I am LOVING this series Jamie has put together! I was born an raised right here in Phoenix, Arizona and I love our city! It is most commonly visited in the winter because 118º F and very dry in the summer isn’t always appealing. However, I love Phoenix every time of the year and if you can find yourself indoors or around water in the summer I think you’d like it any time of the year as well!
The Phoenix metro area is comprised of a few cities that run into each other and all of these free activities are in the Phoenix metro area – in no particular order!
1. Papago Park
Papago Park is (I think) one of the more interesting parks in Phoenix with some fun and easy hiking and gorgeous scenery without having to leave the city.
2. Cerreta Candy Company Tour
The Cerreta Candy Company in Glendale, AZ is a family owned candy factory and you can take a special guided tour at 10am and 1pm Monday through Friday. They’ll show you how a sea of caramel becomes wrapped tempting taste treats and how cream centers are enrobed in luscious chocolate. If group tours aren’t your thing you can take a self guided video tour Monday – Saturday 8am-6pm although I’d choose the guided tour if you can!
To get a taste of the wild west Rawhide is your place! Free parking and entrance while some activites do have a fee you can walk around, take pictures, and get a feel for the wild wild west without spending anything. Who doesn’t want to experience the west while visiting Phoenix?!
4. Sahuaro Ranch Park and
Glendale’s Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
In Glendale be sure to explore the historical buildings at Sahuaro Ranch Park along with the rose gardens, peacocks, chickens, and rabbits as well as your normal park ammenities. Right next door is the Glendale Public library which hosts a Xeriscape Demonstration Garden.
5. Outdoor water splash pads
If you have little ones and you’re here in any of the many months of our warm weather you’ll definitely want to visit any one of the fun water splash pads. They are located at outdoor shopping centers as well as city parks. Some favorites being at Rio Vista Community Park in Peoria and Tempe Beach Park and yep, they’re all free!
6. ASU art museum
While Phoenix has a GREAT lineup of museums sometimes finding one with free admission on the day you want can be tricky, however, the ASU art museum is always free!
7. White Tanks
If you want to take a little drive out west the White Tanks is a great day spot for families with and without kids. There is a $6 per vehicle entrance fee, but there is a nature center and plenty of hiking trails to choose from. One of the most popular being the very easy waterfall trail where you can see petroglyphs along the stroll.
8. Tempe Town Lake or Lake Pleasant
If a lake is more your thing we have 2 – the man made Tempe Town Lake or if you’re a little farther out of town up in the Northwest valley the much larger Lake Pleasant
9. Old Town Scottsdale
If walking and window shopping is your thing Old Town Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Civic Center is definitely your kind of place. There are plenty of little shops and art galleries along with great people watching and pretty spots for picnics at the Civic Center. Be sure to take your photo in front of the love statue like we do when we are out there.
10. Downtown Phoenix / First Fridays
If you want to be in the heart of downtown a great time is during Phoenix First Fridays. Lots happening around the city with free admissions to some museums (the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Children’s Museum are our favs), lots of art galleries and music. The city is definitely hopping!
I know there is a LOT more that this amazing Valley of the Sun has to offer but I limited myself to 10. Thanks so much to Jamie for letting me share!
Thank you, Allison! 3 of the cities we have visited this month have LOVE statues NYC, Indianapolis, and Phoenix!