The midday heat in August gets intense, but Phoenix residents simply consider it a cue to focus on more cerebral pursuits for a while. A summer visit to the Valley of the Sun gives you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the desert landscape—albeit best done early in the morning or at night after the sun sets—plus a full slate of air-conditioned activities when soaring temperatures chase you indoors.
The Arizona Cardinals begin playing their preseason football games in August, with home games starting at 7 p.m. on August 11 and August 30, 2018, at the air-conditioned University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. You can also watch the open practice sessions with free admission.
Minor League Baseball includes 14 Rookie League teams in the Phoenix area. The 56-game season takes place in June, July, and August. You can catch an evening game in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria or Surprise.
Join expert birders at 7 a.m. on Mondays in August for a bird walk along the Desert Botanical Garden trails in Phoenix. Wear a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes, and bring binoculars to make identifying any birds you spot easier.
See, hear, and feel the desert night's plants and animals on Saturdays in August on the Discovery Trail. Bring a flashlight and wear comfortable shoes for the self-paced tours, which begin at 7 p.m. This is a fun activity for families and children of all ages, and it is included in the price of general admission.
Enjoy free concerts on two stages in North Phoenix at Desert Ridge Marketplace. The 7 p.m. shows go on every Friday and Saturday night throughout the month and the music ranges from country western to Latin to local favorites.
Through the generosity of Discount Tire, the Phoenix Art Museum opens with free admission on the second weekend of August. Free Family Weekend activities Include a special hands-on exhibit, educational programming, and/or entertainment designed to appeal to visitors of all ages. Access to some special exhibitions may require an admission fee.
Visit more than 50 artists set up along the streets of historic downtown Chandler from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the third Friday of the month. Their juried works include photographs, pottery, blown glass, original paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and more. Many downtown businesses stay open late for the event.
Visit more than 80 downtown Phoenix art galleries, studios, and art spaces during a free self-guided tour that takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. The tour extends from Indian School Road to Buchanan Street, and from 12th Street to 17th Avenue, with a free trolley service to help you cover the large area.
The 25th annual occurrence of this free event takes place on Saturday, August 25, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, August 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the air-conditioned El Zaribah Shrine auditorium on North 40th Street in Phoenix. You can purchase food tickets for a meal featuring corn on the cob plus burgers, and hot dogs and beans. Visit more than 60 arts and crafts booths, and keep the kids interested with face-painting, clowns, balloon animals, and other activities.
At this colorful annual convention at the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, you can get tattooed, enter tattoo competitions, attend educational seminars, visit the Heck City kids area, and more. Mark your calendar for the weekend of August 24–26, 2018.
Enjoy performances by local bands in air-conditioned comfort at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. This family-friendly event takes place on Fridays in August, with shows beginning at 8 p.m. Happy hour begins at 6 p.m. with catered bites and discounts in the center's award-winning store.
You can purchase the general admission tickets in advance for $12 or on the evening of your visit for $15.
Bring the whole family to watch "Despicable Me 3" on August 31, 2018, beginning at 7 p.m. With free blanket seating on the outfield lawn and light refreshments available for purchase, you can make it a movie night to remember. Doors open a half hour before showtime.
The Phoenix Art Museum shows independent and classic cinema and documentaries relating to art, artists, and works on view in the museum, usually followed by discussion. The screenings are free with paid museum admission and open on a first-come, first-seated basis. In 2018, the museum explores feminism in the 1970s with the movie "Womanhouse" on August 1, and the art of satire with a showing of "Untitled" on August 15.
Payson Food Truck Festival
The inaugural Payson Food Truck Festival in Green Valley Park brings together gourmet food for all taste buds on August 4, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. From lobster to Philly cheese steaks, Costa Rican coffee to Cambodian stir-fry, you can get your fill while enjoying craft beers, live music, and plenty of family-friendly activities during ASU football weekend in Rim County.
The 135th Annual "World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo" takes place August 16–18, 2018, in Payson, a small mountain town located 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. With some of the world's best professional cowboys and cowgirls competing for more than $50,000 in prize money, the action promises to be exhilarating. The three-day event also includes a parade and an after-rodeo party and dance.
Take a guided night hike on August 4, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. along the darkened trails of the Phoenix Zoo and find out what sort of silly antics the animals are up to when no one is around. The Magical Midsummer Dream theme for 2018 features magicians, music, a waterslides, and the Wizard School. The kids can also ride a unicorn, hunt for dragon eggs, and learn about the care of magical creatures.
The Arizona Science Center in Downtown Phoenix opens it doors one evening per month for an adults-only experience (21+), with lectures, music, and cocktails. Join the scientific fun on August 17, 2018.
Sip & Shop at DeSoto
Sunday brunch takes on a new twist at the DeSoto Central Market in Phoenix. Start at noon with brunch from one (or more) of the many food stalls, then enjoy discounted mimosas or beers while you shop vintage fashion and artisan crafts as the house DJ spins upbeat tunes.
Every Thursday evening the Scottsdale Art District invites you to spend a casual evening walking downtown and enjoying fine art. Billed as "America's Original ArtWalk," the 40-year-old free event takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. primarily on Main Street and Marshall Way.