Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park

This park was a gem of a find, one we’ll be returning to regularly. It’s more than a playground! It’s a mini desert botanical gardens and spray pad too, with basketball courts and (important for little ones) nearby clean bathrooms.

The garden was partially in bloom when we walked around. Emily (4) has been interested in cactus flowers this spring so it was the perfect place to see things up close (just don’t touch, of course). We walked for about 20 min, making the loop twice and taking our time. Be prepared to see rabbits, birds, lizards, and other small wildlife.

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The Playground

The playground has a couple swings, and two climbing structures for toddlers and older children. Probably one of our favorite features was the spray pads! There were 5 misters in the sand area, some shaded, and it was a fun alternative to splashpads. The kids could still get wet but not soaked.


We had some snacks on the benches and stayed for a good 2 hours. There’s a Starbucks and other food options within walking distance, making this a great park for play dates or spending a morning with the family.

Getting there

Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park
8950 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

We live in Scottsdale, AZ and have three children, ages 7, 4 and 2 months. They are full of energy, and so we're always looking for new things to do! That's why we made this web site, to share them with you.

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