Papago Parkís name alone could bring your family hours of amusement, especially if you happen to be into tongue twisters. And thatís not the only reason living near Papago Park can be fun. This desert wonderland, located in a small pocket of Phoenix that connects Scottsdale and Tempe, comes with enough cool stuff to keep you and your family exploring, learning and enjoying all year round and for years to come.
The Papago Park area is about 10 miles from the heart of downtown Phoenix, which comes with myriad museums and shopping opportunities, historic driving trails and breathtaking hiking trails, a commuter light rail and an international airport. Phoenix has about 1.5 million residents, the city's website says, while Scottsdale has about 200,000, and 165,000 in Tempe. Living near the park also automatically puts you adjacent to a wide expanse of open desert landscape.
Scottsdale itself is no slouch when it comes to shopping and other activities, either. Looking for artistic inspiration? Visit one of the more than 100 art galleries right around town. Itching for a history kick? Papago Park boasts the Hall of Flame Fire Fighter Museum as well as the Scottsdale arts scene, offering public art walks every Thursday night in its Arts District.
Papago Park is centrally located to all parts of the Phoenix area. Right by multiple freeways and access routes to the more quiet suburbs to the east and the vibrant culture in downtown Phoenix, Papago is right where any mobile family wants to be to see the area. Local businesses thrive on active communities, providing old school pizza joints, plenty of sports venues, and a solid car market, including Hyundai of Scottsdale. Need to get downtown? Papago Park is just down the road from multiple Light Rail stops that can shuttle your family downtown for sporting events and the arts scene.
Papago Park features hiking trails, walking trails and even trails that are smooth and easy for baby strollers, easily making a walk in the park a daily event. Additional park activities include the Phoenix Zoo, an interpretive nature trail and nature center or doing some fishing, according to the Disney Family website. Kids can learn all about the amazing desert ecosystem and you can always double the fun by going with them on regular family excursions.
This all translates to a literal bout of fun in the sun, since the area typically sports about 300 sunny days per year. Get your family into the habit of wearing sunscreen, even in the winter. Also get a lineup of sun hats, sun glasses and portable water bottles so each member can take out on treks to best remain protected and hydrated. The area boasts plenty of trails for hiking, jogging or bike riding, and it's more than common to see some sporty enthusiasts getting their sweat on outside.
The weather is a major selling point for Papago Park as well as much of the entire state of Arizona. Slushy boots, frozen noses and yellow snow become a thing of the past as residents enjoy mild temperatures all year long. The winter months typically enjoy temperatures in the 50s and 60s, although the About Phoenix website notes the December record is held by a day that hit 84 degrees. The summer months can easily hit above 110 degrees, but the monsoon storms often cools things down with hard-hitting rain in July and August.
Phoenix-area schools come in a wide variety of public, private and charter schools, which makes it easy to find one that is just right for your kids. The City of Phoenix website says test scores are on the rise, many schools offer a modern flair with plenty of computers and, above all else, the schools are safe. If your kids want to stick around at the college level, Arizona State University, University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University and a lineup of community colleges are standing at the ready.
Author: Christopher Brooks