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MacDonald’s Ranch in Scottsdale

MacDonald’s Ranch in Scottsdale opened in 1956 and started out offering $2 horse and hayrides. They eventually started having bonfires and campouts and the ranch grew and grew to what it is now. Today they have over a hundred horses and even more to do for fun.

MacDonald’s Ranch in Scottsdale opened in 1956 and started out offering $2 horse and hayrides. They eventually started having bonfires and campouts and the ranch grew and grew to what it is now. Today they have over a hundred horses and even more to do for fun.

Horse Rides

The first thing my kids did was run over to the horses to say hi. My son immediately took a walk around the farm on a horse. You are required to stay with the child while riding. Good thing Dad was there to go with him because they did not want me to carry or walk with the other kid while one rode. Understandable, horses don’t know what you are doing. However, not convenient if you have two young kids.

 

 

 

Fun On The Farm

The petting zoo, sand toy area, and all around the north of the farm are all set up for playing! There is some shade, but not a lot. So make sure you bring water, wear sunscreen and take shade breaks.

 

 

 

 

Party

One thing I loved was the way they had numerous separate areas available for party rentals. They were each different, some more shaded than others, some smaller for smaller parties. They all had a couple of games for kids and adults and would be fun for a birthday or private event. Check here for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petting Zoo

Entering the petting zoo is free. You can buy food to feed the animals. My kids are still a little nervous, so we went slowly. Note, the goats can be very aggressive, and they will eat anything. So watch your kid’s clothes and hands. I happened to get stuck in between the doors where they have a double door to prevent animals from escaping with a very large goat who just wanted to play with the other animals, and my kids were nervous.

 

Pumpkin Patch

 
 
 
 
 
We went to the pumpkin patch on a Thursday (parents and grandparents discount day) and I forgot it was fall break! That being said it wasn’t terribly busy. The big train ride was down, but we did the new barrel ride for $3 a kid. Then horseback riding for $5 a kid. The race cars were a tiny bit too big for four-year-old legs to pedal easily which was disappointing. The kids made their way through the hay maze to the duck races where they raced for a while.
 
We spent a long time playing in the toy area, which is something we love doing all year long, weather permitting. Practiced some bull roping, and riding on them of course. Explored the pumpkin patch looking for the perfect pumpkin. Took lots of pictures in all the Instagram-worthy backdrops throughout the farm. Panned for Gold, which you can trade for candy. In addition, we played ball for some tickets, which got the kids a little souvenir.
 
We opted to skip the Blazin Barbecue Food Truck & Snack Shack because we packed a lunch. I would suggest checking the menu ahead of time, there’s not much my kids would eat. You can bring in food and sit in the shade, which will save you some money.
While we love MacDonalds Ranch, I was a little surprised that almost everything we wanted to do was an additional cost. My kids would have ridden the barrel train over and over, but not for $3 a ride!
 
We were confused with the gold mining because some kids were given bowls with gold, but mine were not, so we didn’t know it was a free activity. Fortunately, we were happy splashing in the water and digging in the sand. And they weren’t interested in the petting zoo this time, which of course was free.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Included in your entrance pricing:
• Petting Zoo
• Panning for Gold
• Hay-bale Maze
• Pedal Car and Track for the kids
• Photo Areas
• Lawn Games: Jenga, Connect Four, Cow Milking, Conk the Crow, and more!
Additional activities and prices:
• Pony Ride for Children 10 years and younger – $5.00
• *NEW Barrel Train – $3.00 per rider
• Feed the Petting Zoo Animals – $3.00
• Mechanical Bull – $5.00
• Caterpillar Bounce – $2.00
• Pumpkins
Credit Cards and Cash are accepted throughout the ranch! 

October 1st – October 31st
Gates Open: 9:00am to 5:00pm Clos at 6:00pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Weekdays $10/person Weekend $12/person, check here for discount days.

Author

  • Kim Gudykunst Ollerhead

    Kim is a chef, dishwasher, dry cleaner, housekeeper, landscaper, snack fetcher, photographer and personal assistant to toddler twins. Curently homeschooling her three year olds and loving teaching preschool. She loves exploring everything with her kids and photographing every minute of it. Follow her on Instagram @phoenixwithtwins.

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