Free Things To Do

Free Things To Do

Have fun, save money

On a budget? Tempe’s got you covered with free, or almost free, activities that will keep you entertained and your budget intact. Admission is free to many museums and festivals. It won’t cost a cent to attend many of the events at ASU, Tempe Marketplace, Downtown Tempe or Tempe Center for the Arts. Take a hike, go on a bike ride, see public art, or take the kids to a splash pad.

Find free things to do

“Air Apparent”, a Skyspace designed by James Turrell

Arizona State University is home to artist James Turrell’s “Air Apparent.” Located near the intersection of Rural and Terrace Road, this artistic interpretation of Native American Hohokam shade ramadas and pit houses is especially dramatic at sunrise and sunset.

ASU Tempe Campus
Rural Rd. and Terrace Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85287

(480) 965-2100

ASU Art Museum

The ASU Art Museum exhibits national and international contemporary artists, with a focus on Latin American art. The Museum houses the largest collection of Cuban art in the U.S. and an award-winning print collection. Exhibitions change seasonally. Admission is free. Please make a reservation prior to your visit.

ASU Tempe Campus
51 E. 10th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 965-2787

ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center

The Ceramics Research Center houses and displays the ASU Art Museum’s extensive ceramic collection of close to 4,000 objects. Exhibitions change seasonally and admission is free. The Museum Store is open during Gallery hours.

699 S. Mill Ave., Ste. 108
Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 727-8170

ASU Lunar Exploration Museum & NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Operations Center (LROC) Visitor Gallery

The Lunar Exploration Museum includes the LROC Visitor Gallery where visitors discover the excitement of exploration, learn about America’s  incredible space program, watch dedicated scientists charting the amazing lunar frontier, explore the Moon, and see a real Moon rock!

Arizona State University
Interdisciplinary A Building
1100 S. Cady Mall
Tempe, AZ 85287

ASU Mars Space Flight Facility

At ASU’s Mars Space Flight Facility, scientists and researchers are using instruments on spacecraft on Mars to explore the geology and mineralogy of the Red Planet. A full-size Mars Rover model is on display in the building’s lobby.

Arizona State University
Moeur Building, 201 E. Orange Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287

(480) 965-1790

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail

Cholla Trail is located along the ridge of Camelback Mountain, the highest point in the Phoenix Mountain at 2,704 ft.  Hikers experience a steady 1.6 mile climb with a fairly exposed section of ridge hiking towards the top.

6131 E. Cholla Ln.
Paradise Valley, AZ, 85253

(602) 261-8318

Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area

Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon is one the more difficult, but rewarding, hikes in Phoenix. The trail ascends rapidly over a short distance. Hikers can experience a climb over rocky trails and boulders. The  trail length is 1.23 miles one way.

5700 N. Echo Canyon Pkwy.
Phoenix, AZ, 85018

(602) 261-8318

City of Tempe Bicycle Paths

Tempe boasts 175 miles of bikeways, including bike lanes, desert trails and canal paths. Ride around Tempe Town Lake, down Mill Avenue or in Papago Park. The League of American Bicyclists has designated Tempe as a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

City of Tempe Public Art

Tempe’s diverse collection of permanent and temporary public art complements the natural and built environment through innovative place-making, installations, and infrastructure enhancements. Tempe Public Art promotes artistic expression, bringing people together to strengthen Tempe’s sense of community and place.  

Downtown Tempe

Downtown Tempe offers a hometown feel with urban appeal and epic adventures. From dueling pianos to Broadway plays, public art to hiking “A” Mountain, renting a bike or paddleboarding on Tempe Town Lake and more, Downtown Tempe is like #NowhereElse.

5th St. and Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 355-6060

Gallery 100

Gallery 100 provides students, faculty and academic professionals of the School of Art with exhibition space. Open Mon.-Thurs., noon to 5 p.m.; Fri. noon to 3 p.m.

ASU Tempe Campus
951 S. Mill Ave., Ste. 199
Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 965-8521

Gallery at TCA

The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) offers engaging experiences with curated, traveling and juried exhibitions. Free admission. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues. and Weds., 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thurs. and Fri. and 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Sat.

700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
Tempe, AZ, 85281

(480) 350-2867

Gallery of Design

The Gallery of Design displays work by students, faculty research and design projects and special exhibitions from notable designers. Open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

ASU College of Design Bldg. South
810 S. Forest Mall
Tempe, AZ 85287-1905

(480) 965-3536

Harry Wood Gallery

Exhibitions in all media by Master of Fine Arts students. Free and open to the public. Closed weekends and major holidays. Located in the School of Art Building, ASU Tempe Campus. Open Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

ASU Tempe Campus
900 S. Forest Mall
Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 965-8521

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts offers more than 1,000 free and ticketed events presented by talented students, outstanding faculty and renowned guest artists annually. Events include concerts, musicals, plays, art exhibitions, lectures and more.

ASU Tempe Campus
Dixie Gammage Hall
1001 S. Forest Mall
Tempe, AZ 85287

(480) 965-6447

Kiwanis Community Park

Walk, fish or just relax in Tempe’s 125-acre park! Enjoy boat and bike rentals, two large corporate picnic areas, playgrounds, 15 ramadas, urban fishing and seasonal movies in the park.

5500 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85283

(480) 350-5200

Papago Park

This desert preserve features nearly 10 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout 1,500 acres. It is also home to several attractions and museums.

1000 N. College Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 350-5200

Piestewa Peak

Located in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves, Piestewa Peak has numerous trails for hiking and trail running. At 2,610 ft., it’s the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, next to Camelback Mountain. Hundreds of residents and visitors hike Piestewa Peak per week because it offers great views and a great workout. Hikes to the peak usually take anywhere from 25-60 minutes, depending on the experience of the hiker.

5994 E. Squaw Peak Dr.
Phoenix, AZ, 85016

(602) 261-8318

South Mountain Park and Preserve

At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve is one of the largest municipal parks in the country. The park includes 51 miles of scenic desert trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking leading to breathtaking views. Trails can be found at 48th Street and Guadalupe or from Central Avenue.

48th St. and Guadalupe Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85044

(602) 262-7393

Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace

Open year-round and daily until 11:00 p.m., the Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace is the ideal family-friendly spot for children to splash, play and cool off outdoors. Parents are not to be left out with nearby fashion-forward shops, enticing eats and entertainment stops.  

2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy.
Tempe, AZ, 85281

(480) 966-9338

Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts, Arizona’s premier waterfront arts center, is an iconic venue offering exceptional, diverse, inclusive and accessible arts experiences. Enjoy dance, music, theater, comedy and visual arts all under one roof.

700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
Tempe, AZ, 85281

(480) 350-2822 (box office)

Tempe History Museum

The museum explores Tempe history through collections, research services, exhibits and programs that captivate and connect with audiences throughout the community and beyond. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free. Photo credit Bill Timmerman.

809 E. Southern Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85282

(480) 350-5100

Tempe’s “Walk Through History”

One of Tempe’s greatest attributes is its many authentic, historic buildings and structures. In Downtown Tempe, dozens of structures dating back as far as the 1800s are within walking distance. Enjoy Walk Through History, a series of self-guided tours highlighting Downtown Tempe, Tempe Town Lake, and the historic portions of ASU campus.

The Cloud at Kiwanis Park

The Cloud at Kiwanis Park has 5,000 square feet of water play, including loops, jelly sticks, misting sprays and pillars. The one-of-a-kind structure also provides shade from the summer sun, while featuring unique lighting and sound shows throughout the day. Open April through October.

Kiwanis Park
5233 S. Ash Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85283

(480) 350-5200

USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River

The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River showcases the USS Arizona’s original Boat House with over 1,500 illuminated columns silhouetting the dimensions of the USS Arizona representing those aboard December 7, 1941. Open daily from dawn until dusk.

Talking Stick Entertainment District
7455 N. Pima Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

(888) 979-5010

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