10 outdoor events to enjoy before the summer heat arrives

Lifestyle | 29 Mar, 2018 |

Summer is coming quickly, which means before we know it, we’ll be in those 100-degree days once again. But until they get here, let’s enjoy the gorgeous blue skies and everything else that Arizona springtime has to offer. We’ve made a list of some of the best events to check out while the weather’s nice, from festivals to other outdoor activities.  

Dinosaurs in the Desert- Phoenix Zoo (3/23- 4/30)  

Delve into the prehistoric past as you take in exhibits of more than 23 moving and roaring animatronic dinosaurs set against the desert landscape. Look out for favorites like the Brachiosaurus, the Tyrannosaurus rex, and Arizona’s own Dilophosaurus. Special events include interactive fossil digs and Dinosaur Artifacts & Keepers talks. 

455 N. Galvin Parkway Papago Park, Phoenix, AZ 

Time: See website for Zoo hours 

Price: Adults $24.95; Children 3-13 $14.95   

Bike Night at Westgate (3/23- 6/1) 

Come enjoy Arizona’s largest motorcycle night, with live music and hundreds of bikes lining Coyotes and Westgate boulevards. There will also be several amazing deals and discounts from local stores and restaurants. Even if you don’t have a bike, all those who love the open road are more than welcome.  

WaterDance Plaza 

6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale, AZ 

Time: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Price: Free   

Spring Butterfly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden (3/23- 5/13)  

Get up close and personal to some of the Southwest’s most beautiful butterflies, including painted ladies and giant swallowtails. Make sure to check out the caterpillar nursery to witness new butterflies coming into the world. A variety of new butterflies are added to the exhibit weekly.  

1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Price: Included with membership or paid Garden admission 

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park Friday Night Drags (3/23- 4/20) 

Go get your adrenaline rush at this high-powered event, where racing amateurs and experts can challenge each other to matches along the quarter-mile drag strip. If you want to see what time and speed your car can run without having to compete, you’re more than welcome to try that, too. Spectators are welcome, and kids 12 and under enter for free.  

20000 S. Maricopa Rd., Chandler, AZ  

Time: 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

Price: $15-$40  

Spring Wagon Rides (3/31- 4/28) 

Soak in springtime with Arizona Carriage Company’s leisurely wagon rides across the desert landscape. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, bounce along in an authentic stagecoach on the Overland Trail, just like our Arizona forefathers did to get around. Four people at minimum are required for a wagon reservation; each time slot can hold 6 to 8 adults.  

41227 N Castle Hot Springs Rd., Morristown, AZ 

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Price: $35 Adults. $15 kids 6-12 years (Must be accompanied by paid adult admission)  

Scottsdale Culinary Festival (4/14-15) 

At this one-of-a-kind culinary experience, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the best food and beverages from 40 local restaurants and 30 craft breweries. Don’t miss performances from over 15 bands, as well as chef demos and a teen cooking challenge. If you’re looking for the ultimate festival experience, the VIP ticket will grant you access to premiere entertainment viewing, exclusive demo seating, and complimentary drinks throughout the grounds.  

Scottsdale Civic Center Mall 

7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale, AZ 

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Price: Tickets range from $10-$150, Children 12 and under free 

My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge (4/14-15) 

This spicy showdown will feature over one hundred freshly made salsas, made by individuals, restaurants, and businesses all competing for the crown. Your little ones can come join the fun at Kidzone, with multiple bouncy houses, an inflatable obstacle course, and more. Come sample the variety of salsas and vote for your favorite, all to benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association.   

Sloan Park, Spring Training Site of the Chicago Cubs 

2330 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Mesa, AZ 

Time: TBA  

Price: TBA 

Polish Festival (4/14-15)  

This incredible celebration of all things Polish offers everything from a polka contest to a pierogi bar. There’s even exhibits that’ll walk you through all kinds of Polish folk art, from traditional lace embroidery to Easter egg painting. Afterwards, you can purchase these and other craft items for yourself at the souvenir tent.  

Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish 

2828 W. Country Gables Dr., Phoenix, AZ 

Time: Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Price: Free   

The Great Southwest Cajun Fest (4/21)  

This festival promises a full day of Louisiana fun, complete with food, games, and authentic music from bands like The Soul Rebels and The Urban Renewal Project. Crawfish, hush puppies, and jambalaya will be among the many delicious items for you to try. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation (DCCF).  

178 E. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler, AZ 

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Price: $10 general admission; $65 Big Easy Lounge; $125 VIP; Free for kids 12 and under  

Schnepf Farms’ Peach Festival (5/11-13)  

Indulge in all things peachy at this family-friendly extravaganza. After tasting some peach pancakes, peach cookies, peach cobbler, and more, take your kids on the train rides, carousel rides, and hay rides to the orchards. There, you’ll even be able to pick some peaches of your own to take home with you.  

Schnepf Farms 

24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, AZ 

Time: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Price: $5. Children 12 and younger free.  

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