Arizona is known for its heat. From spicy food to beautiful sun-soaked days, you can count on working up a sweat while you work on your summer tan here. Fortunately, there are a bevy of fun, family-friendly, and “cool” activities to beat the heat (hey, it’s a “dry” heat, after all). From wilderness white-water adventures to undersea playgrounds to a day spent on the ice, there is something for everyone looking to escape the heat in Scottsdale.

Arizona Rafting

Did you know there is world-class whitewater rafting in the middle of the desert? The Upper Salt River Canyon and the Salt River Wilderness area feature challenging rapids, beautiful beaches, and scenic, shady canyons perfect for short hikes. Numerous local companies will shuttle you into this pristine wilderness and teach you the ropes while you shoot down slot canyons and over Level III and IV rapids, with no prior experience required! Some tours even include scenic off-road explorations on your way to the launch site, and overnight trips are available during the dry season.

This Ocean is no Mirage

Scottsdale may be in the middle of the desert, but it boasts no less than 3 incredible aquariums (each with heaven-sent air-conditioning). Hop aboard the Living Sea Carousel at the OdySea Aquarium and ride through an underwater wonderland where you will meet sea turtles, sea lions, sharks, and more. Or, check out the undersea tunnel and 161,000-gallon ocean tank at Sea Life Arizona Aquarium, home to scores of tropical fish, turtles, rays, sharks, jellyfish, and more. Perfect for kids 12 and under. For a bit more adventure, head to the Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium with its more than 80 exhibits including a touch tank, penguins, and a restaurant with windows into a massive ocean tank full of sharks.

Indoor Adventures

If the heat hits triple-digits, why not chill out and with cool indoor-activities like laser tag, skateboarding, and bowling? Grab your friends and family, team up, and strap into state-of-the-art laser-tag gear for an epic battle in an arena featuring blacklight, smoke, and high-tech sound systems. Play hide-and-seek, capture the flag, and more while keeping your wits sharp and your aim razor-focused (Laser Quest Phoenix, Stratum Laser Tag). Want to let loose on your skateboard or get a lesson in how to grind? Check out the indoor parks across the Phoenix-metro area for an afternoon of fun in the cool air-conditioning. Or, trade your wheels for blades and head to the indoor ice rinks at AZ Ice or Ice Den. Each boasts lessons, hockey games, arcades, picnic areas, and equipment rentals for all ages and abilities.

While you can always relax in your stylish (and air-conditioned) luxury home rental from Parsons Villas, there are so many fun indoor and outdoor activities in Scottsdale we know you’ll have no trouble keeping cool this summer. From dips in your private pool to LED-lit Rock n’ Bowl to 3-D Arcades, there is no shortage of fun to be had. Fortunately, your next Arizona vacation rental is in the heart of it all. Browse our full catalog to find your own “cool zone,” and reserve online today!