What’s Going On in Downtown Phoenix?

We get this question all the time.

Bryce and I have always had a healthy appreciation for Downtown Phoenix. But still, even after more than 4.6 billion dollars have been invested into the growth and development of the area (and did you SEE what they did for the Superbowl this year??), people seem to have missed that the Valley is home to a growing, vibrant downtown community.

From our experience, a lot of people seem to share one of just a handful of assumptions about Downtown Phoenix:

“There’s nothing to do.”

“The kids don’t have anything to do.”

“There’s no late-night scene.”

“It’s old and dirty.”

Well, to all of that, we respectfully disagree. And we are ready to prove it to you. Whether you’re looking to mix up your weekend outings with the kids, experience some amazing food, or change up your night-life scene, we’ve got you covered!

Arts and Sciences

First Fridays – Artlink Phoenix has worked with the community to create an amazing tour of the downtown art scene. On the first Friday of each month, tour art galleries and related venues and spaces from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Make it easy by jumping on a trolley circuit, which stops at each little hub along the way!

Children’s Museum of Phoenix – Located in the old Monroe School, this is also one of our favorites during summertime; the highly interactive exhibits here will keep kids (and their parents!) entertained for hours. Bonus: admission is free on most First Fridays!


Arizona Science Center – While this used to be my favorite elementary school field trip when growing up in Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center is great for all ages! Check out their website for special exhibits, adults-only events, and everything else you can think of.


Crescent Ballroom – The Crescent Ballroom has made a name for itself as far as the Phoenix music scene is concerned. Started as an adaptive reuse project, the Crescent is located in a historic building and features live music every day, a lounge (also open daily) with full bar service, and Cocina 10 – a kitchen serving a one-of-a-kind menu developed by Chris Bianco(!).

Stand Up Live – Just another fun night-out venue, Stand Up Live in Cityscape features some of the hottest comedians in the country. They also offer stand-up comedy classes, as well as host some pretty great private parties (or so I’ve heard).

Copper Blues – Right next to Stand Up Live in Cityscape is Copper Blues. “Beer, music, and food” is their thing, featuring fun local bands as well as the occasional headliner. Copper Blues offers 60+ beers on tap, and yummy pub fare. This is especially a fun place for a group!

Eat and Drink


The Breadfruit – This cute little Jamaican place has long been touted as one of the best restaurants in the Valley, period. Come here for amazing jerk chicken and out-of-this-world seafood dishes, all with that Carribean flare. Bonus: The Breadfruit is adjoined to the Rum Bar, where you can pick from 100+ rum varieties and incredible cocktails.

Matt’s Big Breakfast – One of our favorites! This one is worth the weekend wait: perfectly scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and herbed potatoes will viciously steal your heart. I almost always get the special, usually a hearty scramble with local ingredients like Schriener’s sausage with veggies.


Pizzeria Bianco – I feel compelled to include Pizzaria Bianco not only because the pizza has been nationally recognized as the gold standard of pizza, but because with it’s start, creator Chris Bianco is said to have spurred what would become the amazing Phoenix food scene we are enjoying today. Too much can be said about the Bianco restaurants, so I will leave it there and just say, “GO!” if you haven’t yet.


Angels Trumpet Ale House – Another favorite: craft beer on tap, eclectic food, and a great atmosphere that will keep you around for hours. The 31 taps feature what is one of the best beer selections in Phoenix, with seasonal and cask-conditioned favorites. Prost!


Bitter and Twisted – A real stylish, moody place in the historic Luhr’s Building, we love the world-class cocktails. Really: Some of the best cocktails I’ve had in Phoenix have been crafted behind that bar. You can also find a carefully curated menu for scrumptious dinner and late night fare.

So – since this is just a pinch off the top of what Downtown Phoenix really has to offer, I’ve left some room for you to find your own favorites! The food scene never ends, and there are always new events and attractions taking place. We can’t wait for you to experience it for yourself!

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