountain Hills offers a little bit of everything for families! Here are some highlights of what we enjoyed during our day visit in January.
Be sure to check out our YouTube video as well:
We started our day with a visit to the free wayside botanical gardens. This mile long loop trail is perfect to stretch your legs and learn about desert plants. Numerous plaques give brief information about the plants. The kids enjoyed climbing on the huge boulders near the beginning of the trail too! We really enjoyed this little area. Please note that there are no restrooms or water facilities, and the parking lot only has five stalls. You could also park along the street if needed.
Fountain Hills has some wonderful playgrounds! We stopped at two, Golden Eagle Park and Fountain Park. The latter is the most popular, although Golden Eagle is a lovely woodchip playground with a toddler area and a fun climbing structure for older children.
Fountain Park is the crowning glory of the city. There is a seasonal splashpad, two large playgrounds with a fun musical instrument experience in between, and a lake with walking paths. We spent three hours here! This is definitely the best place to have a picnic and soak in the views. The huge 300+ feet fountain in the center of the lake goes off on the hour for 15 minutes every day, 9am-9pm. Restrooms are located by the playground.
For snack or food options, there are several within easy walking from Fountain Park. We opted for pastries and coffee at Mountain View Thai Cafe, and sat on the patio. There is also an Italian restaurant, pizza cafe and wine bar along the same strip, all with patios that face the lake.
For lunch, we stopped at DJ’s Bagels. The bagel selection was amazing and tasty! They also offer salads, sandwiches, breakfast items, and more. This is a great casual option for food. We also had dessert at Chocofin Chocolatier. Seriously, if your sweet tooth needs a fix, stop here! They hand make all their chocolates and desserts, and also offer gelato and ice cream. The kids opted for ice cream, and I attempted to take home a lemon tart. I say attempt because my one bite taste turned into another – and within five minutes there were only crumbs left.
Fountain Hills has a nice library, with a small children’s section that includes interactive toys like magna-tiles. But attached to the library is the River of Time Museum, and we highly suggest visiting here! We were pleasantly surprised how this place of just a couple rooms made local history come alive! Did you know that California Redwood trees were once used to pipe water through Phoenix?? There are a couple kid-oriented stations as well, like a hands on water pump experience, and an opportunity to learn Native American hieroglyphs. Admission is $5/adults, $3/children 6-12 (under 6 is free), and dates and times vary. Check their website for current information.
We hope you enjoyed tagging along on our day trip to Fountain Hills! Hopefully it inspired you to take your own family adventure and explore the Phoenix area with your kids.