Free Things to Do in Phoenix

You have many options if you are looking for free fun in Phoenix. You can explore the Desert Botanical Garden on the second Tuesday of every month or admire the artwork at the Phoenix Art Museum on the first Friday. You can also enjoy the city’s scenic views from South Mountain Park by hiking or biking.

In this blog post, I will share 25 completely free things to do in Phoenix. If you want to know, keep reading…

25 Completely Free Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona, is a city that offers a lot of fun and free things to do for visitors and locals alike. Whether looking for outdoor adventures or family-friendly activities, you will find something to enjoy in Phoenix without spending a dime. Here are 25 completely free things to do in Phoenix, Arizona:

1. Hiking the South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world, covering more than 16,000 acres of desert terrain. You can hike, bike, or horseback ride on over 50 miles of trails that offer scenic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. 

2. Visiting the Arizona Capitol Museum

The Arizona Capitol Museum is located in the historic state capitol building, which was built in 1901 and served as the seat of government until 1974. 

The museum showcases the history and culture of Arizona through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. You can learn about the state’s symbols, constitution, governors, etc. 

3. Strolling Through the Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is a beautiful oasis with more than 50,000 plants worldwide, including cacti, succulents, wildflowers, and trees. You can explore five thematic trails highlighting different aspects of desert life, such as conservation, adaptation, and diversity. 

The garden also hosts various events and programs throughout the year, such as concerts, art exhibitions, and festivals. 

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4. Spending Time at the Phoenix Public Library

The Phoenix Public Library is more than just a place to borrow books. It also offers various services and resources for all ages and interests, such as computers, Wi-Fi, e-books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, games, and more. 

You can also attend free classes, workshops, lectures, storytimes, book clubs, and other events at any of the 17 branches across the city.

5. Walking the Papago Park

Papago Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. It features distinctive red sandstone formations that contrast sharply with the green vegetation and blue sky. 

You can hike, bike, or picnic on the trails and picnic areas that wind through the park. You can also visit some of the attractions within the park, such as the Hole in the Rock, a natural landmark that offers panoramic views of the city; the Phoenix Zoo.

one of the largest zoos in the country that houses over 1,400 animals; and the Hall of Flame Fire Museum, which displays fire-fighting equipment and memorabilia from around the world.

6. Enjoying the Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a tranquil retreat celebrating the friendship between Phoenix and its sister city, Himeji, in Japan. It features a traditional Japanese garden with a pond, waterfall, bridge, lanterns, koi fish, bonsai trees, and cherry blossoms. 

You can stroll along the paths, sit on the benches, and enjoy the serene atmosphere. The garden also hosts cultural events and activities throughout the year, such as tea ceremonies, festivals, concerts, and workshops. 

7. Visiting the Heard Museum

The Heard Museum is one of the best places to learn about the art and culture of Native Americans in Arizona and beyond. It showcases an impressive collection of pottery, baskets, jewelry, textiles, carvings, paintings, sculptures, and more from various tribes and regions. 

It also features exhibits that tell the stories and experiences of Native Americans through history and today. The museum also organizes educational programs and events celebrating Native American heritage and traditions. 

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8. Visiting the Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is a fun-filled place for kids of all ages to play, learn, and explore. 

It features over 300 interactive exhibits and activities stimulating creativity, curiosity, and imagination. Kids can climb, crawl, slide, build, paint, draw, dress up, pretend, and more in various themed areas such as the Art Studio, the Noodle Forest, the Book Loft, the Climber, and the Texture Cafe. 

9. Spending Time at the Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is the largest in the Southwest, featuring over 19,000 works of art from various genres, periods, and cultures. You can admire paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, fashion, and more from artists such as Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and Vincent van Gogh. 

10. Visiting the Goldfield Ghost Town

The Goldfield Ghost Town is a historic mining town founded in 1893 and abandoned in 1926. You can return in time and explore the old buildings, shops, saloons, museums, and mines preserved and restored. You can also enjoy live entertainment, such as gunfight reenactments. 

11. Visiting the Phoenix Symphony

The Phoenix Symphony is the largest professional orchestra in Arizona and one of the leading cultural institutions in the state. It performs a variety of classical, pop, chamber, and family concerts throughout the year at the Symphony Hall and other venues. 

12. Enjoying the Ballet Arizona

The Ballet Arizona is the premier ballet company in Arizona and one of the most acclaimed in the nation. It presents a diverse repertoire of classical and contemporary ballets that showcase the artistry and athleticism of its dancers. 

You can watch Swan Lake, The Nutcracker performances, Romeo and Juliet, and more at the Orpheum Theatre and other venues. The Ballet also offers free outdoor performances at various parks and locations throughout the year as part of its Ballet Under the Stars program.

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13. Visiting the Phoenix Theatre

The Phoenix Theatre is the oldest arts organization in Arizona and one of the largest regional theatres in the country. It produces plays that entertain, inspire, and challenge audiences of all ages and backgrounds. 

You can see shows such as Mamma Mia!, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors, and more at the Mainstage Theatre or the Hormel Theatre. The theatre also offers free tickets to students under 25 for select performances with a valid student ID.

14. Spending Time at the Phoenix Raceway

The Phoenix Raceway is a world-class motorsports venue that hosts some of the most exciting racing events in the country. You can watch NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA, USAC, and more compete on the one-mile oval track or the 2.5-mile road course.

You can also experience the thrill of driving or riding along in a race car yourself with various programs and packages available. The raceway offers free admission to children under 12 for select events with a paid adult ticket.

15. Attending the First Friday Art Walk

First Fridays Art Walk is a monthly event celebrating downtown Phoenix’s vibrant arts and culture scene. You can visit over 70 galleries, studios, museums, and venues that showcase local and national artists and their works. 

16. Observing at Dobbins Lookout

Dobbins Lookout is the highest point in South Mountain Park, offering spectacular views of the city and the valley. 

You can drive or hike to the lookout and enjoy the scenery from the stone ramada or the observation deck. 

17. Walking the Arizona Boardwalk

The Arizona Boardwalk is a fun and interactive destination with several attractions, such as the OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, and more. 

You can walk around the boardwalk and enjoy the sights and sounds of the various exhibits and shows. 

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18. Visiting Phoenix Public Market

Phoenix Public Market is a community gathering place that supports local farmers, artisans, and entrepreneurs. You can shop for fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, jewelry, and more from over 100 vendors every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

19. Visiting the Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the country, housing over 1,400 animals from around the world. In their natural habitats, you can see lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, and more. 

You can also feed giraffes, ride camels, pet stingrays, and interact with other animals at various exhibits and encounters. The zoo also offers educational programs and activities for children and adults alike.

20. Attending Events at Desert Ridge Marketplace

Desert Ridge Marketplace is a premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination offering everyone something. You can browse over 100 stores and restaurants, watch movies at the AMC Theatres, and play games at Dave & Buster’s. 

21. Visiting the Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center is where you can discover the wonders of science and technology through hands-on exhibits and activities. You can explore four floors of interactive galleries covering astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and more. 

You can also watch IMAX movies, planetarium shows, and live demonstrations at the center. 

22. Touring the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is a park that honors the memory and service of Arizona’s veterans, heroes, and leaders. It features over 30 monuments and memorials that commemorate various wars, battles, events, and individuals that shaped the history and identity of the state. 

You can tour the plaza and learn about the stories and significance of each monument and memorial. 

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23. Visiting the Orpheum Theater

The Orpheum Theater is a historic theater built in 1929 and restored in 1997. It is one of the country’s finest examples of Spanish Baroque Revival architecture, featuring ornate details, murals, sculptures, and a domed ceiling with twinkling stars.

It hosts a variety of performances and events throughout the year, such as Broadway shows, concerts, operas, ballets, and comedians. You can take a free guided tour of the theater on select Tuesdays at noon or by appointment.

24. Touring the Wrigley Mansion

The Wrigley Mansion is a landmark built in 1932 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. It is one of Phoenix’s most elegant and luxurious homes, boasting 24 rooms, 12 bathrooms, nine fireplaces, and stunning views of the city and mountains. 

It also houses a fine dining restaurant, a lounge, and a club. You can take a free guided tour of the mansion on select days with a reservation.

25. Visiting the Hole in the Rock

The Hole in the Rock is a natural formation created by erosion over millions of years. It is a popular spot for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the sunset. 

You can climb up to the Hole and see the panoramic views of the city and Papago Park. The Hole is accessible from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Where Can I Take Guests In Phoenix?

The city offers many options for entertaining guests in Phoenix that won’t break the bank. Check out these free and fun activities to make your guests’ visit memorable:

  • Heard Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich American Indian culture through history and art exhibits.
  • Phoenix Art Museum: Explore various exhibitions showcasing contemporary and classic art worldwide.
  • Desert Botanical Garden: Stroll through the beautiful desert flora and fauna gardens.
  • Arizona Capitol Museum: Learn about Arizona’s history and governance through interactive displays and exhibits.
  • Artlink First Friday Trolley: Experience Phoenix’s vibrant art scene by hopping on the free trolley that takes you to various art galleries and studios.
  • Phoenix public libraries: With a library card, you can access free tickets to attractions like the Desert Botanical Garden, Science Center, and Heard Museum.

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Phoenix Travel Tips

Suppose you’re planning a trip to Phoenix, Arizona. In that case, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some helpful travel tips:


Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, so it’s no surprise that summers can be sweltering and dry. If you’re visiting in the summer, wear light, breathable clothing and stay hydrated. The best time to visit Phoenix is during the fall, winter, and spring when temperatures are more moderate.


Phoenix is a sprawling city, so having a car is the most convenient way to get around. However, if you prefer not to drive, other transportation options are available, such as public buses, light rail, and ride-sharing services.

Free Activities

Phoenix offers many free activities for visitors to enjoy. From hiking trails to museums, there’s something for everyone. Some popular free activities include visiting the Desert Botanical Garden, exploring the Phoenix Art Museum, and hiking Camelback Mountain.


Like any city, Phoenix has its share of crime. However, taking some basic precautions can reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas, keep valuables out of sight, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some commonly asked questions about “Free Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona”:

Is There Anything Fun To Do In Phoenix?

There are plenty of fun activities in Phoenix. Explore museums like Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden and enjoy the beautiful desert scenery. Check out the free offerings at Phoenix public libraries or hike the surrounding hills and mountains.

Where Can I Take Guests In Phoenix?

Take your guests to the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and Desert Botanical Garden, and explore the hiking trails in South Mountain Regional Park and Camelback Mountain.

Where Can I Walk Around In Phoenix?

Phoenix offers a variety of walking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike the scenic South Mountain Regional Park or conquer the iconic Camelback Mountain. Both offer breathtaking views of the city. Other options include the Desert Botanical Garden and the Heard Museum, which provide cultural experiences while walking.

What Does Phoenix Az Have To Offer?

Phoenix AZ offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Explore American Indian culture at the Heard Museum or admire art at the Phoenix Art Museum. Enjoy the beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden, or hike in South Mountain Regional Park.

Don’t miss the iconic Camelback Mountain. Plus, Phoenix offers many free things to do, so you can have a great time without breaking the bank.


In Phoenix, there are plenty of free things to do that will keep you entertained without breaking the bank. Immerse yourself in the rich American Indian culture at the Heard Museum or explore the incredible art collections at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Discover the beauty of the desert at the Desert Botanical Garden or stroll along the best walking trails in Phoenix. Don’t forget to check out the free events and activities around the city for a fun and budget-friendly experience.

With so much to offer, Phoenix is the perfect destination for cost-conscious travelers looking to make the most of their trip.