Looking for fun, interesting and exciting things to do? Our Phoenix Happenings includes current quarterly events such as runs, art exhibits, performances, concerts and much, much more!
Phoenix Places to Explore
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.
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. Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. during academic semesters. Closed Sunday, Monday and university holidays, 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 965-2787, www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu.
Desert Botanical Gardens – Enjoy the beauty of the desert and care about it. Attend an event, explore an exhibit or simply roam to enjoy the Garden’s beauty. Hours – 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Member entry 6 a.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. General Admission (Daytime) $24.95, Children (3-17) $12.95, Children under 3, Members and Active Military Personnel are free. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ, (480) 481-8188, www.dbg.org.
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. Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., First Friday of each month (except March) 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Admission: Adults $18, Seniors (65+) $15, Students and Children (6-17) $7.50, Children 5 and younger and American Indians are free. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, (602) 252-8840, www.heard.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, 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. Admission: Adults $12, Senior/Military $10, Youth (10-17), Student (with ID), American Indian (with tribal affiliation) $8, Free for Children 9 and under and full-time NAU students (with ID). Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday: 12-5 p.m., 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. Admission: Adults $20, Teens (13–19) $15, Children (4–12) $10, Children (3 and under) and Members are free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85050, (480) 478-6000, www.mim.org.
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. Admission: Adults $23, Seniors (65 and older) $20, Students w/ ID $18, Children (6-17) $14, Member, Military and Children (5 and younger) are free. Closed Mondays. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m., First Friday of each month 10 a.m-10 p.m., 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004-1685, (602) 257-1222, www.phxart.org.
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! Hours – January 14-May 31 9 a.m.-5 p.m., June 1-August 31 7 a.m.-2 p.m., September 1-October 31 9 a.m.-5 p.m., November 1-January 13 9 a.m.-4 p.m., check website for Members Early Entry, Phoenix Zoo, Admission: Adults (ages 14 +) $24.95, Children (3-13) $16.95, Children ages 2 and under are free. Check website for discounts and memberships. 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, www.phoenixzoo.org.
Schnepf Farms – Designated an Arizona Treasure, this real working family farm has UPICK organic gardens, orchards, farm festivals, tours, bakery & more. Thursdays-Sundays 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, AZ, 85242, (480) 987-3100, http://schnepffarms.com.
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. With its iconic architecture and stunning aesthetic detail, the $65 million venue houses a state-of-the-art 600-seat theater, a 200-seat studio theater, a picturesque 200-seat multi-purpose space, a 3,500 square-foot art gallery and several public art pieces. TCA presentations are multidisciplinary and inclusive of multicultural art forms. 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. Check website for hours, ticket details. 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ, (480) 350-2822, www.tempecenterforthearts.com.
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. Tour price: Adults $15, children 2 and under free. Tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; January-April, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.; May, 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.; June, 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; September, 7:30 a.m.; October-December, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.; closed in July and August. Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights Visitor Center, 5025 E. Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, 1-800-838-3006, www.tovreacastletours.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) 8 a.m.-Noon; (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.-11 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: 8 a.m.-noon, (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-May: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., June-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-March/April: 8 a.m.-noon, Downtown Gilbert, west of the Water Tower, 222 North Ash Street, Gilbert, AZ, 85234, www.gilbertmarket.com.
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. Saturdays: October-May: 8 a.m.-noon, June-September: 7 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.-6 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. 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-May, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.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.lucishealthymarketplace.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. 25062 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, www.urbantable.com.