Phoenix Arizona has long been a hub for celebrating the arts and exploring the rich culture of Arizona. For visitors looking for the ultimate art experience, downtown Phoenix offers a huge array of captivating and unique museums and galleries. The world-class Phoenix Art Museum features more than 17,000 art pieces from several different collections. In Copper Square, located in downtown Phoenix, you can discover the very origins of Phoenix’s beginnings at the Museum of History or, visit the distinctive Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center (ALAC) for an eclectic sampling of contemporary Latino art and culture.
No excursion into the art and cultural realms of Phoenix would be complete without experiencing Phoenix First Friday. On the first Friday evening of each month, the art districts such as “Roosevelt Row” and Grand Avenue come alive with new and original art and music. First Friday is still considered the ‘official unofficial’ art event in downtown Phoenix. This is a great opportunity to acquaint yourself with Phoenix’s many emerging artists and the new, innovative art galleries that you will wander into throughout the evening.
The informative Heard Museum is the place to go if you want to explore Arizona’s Native American cultures from past to present. With its magnificent collection of art and artifacts, The Heard Museum provides a fascinating and informative look at the early history of Phoenix. For a more in-depth, archeological experience, stop by the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park. The museum and park features fascinating archaeological sites including an actual prehistoric ruin. Located just outside of Phoenix, the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum offers a nostalgic look into the city’s rugged past and pioneering life.
The Arizona Science Center provides a full day of exploration; far into the future or way back, into the past. The Arizona Science Center is constantly changing and upgrading, with new and challenging hands-on exhibits that everyone can enjoy. Located directly adjacent to the Arizona Science Center is the courtyard of Heritage Square. Here you can relax on the lawn or rest on the benches throughout the square, as the historic buildings and artifacts from the early days of Phoenix gently guide you back in time.
The Greater Phoenix Area boasts an impressive assortment of performing arts companies and theaters. Ballet Arizona has been delighting Arizona audiences with their exhilarating dance performances since 1986, with plans for even greater productions in the future. Resident companies as well as national touring groups regularly fill the Herberger and Orpheum Theaters, as well as Gammage Auditorium in Tempe. The Arizona Opera and Phoenix Symphony illuminate and radiate in nearby Symphony Hall with performances ranging from traditional opera to concerts for children.
If your desire is immersion into the eclectic, exciting and ever changing art of Phoenix, your choices are unlimited when it comes to taking the plunge. If it is a rich, cultural or historical experience you are seeking, surround yourself historically, architecturally and anthropologically in the history of Phoenix and Arizona.
Arizona Science Center
600 E. Washington St.
Phoenix AZ 85004
Explore 350 interactive science exhibits, experience the excitement of a five-story-screen theater, and travel through space in a planetarium. Historical exhibits of early Phoenix history as well. Gift shop on premises. Admission varies depending on the different exhibits you choose to explore. Open 10am-5pm daily. (602) 716-2000.
Arizona Doll & Toy Museum,
Heritage Square-Science Park
602 E. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ.
Just outside of the Arizona Science Center, the Arizona Doll & Toy Museum features dolls, doll houses, miniatures and toys from yesteryear and familiar modern playthings. Gift shop on premises. Admission: $2.50 adults; $1 children. Open Tuesday.-Saturday. 10am-4pm; Sunday 12pm-4pm. Closed Monday and during the month of August. (602) 253-9337
2301 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Museum includes 11 exhibition galleries, free public guided tours, outdoor sculpture gardens, a renowned café, a contemporary art gallery and trading-post style shopping, plus much more. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: Adults: $15.00 Seniors (65+): $13.50 Students (w/vaild I.D.): $7.50 Children (6-12): $7.50 Children (5 & under), American Indians and museum members also get in free. (602) 252-8848,
Arizona Capitol Museum
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007Built in 1900, the Capitol exhibits include restored offices, legislative chambers. Also, an impressive, massive display commemorating the USS Arizona including rare artifacts and models. Open weekdays 8am-5pm. Free tours 10am and 2pm or by appointment. Open Thursday (Jan.-May) 8am-8pm. Open Saturday (Jan.-May) 10am-3pm. Wheelchair accessible. Admission is free. (602) 542-4675
Arizona Historical Society Museum
1300 N. College Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281.
Museum features 20th-century history. New upscale cultural center offers unique interactive exhibits, guided tours, museum shop and facility rental. Free admission, free parking. (480) 929-0292
Challenger Space Center
21170 N. 83rd Ave.
Peoria, AZ 85382
Challenger Space Center Arizona is a public museum open year-round. The museum offers three levels of exhibits and memorabilia. Open daily Monday – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission: Adults $8, Children (4-18 yrs) $5, Seniors (55+ yrs) $7, Military $7, Children Ages 3 & Under are Free, Challenger Members are Free. (623) 322-2001
Deer Valley Rock Art Center
3711 W. Deer Valley Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85308
The Deer Valley Rock Art Center is a museum, nature preserve and archaeological site with the largest concentration of Native American rock art in the Phoenix Valley. Handicapped-accessible 1/4-mile trail takes visitors to a place where ancient people marked boulders with over 1,500 symbols called petroglyphs. Open October through April: 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday. May through September: 8 am – 2 pm Tuesday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission: Adults $7, Seniors (62+) $4, Military $4, Students $4, Children (6-12) $3, Children (5 & younger) and Museum Members get in free. 10% discount on admission for AAA Members. (623) 582-8007
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
6101 E. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008.
Located in Phoenix, the museum has almost an acre of fire history and exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. The museum is located across from the Phoenix Zoo on Van Buren St. Open Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm, Sunday12pm – 4pm. Adults: $6.00, Seniors (62+): $5.00, Students (6 -17): $4.00, Children (3 – 5): $1.50 (602) ASK-FIRE, (602) 275-3473
Hoo-Hoogam Ki Museum
10005 E. Osborne Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256.
Located on the Salt River Indian Reservation, just a few minutes east of Scottsdale, the museum features the culture and life of the Pima and Maricopa tribes. Open Monday-Friday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. (480) 362-6320.
Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center
147 E. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004.
This gallery and art space presents the best and latest art created by Latino artists. The ALAC also provides presentations of Latino history and culture as well as performances. Gift shop on the premises. Open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. Donations requested. (602) 254-9817.
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave.
(northeast corner Central Ave. and McDowell Rd.)
Phoenix, AZ 85004
More than 16,000 works in its collection of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, contemporary art and fashion design, the Museum features special exhibitions and an Interactive ArtWorks Gallery for children. Monday and Tuesday the museum is closed. Open Wednesday, 10am- 9pm (3pm- 9pm, Free/ Voluntary Donation), Thursday-Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday, 12pm-5pm. First Friday of every month, 6-10pm (Free admission/voluntary donation) $12 adults, $10 senior citizens & fulltime college/university students w/ID, $6 children ages 6-17. Free for Museum Members & children under age 6. (602) 257-1222