If you overlook Independence Day activities when you visit Scottsdale, your early July vacation in AZ is going to feel pretty empty. Fortunately, there’s plenty for the whole family to do in the Phoenix area this July 4th. Come out and celebrate freedom from King George and those tyrannical Brits with fireworks, tasty food and…a gunfight?

  1. Celebrate Old West-style. No, vacation in AZ 4ththat’s not a misprint: if you’re hoping for a good old-fashioned shootout this Fourth, look no further than Red, White and Rawhide at Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse. In addition to staged fights, you’ll have your pick of seven bands playing rock, country, R&B and Tejano music. Grab some dinner on Main Street and get the kids a scoop of ice cream. Then sit back and take in a brilliant fireworks display.

  1. Take in a skydiving demo. Fountain Park’s Fourth at the Fountain event has a little something for everyone. There are a number of attractions for the kids (including a fun slide and a petting zoo), and the Ageing Hipsters, a local band, will take the stage at 5:30. In lieu of fireworks, the Arizona Skyhawks Parachute Team will treat you to an aerial display featuring music and flares.

  1. Visit the zoo. If you ask us, no vacation in AZ is complete without a trip to the Phoenix Zoo. But you’d have to be especially careless to miss the 4th of Zoo-ly festivities at the zoo this year. What do you get when you cross animals, a bounce house, a BBQ dinner and a fireworks display? It’s no joke. The answer is “a Fourth of July your kids will remember for years.

  1. Scout the minor leagues. What’s the only thing more American than an ice-cold Coke, a hot dog with the works and a line drive to centerfield? The Constitution is under armed guard at the National Archives on the other side of the country, but DC doesn’t do baseball like Phoenix does. Celebrate Independence Day with a Rookie League baseball game at Surprise’s Annual July 4th Celebration. There’ll be a 20-minute fireworks display set to some fine American tunes after the game.

Your vacation in AZ will be spectacular regardless of your plans for the Fourth, but any one of these Independence Day events will help make your trip a truly memorable one. You’ll be counting the days until you visit Scottsdale again. In fact, we wouldn’t at all be surprised if a Scottsdale trip becomes an annual July 4th tradition for your family!