Living in the Phoenix area comes with tons of advantages, including a plethora of free places and events to check out throughout the year. Regardless of the Heers' property you reside in, there are a number of complimentary things you can enjoy in your area. This is especially perfect for those weekends you have guests coming in to town who want to see the city and all it has to offer without breaking the bank.
The following list of free things to do in Phoenix is an excellent start to your free-fun catalog!
Historic Heritage Square
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Historic Heritage Square is made up of old Victorian homes from Phoenix's original settlement. This beautiful city block is perfect for a cool breeze stroll on a quiet weekend. Highlights include the fully restored 1895 Rosson House and some of Phoenix’s most distinguished restaurants and bars. Although the food and drinks aren’t free, exploring the historic sites is fascinating.
Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art
It is amazing that this highly regarded Native American museum offers free days throughout the year as visitors from around the world travel to admire the breathtaking art, sculptures, crafts and performances that fill the space. As a leading location for exhibitions that truly reflect the Native American culture, the Heard Museum will satisfy any individual with a curious inkling about our nation’s first habitants. Free general admission is offered from 6-10 p.m. every first Friday of the month, and American Indians and children under 5 get in free any time.
Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum is recognized for being the largest art museum in the Southwest, displaying more than 18,000 objects from around the world at any given time. Aside from the vast art installations, you can catch different photography exhibitions throughout the year, enjoy the Dorrance Sculpture Garden or even see live musical or dance performances. Admission is free every Wednesday (3-9 p.m.), every first Friday of the month (6-10 p.m.) and every second Saturday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday (12-5 p.m.) of the month. If you follow the museum on social media, you will find that they offer numerous other free admission dates sponsored by local businesses.
Goldfield Ghost Town and Mine Tours
This quaint ghost town east of Mesa may take you a bit out of your way, but it is totally worth the drive. You will see amazing desert landscapes along the way. The ghost town itself is made up of rustic buildings in a pristine desert surrounding so you are truly transported to a different time. Although not all attractions are free, the Goldfield Gunfighters put on a show every hour. Other attractions include a shooting gallery, a steakhouse and saloon, Goldfield’s Historic Museum, mine tours, and a zip line, just to name a few, all at very low costs. It's a great place to take visitors from out of town!
Perfectly located at the junction of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale, this desert park is a visually unique site made up of red rock buttes. There are various trails throughout the park you can follow, three fishing ponds, and covered picnic areas. If you make it up to the Hole in the Rock at sunset or beyond, you will enjoy a spectacular view of the desert sky and the beautiful lights of the surrounding cities. It is a perfect outdoor destination for those seeking a quick return to urban nightlife once the moment in nature comes to a close.
South Mountain Park
The South Mountain Preserve is made up of more than 16,000 acres of land consisting of three mountain ranges. It is probably best to visit in the cooler months, but this park offers several intertwining trails that are well kept and easy to follow. Make sure to drive up to Dobbin’s Lookout for a spectacular view of the entire city, or visit Happy Valley trail in the spring to capture beautiful images of wildflowers. There are even 50-plus miles of horseback riding trails, and Silent Sundays every fourth Sunday of the month means the access roads will be closed to motor vehicles so cyclists, skate boarders and other extreme sports enthusiasts can do their thing. This is truly the perfect spot for lovers of the great outdoors and active lifestyles.
Camelback Recreation Area
Camelback Mountain, namely the popular Echo Canyon Trail, is perfect for those who love wildlife and appreciate the beauty of desert plants. Travelers have come to this very mountain to explore creatures that only reside within this special Arizona habitat. Of course, it also offers quite the breathtaking view once you reach the top of Echo Canyon Trail, which forms the “head” of the camel-shaped mountain.
Desert Botanical Garden
You can visit the Southwest’s largest botanical garden for free every second Tuesday of the month. Enjoy desert plant trails, art exhibits and seasonal events.
Art Link First Fridays
Every First Friday of the month, the Phoenix art district comes together to offer everyone the opportunity to check out artists in action, their works, and the galleries that feature them. While exploring the art walk is free, you can also enjoy local dining, street performances and live music. Well-known as the largest monthly art walk in the nation, you will want to check it out at least once!
Cardinals Training Camp
What major sports fan wouldn’t enjoy watching free professional sports action? The NFL's Cardinals hold open practices at the University of Phoenix Stadium for several weeks before the regular season begins. (During the season, they use their closed practice facility in Tempe.) If you know you won’t be making a regular season game, make sure to check them out!
Open Air Market
The Phoenix Open Air Market has been around since 2005 as a program offered by the Community Food Connections organization. Open every Wednesday and seasonally on weekends, stop by to taste free samples, support local vendors and get to know your neighbors.
Heers Management offers apartment communities all over the Valley of the Sun, and many of the places on this list are near and dear to the neighborhoods in which our properties stand. As you can tell, there are many fun and free things to do around Phoenix, so no matter which location you choose, you will not be bored! Check out our blogs for more information about this wonderful city!