We were so happy to get to revisit MacDonald’s Ranch in Scottsdale. Our kids have definitely grown since the last time we went and had an amazing time.
Our kids are now 6,7 and almost ten years old. We took this picture after their picked out their little pumpkins. I loved all of the picture setups that MacDonald’s had set up for families. It’s an Instagrammable world now-moreso than three years ago.
I loved that MacDonald’s Ranch used Scrabble tiles for their admission board. What a great use of it. Prices are for 2019!
The Old Western Town Set up looked similar to Pioneer Living History Museum!
This was super amusing to me! HAHA
Dimples and Giggles loved playing this game. We were here for quite a while playing and enjoying this peg game.
The Pedal cars were a huge hit for Munchie. Giggles had a little tough time with it and Dimples didn’t want to try. It was very dusty and dry, but I think it made it more fun!
The kids got to milk a fake cow, which was super “fun” for them. Even though we have seen real cows get milk on our trips to Shamrock Farms.
Munchie tried his aim at roping a bull. He was not successful, but It was really fun to watch him try!
I don’t remember the toddler area before, but this was right next to the roping area and the exit of the pumpkin patch. It was semi shaded and had some fun things for the littlest ones, including little tykes slides, jumper horses and bales of hay to jump on. This was included in admission.
With the Rodeo games (I didn’t take pictures as kids were on the items) was a bull ride and a jumpy house. I don’t believe there was an age limit on the bull ride but the jump house was age four and under. My kids were shocked that they were too old for the jump house! HA. But, they were ok with that when I explained.
The Pumpkin Patch!
I really liked that this year you didn’t need to go on the hayride to get a pumpkin. I felt that this was just a mix of catastrophe and confusion before. Plus, having kids that needed to be in strollers or possibly wheelchairs made it more chaotic. Now, there is a “Train” which is a tractor with closed carts or you can still take a hayride to the old spot the pumpkins were. It is still fun, but without the mess of hanging on to a pumpkin for dear life and hoping it won’t roll off the hayride.
So much better!
There are also wheelbarrows for you to get your big pumpkin from the patch to your car if you decide to go big and then bring it home. We went with the smallest size!
The Hayride may be horse driven or mule driven. Ours was done by mules, and my youngest did not agree that it was mules. Ahhh, our kids do not take after their grandmother who was raised on a farm! The Hayride was $3 per person. The train ride was free.
Our older post
Pumpkin Patches and Farm days are just so popular! We were so excited to go see MacDonald’s Ranch after hearing about it for so long.
Located on Scottsdale Road and Jomax, it was a pretty easy ride from Surprise up the 101. It took about 50 minutes to get there from Surprise (without potty stops!)
We approached it from Scottsdale Rd (from the South) and had to make a left hand turn into the lot. Our GPS put the address in the middle of the street, but luckily there was this cute display to tell us which way to go. I argue often with my GPS, and this was one of the times I was arguing!
The parking lot is windy so please drive slowly as you go to pick out a spot. They had chalk drawn lines in the dirt to make up the spots, but the driving area was a bit tight so you’ll want to keep your eye out for little runners! There were three Handicapped spaces right near the entrance to the farm.
I loved the plastic pumpkin head for the scarecrow!
The entrance lines to pay admission or use your Groupon if you bought one. The most easily accessible bathrooms are to the left of the entrance (although you need to be checked in and pay first).
This was the only restroom facilities I saw that were not a port-a-potty (plan your potty trips!)
Right behind the entrance area was a place for Photos (a photographer comes on weekends and takes family photos for additional cost!)
Right past the picture area was a huge Connect Four set and “Jean”ga. My kids were here for about 30 minutes playing together and building, and there was a nice picnic table that my husband just sat and quietly watched. It was almost like a date the kids were so absorbed in their project. We opened up our backpack cooler and got a few cold waters for ourselves and watched people. Yes, you can bring in your own waters and it is recommended. There are only two places to get water-The BBQ place and right by the restroom is an office with a water fountain and a vending machine.
The BBQ menu. There was quite a bit of seating throughout the area near here (and shaded)
And an old west “town”! I kind of felt like I was on the set of “Hey Dude“. Hey Dude was actually filmed near Tucson, but anyhow…
Munchie has been sewing with my mom (Yay Homeschooling )so he was excited to see an old Sewing Machine. Giggles wasn’t too happy about the tub. But, the sign about it was funny. I would encourage the kids to be careful as footing was very uneven and there were some sharper objects around that kids could cut themselves on.
We didn’t do the gold panning as there were a lot of people in there, but they were having fun! Just be careful of little ones and uneven footing here as well.
Old tractor the kids liked playing on (just be careful as there were some sharp areas!)
There was also a petting zoo with pigs, peacocks and goats. I’m not big on the petting zoos..but there was a hand sanitizing station right outside of all the gates.
More fun games were across from the petting zoo. Dimples really liked this area as did a lot of the really little ones. Very popular area (I just wish it were a bit more shaded!)
The Hay Maze was a nice change of pace-a huge hay maze and my kids could walk through it by themselves and I could see them the entire time!
Near that was the sack races, which Dimples (3) couldn’t really do, but we found a sack that was ripped at the bottom and let him go on that. giggles and Munchie went so fast I couldn’t get a good picture!
Next we headed over to the bike races, but on our way we found another shaded area that had another huge Connect 4! A great place to stop in the shade for a snack or water break.
And the bike races!
This was for the bigger kids-I’d suggest 5 years plus as it was a little hilly. Munchie had a blast. We didn’t put on the helmets that were provided, as another mom said, for fear of lice.
The little one’s area was a bit more tricky. The little green cars were recommended for ages 18m-3 years, and Dimples is just over 3 years and couldn’t get the car to go on the dirt. I could have pushed him, but what fun is that? The rides also say they have a 35 lb weight limit, and Giggles is 42 and a bit too small to use the big track.
A nice hand drawn map of everything at the Ranch.
We took the quicker and more available option of the Hayride to the Pumpkin Patch. We had mules pulling our wagon, which was pretty fun. There are a few dips on the trail to the pumpkin patch (about a 5 minute ride, and you can’t walk there), or you can take the train that looks like a tractor made into a steam engine.
We didn’t pick out pumpkins as we had already had some, but on our way back a few kids almost dropped their pumpkins off of the hayride. And, we saw a pumpkin that had fallen off too, so I highly suggest if you get one, put it in the center of the hayride. It is also a pretty long walk from the hayride back to the car area, so if you are to get an overzealous child with a love for a huge pumpkin, be prepared to haul that thing far!! You pay for them as you get off the hayride, but there is no requirement to buy a pumpkin. I also suggest thoroughly checking the pumpkin you pick, as my kids (and a few other children I saw), pick them up and look at them and put them down hard!
The pumpkins are all grown in AZ, just not at the ranch.
The “patch” was more of a display area, but great for pictures. Our horse/mule driver encouraged us all to take lots of pictures.
There were also pony rides (and you can sign up for trail rides at the office across from the pony rides). You do have to sign waivers. We passed on this because the kids were super hot, but it looked like other kiddos were having a lot of fun!
Facepainting was also available, but since everyone was sweating, I thought it wouldn’t be the best idea to do this!
We had a fun time walking around and going on the hay ride, and the bikes were definitely a big favorite. I highly suggest going early in the day if you can (or find a cloudly day) as there isn’t a ton of shade. Strollers are pretty easy to push around, but areas for nursing or changing diapers are a little more hard to find. There are some quiet areas you can sneak into with shade (at a picnic table) .
We had a fun time and missed out on a few of the things, like practicing with ropes and the petting zoo, but it was fun and different than other fairs.
26540 N Scottsdale RD, Scottsdale
We were given complimentary admission to MacDonald’s Ranch. All opinions are 100% my own.