Autumn days in Phoenix are warm, sunny and exceedingly pleasant, which makes this season most-ideal for outdoor adventures. Here are some of our favorite things to do this fall to help you decide which experiences make your fall to-do list.
Find more things to do this weekend on our event calendar. You can always find Halloween-related events here. We've also rounded up the best fall festivals around town, as well as Dia de Los Muertos events in Greater Phoenix. Our best pumpkin patches and corn mazes round-up is here.
FestivalsBack to Top of List
Mesa Arts Center Season Kickoff Festival
This free all-ages event features live music, tasty food, interactive activities, new art exhibitions and more. Walk through the campus and enjoy the ambiance of live music or grab a bite to eat from one of our many vendors, take a seat and enjoy a show.
Mesa Arts Center
Ales on Rails
Sept. 12 - Oct. 31, Select Dates
Ales on Rails is Verde Canyon Railroad’s way of toasting the German tradition of Oktoberfest, providing a rollicking farewell to summer. Sample a wide range of local Arizona breweries, richly crafted beers ranging from the lightest pilsners to the hoppiest IPAs to the deepest stouts the Copper State has to offer. Now in its 20th year, the very popular Ales on Rails season always sells out in advance and may be reserved to include a Verde Canyon Railroad logo beer glass with four beer-tasting tickets, a made-to-order lunch from the Copper Spike Cafe and a large selection of tasty Arizona-brewed craft beers for only $149 per person. The party begins on the depot patio with beer on tap prior to the train’s 1:00 p.m. departure. The fun continues onboard as highlighted beers of the day are available for purchase during the ride.
Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market
In its 11th year of business, the Market continues to provide Valley residents with the opportunity to shop all things vintage, local and handmade. The September Market will host over 160 vintage curators and handmade artisans from across the country. With a reputation for featuring quality vendors selling one-of-a-kind items and inspiring design, Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market continues to be a popular attraction for vintage enthusiasts across the Southwest.
WestWorld of Scottsdale
3rd Annual Latino LGBTQ+ Pride Festival
Allies and community members of the LGBTQ+ Latino community are welcome to attend the 3rd annual Latino LGBTQ+ Pride Festival. Latino Pride Festival coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) with a celebration at historic Heritage Square in Downtown Phoenix. Adore Delano from RuPaul's Drag Race will perform drag. Robin S, the pop icon and dance music legend, is set to perform at the festival as well.
10th Annual Garlic Festival
The 10th annual Garlic Festival will feature live cooking demos, a beer & wine garden, live music, raffles, and games. The best part is five varieties of organically grown estate garlic will be available for sale.
Rockin' Taco Street Fest
The 12th annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to downtown Chandler. The taco party of the season features more than 20 local restaurants and food trucks. In addition to some incredible eats, people will enjoy live music, eating competitions, mechanical Rockin’ Taco ride, Luche Libre wrestling matches, and much more.
Dr. AJ Chandler Park
Sept. 23 - Oct. 29
For more than a century, the Arizona State Fair has been a gathering place for residents from the far corners of the state. Filled with cute animals, blue ribbons, fried food, and all the fun carnival rides you can imagine.
Scottsdale Fashion Week
Sept. 27-Oct. 1
Scottsdale Fashion Week is the state’s most high-end series of fashion shows. It is a star-studded annual event with an exciting calendar of activities. The week of events brings together designers, buyers, media, stylists, celebrities, VIPs and special guests.
Free Family Fun Action & Adventure Festival
Meet the most-loved action heroes, fly on a zipline, enjoy bounce houses and slides, face painting, live entertainment, action-packed performances, raffle prizes and giveaways, and local vendors for shopping.
Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest
Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest is back for it's second year featuring local beer by SanTan Brewing Co. and Pedal Haus Brewery, canned cocktails by SanTan Spirits, German fare, games and a family fun zone!
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park
24th Annual Mariachi & Folklorico Festival
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a tradition - experience the rich cultural history of Mexico through vibrant music and dance at the 24th Annual Mariachi and Folklórico Festival. The annual event features Alan Ponce, Deyra Barrera, Herencia Mexicana Arizona, the energetic ensemble of Mariachi Sonido de Mexico, and the passionate and charismatic all-female group Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas. These outstanding mariachi groups will be accompanied by folklórico dancers from Ballet Folklórico Quetzalli-AZ.
Chandler Center for the Arts
Phoenix Greek Festival
This festival is an opportunity to share in the rich history, culture, and culinary delights of Greece. In addition to the authentically prepared Greek cuisine, you can indulge in a shopper’s paradise includes booths selling a variety of items including Greek jewelry, artwork, and food. Additionally, the nationally recognized community dancers, in traditional costumes from the various regions of Greece will be performing throughout the weekend.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Arizona Bao Dumpling Festival
The Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival is in its fourth year with over 15 local businesses. Bao, or a steamed bun, is a type of bread dumpling, either baked or steamed with a variety of fillings inside. Try out different types of baos or enjoy creative fusion asian dishes. Anime fans will appreciate all the cute merch available for sale at the market.
The Martin Auto Museum
Four Peaks Oktoberfest
Celebrate German-style with three days of live music, brats, and beer and extra fun like dachshund races, keg tappings, karaoke, carnival rides and more.
Goldrush Music Festival
This immersive event is their first full-scale music festival since 2019 and picks up on its theme, inviting electronic dance music fans from across the country to take a journey into the Wild, Wild West. Saddle up and get ready to back to the Wild West of Goldrush.
Taste of Japan
Taste of Japan is coming to Heritage Square in Phoenix October 7 and 8 for two days of family-friendly fun celebrating Japanese food, drink, entertainment and the overall culture of the island nation.
Don’t miss all the best Japanese foods in one place – from the traditional like ramen, yakitori and Takoyaki, to more eclectic street foods that are available in the streets of Tokyo and beyond. Entertainment will be top notch and happen all day long, including Japanese drummers, martial arts demonstrations, anime and more, providing a fun glimpse into the pop culture of Japan.
Arcosanti Clay Pit-Firing Workshop
During the experience, guests will select a small pre-made (bisque) clay vessel to decorate with various colorants and learn the process of burnishing surfaces on leather hard clay. That evening, participants will join a potluck-style dinner followed by a short presentation of the history of pit firing and its significance in the indigenous communities of the Southwest as well as land stewardship. Overnight accommodations at Arcosanti can be reserved or guests may camp onsite.
The next morning begins with a beautiful nature hike followed by brunch in the Arcosanti Café. During the hike, guests will collect a burnishing stone to take for their future work. By afternoon, the pit should be cooled enough to unload. During this process discussion begins on how to finish the vessels with waxing or leaving them as is. At the end of the program, guests will take home their decorated, burnished and fired vessel.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day Phx Fest
Indigenous Peoples’ Day Phx Fest returns to “Indigenize the Valley” with a vibrant celebration of Indigenous Art, Music, Film, & Food. Located on the ancestral lands of the O’odham and Piipaash people, the festival transforms Margaret T. Hance Park with one main musical stage, a second cultural stage, a skateboard competition, arts market, food vendors, and the 4th Annual RISE Art Installation featuring a PVC geodesic dome.
Maricopa County Home & Garden Show
The largest home show in the Southwest is taking place in Phoenix at the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show. Event goers can gain inspiration with free seminars and crafting workshops, gardening classes, food and beverage tastings, and more, all in one location for three days.
Westworld of Scottsdale
Wild West Music Fest
Wild West Music Fest is a family-friendly festival that will feature national and local entertainment, food truck and vendor options, and attractions to pay tribute to the early Stagecoach days of the city which date back to the 1950s. Headliners include Multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning rap star Nelly, country pop artist Filmore, feel-good hip-hop and pop star Flo Rida and multi-platinum artist Deana Carter!
Copper Sky Recreation Park
Celebrate Mesa and all it has to offer at this free family festival, featuring bounce houses, archery tag, food trucks, petting zoo and more.
Red Mountain Soccer Complex
Arizona Jazz Fest
This year’s event will feature Brian McKnight, Kenny G, and Lalah Hathaway, among others, performing all weekend long. With over 20 acts at this year’s AZ Jazz Fest, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while taking in the atmosphere. Beer and wine will be available for purchase along with a variety of food choices.
Phoenix Fashion Week
Phoenix Fashion Week is the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest. The mission is to bridge national and international designers with retailers, boutiques, fashionistas, and top fashion media globally. The 2-day fashion event will showcase Fall and Holiday 2023 collections with 20+ designer runway shows, various trunk sales, statewide retail events, fashionable workshops led by top industry experts and fabulous after parties.
The annual Phoenix Pride Festival in Phoenix is a two-day celebration designed to bring our diverse LGBTQ+ and allied communities together for a weekend of camaraderie and celebration of our past, present and future, while raising funds for the Phoenix Pride Community Programs and educating the public about the existence and continuing civil rights battle facing our community. Read more about Phoenix Pride in our feature story here.
Steele Indian School Park
Dia de los Muertos Festival
Mesa Arts Center is pleased to celebrate Día de los Muertos with an annual event created in collaboration with the community. Día de los Muertos is a celebration of Latin American art and culture related to the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. The annual free event offers a variety of features, performances and more in celebration of the memories of the deceased.
Mesa Arts Center
Arizona Toy Con
The biggest toy show event of the year, the AZ Toy Con Mesa Mega Show returns! All toys represented, vintage to modern. Kids 10 and under are admitted for free.
Spooktacular offers a safe and memorable trick-or-treat experience where there is family fun for everyone. Enjoy over 20 glowing hot air balloons acting as trick-or-treat stations that will be passing out over 4,000 lbs. of candy to the kids. Kids of all ages will love the free Kids Zone, with over 30 unique inflatables. Guests can also stroll the free Spook Trail if they dare, which is a fan favorite featuring surprises around every corner!
Fans of all ages who love Star Wars, comics, anime, gaming, and food will find something to geek out about. Attendees will get to meet their favorite voice actors and celebrities from popular anime, Star Wars, movies, and TV shows. This year, one of the special guests will be none other than the Scooby-Doo, She’s All That, and Star Wars Rebels actor, Freddie Prinze Jr.
Attendees will also get to shop hundreds of merchandise vendors, try a variety of food trucks and food vendors (some of which are creating food based on characters or dishes found in popular shows), participate in cosplay contests and gaming tournaments, and dance into the night at the Friday and Saturday night afterparty with live DJs.
Kierland Fine Art & Wine Festival
More than 100 artists from around the globe will converge on Main Street, creating a unique outdoor gallery. On display will be a collection of original art representing a wide variety of cultures and artwork in a range of subject matter and media. Subjects include still life, landscape, portraiture, nature, and abstract.
Mikiztli Dia de los Muertos Phoenix Festival
The annual Mikiztli Dia de los Muertos Festival features music, dance, masked performances, art activities for kids, artist's mercado and candlelight closing procession with ceremony and celebration. This festival is a unique and exciting artistic event that keeps families connected to their cultural heritage and traditions.
Steele Indian School Park
Large-scale public artworks created by artists from around the world — and locally — will illuminate the Scottsdale Waterfront, along the pedestrian pathways, bridges, and in and above the Arizona Canal, between Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard.
Dreamy Draw Music Festival
Inspired by the vibrant Southwestern spirit of Arizona, the two-day Dreamy Draw Country Music Festival celebrates the harmonious fusion of country and Americana. Seamlessly blending contemporary country melodies with a nostalgic nod to the past, Dreamy Draw delivers an immersive experience that will resonate with the Valley’s music enthusiasts. Embark on a journey where the soul of the Southwest comes alive through the enchanting sounds of country and Americana at Dreamy Draw.
Scottsdale Civic Center
Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships
Enjoy fashion, food and drink, live performances, exotic car displays and, of course, polo at an event that The Captain of the Wales Polo Team calls “the best polo event in the world.”
WestWorld of Scottsdale
USA TODAY Wine and Food Experience
Phoenix is one of the 11 stops on the 2023 USA TODAY Wine and Food Experience nationwide tour this summer! This November, indulge in a culinary adventure and experience the area's best local wine and food. Taste food from a gourmet showcase. Sip premier wine, beer, and spirits from the best. Savor the experience with live demonstrations.
Arizona Fall Fest 2023
The 2023 Arizona Fall Fest celebrates all things local to Arizona with a free, family-friendly event featuring over 200 local vendors, local restaurants and food trucks, Kid Zone, Sports Zone, live local entertainment, an AZ Beverage Garden and more.
Experience the vibrant cultures of Asia and enjoy a day full of tradition, food, music, and performances. This festival brings together different parts of Asia under one roof -there’s something for everyone. A fun-filled day with loved ones awaits everyone. Sample delicious Asian cuisine from the many vendors and take part in various cultural activities.
Glendale Civic Center
This historic resort community will transform into a street scene filled with art, music and different aromas. The festival features 200 fine artists and craftsmen exhibiting a wide selection of original arts and crafts, ranging from functional to decorative, and contemporary to Native American.
Downtown Litchfield Park
The NASCAR Cup Series Championship returns to Phoenix Raceway! Watch as four drivers put it all on the line as they go head-to-head for the ultimate prize in NASCAR.
The Charles Schwab Cup Championship is the final event of the PGA TOUR Champions season and the third and final event of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, used to determine the annual Charles Schwab Cup Champion. The event consists of the top-36 players on the Charles Schwab Cup points list.
Phoenix Country Club
The Fountain Hills Festival of Arts & Crafts features nearly 500 artists, artisans and gourmet food provisioners. Over 200,000 visitors are attracted to this event to do their holiday shopping, purchase art, savor good food and enjoy live entertainment. Many of the artists in this fair offer unique holiday-themed ornaments that have become family tradition.
Avenue of the Fountains
The Arizona Nom Nom Noodles Festival will have over ten local food businesses. Try out one of the many unique noodle dishes from various asian cultures, such as Yakisoba.
The Martin Auto Museum
At the annual Phoenix Pizza Festival, around 20 pizza makers sell all types of pizza, as well as half and full pizzas, depending on their menu. Gluten free and vegan options available. The event will include live bands, lawn games, desserts, local vendors, kid's crafts, and more. Bars will offer a selection of wine, beer, cocktails and N/A beverages.
Sip and celebrate craft beer, spirits and wine from around Arizona, with more than 25 local breweries, distilleries and wineries from the Copper State.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, the Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns onto the water. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns.
This two-day party features live bands, food, drinks, inflatables, and fun for the whole family at Gilbert Regional Park.
Gilbert Regional Park
Celebrate the arts in our community and enjoy performances by more than 25 arts groups, including dance, live music, and aerialists. Additionally, this festival includes children’s activities, pet adoptions, food, craft beer and wine tasting and more. Proceeds benefit the Herberger Theater’s Youth Outreach Programs.
This is not your typical flea market. You'll find small businesses showcasing handcrafted goods and fine art, curated vintage, modern fashion and design, and delicious food and drink. Expect more than 150 vendors plus food trucks.
OutdoorsBack to Top of List
Stroll the winding paths of this 140-acre venue that showcases the world's finest collection of arid plants — from towering saguaros to delicate blooms — from deserts of the world, all in one unique, outdoor setting. The garden has more than 50,000 desert plants on display throughout five thematic trails that illustrate such topics as conservation, desert living, desert wildflowers and plants and people of the Sonoran Desert. Please note: Advance ticket reservations for the garden is required.
Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
Tucked away on the edge of downtown sits a 3.5-acre oasis. Named Ro Ho En — Ro is Japanese for heron, Ho means Phoenix bird, and En is garden. The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is a joint project of the City of Phoenix and our Sister City Himeji, Japan.
Part of the garden’s vision is to provide a place of beauty and tranquility as an escape from the everyday pressures of life, for meditation and relaxation and to enrich and restore the body, mind and spirit. Stroll the grounds on a self-guided tour. Check out the unique landscaping, waterfalls, Koi ponds and tea house (closed until further notice).
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 5–8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.–12 p.m. and 5–8 p.m.
Featuring over 3,000 animals, including Bornean orangutans, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, Komodo dragons, Masai giraffes and many more, the Phoenix Zoo has been a Phoenix mainstay since 1962. Alongside animals, there are outdoor cafés, shops, lush gardens, water landscapes and exciting up-close animal encounters like Stingray Bay, Giraffe Encounter and Monkey Village. Due to the summer heat, the zoo opens and closes at earlier hours.
Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
Pueblo Grande Museum is an archaeological site once inhabited by the Hohokam culture, just east of downtown Phoenix, next to Sky Harbor International Airport. It's a National Historic Landmark and Phoenix Point of Pride accessible by the Sky Train and the Valley Metro Rail. Part of the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department since 1929, it's the largest preserved archaeological site in Phoenix. Though the indoor galleries are closed, there is a fully accessible 2/3 mile trail that takes you through a prehistoric Hohokam archaeological site with a platform mound, ball court, and replicated houses.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Home to Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals with 600 different species, visitors can feed giraffes, parrots and stingrays, see wildlife on the Log Flume ride, African Safari Train, Australian Boat Ride, Wildlife Skyride, or exotic Merry-Go-Round.
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. (zoo) and 9 a.m.–7 p.m. (aquarium)
Open since 1929, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is one the best spots to explore desert plants. About an hour outside of Phoenix, it is the oldest and largest botanical garden in the state, with more than 2,600 species of plants from across the world.
Hours: Open daily, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Nestled against the beautiful Mingus Mountains in the Verde Valley sits a wildlife park entirely different than any typical zoo or animal park. Here, you'll experience the splendor of the animal kingdom closer than you ever thought possible, blending the spirit of Africa with the harmony of nature. Whether it's the exciting shows like Tiger Splash and Predator Feed, or an immersive safari tour that will have you surrounded by free-roaming African plains animals, or whether it's a hands-on, close encounter with the wiliest critters, there's something for everyone here.
Hours: Open daily, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Whether you're in the mood to explore the Sonoran Desert on an ATV, mountain bike, segway, or horse, you'll find what you're looking for. There are plenty of tour guides to show you the most beautiful areas in our state — including some of the spots with cooler temps.
No matter where you're looking to go, there is definitely going to be a campground nearby. Maricopa County is home to six regional park campgrounds. Additionally, Arizona offers six national forests, 31 state parks and more than 12 million acres of public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for your next overnight in nature. So whip out the tents, get the chocolates, marshmallows and graham crackers for s'mores, and check out our picks for the best places to camp near Phoenix.
Experience the cool desert nights under the stars during a guided moonlight hike in Phoenix. Enjoy wildlife, the beautiful landscape and star gazing — and avoid the heat!
Up, up and away! Check one off the bucket list with as you soar over the Sonoran Desert in the basket of a hot air balloon with Hot Air Expeditions or Rainbow Ryders. This gentle ride offers a bird’s-eye view of coyote and jackrabbit paths, and looks out over the mountains that surround the city from breathtaking heights. Check each operator's cleaning practices/procedures and seasonal coupons via the links above.
Hours: Sunrise flights available year-round; sunset flights available November through February/March.
Locations vary by operator.
Nothing beats a day out on the water during the summer. There are several tour operators and rental spots, including Arizona Rafting, Arizona's Salt River Tubing & Recreation, AZ Boat Rentals and Tours, REI Co-Op Experiences, and Riverbound Sports Paddle Co.
Local farmers markets remain key players in Phoenix's farm-to-table movement. Thanks to year-round sunshine and growing seasons, residents and visitors can shop for farm-fresh goods any time of year. And, just in time for fall, we’re highlighting the best farmers markets in Phoenix for safely picking up local fruits and veggies, bread, coffee beans, cheeses, treats, and a wide variety of other locally made products.
Hours: Most markets operate on Saturday mornings (with a few exceptions).
Each fall, farms across the Greater Phoenix area invite you out to experience the fruits (and veggies) of their harvest and celebrate autumn with a wide variety of festivities — from corn mazes to pumpkin patches — with the entire family.
Find the best pumpkin patches and corn mazes around town.
SportsBack to Top of List
Sept. 10 - Jan. 7
State Farm Stadium is ready for the return of its fans and all the cheers for the Arizona Cardinals in their 2022-23 season. Fall is the unofficial time to mark the beginning of NFL season, meaning that you'll have some beautiful weather to tailgate before you whoop and holler for the Cards.
Through Oct. 1
Fall can still be warm in Greater Phoenix, but D-backs diehards know the heat hits different in Chase Field, thanks to the retractable roof, and for those lucky few, access to the Chase Field pool.
Through Sept. 10
The Mercury debuted this year with the highly-anticipated return of their star player, Brittney Griner. Griner, along with Diana Taurasi aka "the GOAT," put on an exciting display of basketball every night they play at Footprint Center.
Through Oct. 14
Phoenix's soccer franchise has a brand spanking new field to play on in Wild Horse Pass. The season lasts all summer long, and the matches are played in the evening, so no need to worry about finding a shady spot.
Oct. 24 - Apr. 14
The Suns roster this year is stacked! Not only is there a local buzz for the team; there's also a national one. Fans everywhere are excited to watch Devin Booker hoop alongside Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, and Deandre Ayton. Go Suns!
IndoorsBack to Top of List
Nestled in the Heritage and Science Park, the Arizona Science Center is a unique landmark designed by renowned architect Antoine Predock. The combination of ramps, hallways, galleries and terraces in this 140,000-square-foot building creates an intriguing environment of investigation and discovery. The center invites you to explore four levels of exciting “hands-on” exhibits, a state-of-the-art planetarium and a five-story, giant-screen theater.
Hours: Daily from 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Home to one of the most extensive collections of American Indian art in the United States, Heard Museum features some 40,000 fine artworks and cultural artifacts, with a focus on tribes of the Southwest. Explore traditional and contemporary works — from Hopi katsina dolls and Navajo textiles to Navajo and Zuni jewelry and Southwestern ceramics from prehistory to the present — throughout spacious exhibit galleries, a contemporary art gallery, the outdoor sculpture gardens, trading post-style shop and more.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Explore interactive galleries and immersive exhibits showcasing more than 8,000 instruments from more than 200 world countries across the globe, as well as collectibles from legendary musicians. MIM is holding socially distanced concerts now as well, so check out our concerts calendar. Engage in the sensory nature of music and how it affects our emotions through state-of-the-art, interactive media that takes visitors on a journey to hear the sounds and observe instruments being played in their original contexts.
Rediscover Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments | Through Sept. 10, 2023
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Since it opened in 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has become the largest art museum in the southwestern U.S., providing access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona. In the past 50 years, millions have visited the museum to view the more than 400 national and international exhibitions it has hosted. These are shown alongside Phoenix Art Museum's collection that has grown to over 17,000 objects of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, photography and fashion design.
Juan Francisco Elso: Por América | Through Sept. 17, 2023
Breaking Up | Through Aug. 5, 2024
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
America’s largest butterfly pavilion entertains, educates and enchants visitors of all ages with the wonders of one of Mother Nature’s most beloved creatures. This state-of-the-art facility includes the conservatory, where 3,000 butterflies fly freely; Butterfly Emergence Gallery; Tropical Waters of the World exhibit, with a stingray and shark observation pool; Honey Bee Extravaganza; Spineless Giants and Rainforest Reptile exhibit; a 3D theater; Butterfly Treasures Gift Shop and a Café.
Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
iFLY, the world’s largest indoor skydiving operation, delivers the dream of flight to adventure seekers of all ages and abilities. Experience the sensation of skydiving in a safe, comfortable and fun environment – without having to jump out of an airplane. With the help of iFLY certified flight instructors, you'll experience the sensation of free fall — creating conditions that allows you to fly on a smooth cushion of air — and check true human flight off the bucket list.
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Mavrix is an entertainment destination featuring 22 bowling lanes, 85 arcade games, a state-of-the-art laser tag arena, billiards, dozens of 4K televisions, and a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and bar that features a chef-curated menu, local beers and craft cocktails.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 3–11 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m.–1 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11a.m.– 1 a.m.
Take a journey back in time, and experience an evening of chivalry, revelry, sport and pageantry inside a magnificent 11th century-style castle. Queen Maria Isabella welcomes you to dine with her and her royal court. Always a generous host, she has commanded her royal chefs to cook her favorite meal just for you. Feast on a sumptuous four-course banquet, while medieval Spain comes to life before your eyes. Cheer on your brave knight in a spectacular tournament performance — including majestic horses, authentic jousting and a live sword fight — and may the best knight win.
Hours: Most shows take place at 4 or 7 p.m. on selects dates (castle opens 75 minutes prior to showtime).
If you have a need for speed, Octane Raceway is home to the only full-time indoor/outdoor track in the U.S. So, prepare to put your pedal to the metal and reach 45+ mph on the kart track. But pump the breaks for Velocity VR, mini-bowling, arcade and Brickyard Bar & Grill.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 3–10 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m.–12 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–12 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
As the largest aquarium in Arizona, OdySea is home to more than 2 million gallons of water — featuring 370 species — and 65 exhibits, including the world’s only Russian Sturgeon touch exhibit, two stingray touch exhibits and a tide touch pool (some touch exhibits may be closed temporarily). This family friendly, under-the-sea experience also includes interactive activities: SeaTREK underwater walking adventure, walk-about Animal Ambassadors and Q&A sessions with animal care specialists. And don't miss Pip, Polly, and the rest of the African black-footed penguin squad at Penguin Point.
OdySea Aquarium is located at Arizona Boardwalk, which is also home to Pangea: Land of the Dinosaurs and more.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
This evolving art show features extraordinary installations from around the world in a casual and safe, 16,000-square foot venue. Wonderspaces partners with artists to deliver experiences to new audiences through touring shows, including the 13 immersive, interactive and conversation-provoking works currently on display in a socially-distanced environment. You'll want to have your camera/phone ready for the one-of-a-kind photo ops throughout these current exhibits. Please note: Individual artwork rotates in every few months, creating an ever-evolving, year-round show.
Hours: Advance tickets are for entry at a specific date and time. Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they please during operating hours (the average time spent at the show is 90 minutes).
Dozens of hands-on creative activities and a full day of fun awaits your entire family in Chandler, just a short drive away from Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Bigger, brighter and bolder than ever, the colorful adventures of Crayola Experience help kids (and adults) explore art and technology, express their creativity and experience color in a whole new way.
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is where families with children ages 3 to 10 can enjoy a world of creativity, color and building fun in the ultimate indoor LEGO playground. With features that include global and local landmarks made from over a million LEGO bricks in MINILAND® to fun and exciting LEGO themed rides: Kingdom Quest and Merlin's Apprentice. Watch as your favorite LEGO characters come to life in the 4D Cinema. Then get hands-on with the thousands of LEGO bricks in themed build-and-play areas where kids' imaginations can run wild with endless possibilities.
Hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Discover thousands of amazing creatures and walk through the 360-degree ocean tunnel. SEA LIFE Arizona is built for kids with child-level viewing bubbles and an interactive scavenger hunt.
Hours: Monday through Friday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
By VehicleBack to Top of List
If you're up for a drive on the wild side, and maybe some cooler temps among the Ponderosa pines, Bearizona is where it's at. About 170 miles north of Phoenix, this wildlife park invites guests to observe North American animals — including Black bears, elk, wolves, bison — in their natural environment along a scenic, 3-mile drive. Visitors are also welcome to stroll along winding forest walkways for an up-close look at the antics of bobcats, bear cubs, javelinas and more at Fort Bearizona.
Hours: Open daily, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
These intra-city road trips allow you to travel from point A to point Beautiful, and you don't ever have to leave your air-conditioned car. Some of the best scenic drives in Arizona are right here, including Dobbins Lookout, the Apache Trail and Wrigley Mansion.