There’s always something to do in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the country.  If you’ve ever stayed home and whispered the words that there’s nothing to do, or you’re bored, think again.

Here is just a small sampling of some of the things you can see and do, specifically around the Arcadia neighborhood this year.

Let’s start with some simple “need to know” information to help keep you and your family in the know for 2017.

Start planning your vacations now; here is a list of Federal Holidays:

January 1, 2017, New Year’s Day

January 2, 2017, New Year’s Day (observed)

January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King Day

February 20, 2017, Presidents’ Day

May 29, 2017, Memorial Day

July 4, 2017, Independence Day

September 4, 2017, Labor Day

October 9, 2017, Columbus Day

November 10, 2017, Veterans Day (observed)

November 11, 2017, Veterans Day

November 23, 2017, Thanksgiving Day

December 25, 2017, Christmas Day

Another helpful list for the families in the neighborhood who have children in the Arcadia Public school district is the school calendar.

A complete listing can be found on their website here.


January 16, 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day All Sites Closed

February 15-17, 2017 Minimum Days at Elementary Schools Minimum Days, Elementary Schools

Student/Parent Conferences

February 20, 2017 Presidents’ Day All Sites Closed

March 3, 2017 Minimum Day at Elementary Schools Minimum Day – Elementary Schools

End of Second Trimester

March 17, 2017 Minimum Day at Middle Schools Minimum Day – Middle Schools

End of Third Quarter

March 20, 2017 District Holiday All Sites Closed

April 3-7, 2017 Spring Vacation Pupil Holiday

May 29, 2017 Memorial Day All Sites Closed

June 5, 2017 Minimum Day Minimum Day – Arcadia High School

June 6, 2017 Minimum Day Minimum Day – Elementary, Middle & HS

June 7, 2017 Minimum Day Minimum Day – Elementary, Middle & HS

Last Day of School (K-12)

July 4, 2017 Independence Day – Legal Holiday All Sites Closed

August 15, 2017 Teachers Return/Teacher Preparation Day

August 16, 2017 Arcadia High School – Opening Day of School – AHS Students Return

Elementary and Middle Schools – Teacher Preparation Day

August 17, 2017 Elementary and Middle Schools – Opening Day of School – Students Return

September 4, 2017 Labor Day – Legal Holiday All Sites Closed

October 6, 2017 Professional Development Day for Teachers Pupil Holiday

October 9-13, 2017 Minimum Days at Elementary Schools Minimum Days – Elementary Schools

Student-Led Conferences

October 13, 2017 Minimum Day at Middle Schools Minimum Day – Middle Schools

End of First Quarter – Middle Schools and Arcadia HS

November 9, 2017 Minimum Day at Elementary Schools Minimum Days – Elementary Schools

End of First Trimester – Elementary Schools

November 10, 2017 Veterans Day – Legal Holiday All Sites Closed

November 20-24, 2017 Thanksgiving Break Pupil Holiday

December 19-21, 2017 Minimum Days at Arcadia High School Minimum Days – Arcadia HS only

December 21, 2017 End of Second Quarter – Arcadia High School

December 22, 2017 Arcadia High School Teacher Preparation Day Student-Free Day – Arcadia HS Only

Minimum Day at Middle Schools (end of second quarter) Minimum Day – Middle Schools

Regular Day at Elementary Schools Regular Day – Elementary Schools

December 25–January 5 Winter Break Pupil Holiday

As mentioned earlier, in and around the Phoenix area the options of things to do are endless.  We’ve researched some of the top-rated family friendly events that might be exciting.

Star Wars: The Music

Phoenix Symphony Hall

75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Friday, January 13th, 2017 starting at 7:30 PM and ending at 9:30 PM

We all know the movies, now it’s time to pay attention to the music. Put on your best Star Wars costume and enjoy the music of John Williams, including the “Main Theme” and the “Imperial March.” Prepare yourself for the new Rogue One film by getting into the music. Tickets range from $29 to $83.

Arizona Balloon Classic

Fear Farm Sports & Entertainment Complex

2209 N. 99th Ave (I-10 West & Loop 101) Phoenix, AZ

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 starting at 7:00 AM and ending at 10:00 AM

The 6th annual Arizona Balloon Classic kicks off at 7 a.m. with balloons rising over the Arizona skyline. There will be a family fun zone, a marketplace, retail booths and a food court, along with hot air balloon rides and the class “Hare and Hound” balloon race. Air balloon rides are a separate fee. This event is also happening on Friday and Saturday, with times and events varying. Proceeds benefit Ryan House. Tickets are $15.

Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival: 2017

Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater

3939 N Drinkwater Blvd

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Sat, Jan 28, 2017, 10:00 AM –Sun, Jan 29, 2017, 5:00 PM

This is the perfect event to purchase, sample and learn more about vegan food.  There will be opportunities to learn from expert plant-based doctors, authors, leaders, chefs, fitness professionals, and more.

This family friendly event will feature a special spot for kids’ activities, a mind/body fitness area, and vegan alcohol.

12th Annual Kids’ Chance Phoenix 5k Run/Walk

Arizona Falls / G.R. Herberger Park

5802 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Phoenix, AZ 85018

Sat, March 4, 2017, 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM MST

The 12th Annual 5K is back in Phoenix.   The event welcomes competitive runners as well as casual joggers/walkers, dogs, and families including strollers. Come out for a beautiful morning in the Arcadia/Phoenix area and support Kids’ Chance of Arizona.

Kids’ Chance of Arizona, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides college scholarships for children with parents who have been killed or catastrophically injured on the job. Help change the life of a young adult who would not be able to fulfill their dream of an education without you.

Home Tour + Marketplace in 2017

March 24, 2017 – April 2, 2017 with the Modern Phoenix Home Tour on April 2, 2017

This year Modern Phoenix is celebrating 13 years of award-winning tours, talks, workshops and events.  Come enjoy one of the best tours the area has to offer this spring.

For exact location of tour and a list of events please visit the website.

Brick Fest Live LEGO® Fan Experience

WestWorld of Scottsdale

16601 N Pima Rd

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Sat, Jul 22, 2017, 9:00 AM –Sun, Jul 23, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience provides a venue for LEGO lovers of all sizes to celebrate, build new creations, and see some truly mind-blowing LEGO sculptures to help set the imagination free.

If you are just looking for something a bit closer to home or a place to visit that you haven’t in a while, look no further.  There are plenty of locations around town that offer free events, or activities that you and the whole family can enjoy.

Take in Some Free Art at the Museums

Free admission is standard at establishments like the Phoenix Airport Museum, ASU Art Museum, ASU Museum of Anthropology, Arizona Capitol Museum, and Shemer Art Center (though some accept and encourage donations). But visitors can also get complimentary access to Phoenix Art Museum from 3 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday; 6 to 10 p.m. on First Fridays; and on Discount Tire Free Family Weekends, happening the second weekend of every month. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is free all day Thursdays and after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. And Phoenix Children’s Museum waives its entry fees from 5 to 9 p.m. on First Fridays.

Free National Park Entry Days

There are roughly 16 fee-free days for National Parks in Arizona and elsewhere, which include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Park Week, NPS’ birthday, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day. NPS sites like Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and Tonto National Monument are the closest to metro Phoenix, and the rest are but a day trip away.

Visit the National Park Service website for more information.

The Bat Cave

Phoenix has some great urban bat-watching areas, the most impressive of which is the Maricopa County Flood Control Tunnel (a.k.a. the Bat Canal) in Arcadia near 40th Street and Camelback Road. From May through October, a couple thousand Mexican free-tailed and western pipistrelle bats exit the tunnel at sunset. They start as a trickle — and grow to resemble an all-out cloud of bats. Just be sure to whisper, and do not use flash photography.

Visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department website for more information.

Farmer’s Markets


4056 E. Weldon Ave.  Phoenix, AZ US

Edible Schoolyards

 Farmyard is passionate about educating today’s youth on where their food is grown.  Teaching youth about what some of their favorite foods are made from for example; french fries are potatoes, ketchup is made from tomatoes, and eggs come from chickens; breaking the myth that their fruits and vegetables come from a magical back room in a grocery store.

Establishing a Farmyard edible schoolyard- garden and interweaving it with curriculum, teaches children many invaluable lessons that are best explained through “hands-on” applications.  It’s easy to see how all classrooms can integrate the garden as a useful tangible teaching tool for their students.

Farmyard also offers farm tours of their urban micro-farm in Phoenix twice a year. Once in the Spring/Summer season and once in the Fall/Winter season.

There is also a farmer’s market featuring local vendors.

Scottsdale Old Town Farmers’ Market

3806 N. Brown Ave

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Saturdays, 7am-11am

This lively market features local growers and specialty food producers.

Be ready to find a wide variety of organic, and pesticide free produce, along with seasonal specialties such as cider and apples, flowers, natural pork, beef, fish, free range eggs and local cheeses.

Town & Country Farmers Market

20th Street & Camelback Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85016

The Town & Country Farmers Market features fresh fruit, arts and crafts, baked goods, cheese, herbs, fresh cut flowers, honey, meat, plants, fresh vegetables, jam, seafood, nuts, and prepared foods.

Farmer’s Market at Camelback Esplanade

3930 East Camelback Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Every Saturday from late October to early May, from 9 am to 1 pm

The Camelback Market is designed to have a truly “European” flare with customers urged to take their time in wandering the stalls filled with the freshest local produce available, plus imported exotic fruits and vegetables. It also features warm, crusty breads, buttery croissants, homemade jams, exotic mustards. A wide array of mouthwatering imported cheeses plus Vincent’s signature dressings, fresh pasta and pestos are also available.

Patrons can purchase wines by the glass, bottle, or case, and enjoy omelets, and crêpes made to order as well as Vincent’s grilled panini sandwiches. In addition, the market features grilled items like grilled chicken and potatoes, our thin-crust pizzas from our wood-fired pizza oven, and seafood & meat paella from our 52″ and 44″ paella pans. It’s also a terrific place to find gifts imported directly from the south of France, like honey, olive oil, and French soaps.

Get out and enjoy your neighborhood and your city.  We might also recommend the Desert Botanical Garden, the Heard Museum or one of the 15 Major League Baseball teams that will be here for spring training.