Things To Do On New Year's Day in Phoenix

Start the New Year With Entertainment and Fun

Two boys on a hiking trail, AZ, USA
••• Marc Schlossman / Getty Images

Many people have the day off from work and school on January 1. It might be a day of recuperation for some people who partied until 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve, but for others it might be a day to find something interesting to do around town. Here are some ideas for things to do on January 1.

All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

  • 01 of 15
    Take a Hike
    ••• Take a Hike. Judy Hedding

    You'll find a variety of hiking trails, nature trails, and picnic facilities all over the central Arizona area, many of which are open on New Year's Day. Arizona State Parks participate in a special program called "First Day Hikes" where you can take a ranger-led hike at one of our lovely state parks. We have several within just a couple of hours from Phoenix!

  • 02 of 15
    Desert Botanical Garden
    ••• Desert Botanical Garden. Judy Hedding

    This wonderful garden is open regular hours on New Year's Day.

  • 03 of 15
    Musical Instrument Museum
    ••• Musical Instrument Museum. Miperson/Wikimedia Commons

    You certainly don't have to spend the entire day, but many people will tell you that you can't appreciate it all in one visit! The Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix is a unique experience. Immerse yourself in the musical depth of our country and the world.

  • 04 of 15
    White wolf (Canis lupus) yawning, Out of Africa zoo.
    ••• Mark Newman / Getty Images

    Open on New Year's Day for regular zoo animal visitations. In the evening, ZooLights is the attraction.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15
    Sea Life Arizona
    ••• Judy Hedding

    Sea Life Arizona will be open on New Year's Day. See a photo tour.of this attraction.

  • 06 of 15
    Taliesin West / Frank Lloyd Wright
    ••• Judy Hedding

    On New Year's Day, you can take the popular Insights Tour at Taliesin West, the site of Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and the current home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

  • 07 of 15
    CitySkate in Downtown Phoenix
    ••• Courtesy CityScape Phoenix

    It's an outdoor rink with real ice at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. NRG Ice Rink admission includes skate rental and unlimited skating for the day. Don't forget that you can get to CityScape on Valley Metro Light Rail!

  • 08 of 15
    Kiss a dolphin at Dolphinaris in Scottsdale.
    ••• Kiss a dolphin!. Courtesy of Dolphinaris

    Play with the dolphins, get a dolphin hug, and even a New Year's kiss. The water is warm and wet suits are available, but if you prefer to stay dry, there is the Dolphin Land Experience. Reserve your time online or by calling 480-407-5154. Scottsdale.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15
    Castles 'n' Coasters in West Phoenix
    ••• Castles 'n' Coasters in West Phoenix. Judy Hedding

    There's really only one place around here to ride a roller coaster, and that's at Castles 'n' Coasters near Metrocenter in Phoenix. The arcade and miniature golf open at 10 a.m. Go Karts and bumper boats will open at 11 a.m. The Ride Park opens at noon.

  • 10 of 15
    Zoppe Family Circus
    ••• Courtesy Zoppe Family Circus

    The Zoppé Family Circus makes its annual appearance at the end of the year, and schedules shows on January 1. Chandler Center for the Arts

  • 11 of 15
    Golfing in Phoenix
    ••• Judy Hedding

    If you are a golfer, you'll find plenty of golf courses that are open on January 1st. If you aren't familiar with them, I have listed some of my favorites in different categories. I know, I know. It's high season here in January and the rates are high. Looking for a discount? If you pay in advance (nonrefundable) you might find a great deal on one of these courses at GolfNow.com.

  • 12 of 15
    Skiiers making snow angels
    ••• XiXinXing / Getty Images

    What? Skiing in the desert? Well, not exactly, but we do have ski slopes within a few hours drive from Phoenix. Many people here who miss that white, wet stuff pack up the vehicle and head north for a day of skiing, snowboarding and snowy fun.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15
    Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
    ••• Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is open on Christmas Day. Judy Hedding

    This is a great time of year to visit animals, and Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium on the west side of town is a local favorite spot. Open regular hours on January 1st. Feed a giraffe for me!

  • 14 of 15
    Harkins Movie Theater
    ••• Go to a movie on January 1. Judy Hedding

    Or go to two! Remember double features? OK, I'm dating myself. Go to one movie, then out to lunch and then back for a second movie. Call it your own personal New Year's Day Film Festival.

  • 15 of 15
    Octane Raceway
    ••• Feel the need for speed. Judy Hedding

    Thrill-seeking drivers can get a true taste of performance racing in state-of-the-art karts that reach speeds of up to 45 mph at Octane Raceway in Scottsdale.