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Free and Cheap in Phoenix

Day 1: Free Museum Days

Jump into Phoenix's rich arts and culture scene with free museum admission, offered specific days throughout the month.

  • Heard Museum: Discover the region's American Indian culture through history and art. Free admission is 6 p.m.–10 p.m. every first Friday of the month (except March), and the fourth Sunday of the month 11 a.m.–5 p.m., June through September.

  • Phoenix Art Museum: The Southwest's largest collection of classic and contemporary art offers free admission every Wednesday from 3 p.m.–9 p.m.; the first Friday of the month from 6 p.m.–10 p.m.; and the second Sunday of the month from 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

  • Desert Botanical Garden: This must-see Phoenix attraction houses thousands of desert plants on acres of trails. Admission is free all day the second Tuesday of every month.

  • Children's Museum of Phoenix: Kids up to age 10 can crawl, play and create at this imaginative museum for free from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. the first Friday of the month.

  • Mesa Arts Center: Arizona's largest arts center is located in Phoenix's East Valley city of Mesa. The five art galleries in its Contemporary Arts Museum are always free to browse.

  • Arizona Capitol Museum: Free historical and and educational exhibits are housed in the Capitol Building under a dome made from copper, the state's official metal.

Heard MuseumHeard Museum

 

Day 2: Desert Hikes

  • The city's desert trails cross every corner of the metro area—and they are always free to bike, hike or ride. Download or request a pocket-sized version of our Phoenix Trail Guide for maps and trail picks for every level.

  • For just a $6 per-car fee, you can join Maricopa County Parks' guided events and explore the outdoors on wildflower walks, moonlit hikes, scorpion hunts and more.

  • Cool off with refreshing family fun at splash pads. CityScape, Fountain Park at WestGate City Center, Scottsdale Quarter and Outlets at Anthem are just a few shopping centers with free water features.

Hikers on Camelback Mountain
Hiking Camelback Mountain

 

Day 3: Explore Downtown Phoenix

Hit the town without breaking the bank.

  • Downtown Phoenix stays busy on weekdays with free activities at local bars. Check out our weekday guide featuring trivia nights, swing classes, rooftop yoga and more, all for free.

  • Go on a self-guided street art tour around downtown to grab one of the best free souvenirs—awesome pictures. The Roosevelt Row Arts District is a good place to start, especially if you're in town for First Fridays, a bustling art walk happening the first Friday of each month.

Roosevelt Row signsRoosevelt Row

 

Day 4: Phoenix Food Trucks and Sonoran Hot Dogs

Finish your trip with on-the-cheap culinary exploration.

  • Year-round sunshine means food trucks are always out and about, and noshing on everything from BBQ to fry bread served from a truck window has become a Phoenix rite of passage. Check out the Phoenix Street Food Coalition's Facebook page for daily updates on where to find trucks.

  • The Southwest does hot dogs differently (there's bacon, beans and sweet bolillo-like buns involved). Get to know our irresistible Sonoran hot dog in this blog post, and get yourself to the nearest street vendor.

Food trucks in Downtown PhoenixFood trucks in Downtown Phoenix

 

Phoenix Spotlight