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 First Day 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

Visit Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden
Judy Hedding
1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA
+1 480-941-1225

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

03 of 15

Spend a Day at MIM

Musical Instrument Museum
Miperson/Wikimedia Commons
4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA
+1 480-478-6000

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

Go to The Phoenix Zoo

White wolf (Canis lupus) yawning, Out of Africa zoo.
Mark Newman / Getty Images
Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA

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

Visit Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

Sea Life Arizona
Judy Hedding
5000 S Arizona Mills Cir #145, Tempe, AZ 85285, USA
+1 855-450-0558

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

06 of 15

Take a Tour at Taliesin West

Taliesin West / Frank Lloyd Wright
Judy Hedding
Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA

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

Ice Skating at CityScape

CitySkate in Downtown Phoenix
Courtesy CityScape Phoenix
CityScape, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

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

Swim with Dolphins at Dolphinaris

Kiss a dolphin at Dolphinaris in Scottsdale.
Courtesy of Dolphinaris
9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, USA
+1 480-407-5154

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.

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09 of 15

Go to an Amusement Park

Castles 'n' Coasters in West Phoenix
Judy Hedding
9445 N Metro Pkwy E, Phoenix, AZ 85051, USA
+1 602-997-7575

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

See the Zoppé Family Circus

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

Get a Tee Time

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

12 of 15

Hit the Slopes

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.

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13 of 15

Go to Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
Judy Hedding
16501 W Northern Ave, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340, USA
+1 623-935-9453

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

Go to a Movie

Harkins Movie Theater
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

Race at Octane Raceway

Octane Raceway
Judy Hedding
9119 E Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, USA
+1 602-302-7223

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.

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