Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Almost half of this mountainous landscape in the Northwest Valley is taken up by the 10,000-acre Lake Pleasant reservoir, which was dammed in 1927. On the south-east shore sits Go Paddle AZ, which rents out kayaks and paddleboards and arranged experiences on the water like paddleboard yoga.
When things get really hot in Phoenix youll see people lazing in the water on tubes and rafts around Firemans Cove, Humbug Cove and Coles Bay.
If you plan on swimming, a life vest is recommended as the water temperature can fluctuate suddenly.
Theres an educational Visitor Center outlining the history of the reservoir and the wildlife on the shores and in the water.
You can also walk a light half-mile interpretive trail from the Visitor Center, or take the more challenging but very scenic Roadrunner Trail too lookouts on the shore.
Get Active In South Mountain Park
A 16,000-acre park full of trails, wildlife, and a drivable road to a lookout with panoramic city views, South Mountain Park is a must-see in Phoenix, and is actually the worlds largest city park. Pack a picnic lunch and head out for a hike to discover ancient history, stunning nature, the famed Mystery Castle, and more.
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
Paul B. Moore / Shutterstock
The World Championship Hoop Dance Contest is an extremely fascinating event that is basically the top competition of its kind across the globe.
Audience members get to see an interesting form of art where dancers use hoops in order to make various symbols, backed by upbeat and thematic music.
Judgment is made based on creativity, speed, rhythm, showmanship, and precision.
The competition lasts for two days and has five different age categories.
Those under five and over 40 are on the far end of each spectrum.
More importantly, the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest honors traditions from Native Americans and First Nation Canadian tribes.
In those cultures, these hoop dances are big parts of healing ceremonies.
Sure, its not technically something you can consider among the places to visit in Phoenix, as its an event that happens in February at the famous Heard Museum, but thats no reason it shouldnt be on this list!
Address: 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States
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Heard Museum Phoenix Arizona
Founded in 1929 by Dwight and Maie Heard, the Heard Museum is one of the top Phoenix tourist attractions and aims to educate and promote greater understanding of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, particularly American Indian tribes and other cultures of the Southwest. In order to accomplish this goal, the museum exhibits focus on their arts, heritage, and way of life.
The Museum uses their extensive range of unrivaled collections, innovative programs, world-class exhibitions, and vibrant festivals to respectfully and accurately portray Native arts and cultures and showcase personal perspectives of this ancient and historical culture. A visit to the Heard Museum includes a journey through 12 exhibition galleries, a beautifully manicured outdoor sculpture garden, a contemporary art gallery, and trading-post style shopping store, a lively café, and free guided tours.
2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, Phone: 602-252-8840
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Sonoran Desert Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride
Arguably the best way to appreciate the vast expanse of desert around Phoenix.
Relax as you absorb the magical atmosphere of sunset over the Arizona desert.
If you wish you can join the crew and assist in launching the balloon.
Enjoy a traditional celebratory toast upon landing.
Last departure is at 4:30pm.
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Scottsdale Museum Of Contemporary Art
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicated to art, architecture and design.
Current highlights include works by Yves Klein, Kara Walker, Deb Sokolow and Song Dong.
Discover contemporary works such as Knight Rise by James Turrel, whose deceptively simple works explore the complexity of light.
The Museum is open until 8pm Thursday Saturday.
Tempe Mill Ave And Tempe Beach Park
Tempe is very much a college town and home to Arizona State University near Phoenix, and it offers a lot of fun things to do. Stroll Mill Ave. with lots of interesting boutique shops and great restaurants. There are a lot of great ethnic restaurants on Mill and nearby to choose from including Irish, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Greek, and others.
Visit Tempe Town Lake to enjoy kayaking, sailing, rowing, jogging, fishing or picnicking. There are also many festivals and events at Tempe Beach Park throughout the year that are a lot of fun.
And Gammage Theater is right off of Mill Ave with Broadway-style shows throughout the year as well as other performing arts shows.
Not far away from the Mill Street action is Big Surf Waterpark. Its home to the third-largest wave park in the world and is a great place to cool off during the warm weather.
Tempe Beach Park is located at 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281. The heart of Mill Ave. starts right across the street and continues for several blocks. Gammage Theater is located at 1200 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281. Big Surf Waterpark is located at 1500 N McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281. Tickets cost $34 for adults and older children, and $24 for younger children . They are open from 10 to 6 Saturday through Thursday and are closed on Friday.
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Things To Do In Phoenix Arizona: Penske Racing Museum
The Penske Racing Museum is dedicated to displaying the history of automobile racing and is home to an outstanding collection of cars, trophies, and racing memorabilia chronicling the career of the Penske Racing dynasty. Boasting over 40 years of racing experience and over 300 major race wins, including 15 Indianapolis 500-mile race victories, Penske Racing is a world-renowned name in the sport, and the museum offers a behind-the-scenes look at the brands rise to fame.
Located in the Scottsdale 101 Auto Collection, the museum features a variety of racing-related objects, including replicas of cars that won major races, including the 1963 Riverside 250 and 2009 Indy 500. The museum also has a boutique store where racing merchandise and memorabilia can be purchased and a casual café.
7125 E Chauncey Ln, Phoenix, Arizona, Phone: 480-538-4444
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Mesa Arizona Temple Public Open House
Come inside the beautifully renovated Mesa Temple. This historic building opened in 1927 and was closed during the last three years for major renovations. Visitors can enjoy the temple grounds and gardens year-round, but this is a rare opportunity to come and see beautiful craftsmanship, inspiring murals and artwork.
Mesa Temple Visitors Center
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Things To Do In Phoenix: Arizona Science Center
Located in downtown Phoenix in the Heritage and Science Park, the Arizona Science Center is a world-renowned center and institution of learning that emphasizes exploration, innovation, and collaboration of the sciences. Established in 1980, the Center has grown to become one of the citys most popular attractions, welcoming over half a million guests annually. The Center features a variety of hands-on and interactive exhibits, displays, and exploratory experiences spread over 164,000 square feet of space.
The Center appeals to visitors of all ages, and the fantastic to-the-moon and beyond presentation in the Dorrance Planetarium is particularly popular. If you are wondering what to do in Phoenix with kids, this is a great place to visit. The Center also offers a range of educational and community outreach programs, classes and camps, fields trips, and immersive shows in the 5-story state-of-the-art IMAX theater.
600 E. Washington St, Phoenix, Arizona, Phone: 602-716-2000
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Things To Do In Phoenix Arizona: Pueblo Grande Museum And Archaeological Park
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is an ancient archeological site situated in downtown Phoenix near the Sky Harbor International Airport. A product of the Hohokam culture, the site is the largest preserved archeological site in the city and is a National Historic Landmark and Phoenix Point of Pride. Also located on the 1,500-year-old archeological site is the Pueblo Grande Museum, which features a variety of galleries that showcase items and artifacts from the prehistoric Hohokam archeological village site.
The museum also houses exhibits that present various facets of archeology, southwest cultures, and Arizona history and has an interactive gallery for children to learn about the science of archeology. If you are looking for things to do in Phoenix with kids, this is a great place to visit. The site and museum are accessible by the Sky Train and the Light Rail.
4619 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona, Phone: 602-495-0901
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Get Acquainted With The Downtown Arts Districts And Murals
Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue Our citys murals are way more than trendy selfie backdrops. Many of these murals paint a picture of current social issues and tell stories of the past. Its not hard to be inspired by the vivid colors and beautiful pictures local street artists tell through their larger-than-life artworks. And theres a lot to explore. Roosevelt Row is certainly the darling of Phoenixs arts districts, no doubt. But not too far away is The Grand Avenue neighborhood, one of the citys oldest commercial districts. This quirky hood provides a unique art-centered experience of its own. Positioned on the western edge of Downtown Phoenix, this funky neighborhood is packed with galleries, artist studios, and eye-popping vintage architecture mixed with adaptive reuse projects and public art installations that includes murals and decorated planters at every turn. And its all best explored on foot or two wheels.
Find Tranquility And Peace At The Japanese Friendship Garden
Downtown PhoenixLets be real, we could all use a little zen these days, right? Modeled after the traditional strolling gardens throughout Japan, Phoenixs own Japanese Friendship Garden provides a serene and peaceful setting that often plays host to traditional tea ceremonies, informative workshops, seasonal experiences like Otsukimi Moon Viewing, and socially distanced group activities including tai chi classes. In an effort to keep visitors safe, The Japanese Friendship Garden is abiding by CDC guidelines and requests that all guests properly social distance and wear a mask throughout the duration of their visit.
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Eat Your Way Through A High
Multiple locationsMiss trying chef-prepared dishes and dining alongside strangers, but want to do so safely? Cloth & Flames outdoor dinners were a must-experience even before the pandemic, attracting the likes of Google, Bentley, and Chanelto name a few. Recent dinners have featured favorite Arizona chefs like Silvana Salcido Esparza, incorporated cannabis or were themed around cult film Midsommar, so theres something for everyone. Dinners sell out fast, so make sure to check their ticket page often.
Pioneer Living History Museum
Pioneer Living History Museum
Considering just how much history Arizona has bleeding out of its landscape, it should come as no surprise that one of the best things to do in Phoenix is to visit its many museums.
Young fans of the Old West in particular will find the kid-friendly Pioneer Living History Museum to be an especially fun experience and it isnt hard to see why!
Located in North Phoenix, the outdoor museum is a slightly kitschy replica of an Old West pioneering town, scaled down for children.
Children will get a chance to live out an exciting version of what it must have been like to live in a pioneering frontier town that sprawls out across a massive 90 acres!
Address: 3901 W Pioneer Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85086, United States
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Bondurant High Performance Driving School
Bondurant High Performance Driving School
The Bondurant High Performance Driving School is an interesting spot when it comes to educational activities in Phoenix, Arizona.
If youre willing to spend the cash, youll be able to learn about Grand Prix Racing techniques or even simple defensive driving.
It can be odd to think about a school specifically for driving, but since its conception in the year 1990, the Bondurant High Performance Driving School has received nothing but impeccable praise.
The school was opened by Bob Bondurant and now contains over 200 different vehicles that are all race-ready.
Those who get a chance to try out their racing skills at the Bondurant High Performance Driving School will be able to rush around a 1.6-mile track.
For those who prefer a slower pace, they can tour the facility, which spans 60 acres and meet multiple world-class teachers.
Sure, its unorthodox, but its undoubtedly one of the most fun things to do around Phoenix!
Address: 20000 S. Maricopa Rd., Gate #3, Chandler, AZ 85226, United States
Tempe Center For The Arts
Tempe is a charming place and its arts center has tons of charisma to go along with it. Situated in a picturesque location on the Tempe Town Lake, you will find free parking and a variety of shows and events throughout the year. Local artists and arts groups such as the Tempe Symphony Orchestra are highlighted, along with an open mic night for those budding performers. Covid update: Events are extremely limited. Check out their calendar for what is available.
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Hike The Many Phoenix Mountain Parks
There is ample hiking in and around the Phoenix area in many state and local parks. Hiking is my preferred exercise and its one of my favorite things to do in Phoenix. It doesnt really feel like a workout when you get such incredible views of the valley from the peaks.
The parks are a nice representation of the beauty of the desert. There are a lot of beautiful cacti and desert plants throughout and after the spring rains, you can see a beautiful canopy of green and wildflowers coat the ground.
One of the things I most love about Phoenix is that the mountains are everywhere and its really easy to get a hike in instead of going to the gym for exercise. And nothing is more rewarding than when you climb a peak and see a gorgeous view of the entire area.
Shop Your Community Farmers Market In
Multiple locations, onlineWhether youre searching for locally made pasta, fresh-baked breads, cage-free eggs, seasonal organic veggies and fruits, or tapenades, Valley farmers markets including the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, Uptown Farmers Market, and Mesa Farmers Market & Flea have what just what you need to conquer your shopping list. You’ll leave with a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that youre supporting local farmers, makers, and vendors during these uncertain times. And that feels good, doesnt it?
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Dance The Night Away At An Outdoor Concert
Multiple locationsWhile many fall events have been canceled, plenty of outdoor concerts are moving forward. Plus, several venues are requiring attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for added peace of mind for event goers. See Pitbull at Ak-Chin Pavilion September 17 or take it back to the 90s with TLC and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Mesa Amphitheatre on October 6.
Things To Do In Phoenix Arizona: Phoenix Symphony
Founded in 1947 as a part-time orchestra for the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix Symphony has since grown into Arizona’s largest performing arts organization and singular full-time symphony orchestra. With the aim of sharing, educating, and inspiring through the joy of music, the Symphony offers high quality music experiences in the form of seasonal concerts, shows, and fundraising events. If you are looking for things to do in Phoenix today, check the Phoenix Symphony performance schedule. Some of their most popular event include Parties of Note and the Savor the Symphony Women’s Luncheon.
The Symphony also offers a variety of educational programs to develop skills and encourage participation in musical events, ranging from Symphony Hall field trips to school-based concerts, as well as family-focused concerts and cross-cultural community projects with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
One North First Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, Arizona, Phone: 602-495-1999
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