Being the largest and capital city of the state of Arizona, USA, you might expect a lot of fun things to do in Phoenix. Fortunately, Phoenix could even exceed your expectations.
Interestingly, Phoenix’s name as a mythical bird is no sheer coincidence. Why? Talk about a firebird soaring the sky; it is the hottest major city in the US with temperatures exceeding 100°F (38°C) especially in summer, when a good vacation is the first thing that comes into your mind.
Even so, listed below are the top 10 fun things to do in Phoenix – some indoors, shielding you from the scorching heat of the sun and some outdoors. Just make sure you finish early or you resume in the afternoon when the sun starts losing its fierce. Do as you can tolerate. You’re free.
Top 10 – Heard Museum: An Alive Realm
Those who love exhibits must visit the Heard Museum, one of the first cultural attractions in Phoenix, and witness the more than 32,000 pieces of cultural artifacts spread in 10 galleries and signature exhibits featuring traditional and contemporary Native American art. A must-see there is a unique collection of 1,200 katsina dolls. No wonder it attracts about 250,000 visitors annually.
Top 9 – Phoenix Arts Museum: The World within Your Hands
Another stop that your “fun things to do in Phoenix” list shouldn’t miss is the Phoenix Art Museum which displays more than 18,000 modern and contemporary artworks coming all around the globe including works of Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet, among others. It also holds festivals, live performances and educational programs that the children will surely like. You pay $10 for the entrance, $4 for 6-17 year old kids and free for children below 6.
Top 8 – Musical Instrument Museum: Sound and Culture as One
The Musical Instrument Museum is not your ordinary one. Debuting last year, it showcases the most comprehensive collection of different musical instruments in the whole world. Enjoy the wireless headsets that automatically play the instrument’s sound, either in solo or ensemble, once you approach each display. It’s surely a fun thing to do in Phoenix especially for musicians and music enthusiasts.
Top 7 – Chase Field Stadium
Might as well visit Chase Field, the first ever baseball facility in the world that has a retractable roof (capable of closing in less than 5 minutes should there be weather changes), air conditioning and a natural turf field all-in-one. Sometimes, events like concerts and religious affairs are also being held there making it a multipurpose establishment. Just a trivia: it’s the home of Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball.
Top 6 – Desert Botanical Gardens: Flora Everywhere
If you want to see finest collections of desert plants in the world, go to the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park. The Botanical Garden covers 50 acres of splendid exhibits and houses more than 100 threatened and endangered desert plant species in the world. You may also buy live plants in a garden shop there so make sure you check it out.
Top 5 – Phoenix Zoo: Where Animals Feels at Home
Perfect for the whole family is the largest non-profit zoo in US: Phoenix Zoo which is also located in Papago Park. It is home to more than 1,200 animals on its 125 acres land. Make sure you’re feet are all set for this adventure as it has 2.5 miles of walking trails divided into four which will take you around three hours to finish. Visit anytime you want as it is open 24/7. Some parts of the zoo were modified to replicate the animals natural habitat, making them more comfortable in their new home. This zoo is designated as one of the 33 Phoenix Point of Pride – landmarks and attractions that best represent the city.
Top 4 – Plunge into an Exhilarating Splash
Ideal to counter the scorching desert heat during the summer months are the water parks in the city. Plunge into the coolness of the water and experience the exhilarating splash in Big Surf in Tempe, Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix and the Oasis Water Park at the Arizona Grand Resort. Enjoying water slides and relaxing in river are indeed fun things to do in Phoenix in summer to beating the heat off.
Top 3 – Amusement Parks to Give you Fun
To complete the fun things to do in Phoenix is to go to places intended to offer fun. Visit amusement parks such as the Castles N’ Coasters, with indoor video game arcade, rides and 18-hole miniature golf courses entertainment, and the Enchanted Island, best for rides and park types.
Top 2 – Tranquil at the Top: Hot Air Ballooning
With the weather perfectly cooperative, Phoenix is a good place for a hot air balloon ride. Safe due to enough open space, you can enjoy watching the beautiful sceneries including sunsets and sunrises from thousand feet above. Hot Air Expeditions, Arizona Hot Air Balloons and Rainbow Ryders, Inc will give you a refreshing experience lasting for one to two hours. Since strong winds are the enemy here, make sure you wake up early as rides are generally started in the morning when winds are at their calmest.
Top 1 – Piestewa Peak, South Mountain Park: Valley of the Sun in its Entirety
See a wider perspective of the city as you climb the summit of the Piestewa Peak, Phoenix Mountains Preserve. Standing at 2,608 feet, reaching the top would surely be a thrilling experience and good for muscles and heart, too. Conquer the world as you enjoy the challenging hike. Forget not this activity in your fun-things-to-do-in Phoenix list, especially for hikers out there and those who like adventures and physical exertions.
Also, visit South Mountain Park, which is at 16,000 acres, the largest city park in the US. Name it: horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, you may do all these exciting activities in its 50 miles trails. Got a car? Drive through the park all the way up to Dobbins Points at 2,330 feet where a marvelous view of Phoenix awaits you.
Once you happen to be in this city, you now know where to go. There are still many places out there in Phoenix which are worthy of your time and effort or, sometimes, money. You just need to be a little imaginative and inquisitive. Then explore. By then you can discover fun things to do in Phoenix on your own.