The weather is our friend in March, and this week’s activities for kids across metro Phoenix are all about taking advantage of it. Several free, guided hikes are on tap this week, including one with banana bread.
The Arizona Game and Fish is hosting an outdoor expo with clay target shooting and 150 exhibitors hawking and educating the public on all things outdoors.
Plus, two events are aimed at getting kids to swim safe, and a summer-camp expo will make sure kids are summer ready.
We know you like free best of all, so consult azcentral.com/thingstodo for updated listings of events that won’t cost you anything and a listing of all-ages shows, festivals and concerts.
3/24: See ‘Secret Life of Pets’ free at Scottsdale Quarter
Catch a popular animated movie for free on the last two Fridays in March at the Scottsdale Quarter. Bring chair or blankets. March 24: “Secret Life of Pets.” March 31: “Toy Story.”
Details: Movies start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 24 and 31. Scottsdale Quarter, 15059 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Free. 480-270-8123, facebook.com/ScottsdaleQuarter.
3/25: Falcon Field Open House
This free family-friendly event includes aircraft flyovers, food and music, as well as Impala Bob’s Classic Car Show. Children’s activities, educational programs and exhibits will be part of the day’s event. Canned food donations will benefit the United Food Bank.
Details: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Falcon Field Airport, 4636 E. Fighter Aces Drive, Mesa. Free. 480-644-2450, falconfieldairport.com.
3/25: Sugar Happy Bakery Breakfast and Hike
Start Saturday morning off with some banana bread, coffee and orange juice at Sugar Happy Bakery, followed by a 4-mile hike around the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale. Sugar Happy owner and hiking enthusiast KK Campilongo will lead the group hike.
Details: 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25. Sugar Happy Bakery 14204 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 167, Scottsdale. $10 per person. 480-596-3354, sugarhappyaz.com.
3/25: Swim and Gym Festival
Hubbard Family Swim Schools and the Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center host the free Swim and Gym Festival. Kids will get to enjoy free gymnastics and dance classes, family swim and water play, as well as karate, face-painting, balloon making, bounce houses, food vendors, local vendors and more.
3/25: Camp & Summer Expo by Arizona Parenting Magazine
Take care of spring break and summer vacation with Arizona Parenting Magazine’s expo at Desert Ridge Marketplace. The family event gives parents a change to get information about a variety of summer camps and programs while kids can zip line, do some rock climbing, tie dye T-shirts and more.
Details: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, March 25. Desert Ridge Marketplace, behind AMC Theatres, 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix. Free. azparenting.com/camp-expo
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3/25: Petroglyph Discovery Hike
This 1-mile, family-friendly hike provides an easy Hohokam petroglyph discovery experience. An experienced museum guide leads guests on an hour-long interpretive hike at South Mountain.
Details: 9-10 a.m. Saturday, March 25. Box Canyon/Holbert Trail, 10919 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. $5. Advance registration required by Thursday, March 23. 602-495-0901, www.pueblogrande.com.
3/25-26: Arizona Game and Fish Outdoor Expo
See wildlife, fish and learn archery in a safe, supervised environment on the range. Instructors will also guide attendees through specialty shooting disciplines like clay target, cowboy action, practical pistol, black powder, and air gun. After the sports, watch a cowboy mounted shooting competition and check out more than 150 exhibitors.
Details: March 25-26. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Ben Avery Arizona Shooting Range Facility, 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd., Phoenix. Free. 623-582-8313, azgfd.gov/expo.
3/25-26: Anthem Days
Everyone is welcome at Anthem Days, a family-friendly event that features an egg hunt, food and craft vendors, a business expo, live entertainment, a carnival and more. A petting zoo and pony rides are new attractions this year.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26. Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy., Anthem. Free. onlineatanthem.com.
3/26: Special Needs Playdate at Toys & Playtime Oasis
Children 5 and under with any type of special needs are invited to a morning of play with other children at Toys and Playtime Oasis.
Details: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 26. Toys & Playtime Oasis, 13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 152, Scottsdale. $10 per child. Adults are free. Socks must be worn. 480-948-4630, www.azdollhouse.com.
3/26: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Family Hike
Sponsored by the Conservancy Women, this guided hike is designed just for kids. They will learn about plants, animals and native traditions through interactive, hands-on trail activities. Be prepared with sunscreen, water and closed toed-shoes for the 1.5 hour duration of the 1-1.5 mile hike. A parent or responsible adult must accompany all kids and sign a waiver for their family.
Details: 9:15-11 a.m. Sunday, March 26. McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, 23015 N. 128th St., Scottsdale. Free. 480-998-7971, mcdowellsonoran.org.
3/26: OrigiNation – A Festival of Native Cultures
French and Arizona culture are celebrated in this afternoon of interactive experiences and entertainment. Guests may enjoy music, dance, arts-and-crafts from local artists, art stations for families, and native-inspired foods and beverages.
Details: 12-4 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. Free. 480-499-8587, scottsdaleperformingarts.org.
Through 3/26: Wet ‘n’ Wild spring break
Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix is opening in time for spring break and with a major new attraction.
Wet ‘n’ Wild debuted Barefootin’ Bay for spring break this year. The interactive water play area, which is part of Wet ‘n’ Wild Jr., is made for babies to 7-year-olds. It includes: an overhead tipping bucket, water sprayers, tipping cones, which slowly fill with water then randomly tip when full and a 4,700-square-foot kids’ pool.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through March 26. Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix, 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale. wetnwildphoenix.com.
Through 4/1: Spring training
Here are some longtime favorites about America’s favorite pastime.
Spring in Arizona means perfect weather, day drinking and, of course, baseball. Spring training draws huge crowds each year to one of the 10 statewide stadiums and 15 Major League Baseball teams. Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim train, and Sloan Park, home of the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies, are ideal for ASU students on the Tempe campus. One of the most popular venues is Scottsdale Stadium, where San Francisco Giants play, because it’s in the heart of downtown Scottsdale. Most of the stadiums have dirt-cheap lawn or bleacher seats, and it’s even cheaper to go during the week.
Details: Through March. cactusleague.com.
Through 3/31: Shamrock Farms Farm Tour
Shamrock Farms offers a one-hour guided tour for guests through its real working dairy farm. In March, additional tour times will be offered throughout the week at 1 and 2 p.m. during the spring break season.
Details: Reservations are required, call for times. March 6-31. Shamrock Farms, 40034 W. Clayton Rd., Stanfield. $9, $6 for children. 480-988-1452, shamrockfarms.net.
Through 4/2: Arizona Renaissance Festival
It comes every year, and it’s one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the U.S. — the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Families can enjoy food, drinks, shows, the festival marketplace and jousting. You can dress up with the many characters roaming around area, or you can watch the festival unfold with its usual color and excitement.
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday and President’s Day, Feb. 11-April 2. Arizona Renaissance Festival, 12601 E. US Highway 60, Gold Canyon. Online tickets are $23 for adults, $13 for children 5-12, free for 5 and under. Box office tickets are $24 for adults, $14 for kids 5-12, free for kids 5 and under, $21 for seniors 60 and over. 520-463-2600, arizona.renfestinfo.com/?.
Through 4/2: Sunday A’Fair
Celebrating its 30th season, Sunday A’Fair features free outdoor concerts by top Arizona musicians, along with a crafts market, fun activities for children and families, and free docent-led tours of the sculptures in the park. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs or picnic baskets and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of great entertainment. Delicious foods from the grill, snacks and cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks are also available for purchase.
Details: 12-4 p.m., Sundays Jan. 15-April 2. Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale. Free. 480-874-4607, scottsdaleperformingarts.org.
Through 4/7: Spring break bowling
Uptown Alley! presents a Spring Break Passport that gets kids 18 and younger one game of bowling, shoe rental and choice of a $15 game card or $10 game play card and one game of laser term. The passport can be used Monday through Thursdays and Fridays until 6 p.m. Individuals can buy as many passports as they want.
Details: 10 a.m.-midnight Mondays-Thursdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Fridays. Uptown Alley, 13525 N. Litchfield Road, Surprise. uptownalleysurprise.com.
Through 4/16: ‘For Mrs. Radio: a young child’s gallery’
Scottsdale elementary school students create paintings, sculpture and installations for the exhibit honoring the memory of Pima Elementary School art teacher Allison Vredevoogt, who was known as “Mrs. Radio” to her students.
Students learned about modern and contemporary artists in the classroom before creating their own pieces using contemporary materials and techniques.
Details: Through April 16. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays and during events. Free. Young@Art Gallery at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org.
Through 5/29: ‘Planet Shark: Predator or Prey’
An exhibit with teeth that educates and entertains with technology that makes visitors feel submerged among sharks. The exhibit includes a vast array of shark teeth, rare fossils and stunning facts about one of the world’s scariest predators.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $18; $13 for ages 3-17 for general admission, then an additional $11.95 for adults and $9.95 for ages 3-17 for Planet Shark. 602-716-2000, azscience.org.
Republic reporters Kerry Lengel, Tynin Fries, Owen Baldner and contributor Alison Stanton contributed to this article.
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