Things to do in Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix Arizona is one of the top 10 largest cities in the United States, so I often have a hard time believing when people say they’re bored and there is nothing to do, frankly, there way too many things to do. If you are ever in need of finding something to do on any particular day I would suggest browsing the sites of your city and other sites that highlight local events. A great one for Phoenix is the Phoenix New Times. Their site lists a variety of events happening around the valley, they give you the option to choose the day you’re interested in, the type of event, and the specific area for the event to be in. When most people say “Phoenix” they use include the little cities that surround, and are quite literally connected to Phoenix, as a part of Phoenix, kind of like New York, so the site gives you option to choose from; Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Avondale, Tolleson, Surprise, and many others that are parts of Phoenix or other closely surrounding cities. I would definitely recommend checking local sites to find out about weekend events and things to do around the valley. http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/calendar
There are always plenty of events going on in Phoenix; lectures and readings at the many valley libraries, seasonal activities, and festivals and community events in the downtown squares. These events are also a great way to support your local economy since most of the vendors at these events are small business from the Phoenix area. Every year the Renaissance Festival comes to Arizona from February to early April, everyone goes to enjoy dressing in Renaissance era attire, knights, maidens, princesses and jesters galore, and don’t worry if you forgot your costume you can always rent one at the event to the right of the entrance. People crowd the arena watch the knight’s jousting tournament, eat smoked mutton and browse goods and merchandise from the various vendors that travel from all over the US. Their site has a complete list of vendors, events and other useful information about the event. http://arizona.renfestinfo.com
A regularly occurring event in Downtown Phoenix is First Friday. On the first Friday of every month, local artists, musicians, and businesses gather to celebrate and display the arts. There are special deals with local businesses and events each month for First Friday and the entire event takes up around a mile by mile and a half of downtown Phoenix, sometimes more. Taking the light rail or public transportation is advised, the streets are blocked off for the event and parking can be scarce and expensive.
All of the downtown areas, Phoenix and Glendale especially, hold public, and typically free, events at least once every month or so. Most recently, downtown Glendale held the Chocolate Affair, which, as you can imagine, is a festival completely dedicated to chocolate. Every vendor that attends the event must sell at least one chocolate item, the strangest things I have personally seen are the chocolate lemonade the lemonade stands sell and chocolate covered bacon. The events can be found on the city’s website and most events are often advertised beforehand and are usually family friendly and free.
Phoenix has so many museums in city limits, and Arizona even more, there is a museum for every subject and interest; police officers, fire trucks, musical instruments, dolls and toys, and so many more. The Phoenix Art museum is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix and constantly has new exhibits and events. They host events regularly like lectures, workshops, performances and lunches alongside the museum’s art work and exhibits. If you are a student don’t forget to bring your I.D., students admission is only $10! Another popular museum is the Heard Museum which is also conveniently located downtown. The Heard Museum holds a full calendar of events any given month, they hosted a hoop dancing contest February 11-12 with Navajo hoop dancers, next month they will host the 59th annual Guild Indian Fair and Market, March 4-5.
Like museums, Phoenix has its’ fair share of zoos too, just not quite as many as the museums. Most of the zoos are located near a freeway or are easy to get to, but if you ever have any trouble, their sites have maps and directions, also, there is no shame in plugging the address in and using Google Maps. The Wild Life World Zoo is a bit out of the way from central Phoenix but insanely worth it. The park spans 95 acres with rides, shows, an aquarium and of course, lots of animals. With over 600 species and 6,000 animals the park is a days’ worth of activities and great for visitors of all ages. The Phoenix Zoo is easily accessible being centrally located just off the 202 freeway and near the Scottsdale Rd. and McKellips intersection. They home 30 endangered species and over 1400 animals. It is a little smaller than the Wild Life World Zoo but it is easily accessible by the local Valley Metro bus. During the December holidays both zoos put on “Zoo Lights”. The event is lights synced to music throughout the zoo, it’s a great way to enjoy the holidays and Arizona’s very mild winters.