Not everything in Scottsdale, Arizona is accessible to only the wealthy! While Scottsdale, Arizona might have a reputation of being where the rich and famous live and play, you might be surprised that you can plan entire itineraries around free and cheap activities here.
Loved by locals and visitors alike, the Scottsdale Trolley travels to every notable spot in downtown Scottsdale, including Old Town, the Main Street Arts District, the Marshall Way Arts District, Fifth Avenue Shops, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Waterfront and SouthBridge. The trolley is a convenient way to get around and runs every 10 minutes, 7 days per week (except major holidays). It operates from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is free to ride! Call for information 480-421-1004.
This market features local growers and vendors providing a variety of organic vegetables and fruits, flowers, herbs, and an assortment of handmade items including pastries, jams, and baked goods. There is ample parking, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and a variety of displays that highlight community resources. Admission is free, and you may bring your well-mannered pet. Hours vary throughout the year.
Each year representatives of tribal nations of Arizona and the United States come together to present musical performances and dances as well as share stories and cultural information at Native Trails. It is an outdoor event, free admission, usually mid-January through mid-April.
Outdoor concerts, tours of the museum and tours of the public art at Scottsdale's Civic Center Park. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and relax! Usually mid-January through mid-April.
Designed by famed local architect Will Bruder, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is a stylish space devoted to the art, architecture and design of our time. There are five galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum's growing permanent collection as well as an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell's public skyspace. Admission is free on Thursdays, all day, all year long.
A tradition that has taken place for more than 30 years, Scottsdale ArtWalk is the perfect opportunity for Scottsdale visitors to explore the downtown area and a diverse collection of art galleries. Every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. galleries open their doors to the public and show off the works of some of the Southwest’s most extraordinary artists. Travelers can view special exhibits with artists’ receptions and demonstrations at their leisure. The event is free. Take the Scottsdale Trolley!
Located in the heart of Scottsdale, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is the most unique park of its kind in the country. Take a ride on the Paradise and Pacific Railroad and antique carousel or enjoy the museum, one of the playgrounds, or just relax in the grass. Enjoy live music from area bands every Sunday evening in May and June. In the fall, Railfair is where train enthusiasts gather
to show off their model trains. At Christmastime, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Par is a winter wonderland of lights and holiday entertainment
. Admission is free, there is a small charge for rides.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve opened to the public in 2009. Visitors can experience the magnificent Sonoran Desert by entering the largest and most significant entry point to the Preserve, which will encompass 36,400 acres of desert once it is complete. Enjoy the desert’s flora and fauna from the colorful wildflowers and Saguaro cacti to quail and desert critters, free shade ramadas, a dog comfort station, an equestrian staging area, and more. The Gateway Access Area is located east of Thompson Peak Parkway, one-half mile north of Bell Road. Pick up a trail map at the parking area.
On Thursday evenings in Downtown Scottsdale, the Marshall Way Pedestrian Bridge is transformed into an outdoor gallery of local and regional artisans. It is family-friendly event, on hiatus in the summer.
Every week I blog about the coming week's free activities all over town. Some are fun, some are educational, some are artsy, some are for kids, some are for adults, but they are all free. Check here for the most recent "Free Things To Do" list.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.