Exploring Phoenix: Events
All it takes is a quick click on Exploring Phoenix – September 2023 or Exploring Phoenix – October 2023 and you will find a wide variety of events to enjoy each month. Would you like Exploring Arizona, our compact newsletter of Phoenix and Tucson events, emailed directly to you each month? Please let Chris Foster at email@example.com know, and it will happen.
Exploring Phoenix: Places
The Phoenix metro area has so many places to explore throughout the year. Museums, gardens, farmers markets and even a railroad park are just a few of the places you will discover while exploring. Please check their websites for admission prices and hours of operation.
Arizona Broadway Theatre – ABT enriches lives through the power of the performing arts by producing live theatre and other high-quality entertainment. Experience Broadway and off Broadway productions and a delicious brunch and dinner. 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria, AZ 85382, (623) 776-8400, azbroadway.org/.
Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum – For the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans, our fleet of historic aircraft recreate, remind, and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history. Take a Living History Flight in one of our authentically restored WWII aircraft. Climb into the cockpit of one of our trainers or experience history in one of our bombers. Sample a true World War II aviation experience inside a fighter and torpedo bomber with a highly specialized and personal tour. 2017 N. Greenfield Road, Mesa, AZ 85215, (480) 924-1940, www.azcaf.org/.
Arizona Heritage Center – The AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park is one of Arizona’s leading historical museums. Take a walk through Arizona’s past and explore the rise of desert cities, see World War II through the eyes of Arizonans and experience the culture and diversity that makes up the Southwest. Special events, promotions and children’s programming all summer. 1300 N. College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281, (480) 929-0292, arizonahistoricalsociety.org/museum/arizona-heritage-center/.
Arizona Museum of Natural History – The Museum holds approximately 58,000 objects in trust for the people of Mesa and the state of Arizona. The collections focus primarily on the natural and cultural history of central Arizona and the greater Southwest. These objects are acquired mainly through donations and active excavation programs in archaeology and paleontology. 53 N. Macdonald, Mesa, AZ 85201, (480) 644-2230, www.arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org/.
Arizona Opera – The company’s artistic history is rich with a blend of opera’s traditional repertoire featuring baroque, bel canto, and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas, and American operas. Arizona Opera has also presented Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle twice, a feat that has only been accomplished in North America by four other companies. They strive to elevate the transformative power of storytelling through the music—cultivating community, strengthening a state and people as adventurous and diverse as the place they call home. 1636 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 266-7464, azopera.org/.
Arizona Science Center – Inspiring, educating and engaging curious minds through science. From our special events, initiatives, and traveling exhibitions, to our outreach programs and professional development for teachers across the state, there is always something new and exciting happening: both here at the Center and across the communities we serve. 600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 716-2000, www.azscience.org/.
ASU Art Museum – The recipient of the 1989 American Institute of Architects Award, the Nelson Fine Arts Center was designed by Albuquerque-based architect Antione Predock and also houses dance and theatre labs and studios as well as the Galvin Playhouse. Described as a “magic mountain” and an “oasis,” the design quotes from the history of desert architecture to respond to the environment and climate of the site. The museum facility itself features three floors of year-round exhibitions that rotate seasonally and an award-winning store. Free. 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, AZ 85281, (480) 965-2787, www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu.
ASU Gammage – ASU Gammage is a world-class arts presenting organization, which brings the best of the performing arts to Arizona. As a leader in the arts world, ASU Gammage also produces new works, artist residencies and education programs that foster the great artists of today and empower the artists of tomorrow. Our goal is to entertain and challenge our audience by presenting new, diverse and thought-provoking performance opportunities. Arizona State University Tempe Campus, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281, (480) 965-3434. asugammage.com/.
Arizona Theatre Company – Arizona Theatre Company is truly “The State Theatre,” with more than 130,000 people each year attending performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of high quality productions reflects the rich variety of world theatre – from classic to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works – audiences enjoy the rich emotional experience and joy that can only be captured through live theatre. 1636 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 256-6995. arizonatheatre.org/.
Ballet Arizona – Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works. 2835 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85034, (602) 381-1096, balletaz.org/.
The Black Theatre Troupe – has been providing training, employment and performance opportunities for multi-ethnic and under-served artists since 1970. It operates to enhance the cultural and artistic awareness of the community by providing productions that illuminate the African-American experience and culture. Their purpose and mission is to educate, enlighten, and entertain a diverse, multi-cultural audience by using local, regional and national talent with the emphasis on providing exposure to black culture and ideology. 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85034, (602) 258-8129.
Butterfly Wonderland – Learn about Monarch migration in a captivating 3D movie, observe live chrysalis as they emerge naturally into beautiful butterflies, spend ample time strolling through the conservatory with the butterflies, get up close to unique reptiles that inhabit rainforests across the world, and even indulge in edible insects! 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, (480) 800-3000, butterflywonderland.com/
Carnival of Illusion – A unique Old-World Illusion Show perfect for anniversaries, date nights, birthdays, and special evenings. Imagine a vaudeville-inspired theater show with old-world magic, add a twinkling hint of 1900’s Parisian humor, shake and stir for 100 minutes for your passport filled with fun! You are a passenger in this entertaining theater of illusion. Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe, AZ, (480) 359-7469, carnivalofillusion.com/.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix – One of the top three children’s museums in the nation, the Museum is designed for children ages birth to 10, this is not your typical Museum…here we want you to touch EVERYTHING! The Museum offers more than 300 play experiences, spread throughout three floors in the magnificent and historic Monroe School Building. In addition, we offer a diverse range of classes and programs – from music and yoga, to math and science, and our Art Studio is a budding artist’s dream come true! 215 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 253-0501, childrensmuseumofphoenix.org/.
Desert Botanical Gardens – Discover the tranquil vibrancy of 50,000 desert plants nestled amid the red rocks of the Papago Buttes. Visitors can stroll through five thematic trails to explore plants, including towering cactus, alluring succulents and brilliant desert wildflowers. Delve deeper to experience world-class art exhibitions, festive events, fascinating classes and so much more. The Garden’s commitment to the community is to advance excellence in education, research, exhibition and conservation of desert plants of the world with emphasis on the Sonoran Desert. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008, (480) 941-1225, www.dbg.org.
Enchanted Island Amusement Park – Enchanted Island is filled with charm and magic, offering eleven fanciful rides and attractions geared especially toward children aged 1 to 10. Ride the historic Encanto Carousel. Pedal-boat across fish-filled lagoons. Test your skill at our arcade games, and share the memories over a fluffy ball of cotton candy. Enchanted Island is one of life’s simple pleasures. 1202 W. Encanto Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85007, (602) 254-1200, www.enchantedisland.com/.
The Farm at South Mountain – The three restaurants on the Farm – Morning Glory Café, The Farm Kitchen (original) and Quiessence – create delicious, fresh menu items from the Soil & Seed Garden. In addition, the Garden offers fresh items at the Farmer’s Market. Explore the Pecan Grove and enjoy your finds at the picnic tables. 6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix, AZ 85042, (602) 276-6360, thefarmatsouthmountain.com/.
Goldfield Ghost Town – Walk down Main Street, explore the many shops and historic buildings. Tour the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and visit the Goldfield Museum. Pan for gold then take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train. You can also zip line, take a train ride, tour the Apache Trails and visit the Superstition Reptile Exhibit. You’ll also get to witness an old west gun fight performed by the famous Goldfield Gunfighters! 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Rd., Apache Junction, AZ 85119, (480) 983-0333.
Golfland Sunsplash – Featuring more than 30 exciting rides and attractions in one location! From thrilling waterslides to award winning miniature golf, the Park has something for the whole family! 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa, AZ 85210, (480) 834-8319, www.golfland.com/mesa/.
Heard Museum – The world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, (602) 252-8840, www.heard.org.
i.d.e.a. Museum – Explore activities and exhibitions for kids of all ages as well as the whole family. The museum inspires children to experience their world differently. The Museum emphasizes art, creativity and imagination, in addition to supporting early learning, nurturing creative thinking and engaging families in quality experiences. 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa, AZ 85201, (480) 644-2468, www.ideamuseum.org/.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park – Operated by the city of Scottsdale’s Parks & Recreation Department, the 30 acre park, located in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona, is the most unique park of its kind in the country. Take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and the 1950-vintage Allan Herschell carousel. Visit a variety of shops and museums, play on our one-of-a-kind playgrounds or play areas, or just relax in the grass under a tree in Scottsdale’s most beautiful park. Free admission. Tickets to ride the train and carousel are $2 each, with children two and under riding free. Check website for hours. 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85250, (480) 312-2312, www.therailroadpark.com.
Mesa Arts Center – Arizona’s largest arts center is home to four theaters, five art galleries, and 14 art studios. Guests, patrons, and students come to Mesa Arts Center to enjoy the finest live entertainment and performances, world-class visual art exhibitions, and outstanding arts education classes. One East Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201, (480) 644-6500, www.mesaartscenter.com.
Museum of Northern Arizona – The Museum has evolved into a regional center of learning with collections, exhibits, educational programs, publications, and research projects that serve thousands of people each year. As the only accredited museum within 150 miles of Flagstaff, the Museum of Northern Arizona plays a vital role as interpreter of the Colorado Plateau. 3101 N. Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, (928) 774-5213, www.musnaz.org.
Musical Instrument Museum – MIM displays more than 7,000 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories. What’s more, all guests are invited to play instruments from around the world in the Experience Gallery. They can also see instruments from music icons such as Elvis Presley®, Johnny Cash, Pablo Casals, John Lennon, “King” Sunny Adé, Clara Rockmore, Maroon 5, and many more in the Artist Gallery. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85050, (480) 478-6000, www.mim.org.
OdySea Aquarium – This aquarium offers an educational, interactive and entertaining experience for guests of all ages by combining theme-park style amusement with highly engaging presentations of aquatic life. It features more than 65 exhibits, 370 species, the world’s only Russian Sturgeon touch exhibit as well as two stingray touch exhibits and a tide touch pool! 9500 E. Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, (480) 291-8000. www.odyseaaquarium.com/.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park – It is a place where family and friends gather to experience oneness with animals and each other during safaris, tours, walks, observations, and shows of wild-by-nature animals in their own, natural splendor. In this way, they hope to achieve a kind of oneness with them that will cause us to consider them to be so valuable that we cannot allow them to be lost forever. Experience the Tiger Splash, The Creature Feature, Giant Snake Show, Wonders of Wildlife Show. Enjoy activities such as the African Bush Safari, Predator Feed, Wildlife Preserve, Reptile Resort and Meet the Animals. 3505 W. Camp Verde Bridgeport Highway, Camp Verde, AZ 86322, (928) 567-2840, outofafricapark.com/.
Penske Racing Museum – Showcasing an amazing collection of cars, trophies and racing memorabilia chronicling the career of one of the most successful dynasties in all of sports. Explore cars detailing the diversity of Penske Racing including a replica of the 1963 Pontiac Catalina which Roger Penske drove to victory in the 1963 Riverside 250. Additionally, a number of Indianapolis 500-mile race winners are on display including the 2009 Dallara Honda which Helio Castroneves drove to win the 2009 Indy 500. 7125 E. Chauncey Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85054, (480) 538-4444, www.penskeautomall.com/penske-racing-museum/.
Phoenix Art Museum – The largest art museum in the Southwestern United States has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for nearly 60 years. The Museum’s permanent collection galleries are drawn from more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. Visitors also enjoy photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. The Museum presents a variety of public programs year-round including tours, lectures, films, special events and more designed to enlighten, entertain and stimulate visitors of all ages. 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004-1685, (602) 257-1880, www.phxart.org.
The Phoenix Theatre Company – The Phoenix Theatre Company creates exceptional theatrical experiences by using the arts to articulate messages that inspire hope and understanding. Most importantly, it remains at the center of an active arts complex serving its audiences by creating dynamic, professional productions while following its mission of educating and elevating the growing Phoenix artistic and cultural community.1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 254-2151, phoenixtheatre.com/.
Phoenix Zoo – The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened/endangered species. There is so much to be learned about the animals that live here, and we encourage you to explore! Check website for discounts and memberships. 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, (602) 286-3800, www.phoenixzoo.org.
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park – Located on a 1,500 year old archaeological site once inhabited by the Ancestral Sonoran Desert people (the Hohokam culture), a visit today consists of a two-thirds of a mile interpretive trail which travels around the remains of the prehistoric Hohokam people’s ballcourt and platform mound. The trail also features a variety of native plants, walk-in replicated dwellings and an interpretive agricultural garden featuring cotton, corn, beans, squash and amaranth. Inside, view an award-winning introductory video on the Hohokam people and the Pueblo Grande village site. Visit three galleries which explore the Hohokam people and their relationship with the environment, a hands-on gallery that explains the process of archaeology, and the changing exhibit gallery, which features rotating exhibits on a wide-variety of fascinating topics. 4619 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034, (602) 495-0901, www.phoenix.gov/parks/arts-culture-history/pueblo-grande.
Schnepf Farms – Designated an Arizona Treasure, this real working family farm has UPICK organic gardens, orchards, farm festivals, tours, bakery & more. 24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, AZ, 85242, (480) 987-3100, https://schnepffarms.com.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) – SMoCA is an artist and audience-centered institution that brings communities together under the shared philosophy that art has the power to engage our imaginations, challenge our perceptions, and inspire change. Opened in 1999, the Museum has established itself as a leader in the arts presenting innovative exhibitions and educational programs. The Museum champions creativity, innovation and the vitality of the visual arts. 7374 E. 2nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, (480) 874-4666, smoca.org/.
Sea Life Arizona Aquarium – Experience the ocean’s hidden marvels, and the expert staff are dedicated to, and passionate about sharing their message of conservation. In keeping with our message – breed, rescue, protect – they have developed a system of care and best-practice animal husbandry that draws on decades of collective experience from our marine biologists. 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Ste. 145, Tempe, AZ 85282, (480) 565-7072, www.visitsealife.com/arizona/.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix – Take a look at all the amazing things to do while at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor—from pulse-pounding speed slides to gentler options for tots. Catch a bite at one of our restaurants and don’t forget to pick up your souvenirs so you can remember the day. Tickets and Passes: Buy online in advance and save time and money. 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale, AZ 85310, (623) 201-2000, www.sixflags.com/phoenix.
Tempe Center for the Arts – Overlooking Tempe Town Lake, TCA is a jewel in the crown of a city known for its support of the arts. Diverse offerings include TCA Theatre Productions, focusing on works that are edgy, innovative and current; and TCA’s Disrupt FEST, an annual festival mashup of unique theater, performance art and unique musical acts which challenge preconceived concepts of the traditional performing arts. 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ, (480) 350-2822, www.tempecenterforthearts.com.
The Theatre Artists Studio – The Studio is a community of artists—actors, directors, playwrights, producers, singers, dancers, musicians, designers and technical wizards—practicing their chosen crafts in a professional, challenging environment that fosters collaboration and mutual growth through Studio membership. The Studio is a unique venue for live entertainment, communication and interaction between our members and our audiences, with opportunities to work on innovative projects, mentor emerging talent and promote a deeper understanding of the power and imagination of theatre. 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254, (602) 765-0120, thestudiophx.org/.
Tovrea Castle Tour – Go back in time and learn about the man inspired to build the castle and the people who made it their home. Tours last approximately 2 hours and include the historic Castle’s main floor and basement, extensive grounds and cactus garden surrounding the Castle. Book tours early. Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights Visitor Center, 5025 E. Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, (602) 256-3221, www.tovreacastletours.com.
Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) – Since 1989, VYT has made an impact on hundreds of thousands of children and their families through performances, workshops, showcases and youth development programs. Representing all socio-economic backgrounds, they allow them to act, dance and sing in a safe setting. There are never fees, charges for costumes or ticket sales quotas for them to meet, just the hope that they will become the best people they can be. 525 N. First St., Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 253-8188. vyt.com/.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW) – Stories have the power to inspire, change history and celebrate cultures. At SMoW, they bring authentic stories to life through Western and Native American art, artifacts and living cultures. Guests see the West from a whole new perspective at the Smithsonian Affiliate destination, which connects visitors of all ages to the Western lifestyle — past, present and future. 3830 N. Marshall Way Scottsdale, AZ 85251, (480) 686-9539, scottsdalemuseumwest.org/.
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park – Arizona’s largest collection of exotic and endangered animals, with more than 600 separate species, rides, a petting zoo and daily shows. 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ 85340, (623) 935-9453, wildlifeworld.com/.
Phoenix Metro Area
Downtown Phoenix Public Market: A big draw for downtown residents, this urban market showcases seasonal produce from top local growers. Merchants sell specialty foods, including specially canned tuna, French breads, pastries, pasta, garlic pickles, free-range eggs, local pork, grass-fed beef, salsa and more, while local bands perform. Artisans sell wares ranging from goat-milk soap to watercolors. Saturday: (May-Sep) 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m.; (Oct-Apr) 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 721 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004, www.phxpublicmarket.com.
Roadrunner Park Farmers Market: This 20-year-old market, the Valley’s oldest, offers a wide assortment of foods, including Asian produce, heirloom tomatoes, and organic basil. About 60 vendors sell Caribbean chutney, homemade jam, pastries, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, tamales, green-chile stew, tortilla soup and more. The market also has nursery stock and worms for gardeners. The adjacent park and playground provide a nice outing for families. Saturdays; October-May: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., June-September: 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 3502 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85032, www.arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com.
Ahwatukee Farmers Market: Locally grown produce, bread, local cheeses, grass-fed beef, Alaskan salmon, frozen green chiles, frozen Italian and Southwestern entrees, eggs, apples, dog treats, crafts and more. Sundays; October-May: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., June-September: 8 a.m.-11 a.m., Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85044, www.arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com.
Uptown Farmers Market: A food-based farmers market and gathering place dedicated to inspiring and educating home cooks through Arizona local produce, handmade foods and handcrafted goods. Features fresh produce, seafood, grass-fed beef, and ice cream as well as chef demonstrations and gift shopping. Pro tip: Once you buy your veggies, you can get them chopped, sliced, and diced on-site. Saturdays: October-April: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., May-September: 7 a.m.-11 a.m., (June-August the market moves indoors), Wednesdays: October-April: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 5757 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85012, www.uptownmarketaz.com.
Tempe Farmers Market: The locally-owned market in downtown Tempe features fresh, organic and locally grown fruit and produce, Arizona specialty foods, vegan/vegetarian, gluten free and more. Taste our organic smoothies, fair trade coffees or vegan deli to go. Farmers market specialties available every day! Daily: 8 a.m.-11 p.m., 805 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281, www.tempefarmersmarket.com.
Chandler Farmers Market: Find over 35 local vendors that include fantastic produce, microgreens, tamales, hot sauces, cooking sauces, pastries, sweets, relishes, honey, cheese, tea, crafts, natural beauty products, soaps and much more. October-June: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., July-September: 7-10:30 a.m., Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, 3 S. Arizona Place, Chandler, AZ 85225, www.downtownchandler.org.
Gilbert Farmers Market: With more than 100 vendors available, find colorful produce to artisanal jellies, cocktail mixers, gifts and souvenirs, and even dessert on the go. Saturdays: October-April: 8 a.m.-noon, May-September 7 a.m.-11a.m., Downtown Gilbert, west of the Water Tower, 222 North Ash Street, Gilbert, AZ, 85234.
Mesa Farmers Market and Flea: From local farmers to artisans, MFMF is unique in that it hosts farmers and makers, including the ‘flea’ component that incorporates some of the best makers and handcrafted goods in the Phoenix area. And as a bonus, there’s a large lawn where shoppers can have a seat, unpack their purchases, or enjoy live music. Fall/Winter/Spring: 8 a.m.-noon, Summer: 8 a.m.-11 a.m., Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85203, www.mesafarmersmarketandflea.com.
Power Road Farmers Market: A small family owned produce and specialty farmers market with a strong commitment to our local farmers and local vendors. This farmers market and grocery store offers fresh-baked goods, local honey, and homemade sauces. Plus, they offer Hatch green chiles — either fresh or roasted — by the pound or gunny sack on the daily. Weekly specials on fruits, vegetables, breads, and tortillas keep the regulars coming back. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Open Year-Round, 4011 South Power Road, Mesa, AZ 85212, www.powerrdfarmersmarket.com.
The Capitol Farmers Market: the market offers fresh eggs, vegetables, and local honey. Partnered with the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the market also offers cold and hot, pre-prepared food for downtown lunches. Reopening TBA. Thursdays: November-April: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 1700 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007, www.arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com.
Old Town Farmers Market: This second-year market hosts shopping and cooking demonstrations by local chefs. Follow the chef through the market, and watch as he turns his purchases into meals. The market also features as many as 20 farmers, along with vendors offering Arizona wine, coffee, vegan desserts, cheese, crostini, pasta, candy, tamales, hummus, frozen entrees, and bread. October-June, Saturdays, 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 3806 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251, www.arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com.
Carefree Farmers Market: Featuring local produce, herbs and flowers, and locally made jam, jelly, and salsa, along with bread, apples, organic tomatoes, pickles, olives, honey, dog biscuits and cheeses. Fridays: October-May 9 a.m.-1 a.m., June-September 8-11 a.m., Carefree Sundial Gardens, 1 E. Sundial Circle, Carefree, AZ 85377, www.arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com
Local Food Markets
Luci’s Healthy Marketplace – Grab a toddy at the coffee bar and shop the compact but well-stocked aisles of organic and natural products, from flours to soups to soaps, in this retro-modern corner grocery. 1590 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014, (602) 773-1339, www.lucismarketplace.com.
Queen Creek Olive Mill – Make a trip to Queen Creek’s olive wonderland near the base of the San Tan Mountains. Stroll an olive grove, then head into the gourmet marketplace chock-full of flavored olive oils, stuffed olives, tapenades, vinegars and olive oil bath sundries. Have lunch at the Tuscan-inspired café and grab a copy of their brand-new cookbook. Open every day 6 a.m-5 p.m., 1590 S. Meridian Rd., Queen Creek, AZ 85142, (480) 888-9290, www.queencreekolivemill.com.
The Thumb – Find craft beer, boutique wines and lots of local products (from Tracy Dempsey Originals confections to Desert Smoke BBQ sauce). Fill up your car and get minor dings repaired. 9393 E. Bell Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260, (480) 513-8186, www.thethumb.com.
Urban Table – Packed with local and regional foodstuffs (jams, cookies, flavored sugars, sauces), protected ingredients from Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, cooking books and unusual hand-selected cooking tools. It’s a cook’s paradise. 6938 E. First St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251, (602) 531-4704.