Being a young adult in a big city can feel both exhilarating and daunting. There are so many new and exciting things to see and do, it can be hard to choose. Unfortunately, for many caught in between being an adult and being legally able to drink, choices may be limited.
This list is designed specifically for those who are looking to explore all Phoenix and the greater Valley have to offer, who still have a vertical license. But those who are above the drinking age are also able to enjoy these activities. As a bonus perk, most of these options cost less than $21 dollars.
1. $5 Dollar Sports Tickets
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns provide a unique opportunity to high school and college students on game days. By signing up for the team’s Student Pass, you can receive alerts for last-minute seats. By sending a quick text back to the alert, you can purchase a seat at the game for as little as $5.
2. Arizona Fall Ball and Spring Training
Arizona is home to both Spring Training and the Fall League for baseball. Both leagues provide an excellent opportunity to watch some upcoming talent in the sport. The Arizona Fall League generally runs from October to November and consists of six teams. Tickets for adults cost $8 and tickets for people under 17 cost $6. Spring Training begins in February and lasts until the end of March. Prices for lawn seats can start at $8.
The Phoenix Public Library has Culture Passes available for checkout with a library card. The Culture Pass includes two free tickets to a local museum. Some participating museums are the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, the Desert Botanical Garden and the Arizona Science Center.
4.Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum holds exhibits on art styles including contemporary, modern, American, Western and more. Regular admission prices for students with an ID are $13-$18. The museum also has free admission at various times throughout the month. For First Fridays, the museum is open from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free every Wednesday from 3 to 9 p.m.
5. The Heard Museum
The Heard Museum showcases the artwork of American Indians. Regular admission for students with an ID is $7.50. The museum also participates in First Friday with free admission for the general public from 6 to 10 p.m. If you have a Tribal ID, you always receive free admission.
6. First Fridays
Take a walk down Roosevelt Row on the first Friday of every month and experience all kinds of different culture. There are food trucks, art vendors, live bands and giveaways – not to mention all of the local businesses, which open their doors and have First Friday deals. Along Roosevelt Row, there are tons of art galleries open for visitors to browse the collections.
7. Mural Hunting
There are more than 75 murals in downtown Phoenix, prime for an Instagram post — more than enough to gather a few friends and drive around for a photo op spot. Check out muralsofphoenix.com to find an ever-growing map of murals for you to check off your list.
8. Landmark Hunting
Phoenix is home to some amazing architectural history. Go on a scavenger hunt for some cool buildings around the city. These include Hyatt Regency, South Mountain towers, the Fountain Hills fountain, Barry Goldwater Memorial, Gammage at ASU, Phoenix Financial Center, the Hayden Mill, the Westward Ho, Tovrea Castle and Camelback Mountain. And there are countless homes designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright tucked inside some Phoenix neighborhoods.
9. Heritage Square
Visit the Rosson House Museum for $10 and be transported back to the Victorian Era. Walk across the park to the Bungalow and enjoy an old-fashioned ice cream and browse the vintage-style trinkets. Just outside Rosson House is Heritage Square, where you can spend an afternoon among the greenery of the park in the middle of Downtown Phoenix.
HIKING AND OUTDOORS
10. Climb Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is centrally located in the Valley, bordering Phoenix and Scottsdale. There are two distinct trails, the Cholla Trail on the east side and the Echo Canyon Trail on the northwest side. The Cholla Trail is known to be the easier trail and is mostly stair-like steps all the way up to the top. The Echo Canyon Trail is more challenging and requires more climbing ability.
11. Climb “A” Mountain
The dominant mountain in Tempe, “A” Mountain is a very easy hike for those who want to get a little bit of exercise. The way up the mountain can be conquered via an asphalt trail or a normal hiking trail. At the top, views of downtown Tempe are spectacular. Make sure to touch the “A” at the top.
12. Climb South Mountain
South Mountain makes up the southern edge of the Valley. There are a total of 12 different trailheads leading to multiple trails. The average hike difficulty is moderate, but there are some more difficult trails such as the Ma Ha Tauk Trail and the Holbert Trail. This mountain is a great hike for those who want more of a challenge.
13. Visit a National Park
Everyone knows about the Grand Canyon, but there are so many amazing national parks in Arizona. Most of them are located away from the city, but they make amazing day trips. Going on excursions to see Saguaro National Park or Montezuma’s Castle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Contact each site before hitting the road to find out the (usually small) admission fee.
14. Salt River Tubing
Salt River tubing is a great way to experience the outdoors while also relaxing. Spend an afternoon peacefully drifting down the Salt River while also gazing at the amazing desert landscape. Tube rentals and shuttle services cost $17 per person and are available starting at 9 a.m. seven days a week. Make sure to bring food and some tunes to help pass the time.
15. The Duce
If you’re itching to get on the dance floor, then head down to The Duce. Tuesday nights, they host a swing dancing night. From 7 to 8 p.m., you can learn how to swing dance for free and for the rest of the night, it’s $8 to get on the floor. Come with a partner or join in with other single dancers.
16. City Lights Movie Nights at CityScape
Calling all movie buffs — every second Friday of the month, enjoy an outdoor movie at the CityScape shopping center in Downtown Phoenix. They’ll usually play family-friendly movies like The Incredibles, Coco and The Greatest Showman. Movies start at 6:30 p.m. Bring the popcorn.
17. Tempe Marketplace Concert Series
Tempe Marketplace shopping center, often hosts free concerts on its District Stage. The genre can range from country to cover bands to alternative and more. Every month is different and sometimes major bands grace the stage. Keep an eye on the Tempe Marketplace calendar to see who’s coming.
18. The Churchill
Party with DJ Nameless at The Churchill in Downtown Phoenix. Every Saturday night from 8 to midnight, enjoy a live DJ and dance to your heart’s content. Take a break from dancing with some of the great food options available. There are taco, pizza, sandwich and smoothie restaurants.
19. Events on Tempe Town Lake
Tempe Town Lake often hosts outdoors activities and events. Renting water sports equipment like kayaks and paddle boards is a popular activity. They can cost less than $20 per hour. Many different activities, from concerts to marathons, are held in the beach park. Make sure to check out tempetourism.com for upcoming events.
20. The Nash
Did La La Land spark a hidden love for jazz? Then visit The Nash, a jazz club in Downtown Phoenix where local and national jazz musicians play. Enjoy the lounge while also listening to some fresh licks. Students with an ID get discounted admission to many of the shows, and The Nash is open on every First Friday in addition to its scheduled performances.
21. Visit the Farmers Market
Phoenix has a few local farmers markets across the Valley. There are over 20 different farmers markets to choose from. Some of them may have food trucks to prepare some breakfast or brunch. Spend an early Saturday morning wandering the local foods and goods.