Sometimes when you’re looking for something new and fun to do, it can seem like every activity out there costs an arm and a leg. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Even though Arizona has a lot of things to do that can cost money, there are free things to do as well. Read on to discover just a handful of the fun free things to do in Arizona.
1) Visit the Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum has been the largest art museum in the Southwest United States since it opened in 1959. Not only is art from all across the world on display here, but it’s also a great place to go for festivals, live performances, and educational programs. Special areas are dedicated to different forms of art. For example, you can explore the Dorrance Sculpture Garden, and a meal from the Museum restaurant, Palette, is a work of art itself.
But how is the Phoenix Art Museum on our list of free things to do in Arizona?Well, if you plan your visit on a Wednesday between three and nine, the first Friday of the month between six and ten, or a second Saturday between twelve and five, you can see this awesome museum for free!
2) Desert Botanical Garden
This beautiful nature oasis has been around since 1939 — more than seventy years! Where else can you go to see 140 acres of carefully cultivated displays? And not only that but more than 50,000 breathtaking outdoor plant displays? Nowhere else can you immerse yourself in such diversity as this garden, which is one of only twenty-four that are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Each of more than 800 volunteers strives to educate visitors here about desert plants, the environment, and the conservation of both.
Visit on the second Tuesday of any month and enjoy this paradise all day for free!
3) Scottsdale Artwalk
Scottsdale loves to boast that it is the home of “America’s Original Artwalk.” For more than forty years, people of all walks of life have been gathering to appreciate art every Thursday evening in the heart of downtown Scottsdale. Between seven and nine p.m., you can wander through as many galleries as your heart desires – absolutely free of charge! Southwestern art is well represented, but you would struggle to name a style of art that isn’t represented in some gallery. The Artwalk is a great place to spend an evening, especially on select days when live music is added to the mix!
4) Phoenix First Friday
First Fridays in Phoenix are always a special occasion! The entire city comes together in an appreciation of culture. On this day each month, all of the attractions — galleries, venues, etc — are open from six to ten p.m. The First Friday Trolley Tour is a great way to see the best that downtown Phoenix has to offer. What’s even cooler? It’s one of the coolest free things to do in Arizona!
Grab a map and jump on the trolley at the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, Oasis on Grand, CityScape, or Arizona Center for a complimentary ride. Just be sure to catch a trolley back to your car by 9:30 p.m, when the last circuit makes its rounds. Be sure to check out the new, digital map that Artlink has created. It’s a great resource for planning a fun night out!
5) Birds ‘n Beer
If the name of this event doesn’t have you sold, we aren’t sure what else to say. The Audubon Center in Arizona has been hosting this popular event all year long for quite some time now. Pop by from five-thirty to seven-thirty on the third Thursday of each month and pick up some weird knowledge.
These events are notorious for being tons of fun, and there’s a good chance you’ll learn something cool about birds or wildlife. Settle in for a fun evening and grab a snack or a cold Four Peaks Brew. Be sure to check out the Audubon Arizona Facebook page to find out what each month’s informative topic is.
6) Crescent Ballroom Trivia
If you’re looking for something a little more intellectual, the Crescent Ballroom is the place to be. Located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, they have space for nearly 600 people. They’ve got live music every day, a full bar, a kitchen, and their signature restaurant, Cocina 10. Cocina 10 features locally sourced menu selections and they’re open seven days a week. Sundays, though, are the special event! The place gets rowdy as people compete to prove they have the most trivia knowledge. There’s even a chance you’ll win a prize like free tickets to a show, or a gift card! Time to start studying up!
7) Ahwatukee Farmer’s Market
This event is a healthier alternative to all of those greasy downtown food trucks — tasty as they may be. Manager Kathy Porter is leading this farmers market through its fifth successful season in the South East Valley. This market opens it’s doors on Sundays, between eight a.m. and eleven a.m. from June through September and nine a.m. through one p.m. from October through May. If you swing by, you can expect to find a wide variety of goods. One thing is certain, though, You’ll be able to find plenty of fresh, local produce. Keep an eye out for herbs, flowers, jams, jellies, salsa, freshly baked bread, natural pork, beef, and fish. There’s usually a showing of local arts and crafts, too. The best part is that this event is 100% free, parking included!
8) Catch the Cardinal’s at Training Camp
Obviously, this isn’t an event that you can catch year-round. But, the time is right, right now! Practice times are posted on the Arizona Cardinals website, and there is a practice on nearly every day. Most practices are scheduled from two to four-thirty, but practice times may change. If they do, you’ll hear about the changes on the website and through social media. Both admission and parking are free during training, so it’s a great time to take advantage of this opportunity to feel out the season!