You know the story – times are tough, spring fever has hit, and you want to know what to do on the cheap, both outdoors and indoors. Well, just see whatcha think about this!

Inside!

Phoenix Art Museum- This museum, largest in the Southwest, features an extensive collection of American, European, Asian, Latin American, Contemporary and Western art. 1625 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004. (602) 257-1222. Admission is free every Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. & the Frist Friday of every month 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. There is also free movie day on Sundays @ at 1:00p.m. Visit there website at www.phxart.org for information on free lectures, workshops and Family Fun Day. Regular Hours: Tues-Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Shemer Art CenterThe Shemer Art Center and Museum is a historical site operated since 1984 by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. It is a family-oriented art education center and museum, offering artists and community members a unique and inviting atmosphere to enjoy and learn about the visual arts. Shemer offers a variety of fine art classes for all ages, as well as a monthly professional development lecture series for artists and art lovers. Shemer’s galleries host changing exhibitions by contemporary Arizona artists. Admission is free. Hours: Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wed. – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday & Monday Closed.

Heard MuseumThe internationally acclaimed Heard Museum is one of the best places to experience the myriad cultures and art of Native Americans of the Southwest. With a commanding presence on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, the museum hosts nearly 250,000 visitors a year and ” provides Indian artists with a wonderful home that will excite and inspire visitors from around the world.” according to Arizona Highways, October 1999. The museum’s 10 spacious exhibit galleries and beautiful outdoor courtyards feature outstanding traditional and contemporary Native American art. Free Admission the second Sunday of every month. HOURS: Open Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

First Fridays– Open studios tours are a good way to experience art and artists. Every first Friday evening of each month you can take a free self-guided tour of downtown Phoenix galleries, studios and art spaces. It’s called First Friday. First Friday is organized by Artlink, a nonprofit organization””¦dedicated to bringing together artists, the public, and businesses for a greater understanding, appreciation, and promotion of the arts and the development of a strong and vital downtown Phoenix art community”. The First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix is held on the first Friday of every month, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Arizona Historical Society– Arizona’s oldest cultural organization, founded by the territorial legislature on Nov. 7, 1864 and charged with preserving Arizona history for the present and future. Hours: Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun. noon – 4 p.m. Free admission the first Saturday of the month.

Scottsdale Museum of Comteporary ArtFounded in 1999, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is the only museum in Arizona devoted to the art, architecture and design of our time. Global in its focus, SMoCA is a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest, serving local audiences as well as visitors from all over the United States and abroad. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s building has five galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s growing permanent collection. SMoCA presents a variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, docent-led tours, workshops and classes. The Store @ SMoCA offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books and imaginative gifts. Closed Mondays Tuesday, Wednesday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Free Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm (free admission on Thursdays) Friday, Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm.

Downtown Phoenix Public MarketThe Downtown Phoenix Public Market features Arizona-grown foods, flowers, fresh baked bread, local arts and crafts, tasty meals and live music, in the heart of the city. The Market is open from Wednesday 4p.m. — 8p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.—12 p.m., May—September; 8 a.m.—1 p.m. October—April and is located on Central Avenue and McKinley.

Wells Fargo History MuseumFeaturing a Western art gallery depicting the history of Wells Fargo in Arizona with an authentic 1868 stagecoach, gold collection and original artifacts. Real hands on experiences include the use of a telegraph, candlestick phone and a check protector where you may cut a check. Take a ride on our replica of a stagecoach. Participate in a Treasure hunt and win a prize! Tours available with advance notice. M-F 9am-5pm, Free admission. Closed bank holidays.

St. Mary’s BasilicaPhoenix’s oldest Catholic Church, dedicated in 1915 and designated America’s 32nd basilica in 1985, is noted for its Munich-style stained glass and Mission Revival exterior. Daily mass 12:05pm; Saturday Vigil Mass 5pm; Sunday Masses 9am & 11am. Rectory hours T-F 9am-4pm. Basilica open M-F 10am-2pm.

Arizona Capitol Museum- 1700 W. Washington St. (602) 716-2000.

Artifacts & documents from early development, political memorabilia, Guided tours. The Arizona Capitol Museum brings history to life every day through exhibitions, special events, and tours. More than 20 exhibits tell Arizona’s story from territorial days to the present. Park free at Wesley Bolin Plaza east of 17th Avenue and top off your day with a visit to the award winning museum store. Open Monday — Friday 9am – 4pm. Closed Saturdays. www.lib.az.us/museum Free Admission.

GET OUTSIDE!

South Mountain Preserve

10919 S. Central Ave.; Phoenix, AZ 85042-8302;

602-495-0222

http://phoenix.gov/parks/hikesoth.html

At over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park/Preserve often is referred to as the largest municipal park in the country. With so much space it’s no wonder that thousands of tourists and locals visit the park each year. The area boasts 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels skills. See flora and fauna distinct to the Sonoran Desert, or drive to the top for breathe-taking views of the Greater Phoenix skyline.

Camelback Mountain

E. McDonald Drive at Tatum Blvd.

(602) 261-8318

Climb the city’s most famous landmark, the mountain resembling a crouching dromedary, for superb views of the Valley. Or visit Echo Canyon Recreation Area, where sheer red cliffs and hiking paths attract outdoor enthusiasts.

Papago Park

Galvin Pkwy and Van Buren St

(602) 256-3220

http://phoenix.gov/PARKS/papago.html

More than 1,200-acres of desert hills and rugged mountains feature a golf course, museums, picnic areas, fishing lagoons (urban fishing license required), hiking trails and the famous peek-through Hole-in-the-Rock landmark. Visitors to Papago Park can make it a day excursion by visiting the nearby Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, or shops on Mill Ave.

Japanese Friendship Garden/Margaret T Hance Park

1125 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix, AZ

(602) 256-3204

www.japanesefriendshipgarden.org

The Japanese Friendship Garden – Ro Ho En features more than 1,500 tons of handpicked rock, more than 50 varieties of plants, flowing streams, a 12-foot waterfall and a Koi pond. The Garden is the product and shared cultural vision of the Sister Cities of Phoenix and Himeji, Japan. Regular Public Hours at the Garden are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Closed on Monday. The garden closes each summer due to the heat. Regular season starts in September and ends in May

Splash Playground at Tempe Beach ParkCox Splash Playground at Tempe Beach Park lets children cool off and have fun at Tempe Town Lake. This one-acre park teaches how a drop of rain ends up either in the ocean or becomes part of the city water supply.  Open mid-April – Sept, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free admission.

Also remember about the Culture Pass – your favorite attractions free!