No baseball. No college basketball. No NASCAR. No Phoenix Symphony. Even Disneyland is temporarily shutting down all. Does it seem like everything has been canceled or postponed in the wake of coronavirus concerns? If you want to take your mind off the coronavirus, here are five fun and stress-free things to do in the Valley this weekend that are hosting their events or are open to the public.
Come rain or shine, the Renaissance Festival is open for festive merriment. Their games and unique “people-powered” rides, shows on 14 stages ranging from music and entertainment, arts and crafts fair, jousting tournaments and plenty of food options will ensure a full-filled day. This weekend is also Celtic Weekend at the festival and will have special programming like a Kilt Fashion Show on Saturday and an Irish Spirit Contest on Sunday.
Information: March 14 and 15, 12601 E. US Highway 60. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available to purchase online at arizona.renfestinfo.com.
If you’re looking for adventure, look no further than the Arizona Sportsmen Boat & RV Expo. The annual event returns March 13-15 at WestWorld of Scottsdale for its 20th anniversary in the Valley. New for 2020, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in exciting clinics including Wilderness Survival with experts Matt and Brooke Wright, both contestants on The Discovery Channel’s hit show, “Naked and Afraid”. Outdoor Gear Guru Dan Kidder adds daily demos to the popular Outdoor Product Showcase (OPS). And, to celebrate 20 years, outdoor enthusiasts will also have the chance to win incredible prizes including an ATV or PWC, plus a deluxe Camp Chef pellet grill, and a complete campsite for two from Klymit.
Join Downtown Mesa for their 6th Annual Brew Fest on March 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy over 70 beers on tap from more than 30 East Valley breweries including Desert Eagle Brewing Company in Mesa, San Tan Brewing Company, OHSO Brewery and The Beer Research Institute. You can also enjoy food trucks, live music, live art and giant games like beer pong and cornhole. The event is family and dog-friendly and will also have a cocktail lounge by Arizona Distilling Co and Iconic Cocktail Co. with handcrafted mixers.
Information: March 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Main Street and Macdonald in Downtown Mesa. General admission is free, beer tickets are $5 for 12oz pours, cash only.
The Phoenix Zoo is open to the public. The family fun spot gives you the chance to see hundreds of animals on their African, Arizona, Tropics and Children’s Trails plus animal encounters at their Monkey Village, Giraffe Encounter, Stingray Bay, Camel Rides or the Red Barn to pet farm animals. Guests can also enjoy various experiences including watching a movie at their 4-D Theater, ride through the park on the Safari Cruiser or pick your favorite animal on the Endangered Species Carousel.
You can always try uniquely Arizona activities
Visit one of Arizona’s arts and culture venues like Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning Taliesin West, which offers various guided tours that detail the architecture and history of the property. Their Insights Tour will guide you through Wright’s private quarters and living room, the Taliesin West “Garden Room,” the Drafting Studio, the Music Pavilion and more; their Behind the Scenes tour for Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts is three hours in length and is not recommended for children under the ages of 13.
Explore the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, which has 7,000 instruments from about 200 of the world’s countries and territories and view their current exhibit, Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa, which displays more than 150 masks, instruments and costumes in their authentic performance contexts.
With cool weather this weekend, a visit to Desert Botanical Garden among 140 acres of plant and flower displays with garden trails is a perfect way to experience something new. The Garden also has tours and exhibits—including their current Wild Rising by Cracking Art, an installation of more than 1,000 animal sculptures made from colorful and recyclable plastic— plus dining at Gertrude’s or find a special gift at the garden shop.
Event canceled? You can get free apps
Locally owned restaurants Pomo Pizza and Mora Italian are offering select free appetizers to guests who purchased tickets to a now canceled event (sports, concerts, food festivals, gala, etc.). To get the deal, guests must show the ticket (either in digital or physical format) and that the event was going to take place in Phoenix during the month of March.
At Mora Italian, the free appetizer will be the Foccacia Di Recco, with stracchino cheese and sea salt. At Pomo Pizza, the free appetizer will be the Crudo, Figs & Honey Bruschette with mascarpone cream, figs, prosciutto crudo and local organic honey.
This deal is limited to one appetizer per table and cannot be combined with other offers or 3rd party delivery.