I'm loving this yearly pass I purchased for the Maricopa County Park System. I live relatively close to three of them, and have visited more often than I would without the pass. Over spring break I planned three days to check out some of our favorites. The first stop was Cave Creek Regional Park, home of the Clay Mine and Go John trail. There are horseback rides, easy to difficult hikes, a playground and campsites. The kids love the park at this location because it has a giant slide in the shape of a scorpion.
Before they could play, I wanted them to hike a little. We hit an out and back trail and went about one mile in. Despite some whining, they did OK and were happy to arrive at the playground. Upon arrival we were greeted by a rattlesnake trying to make its way across the street. Another mom and her kids were trying to leave, so CJ and I helped guide her to get her kids into the car, and back out without injuring the snake. After she left, diamondback snakey slithered to the safety of the shrubs and rocks, and hopefully stayed away from the road.
If you have a chance, check out the park system. It's always clean, and incredibly family-friendly. We usually pack a lunch in a small cooler and allow nature to take care of the rest.