101 Things to Do in Phoenix

Jan 25, 2010

Nothing gets under my skin quite like the words "There's nothing to do in Phoenix." Whether you just arrived in town yesterday or you've lived here your whole life, I'm here to tell you that's simply not true. I find it very hard to believe that in a city this large and with this many people that there is truly "nothing" to do. As a matter of fact, there is so much going on that I put together this list of 101 Things to Do in Phoenix. Check it out:

Phoenix Points of Pride1. Walk around one of 12+ indoor shopping malls.
2. Visit one of the 200+ public parks in the City of Phoenix.
3. Hike one of hundreds of different trails in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.
4. Catch live horse racing action at Turf Paradise.
5. Try your luck at one of six valley casinos.
6. Cruise on over to one of these great Phoenix car shows.
7. Visit one of Phoenix's 32 different "Points of Pride."
8. Visit Ro Ho En, the Japanese Friendship Garden.
9. Visit one of more than 50 museums in Central Arizona.
10. Attend a Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona Cardinals, or Phoenix Suns game.

11. Check out a book, movie, or CD from one of 16 public libraries in Phoenix.
12. Tee off at over 150 different Phoenix golf courses.
13. Take a scenic drive.
14. Check the Phoenix New Times concert calendar for live music events.
15. Find a local, non-chain restaurant on Yelp! and try it out!
16. Catch a movie at one of 8 AMC or 19 Harkins locations (437 screens total!).
17. Catch a drive-in movie at the Scottsdale Six or Glendale 9.
18. Head down to Sky Harbor Airport and watch the planes land.
19. Take a ride on the Valley Metro Light Rail.
20. Eat at the Compass revolving restaurant in Downtown Phoenix.

Goodwill thrift store in Phoenix, AZ21. Hunt for bargains at over 40 GoodWill thrift stores.
22. Enrich your life by taking a class at one of 10 Maricopa Community College campuses.
23. Enrich someone else's life by doing volunteer work.
24. Explore over 500 miles of dedicated on- and off-street bike lanes, routes, and paths on your bike.
25. Rent a boat or personal watercraft at Lake Pleasant, Roosevelt, or one of several other nearby lakes.
26. Take your truck or SUV off-road and explore countless miles of 4X4 trails.
27. Meet people who share your interests on meetup.com.
28. Check the events calendar at your nearest community center or YMCA.
29. Enjoy great Mexican food, 24-hours a day.
30. Stay at a local resort or spa for the weekend and soak up the good life.

31. Put some shorts on and wash your car (year round activity, haha).
32. Catch a roller derby game at the Coliseum.
33. There's always a show, expo, or event going on at the Phoenix Convention Center.
34. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum for free every Thursday night until 9PM.
35. Meet local artists at the Phoenix First Fridays Art Walk.
36. Gear up for the Crossroads of the West gun show at the State Fairgrounds.
37. Practice your target shooting at the Ben Avery Shooting Range in North Phoenix.
38. Go urban fishing at 16 select parks throughout the Phoenix area.
39. Visit a family fun center such as Crackerjax or Castles-N-Coasters.
40. Take a ride on the train at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

Glendale Skate Park41. Grab some air at over a dozen different public skate parks in the Phoenix area.
42. Go ice skating at one of several indoor ice rinks.
43. Go bowling.
44. Visit the Phoenix Zoo.
45. Climb to the top of Hole in the Rock.
46. Cool off at Wet-N-Wild or Big Surf water parks.
47. Go horseback riding.
48. Take a Jeep tour of the area.
49. Go on a picnic.
50. Visit the Wrigley Mansion, Tovrea Castle, or the Mystery Castle.

51. Browse for literary treasures at a used bookstore.
52. Sample some Arizona-produced wines at a wine tasting event.
53. Install photovoltaic solar panels on your house and cut your energy costs.
54. Go swimming! Chances are you (or someone you know) has a pool.
55. Build an Arizona Room on your porch or patio.
56. Pick up some locally grown produce at the Phoenix Farmer's Market.
57. Buy some beef jerky from a roadside vendor.
58. Go tubing down the Salt River.
59. Get a tattoo.
60. Support your local theater by attending a play.

Hot Air Balloon in North Phoenix61. Experience frontier life at the Pioneer Living History Museum.
62. Take a trip back to the wild west at Rawhide or Goldfield Ghost Town.
63. Search for the Lost Dutchman's treasure.
64. Stake a claim with the BLM and go mining for gold.
65. Join a gym and get in shape.
66. Take a scenic hot air balloon ride.
67. Try indoor rock climbing.
68. Get your friends together for a game of laser tag.
69. Play a few rounds of paintball.
70. Get some replacement parts for your car from the junk yards on Broadway Road.

Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, AZ71. Join a community sports league such as basketball, softball, soccer, etc.
72. Go see the rodeo.
73. Buy cheap furniture at Arizona's only IKEA in Tempe.
74. Get SCUBA certified at most Phoenix-area Sport Chalet stores.
75. Take advantage of two growing seasons by planting a backyard garden.
76. Eat at Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles.
77. Get spooked at the historic and haunted >Hotel San Carlos in Downtown Phoenix.
78. Catch dinner and a show at the Mystery Mansion or Copperstate Dinner Theater.
79. Visit Phoenix's only natural historic site, the Pueblo Grande Museum.
80. Learn to shoot at Shooter's World, the only indoor shooting range in Phoenix. Ask about their Ladies' Night specials.

Barry M. Goldwater Memorial, Paradise Valley, AZ81. Take a hike to Hunt's Tomb.
82. Visit the Barry Goldwater Memorial in Paradise Valley.
83. Visit Museo Chicano, Phoenix's only Latin American museum.
84. Beat the heat by riding indoor go-karts at several Phoenix locations.
85. Watch the drag races at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (formerly known as Firebird Raceway).
86. Participate in a charity walk, run, or bike marathon.
87. Enjoy great live music at Phoenix Symphony Hall.
88. Learn about space exploration at the Challenger Space Center in Glendale.
89. Tour the Cerretta Candy Factory in Glendale, AZ.
90. Catch a glimpse of exotic animals at the Wildlife World Zoo or Out of Africa.

Fountain Hills, AZ91. Take the kids on a tour of the Stuffington Bear Factory.
92. Play some arcade games at Castles-N-Coasters or Dave and Busters.
93. Visit Fountain Hills and see one of the tallest fountains in the world.
94. Check out the amazing world of the Maricopa Live Steamers.
95. Enroll in flight school at Deer Valley Airport.
96. Walk your dog at 28 different Phoenix dog parks.
97. Organize a community yard sale/garage sale.
98. Shoot some pool or throw some darts at your neighborhood bar.
99. Make a movie and enter it in the Phoenix Film Festival.
100. Meet up with a local astronomy club and go stargazing.

101. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the sunset.

There are plenty of regional and seasonal events I did not include on this list as you cannot do them all year round. This includes the State Fair, Renaissance Fair, holiday parades, and other once-a-year events.

If you have a a suggestion for something fun to do in Phoenix, please post a comment and tell us about it!

11 comments:

Dawna said...

Actually, Shooter's World is not the only indoor shooting range. There is also Scottsdale Gun Club in north Scottsdale (101 and Frank Lloyd Wright). Shooter's World isn't in the best of locations (especially for women at night!)

vince said...

wow 10 things to do and 100 work activities. What a poor job on the list. washing your car and shopping at goodwill are not things to do. they are chores you do when they need to be done. might as well add clean your house and go to work to the list.

North Phoenix Blogger said...

Vince,
Did you even read through the whole list? I think you missed the point of the article entirely.

Vince said...

Enough of it. The fact is that Phoenix has nothing to do in it. Not compared to other major cities like New York, LA, and Orlando. There are a few things to do on this list but washing your car does not count as one.

North Phoenix Blogger said...

Vince,
Comments like that are exactly the reason I started this blog over 2 years ago. Phoenix has a large population of transplants who love to complain that there's "nothing to do" here, and I'm just plain sick of hearing such nonsense.

Well, I'm sorry we don't have a concrete jungle like New York or beaches like Florida, but there ARE other things to do here. Phoenix has a variety of cultural, recreational, sports, and other events going on here that are comparable to other big cities.

We have professional sports teams, a symphony, playhouses and theatres, major businesses located here, and the same stuff these other big cities have. So what's with all the hate towards Phoenix?

Finally, you're still missing the point about washing the car. It's a year-round activity here, something which cannot be said of other major cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Try washing your car in January in any of those places and see what happens. Living in the desert climate allows us to do everyday things like wash the car and play golf year-round, which makes it unique. Get it now?

Anonymous said...

Phoenix can't compete with most major cities. Phoenix museums are small and cheap, the amusement parks are small and only good for an hour, only sports can compete with other cities. Most boring city? yes!

Anonymous said...

There's good bars near Scottsdale. Universities mean lots of young talent lol

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Phoenix since 2008, and have hated every second. Unless you're drunk or willing to get a sunburn, it's the worst city to be in.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Phoenix flat out sucks!!!

Anonymous said...

Move out of it...if you think it sucks

Anonymous said...

Yeah...if you live here of your own free will & think it sucks, consder moving but more importantly consider not whining about it.

 

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