Picture yourself slowly drifting down a lazy river on a hot summer day. Close your eyes and let your mind relax. At Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center, you can float on an inflatable raft, swim laps, or frolic in a large play pool. Only a short 10-minute drive from the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites, the modern and well-maintained McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center is a great place to swim, get wet, and keep cool on a hot summer day.
Located at 15525 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, the Aquatic Center is part of a large 75 acre recreational complex. In addition to all of the water activities at this city-run park, there are three soccer fields, two lighted ball fields and a well-equipped fitness center. Also within the complex is a big Skate Park that is a perfect place for practicing your fancy skateboard moves. http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/parks/mmr
On a day when the temperature might be 100, the place to be is around the water. If you just want to swim laps in the 8-lane, 25-yard lap pool, as a non-resident, the fee is $3.00. For that small amount, you also gain access to the fitness center. For all of the other water activities, admission for non-residents is $9.00 for adults and $6.00 for children under 18.
Your paid admission allows you to have hours of fun both in and out of the water. Pass under the waterfall in your inner tube on the 600-foot lazy river and the refreshing cold shower will cool you off on even the hottest day. A big pool is divided into two sections. On one side, the water is deeper and most suitable for parents and older kids. On the other side is the play pool that features a zero-depth entry. A zero-depth entry means there are no steps or ladders, an important safety feature for young children.
While parents may choose to avoid shooting down the large-tube water slide, kids are always anxious to take the ride and make a big splash. Your kids will also gravitate toward the other water play features and you’ll probably hear some shouts when they step on the interactive spray pad and get squirted with a stream of cold water.
The McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center also includes a diving well with two 1-meter and two 3-meter diving boards. Even though it may have been twenty years since you earned second place on your high school diving team, you probably still remember the technique that earned you that honor. Give it your best shot and have fun!
While kids can stay in the water all day if you let them, adults may prefer to spend some time in a nice shady spot. Veranda seating, with a view of the pool area, is a good place to get out of the sun.
While all of us at the Thunderbird Suites love having you around, we also want you to explore some of the great places in Scottsdale. Instead of going to the mall, why not enjoy the beautiful view of the McDowell Mountains and stay cool in the refreshing waters of the Aquatic Center?
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