10 Free Must Visit Museums in Phoenix - Kid 101

10 Free Must Visit Museums in Phoenix

Chandler Museum

Just a short drive from Phoenix is the historic Chandler Museum, a testament to the cherished heritages that created contemporary Phoenix as it is now known. Current offerings at the Museum center around World War II history for the America in Times of Conflict program, featuring exhibitions like fine art photography of Japanese prisoner of war camps, as well as portraits of internment camps in the U.S. The Museum also works in tandem with the Tumbleweed Ranch, giving hands-on context to the artifacts found in the Museum. Don’t miss out on this stop, or you’ll be missing a gem of local heritage.

Where: 300 S. Chandler Village Drive, Chandler, AZ 85226

Phone: (480) 782-2717

Email: Tiffani Egnor, Curator of Education at tiffani.egnor@chandleraz.gov

Hours: Tuesday — Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Always free admission.

Arizona Railway Museum

It’s all aboard for this adventure through history! One of Arizona’s most unique and cherished museums is its Railway Museum, home to some of the fastest freighters on wheels. Stroll through the train yard and snap some photos of the massive machines, or stop by for a free event at the museum, where celebrations like the famous Chuck Wagon Cook-Off are highly anticipated all year. Boy Scouts and other civic organizations are welcome, as the Museum provides a great stop for earning badges and learning new skills. Come see these colorful contraptions for yourself!

Where: 330 E. Ryan Rd., Chandler, AZ 85286

Phone: (480) 821-1108

Email: info@azrymuseum.org

Hours: Saturday — Sunday, 12 pm to 4 pm. Entry to display yards and the building is free. Additional costs for tours and programs.

Phoenix Art Museum

A cultural staple of the Greater Phoenix area, the Phoenix Art Museum boasts a collection dedicated to the variety of mediums, themes, styles, and dimensions that represent contemporary Phoenix. Photography, fashion, painting, balloons — you’d be more surprised by what you don’t find here than by what you do! Kids will love the Make It! sessions on scheduled Wednesdays throughout the year, plus more events that can be found online. Don’t miss out on this must-do destination.

Where: 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: (602) 257-1800

Email: info@phxart.org

Hours: Voluntary donation hours are Wednesday 3 pm to 9 pm, First Fridays 6 pm to 10 pm, and Second Saturdays 12 pm to 5 pm. Children 5 and under, members, and Military Access Program participants are always free.

Shemer Art Museum

For a fun family trip, check out the Shemer Art Museum, one of Phoenix’s “10 Best Museums” (USA Today). Stop in for an Art Renaissance lecture on traditional artist techniques, spend the night at a star painting workshop, and swing by a fine arts festival to explore work by local artists. Regular museum features include exhibitions of all styles of medium, expression, and theme, so there is always something to discover. Kids’ programming is a large part of community focus at the Shemer Art Museum, so be sure to visit the website for details on upcoming events.

Where: 5005 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Phone: (602) 262-4727

Email: info@shemerartcenter.org

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm. Free (Suggested Donation is $7 / person, $10 / couple).

Heard Museum

The Heard Museum of American Indian Art & History stands as a testament to the diverse array of heritages and peoples Arizona comprises. From live performances celebrating traditional Native holidays, to workshops in classic jewelry styles, the Museum is always abuzz with activity. Another special feature is the Museum’s education focus, even offering mobile exhibits that visit schools, plus hands-on galleries that are child-oriented. Don’t miss out on the Heard Museum, because there is so much in store for you.

Where: 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: 602-252-8840

Email: contact@heard.org

Hours: Free First Friday evenings (returning in February).

Mesa Contemporary Arts

Conceptually stirring, thematically striking, and innately sublime are all great ways to describe the collections at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, where artists from around the world showcase their latest works as harbingers of modern culture, philosophy, and self-reflection. Students of every level will find programs to pique their interests, especially the live performances that mirror Arizona’s State College and Career Ready Standards, for those interested in exploring higher education purposes at the Museum. Explore online for more details about offerings.

Where: One East Main Street, Mesa AZ 85201

Phone: (480) 644-6560

Email: Boxoffice@mesaartscenter.com

Hours: Monday — Friday, 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 4 pm.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Museum

This free museum, situated in the Sky Harbor Airport, showcases work from local and international artists. Stroll through the offerings, spread across three terminals, and you’ll see a diverse body of work in a variety of mediums. Photography, drawings, sculpture, and prints are abundant, and the Museum also offers an Aviation History collection that exhibits documents and artifacts from the local airport community. Take some time out of your flight wait time, or just swing by to visit. More details online.

Where: 3400 E. Sky Harbor Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Phone: (602) 273-2105

Hours: Sky Harbor Airport open 24 hours daily. Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear Airports and Terminal 4 Gallery: 6 am to 9 pm daily.

Arizona Capitol Museum

Arizona’s exciting history is on display at the Capitol Museum, which is freely accessed by the public and offers tours (by reservation). Revisit the foundations of the state in 1863 to its place as a Rough Rider bulwark during the Spanish-American War, to modern times. Tour the governor’s office, in operation until 1974, which even has a wax statue of the first governor, courtesy of Madame Tussaud’s in London! There is more to explore online, so be sure to visit to plan your trip.

Where: 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Phone: (602) 926-3620

Contact Form: http://apps.azlibrary.gov/museum/tourrequest.aspx

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Open Saturdays September through May, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Free admission, donations accepted.

ASU Art Museum

Arizona State University, recently named by US News & World Report as the number one innovative university in America, serves its title well through its always-free, always-exciting Art Museum. A great stop for families, students, and community groups, the Museum offers hands-on learning experiences through family programming and community events. The arts are just a short trip away at the ASU Art Museum. Visit online to plan your adventure.

Where: 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, Arizona 85281

Phone: 480-965-2787

Email: asuartmuseum@asu.edu

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm; Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm during academic semesters. Closed Sunday, Monday and university holidays. Admission is always free.

Phoenix Police Museum

Think back to your childhood days spent racing around the neighborhood playing Cops and Robbers, and you’ll quickly realize why you should visit this museum dedicated to the brave “boys in blue.” From safety training to history lessons, everything law enforcement is on display for your family to explore. Resources and materials are abundant, and make learning fun: Get an inside look into SWAT operations, learn about the history of diffusing bombs, pay your respects at the 9/11 memorial, and so much more. Online kids’ resources are available, too, so they can access fun coloring pages and learn an important safety lesson along the way. Check online for more details about planning your visit.

Where: 2nd Ave and Jefferson, Northeast Corner, Historic City Hall 1st Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: 602-534-(PAST) 7278

Contact Form: http://phoenixpolicemuseum.org/contact-us/

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