If you’re planning a Scottsdale trip this may, you probably already know that more than 20 Native American tribes call Arizona home and that their ancient dwellings and artifacts are still visible all across the state. But Indian culture is very much alive here as well. This month, it’s easy to find Scottsdale attractions that will open your eyes to Native American traditions, cuisine and art. Here are three family-friendly events to add to the calendar:

  • Yellow Bird Production – This professional dance company brings Native American culture to life at Talking Stick Resort every Friday and Saturday evening. The show is free, so if you’re interested in traditional Native American dances, it’s the perfect night out. A word of warning: the resort’s casino, spa and world-class golf course may inspire you to book a vacation within a vacation.
  • Namingha Family Paintings and Sculpture – The Hopi artist Dan Namingha and his two sons pay homage to their homeland and culture in a new exhibit at the Heard Museum. The Heard, well-known for preserving and presenting Native American culture, is a must-see during your Scottsdale trip in any case, but the Namingha exhibit is unique. In addition to paintings and sculptures, the exhibit incorporates work with wood, metals and stone. Dan Namingha has exhibited around the world and has received many honors for his art.
  • Native American Bolo Ties – Also at the Heard this May is something special: a bolo tie display. It’s Arizona’s state neckwear, the skinny tie that never goes out of fashion (at least, not out west). The bolo tie started here in Arizona, and has since spread far and wide. The modern Indian artists of this state have created some unique and even ingenious designs, and it’s all on display this month at this landmark Phoenix museum.

There’s an art to any vacation. It takes the right mix of pre-planned sightseeing, relaxation, and plain old wandering around if you’re shooting for something special. On your Scottsdale trip, you’ll find that art and Native American culture are everywhere, whether you buy an advance ticket to a performance or just wander aimlessly through the many outdoor venues like a laconic drifter. This month, there’s no shortage of culture-rich Scottsdale attractions to enjoy along with the whole family. Your adventure will be different every day, and that’s the beauty of Scottsdale.