Free Museums In Arizona

Every year, the International Council of Museums chooses a day in May as International Museum Day. This year that day is on Friday, May 18. Many Central Arizona museums are hosts of special events during this month and offer discounted or free admission. However, getting your daily dose of culture doesn’t have to break the bank or wait until May each year. The following is a current list of free museums in Arizona:


  • Arizona Capitol Museum
    Free admission every day
    More than 20 exhibits help tell the story of Arizona’s growth as a state from its territorial days to the present.

    1700 W. Washington
    (602) 926-3620
  • Gallery at City Hall
    Free admission every day
    The City of Phoenix’s historic and contemporary art collection. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    200 W. Washington St.
    (602) 262-6213
  • The Phoenix Art Museum, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and First Friday
    Free admission every first Friday of the month
    The Phoenix Art Museum and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix grant free admittance during First Friday. Although not exactly your typical museum, First Friday is held every first Friday of the month, hence the name. Art exhibits are strewn throughout Downtown Phoenix, and local vendors sell their handmade crafts.

    1625 N. Central Ave.
    (602) 257-1222


  • Katydid Insect Museum
    Children under the age of 3, free
    Although not exactly free, this museum’s entrance fee is only $4 for adults. The Katydid Insect Museum is for the bug lovers and the non-squeamish. You can either take a guided tour or wander amongst the thousands of mounted bugs and insects in labeled display cases.

    5060 W. Bethany Home Rd., #7
    (623) 931 8718
  • The Bead Museum
    Free admission on Thursday after 5 p.m.
    This museum offers a collection of more than 100,000 bead-related artifacts that explore how beads were used in art and as currency throughout the years.

    5754 W. Glenn Dr.
    (623) 931-2737
  • Sahuaro Ranch Park Historical Area
    Free admission every day
    This 17-acre park/museum hybrid features 13 original historic buildings, a rose garden, a barnyard and historic orchards. The Sahuaro Ranch Park is one of Arizona’s oldest ranches.

    9802 N. 59th Ave.
    (623) 930-4200


  • African American Multicultural Museum
    Free admission every day
    The focus of this museum is on African American culture. Exhibits feature art and historical items that change quarterly.

    617 N. Scottsdale Rd., #A
    (480) 314-4400
  • Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
    Free admission all day Thursday and on Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, or SMoCa, has exhibits that present contemporary and modern art, architecture and design.

    7374 E. Second St.
    (480) 874-4665
  • Scottsdale Historical Museum
    Free admission every day
    “The mission of the Scottsdale Historical Museum is to present, preserve and interpret through research, exhibits and educational programming, the prehistory, history and cultural heritage of Scottsdale and the Southwest.”

    7333 E. Scottsdale Mall
    (480) 945-4499


  • Mesa Contemporary Arts Center
    Free admission every first Sunday of the month
    The Arizona Museum for Youth and Arizona Museum of Natural History grant free admission on the first Sunday of every month from noon to 5 p.m. Special activities are also held such as a create-your-own-artwork for kids area and free outside performances in the MCA’s courtyard.

    One E. Main St.
    (480) 644-6500


  • ASU Museum of Anthropology
    Free admission every day
    Exhibits showcase current issues related to culture and society as well as archaeology and human origin. The museum is open Monday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    900 S. Cady Mall
    (480) 965-6224
    ASU Tempe campus, building SHESC
  • Tempe Center for the Arts
    Free admission every day
    This performing and visual arts center is publicly owned and entrance is free. Includes a gallery with exhibits of two- and three-dimensional artwork by local and internationally recognized artists.

    700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
    (480) 350-2829
  • ASU Art Museum
    Free admission every day
    The ASU Art Museum has five modern galleries filled with contemporary art. The museum is located inside the Nelson Fine Arts Center and is closed on Sunday and Monday.

    Mill Ave. and 10th St.
    (480) 965-2787