Spring in Phoenix means plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. However, many of the most-popular indoor attractions throughout Greater Phoenix also offer new exhibitions and experiences. We also have activities you can enjoy from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Special EventsBack to Top of List
27th Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival
Through March 5
The hybrid 27th Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, taking place from Feb. 19 - March 5, 2023 both in-theaters and virtually, will screen 20-plus fantastic films from around the globe with Jewish themes.
Through April 2
Don't miss raucous revelry at the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival. The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 50 acre circus, a 16-stage theater, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast — all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure.
Artlink's Art Detour
Art Detour will return for its 34th year as a month-long celebration that will feature a variety of art forms, different activities and diverse communities that showcase the very best that Arizona artists have to offer. The event will feature hundreds of arts activities and “Articipants,” defined as arts venues, arts and culture organizations, arts-supporting businesses from across the Valley, and visual and performing artists from the entire state.
M3F is a 100% nonprofit music festival that was established in 2004 and has become a musical destination for festivalgoers. M3F’s lineup will once again bring together an eclectic group of artists across the worlds of indie, pop, R&B, electronic, and more. This includes the beloved Grammy-nominated vocalist Maggie Rogers, forward-thinking English beatmaker and producer Jamie xx, French electronic duo Polo & Pan, Detroit singer Quinn XCII, and the off-kilter sounds of the multi-talented Toro y Moi.
Margaret T. Hance Park
8th Annual Italian Festival
Hosted by the Italian Association of Arizona, this two-day celebration will take place at Phoenix’s Heritage Square and feature everything from live music and unique handcrafted Italian items to face painters and balloon makers for kids, plus the La Cucina Galbini Cooking Stage will host celebrity chefs and live cooking demonstrations.
A long-standing nationally recognized event, the fair is the largest art market in Arizona and the second largest market of its kind in the country. It features more than 600 Native artists from 116 tribal affiliations in the U.S. and Canada. A variety of traditional and cutting-edge media dazzle visitors each year.
Melrose Street Fair on 7th Avenue
Each year, this event in Phoenix's gayborhood features more than 200 booths that showcase the work of local artists, indie crafts, and other products; food trucks and a craft beer garden; live music on the main stage; kids activities; more than 200 classic, antique and vintage cars and trucks on display; and more.
The Melrose Curve
Hayden's Ferry Days Festival
This engaging community festival brings Tempe heritage to life with local music performances and diverse 'show-and-tell' demonstrations featuring the technology and crafts that defined our past and informs the present. The event will host a variety of food trucks, local vendors, children's activities, and historical reenactments.
Tempe History Museum
Mask Alive! Festival of Masks
This community favorite event brings vibrant local arts and culture performances and interactive activities to the families of Arizona each year. This free event highlights a variety of artists in colorful masks that showcase the diverse cultures of the Valley, with dance, music, puppets, and art.
Cave Creek Sculpture & Wine Festival
Enjoy strolling throughout spectacular paintings, bronzes, glass, stone, copper, clay sculptures, photography and jewelry in Cave Creek.
Arizona Cocktail Weekend
Arizona Cocktail Weekend hosts three signature evenings of events, while the best brands in the industry showcase their top spirits via everything from brand-driven happy hours and parties to educational seminars filled with craft cocktails, friends and unforgettable memorties around Phoenix.
Arizona Taco & Margarita Festival
Feast on tacos and sip on margaritas from dozens of vendors at this Glendale festival.
Irish Fountain Fest
Food, fun, and music will all be a part of this family-friendly event, and who could forget that Fountain Hills' World Famous Fountain will be transformed into a bright emerald green geyser at 11:00a.m. and 5:00 p.m. This event will feature a kid’s zone, Traditional Irish folk dancing performances, a Celtic rock band, food trucks, the Crescent Crown Beer Garden, and much more.
Experience the spirit of aloha and celebrate the cultures of the South Pacific islands at the Arizona Aloha Festival. For 2022, this event has expanded to two days of live entertainment — including music and dance across several stages. Lectures and storytelling about Hawaii and Polynesia will take place at Hale Mana'o (the 'House of Knowledge); the Island Marketplace is filled with vendors offering traditional crafts, fresh flower leis, baskets, hats, carved bone necklaces, tapa cloth and more; island crafts for kids can be found at in Keiki Activities area; and ukulele lessons at Aunty Aloha's Ukulele Corner are also available for all ages.
Tempe Beach Park
You’ll enjoy non-stop action featuring on-track access to sign your name on the finish line, FanShield Infield Experience access to meet the drivers and go inside the garage, and enjoy the Midway festivities and campground parties alongside friends and family.
The Ostrich Festival features live ostriches, national and local entertainment, thrilling stage shows, over 50 exhilarating midway rides and games, classic festival food, interactive activities for all ages, meet and greets with your favorite mascots, ostrich-themed educational activities, exciting attractions, upscale arts and crafts and much more. This year's performers include Train and more.
Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival
More than 165 juried artists from throughout the United States and abroad will participate displaying impressive small, medium and life-sized bronze sculptures, sparkling hand blown glass vessels, rope baskets, wood, clay and mixed media sculptures, one of a kind handcrafted jewelry, exceptional photography and much more. The festival also accommodates the return of Arizona's largest wine-tasting event, providing a unique opportunity to sample an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines.
Destination Arizona Carnival Bacchanal
The Annual Destination Arizona Carnival and Destination Arizona CaribFest feature a variety of performances with educational pieces that are enjoyable for your family, with a variety of cultural groups, including our steel pan group, performers, Indian Dancers, the Fushicho Daiko Dojo group, and DJs.
Steele Indian School Park
18th Annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
Join the Arizona Dragon Boat Association on March 25 & 26 for two days of exciting dragon boat competition with teams from all over the United States and beyond. Dragon Boat Racing is a unique water sports activity that is sure to provide everyone an exciting experience.
Tempe Town Lake
Shea Homes Good Life Festival
R Entertainment delivers Legendary Rock Musicians Kenny Loggins and Kansas headlining two exciting days of living the good life at Schnepf Farms at the 12th Annual Shea Homes® Good Life Festival™ presented by Subaru. In addition to world-class rock n’ roll, the event features fabulous food and wine, craft beer and bourbon sampling, plus boutique shopping.
This festival keeps it simple and will only feature its 300 artists and a wide array of food vendors. Over the 10-block footprint, this open-air and socially distant event gives the community an opportunity to connect to great art, enjoy our vibrant downtown area, and indulge their appetites with great snacks, cuisines, and more.
1 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
102.5 KNIX Barbecue and Beer Festival
Arizona’s largest and best-loved BBQ event is expanding to Tumbleweed Park with an impressive lineup of country superstars, an enlarged VIP area, more than 30 BBQ pit masters, plus family-friendly shows and activities.
Mecum Auto Auctions
March 28 - April 1
Explore all the cars up for auction at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
Arizona Bike Week
March 29 - April 2
With an expected attendance of 75,000 people, enjoy a four-night music festival in the RockYard, plus daily happy hour parties, after hours parties, stunt shows, RV and campsite camping, charity rides, contests, bike shows, factory demo rides, and all of the best bands from the local music scene performing day and night in the PowerYard.
WestWorld of Scottsdale
Uncorked AZ Wine Festival
This event features over 50 wineries from across the globe with more than 100 wines to taste. Also gourmet food trucks, live DJ, and more.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Presented by Phoenix Pride, Rainbows Festival has been dubbed “Arizona’s Greatest Street Fair." The annual event is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and draws a crowd of more than 25,000 community members, friends, families and allies. Historic Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix plays host to more than 150 exhibitors and sponsors throughout the two-day event and two stages offer a variety of entertainment throughout the weekend.
El Puente Festival
Attendees will enjoy mariachi performances, ballet folkorico dances, and theatrics by some of the Valley's most talented young people from ages 6 to 17. Kids craft activities and opportunities to join in the performances is one of the highlights of this annual festival.
Tempe Center for the Arts
The Nation’s largest gathering of Hopi katsina doll carvers will show and sell their unique creations at the Katsina Doll Marketplace: A Gathering of Carvers, in the Steele Auditorium. Enjoy musical performances, carving demonstrations and a drawing for the featured katsina doll.
Building off the success of last year’s sold-out event, Buds-A-Palooza 2023 will highlight the best of southwest cannabis culture and lifestyle. Attendees will experience a captivating night of nonstop action, including two music stages with national and local performers.
The fair features the largest county fair carnival in Phoenix with over 35 rides, food offerings like Steve's Flaming Hot Turkey Legs, Deep Fried Coffee, the Mac Doggie Dog and so much more. Like to shop? The shopping pavilion is filled with over 60 vendors plus there are over 25 more vendors outside. Agriculture and livestock are a part of the fairs history and tradition and is a mainstay.
Maricopa County Home Show
The Home & Garden Show features 950 vendor booths, local experts and inspiration all in one place for one weekend only. Take full advantage of these home improvement experts by bringing pictures of your space and your ideas, home improvement inspiration has never been so easy.
WestWorld of Scottsdale
For 10 days, diners can enjoy specially dedicated menus designed to showcase the true culinary talent that exists within the state — from the finest five-star restaurants to locally owned and chef-driven “hidden gems.” Participating restaurants offer culinary adventurers a unique tasting opportunity in addition to their regular menus, featuring three-course prix-fixe menus for just $33, $44 or $55 per person.
IndoorsBack 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.
Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix
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). Please note: the garden is not accepting tour requests at this time.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 5–8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.–12 p.m. and 5–8 p.m.
1125 N. Third Ave., Phoenix
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.
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix
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.
4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix
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)
16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park
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.
37615 E. Arboretum Way, Superior
Open your mind to awe and wonder under the famously dark skies of Flagstaff, Arizona, the world's first International Dark Sky City. Look up from anywhere in the city to see more stars than you can count. For the best views, head to Mars Hill and the grounds of 125-year-old Lowell Observatory. This is where Pluto was discovered in 1930, an event you can relive during one of the observatory's many guided tours. On clear nights, gaze at the moon, planets or deep-sky objects through the giant Clark refractor, built in 1896.
Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 6–8:30 p.m.
1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff
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.
3505 W. State Route 260, Camp Verde
Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for a beautiful display of color from the desert this spring. Find the best spots to see wildflowers in the Greater Phoenix area during March and April, when the Sonoran Desert is in full bloom. Hikes range from easy to difficult.
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.
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.
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).
OutdoorsBack 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.
600 E. Washington St., Phoenix
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.
2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
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.
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
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.
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
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.
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
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.
9206 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
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.
9139 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
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).
9051 E. Via De Ventura, Scottsdale
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.
9119 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
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.
Advance online reservations (30-minute time slots) are strongly recommended. 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.
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
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. 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).
7014 E. Camelback Road, #584, Scottsdale
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.
111 W. Chandler Blvd., Ste. 2154, Chandler
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.
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Ste. 135, Tempe
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.
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Ste. 145, Tempe
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.
1500 E. Route 66, Williams
Experience Africa — via Safari Tour vehicles — right in the heart of Arizona. At Out of Africa, the Tiger Splash gives you the chance to see Bengal and Siberian tigers interact in a predator-and-play relationship, romping and splashing in a large pool. The Giant Snake Show teaches kids about various giant snakes and guests can even touch and hold some of the largest species. While this attraction isn't entirely in your own vehicle, the scenic hour-and-a-half drive from downtown Phoenix is. And we highly recommend hitching a ride on the African Bush Safari (a 40-minute narrated tour) for a look at the animals inside their habitat.
Hours: Open 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily.
3505 W. Camp Verde Bridgeport Highway, Camp Verde
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.