metro-Phoenix is … BIG … 80 x 60 miles … in the USA, Phoenix itself is 2nd only to Houston in square-miles of area and is the 5th most-populous city. Plus, there are two-dozen+ other communities in the metro-area. Obviously, there is a lot to do here.

Like most places … there are gardens, museums, galleries, monuments, a big zoo and golf (200+ courses). There is also indoor Sky Diving and indoor golfing – which can be as much about a party as golf.

Being southern Arizona, there are also water rides and horseback riding, as well as roller coasters … and most anything else you can think of … several of which are given detailed description below.

For those who like live performances there are a dozen+ venues for a great variety of presentations:  ASU Gammage Theater,  Orpheum Theatre, Herberger Theater, Phoenix Theater, Arizona Theater Company, Nearly Naked Theater (not as riske’ as it sounds), Symphony Hall (602-534-5600), Tempe Center for the Arts, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts …  and others.

Uncommon for even big cities, there are five major-league sports teams here … NFL football, MLB baseball, NBA basketball, NHL ice hockey, and WNBA basketball. There are two or more pro-sports seasons in progress here all the times.

🌳 Desert Botanical Garden

hikingDesert Botanical Garden has an array of offerings from nature trails and flashlight tours to permanent exhibits, temporary art exhibitions, and seasonal experiences to remember. Visit the garden shop, or spend time planting seeds of knowledge in your brain at the Schilling Library of Botanical Resources. The garden hosts classes, workshops, lectures, special events, and has two on-site eateries to cater to your hunger in the garden. Desert Botanical Garden is located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, Arizona 85008. For more information, call 480-941-1225.

🚀 Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center is a playground for the mind (and sometimes for date night). The venue offers a planetarium, theater, featured exhibition, permanent exhibitions, and more. There are science programs designed for age groups, and homeschool opportunities for students outside of the traditional curriculum. The Arizona Science Center is experimenting with Science with a Twist, an adult-only third Fridays social gathering with music, cash bar, live demonstrations, and networking opportunities. Arizona Science Center is located at 600 E. Washington Street in Phoenix, Arizona 85004. For additional information, call 602-716-2000.

🎨 The Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is recognized as the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. The venue hosts lectures, films, educational programs, modern and contemporary art, photography, and fashion design. The Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 N. Central Avenue is Phoenix Arizona 85004. For additional information, call 602-257-1222.

🎭 The Children’s Museum of Phoenix

things to do - two children with a big bookThe Children’s Museum of Phoenix is one of the top three children’s museums in the country. The award-winning facility spans 48,000 square feet of space across three floors of a historic building designed for hands-on play for babies through curious minds of ten years old. There are more than 300 ways to play and there are also classes such as music and yoga, programs for math and science, and an art studio. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 1625 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona 85004. For more information, call 602-257-1222.

🦁 The Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is where you can celebrate your wild side. Explore the monkey village, pet the goats in the red barn, visit the stingray bay, take a came ride. Or, explore the zoo in a whole new way through a discovery tour, backstage adventures, and guided tours. The zoo also hosts special events, conservation programs, camps, and education about the care of animals. There are also several snack bars throughout the 125-acre campus to feed your inner beast when the hunger strikes. The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, Arizona 85008. For more information, call 602-286-3800.

🎺 The Heard Museum

The Heard Museum is one of the area’s first cultural attractions and has been inspiring Phoenix since 1929. The museum is dedicated to the advancement of traditional and contemporary Native American art. The Heard Museum is located at 2301 North Central Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona 85004 and can be reached by phone at 602-252-8840.

🏰 Castles and Coasters

Castles and Coasters has something fun for everyone. Enjoy a few rounds of miniature golf, test your need for speed on the go karts, find your adrenaline rush on a coaster, or make a splash on a water ride. Castles and Coasters is located at 9445 N. Metro Parkway East in Phoenix, Arizona 85051. For more information, call 602-997-7575.

🌃 The Hall of Flame Fire Museum

The Hall of Flame Fire Museum pays homage to fallen firefighters and those who fight wildfires. The museum features nearly an acre of exhibits of firefighting relics dating as far back as 1725. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is located at 6101 E. Van Buren Street in Phoenix, Arizona 85008. For more information, call 602-275-3473

🌳 Hiking

Phoenix Hiking Trails map

Even more uncommon are the numerous hiking/biking trails and mountain preserves. The map to the right shows only those in Phoenix. Most of which, perhaps all, are free to use.

Click here for a clickable list for Phoenix.
Click here for a clickable list for Maricopa County

These are all great for hiking and most also allow mountain bikes and/or horses on the trails.

South Mountain Park, the green area at the bottom of the map, is the largest municipal park in the World. Central Park in NYC would be lost in a corner here.

Not shown on the map is, perhaps, the best hiking/biking park… the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in north Scottsdale.

Directly adjacent to the east of this Preserve is the McDowell Mountain County Park. These are very large areas very well suited for a large variety of outdoor activities.

Considering the unique outdoor opportunities and moderate climate … go very early June through August … metro-Phoenix may actually have more things to do year-round than anyplace else. Enjoy your favorites!

If you have questions or need information about any of these, give us a call. We’ve used and/or are familiar with most of the facilities, or can get answers to your questions  … The Neal Team, Wally or Patricia at 602-931-1010 or 480-310-3700.
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