Home of popular Musical Instrument Museum, Hiking Trails around Phoenix, Desert Botanical Garden and wonderful things to do in Phoenix on Memorial Day. We've compiled some of the best activities to do in Phoenix on this Memorial Day holiday.
The Musical Instruments Museum is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with a collection of more than 6,800 instruments from almost 200 countries and territories.
Housed in a spectacular building are five permanent galleries, including the Geographic Gallery; the Artists Gallery; the Mechanical Music Gallery; the STEM Gallery; and the Experience Gallery, where you can play some of the instruments. You can also see master craftsmen at work restoring instruments in the Conservation Lab.
The museum hosts special traveling exhibits and has a variety of Signature Events, showcasing instruments and live music from countries around the world. Catch a concert in the facility's 300-seat theater.
Looking for something to do outdoors? A walk through the desert is always a pleasant way to spend a morning or a day, and Phoenix on Memorial day offers a full-range of hiking trails for all levels of hikers.
At one extreme are the trails for the adventurous hiker, like the hike up Camelback Mountain, and at the other end of the spectrum are short, easy trails, perfect for birders and nature lovers. You'll find some of these at Papago Park or the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead.
Somewhere in between these are Mormon Trail and Pinnacle Peak, which offer a bit of a challenge and elevation, along with beautiful views.
The renowned Heard Museum in Phoenix, dating from 1929, is devoted to the art and culture of the Indian peoples of the Southwest. The Heard is noted for its amazing displays of basketwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles, and a large collection of kachina dolls.
The museum's exhibit galleries and outdoor courtyards feature traditional and contemporary Native American art. This is a great place for families to learn about native history and see traditional arts especially during Memorial Day.
Outside, you can wander through the outdoor sculpture garden or take a garden tour of the museum. The museum also has a very pleasant outdoor café with courtyard seating and a menu that changes regularly and features special dishes to complement the featured exhibit.
Located in Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is a beautiful complex that combines art and nature and must visit in Phoenix area during Memorial Day. Art installations dot the gardens, adding another dimension to this beautiful space.
The 140-acre complex is home to tens of thousands of plants, and displays examples of vegetation from deserts around the world. This is also a good place to spot hummingbirds and butterflies, with designated gardens designed to attract these creatures.
Extensive trails wind their way around the property, and you should plan on spending a significant amount of time walking. The spring is a particularly good time to visit, as the plants come to life and bloom in an array of colors.
South Mountain Park/Preserve in Phoenix is one of the largest city parks in the United States, covering over 16,000 acres of desert landscape. The miles of trails running through the park are ideal for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. One of the most popular trails is the Mormon Trail.
Views out over the desert and beyond to the city are fabulous. If you are looking for things to do at night in Phoenix, come here after dark for an incredible look at the city lights.
The highest point in the park is Mount Suppoa at 2,690 feet, but the highest lookout, which can be reached by trail or road, is Dobbins Lookout at 2,330 feet.
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is both a historical look at the profession and a tribute to firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty, or noted for their heroism.
On display at the museum are exhibits dating back to 1725, including old fire engines and some very curious types of fire extinguishers. While most of the focus is on the history of firefighting in America, you'll also see exhibits from Europe and Japan, offering a more international perspective on the profession.
The National Firefighting Hall of Heroes displays the names of those killed since 1981. There is also a memorial to the firefighters and police officers killed at the World Trade Center in 2001.
While the Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals, including numerous endangered species, it's especially well known for its Sumatran tigers and orangutans.
The four different trails leading through the facility are the Africa Trail, Tropics Trail, Arizona Trail, and Children's Trail. The zoo also offers children's programs and events, splash pads, and play areas, so pack your bathing suits and towels.
Animal encounters are a special part of any visit and truly a highlight at the Phoenix zoo. The Monkey Village will have you snapping pictures as your kids walk through an open exhibit with monkeys swinging by.
Another encounter that will generate squeals of delight is the Red Barn. It's a petting zoo with goats, sheep, and horses all happy to engage with little people. Other experiences include the gentle giraffe encounter, Stingray Bay encounter, and the ever popular camel rides.
The zoo also has a 4D theater, which allows you to fully experience the film with water, smells, and wind effects. This is a great indoor option when the temperature outside is uncomfortably hot. If you've had enough of the animals, take a ride on the Endangered Animals carousel, where each animal is unique.