Phoenix With Kids

Things To Do In Cottonwood With Kids

Kim Gudykunst Ollerhead

Things To Do In Cottonwood With Kids. This small-town vibe is perfect for families to take a vacation, couples to escape or friends to enjoy wine tours. Cottonwood is ideally situated above the heat of the valley and the freezing temperatures of Arizona’s high country.  Often referred to as “the heart of wine country”, Old Town Cottonwood is a fun place for an adventure.

Where To Stay

We stayed at The Tavern Hotel in Old Town Cottonwood! Read our blog here for all the details about the hotel, including a discount code.

The Tavern Grille – The Tavern Hotel provides you with one complimentary drink per adult at this restaurant located just steps away from the lobby of the hotel. We ate dinner here and everything was wonderful. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!

They have lots of delicious options for everyone on the menu, as well as a kid’s menu.

Crema Craft Kitchen – This breakfast spot offers everything from grab-and-go muffins to mimosa flights. I highly recommend the bottomless coffee and breakfast tacos. Kids loved the pancakes.

Anything along the counter is included in your continental breakfast coupon if you are staying at The Tavern Hotel.

Strada at Boccee – This unique venue evokes a food truck vibe, inviting guests to order cocktails and beverages, then small bites, pizza or gelato. Built from eight shipping containers and brought to life by the steel and modern it looks like art in Old Town Cottonwood.

The whole restaurant is outdoors, it was February when we visited, and I saw people bundled in jackets, and kids running around in shorts and shirts.  We were plenty warm by a heater in February.  The woodfire pizza was amazing and I honestly wish we had ordered more than one to try.

Verde Lea Market Deli and Grill – We stopped to get a picture by the Cottonwood mural but ended up staying to eat because it smelled so delicious. Whatever you get, get it on sourdough bread!

Also on our list to eat were Bing’s Burgers, Red Rooster Cafe, Georgie’s Cafe.

Where To Play

The Riverfront Park is the city’s largest park including two playgrounds, disc golf, volleyball, horse shoe pits, grassy fields for games, a skate park, a four-field adult softball field complex, an ice rink, a dog park, and more! We didn’t even finish exploring because we ended up on a hike down by the water. This park leads down to the water, so you can hike around when visiting.

Riverfront Park is located at 1284 E River Front Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326


Garrison Park

Located down the street from the rec center and library is Garrison playground. There is a large play structure, basketball court, ramadas, and swings and it is also the home of the Verde Valley Military Service Park.

39 Brian Mickelsen Pkwy, Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Science Vortex is another place that was recommended by locals and numerous parents, but they were not open while we were in town.

Blazin M Saddle Ranch is another fun spot, you can read our review here.

Rec Center

The indoor pool in the rec center is open daily year-round. When we were there there were a few other adults and kids playing. We asked for the water play structures to be turned on, and it was amazing! The kids loved playing in the water and enjoyed some winter swimming. For more information on other facilities offered, hours, and locations, check here.

Verde Valley Military Service Park

The Verde Valley Military Service Park Mission is to honor military veterans of the United States of America who currently live in or have connections in the Verde Valley. This beautiful memorial was very special to share with the kids.

Where To Hike

There are so many great hiking trails around Cottonwood. This map is intended for hikers and bicyclists to find the perfect trail. Jail Trail River Walk and Dead Horse Ranch State Park are definitely the two biggest and best. Also, Sedona, Clarkdale and Jerome are all near enough to head over for a hike.


 Jail Trail

All roads seemed to lead to Jail Trail in Cottonwood! This hiking area is a delight to anyone in the Cottonwood area because it is easily accessed off the old jail parking area on Main St. in Old Town Cottonwood.

The trail begins by cutting through a Cottonwood riparian area which is dense and isolated from the urban town, within moments it doesn’t feel like you are in town. Soon the trail leads to a rocky washed flood plain of the Verde River and follows the River downstream for approximately a mile. The access points will change according to the amount of recent snow, and time of year, but there were multiple places to access the river on our February hike. Eventually, the trail offers the choice between continuing to Dead Horse Ranch State Park, the Riverfront playground, or looping back into Old Town Cottonwood.

The jail cell has been turned into the cutest boutique!

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Our last stop before heading home was Dead Horse State Park, it was beautiful. We walked along the lagoons, played at the playground, and scoped out campsites for future RV and tent camping spots.

Cottonwood Mural 516 N Main St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Bing’s Burgers 794 N Main St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326


Visit Cottonwood has an events page here.

For even more things to do with kids in the area, check out this blog as well.


  • 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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