Lifestyle

Everything You Must Do in Phoenix This Spring

Published On 04/18/2018 Published On 04/18/2018
Devour phoenix
Devour phoenix | Flickr/Lauren Topor
Inning’s Festival
Innings Festival | Innings Festival
Friday - Sunday
Dec 22-May 13
Phoenix
Take a stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden and you'll discover the bold and brightly-colored works of Japanese-American artist Jun Kaneko. His work will be on display in the garden until mid-May and is comprised of stunningly large, whimsical ceramic and bronze sculptures: pig heads with the bodies of humans, Japanese tanuki (raccoon dogs), and more. The garden is dotted with plenty of Kaneko’s large-format sculptures, so see if you can discover them all.
Cost: Admission to the garden is $25, but admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month
Saturday - Sunday
Feb 10-Apr 1
Gold Canyon
Tear into a turkey leg and catch the armor-clad knights square off against each other in a jousting match at this year’s Arizona Renaissance Festival. Besides the traditional revelry, the Gold Canyon festival will feature an artisan marketplace, games, rides for all ages, and a raucous pleasure feast.
Cost: Adult tickets are $25 online, kid tickets are $15, admission for kids 5 and under is free
Wednesday - Tuesday
Feb 21-Mar 27
Multiple locations
The D-backs kick off their spring training schedule with an exhibition game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on February 21. But baseball isn’t the only thing that’s back, of course. Notorious ballpark eats like the legendary, quarter-pound, hickory-smoked, bacon-wrapped Sonoran Dog will be available once again at the concessions.  
Cost: Average spring training ticket price is $32
Friday - Sunday
Mar 2-4
Downtown Phoenix
Celebrating its 15th year in downtown Phoenix, this year’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival boasts a lineup with the likes of Chet Faker, Big Gigantic, and Griz. The best part is that 100% of the festival ticket proceeds are donated to charity.
Cost: Single-day general admission is $40; VIP tickets start at $170
Saturday
Mar 3
Downtown Phoenix
Show some love to your favorite local artisans, makers, and craftsmen at this modern marketplace. Browse rows and rows of curated vintage items, handcrafted goods, fine art, and fashion on display by more than 150 vendors from across the Southwest. Street and lot parking are both available.
Cost: $5 entry
Saturday - Sunday
Mar 3-4
Phoenix
Arizona’s top culinary talent is coming together for the city’s premier food festival. Happening at the Desert Botanical Garden this year, Devour Culinary Classic gives food-lovers the chance to savor bites from a range of top Valley restaurants, including Crudo, Barrio Cafe, Little Miss BBQ, Taco Chelo, Gallo Blanco, Helio Basin Brewing, and more.
Cost: One-day general admission is $105, VIP $205
Friday - Sunday
Mar 9-11
Avondale
Spring Race Weekend is returning to ISM Raceway. Friday kicks off the excitement as drivers take to the track for practice, and later vie against each other in the qualifier. The DC Solar 200 will begin at 2pm on Saturday. And on Sunday country artist Jana Kramer will perform at the pre-race concert before the Ticket Guardian 500 at 12:30pm.
Cost: Tickets start at $20
Friday - Sunday
Mar 9-11
Scottsdale
The three-day festival celebrating all things artsy will showcase the works of artists from around the country. The event is set to commence with a Bloody Mary bar on Friday morning and will conclude on Sunday night with live music.
Cost: One-day pass is $12, two-day pass is $20
Saturday - Sunday
Mar 10-11
Tempe
Hawaii is famous for its plate lunches and shave ice, and lucky for you, you can get both at the Arizona Aloha Festival in Tempe. Between bites, attendees can learn about Hawaiian culture through a series of live performances which include music and dance. A trip to the islands is up for grabs; just make sure to enter the raffle.
Cost: Free
Friday - Sunday
Mar 16-18
Chandler
The Pot of Gold Music Festival is returning for three days of music and much more. Put your pinball skills to the test with a stop at Arcade Alley where retro games can be played and visit Art Land, an area set to feature the artworks of regional and local artists, between your favorite musical acts.
Cost: Single-day general admission tickets start at $75, VIP pricing ranges from $230 to $699
Saturday
Mar 17
Chandler
This year, honor St. Patrick in downtown Chandler at Murphy’s Law Shamrockfest. The outdoor concert promises a cocktail and beer garden, traditional Irish eats, and a VIP tent where concert-goers can retreat for a little extra cabbage. The California rock band Alien Ant Farm is headlining the show, and in true St. Paddy’s fashion, there will obviously be bagpipes.
Cost: GA is $12, VIP $80
Friday
Mar 23
Scottsdale
Catch top chefs from around the Valley compete to win the title of best burger in town. The current People’s Choice Champ is Arizona Wilderness’ peanut butter and jalapeño jelly burger, which won last year. Head to Burger Battle to find out if their burger can contend to win again.
Cost: Presale general admission tickets are $65
Friday - Sunday
Mar 23-25
Tempe
Tempe Beach Park will be taken over by 35 rock, pop, and alternative-country artists, including the hard-rocking Queens of the Stone Age, country artist Chris Stapleton, '90s heroes Counting Crows, and The Avett Brothers. Local chef and television personality Beau MacMillan will also be conducting demos alongside professional baseball players at the spring training–themed festival.
Cost: Tickets start at $89
Saturday
Mar 24
Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza
Demand action from lawmakers in this march to end gun violence and mass shootings in schools. Children and families will be out en masse across the country, so if you feel strongly about this particular issue, show your support. The march in Phoenix starts at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza at 10am. Also keep in mind that HeadCount is registering voters at several of the events around the country. 
Cost: Free
Friday
Mar 30
Phoenix
The tequila will be flowing at Desert Botanical Garden for this year’s Agave on the Rocks. Live music and gourmet cuisines make for an excellent accompaniment to a perfectly blended margarita. Lucky you, because you can enjoy it all at the event.
Cost: $70
The Cocktail Society
The Cocktail Society | HDE Agency
Thursday
Apr 5
Scottsdale
The annual event brings out the best and brightest culinary talent from across some of the region's premier hotels and resorts. Guests can sample cuisines from a dozen or so resorts including The Four Seasons’ Talavera and downtown Phoenix’s Dust Cutter at The Renaissance. It may look pricey, but if you consider what you'd pay at any of these places for just one meal, you could even consider it a (relatively) cheap date.
Cost: $79 single ticket, $150 for a pair
Thursday - Sunday
Apr 5-15
Phoenix
Arizona’s largest film festival will screen over 250 unique films and showcase a series of filmmaker workshops and seminars. The 11-day festival will wrap up with an awards ceremony and live music.
Cost: Tickets start at $15
Friday - Saturday
Apr 6-7
Avondale
Phoenix Grand Prix will bring out the top IndyCar drivers for a weekend of adrenaline-pumping action as they contend for a win at ISM Raceway. There will be a day of qualifying rounds leading up to the big race, and cars driven by racing legend Mario Andretti will be on display to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his final career win.
Cost: Tickets start at $10
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 7-8
Phoenix
The two-day celebration brings diverse communities together for an entire weekend of outreach, entertainment, and education. The festival will feature over 150 performances across five stages and hundreds of exhibitors. The Pride Parade will step off at 10am at 3rd Street and Thomas and will conclude at Indian Steele Park where the festival is happening.
Cost: Tickets start at $15
Friday
Apr 13
Cocktail Society
The Scottsdale League for the Arts presents The Cocktail Society, a posh evening filled with complimentary cocktails and fine food tastings in a setting that stuns, with aerial bartenders dangling from the ceiling and live art visuals. It will be held at The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The whimsy begins at 7pm. A portion of the proceeds will benefit arts organizations throughout Arizona.
Cost: $85 online, $100 at the door
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 14-15
Phoenix
Join Phoenix’s Polish community at the 15th annual Arizona Polish Festival. Take in the pierogi bar in all of its glory. Stuff yourself with potato pancake and crepes. And don’t forget to sample some Polish beer while you’re there.
Cost: Free
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 14-15
Scottsdale
Eat to your heart’s content, and then eat some more at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Slide into the Liquid Arizona lounge for craft sips from across the state or wander over to the Four Peaks Beer Garden and throw back a few brews -- there will be more than 200 different beers to choose from. Tickets include admission to the festival, but food and beverage will cost you extra. Proceeds from the festival will go to arts organizations throughout Arizona.
Cost: $12 online, $15 at the gate
Thursday - Sunday
Apr 19-22
Paradise Valley
One of The Valley’s most star-studded culinary events is returning to Sanctuary. The Nirvana Food and Wine Festival will bring out culinary rockstars like Stephanie Izard, the first woman to win Top Chef, Aaron Sanchez, Scott Conant, Todd English, and TV personality and restaurateur Chuck Hughes. The multi-day culinary fête will see a rosé party, an evening of fried chicken and Champagne, a tequila-drenched tortilla bash, chef-hosted dinners, and much more.
Cost: Varies by event
Saturday
Apr 21
Downtown Chandler
Get your fill of NOLA flavors at downtown Chandler’s Southwest Cajun Fest. Hot Rod Hot Dogs will be dishing out fried gator, Angry Crab Shack will feed the masses with their Cajun turkey legs, and a handful or so of vendors will be serving traditional crawfish étouffée. There will also be eating contests and live entertainment.
Cost: $10 online, $15
Saturday
Apr 28
Downtown Phoenix
Support craft beer and crack a cold one open at the eighth annual ameriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival. Over 250 beers will be offered from more than 100 breweries located across Arizona and 40 different states. Beer lovers will appreciate the rare beer garden, and there will also be games, live performances, and food.
Cost: $35 in advance, $45 at the gate
wanderlust 108
wanderlust 108 | Elan Photographie
Sunday
May 6
Scottsdale
Wanderlust 108 combines a 5K run, a 90-minute flow yoga session, and 30 minutes of meditation for what’s considered a mindful triathlon, and it's all happening at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Additional optional activities include aerial yoga, acro yoga, and a series of workshops. (And they even have some online video classes if you can't make it.)
Cost: $20-$150
Friday - Sunday
May 11-13
Arcosanti
Part creative retreat, part music festival, FORM at the desert eco-city of Arcosanti will exhibit three days and nights of live music, experiential art, screenings, workshops, and outdoor wellness activities. Music artists scheduled to perform include Chance the Rapper, Beach House, Skrillex, indie folk rockers Fleet Foxes, and an additional dozen or so acts across a series of genres.
Cost: Tickets start at $350
Friday - Sunday
May 18-27
Multiple locations
Restaurant Week gives diners the chance to explore a variety of cuisines outside of their neighborhoods; whether it’s an upscale dining experience in a Valley resort or a humble meal at a locally owned and long-standing favorite, there is something for every appetite. Restaurants across the state will be offering special prix fixe menus as part of the culinary affair.
Cost: $33 or $44 per person per meal, with specials varying by restaurant
Saturday
May 26
Cave Creek
Gaze up to the sky and watch glowing hot air balloons gracefully float through the air at the ninth annual Cave Creek Balloon Festival. Noshes from eateries including Buffalo Chip and Doughlicious will be available for purchase. Balloons are scheduled for liftoff at 7:30pm. The event will wrap up with a fireworks display.
Cost: $15 online, $20 at the gate
Thursday - Sunday
May 24-27
Downtown Phoenix
Cosplayers, comic book junkies, and super fans will pile in to downtown Phoenix for the chance to see legendary figures like Tim Curry and William Shatner at Phoenix Comic Fest. The celebration of pop culture will also feature panels and events, exhibitors, and the opportunity to take photographs and get autographs from stars.  
Cost: $30-$100 for GA; $350 for VIP passes all weekend long