For residents and tourists of Phoenix and the surrounding area, July is typically a month for water parks, splash pads, and getaways to cooler destinations in northern Arizona, but there are still plenty of festivals, activities, and events in Phoenix this month.
July is one of the busiest months of the summer in Phoenix, which means you won't find a shortage of great events this year, depending on what you and your family are interested in doing.
From checking out summer concerts or watching local shows to strolling through art walks or cheering at sporting events, the Valley of the Sun is home to all sorts of summer fun this July. Whether you're traveling with children or in town on a weekend getaway with your special someone, these annual and special events make great additions to your itinerary.
Art Walks and Community Events
In terms of community events, the town of Mesa presents an art walk, live music showcase, and prize raffles on the second Friday of each month called Second Friday Night Out, which is free to attend and family-friendly. Another community event, Meet Me Downtown, happens every Monday in July this year and invites guests to enjoy a "social self-guided 3.3-mile walk" around the downtown Phoenix area.
Also, at Phoenix First Friday over 100 downtown art galleries, studios, and art spaces will host special receptions on the first Friday of July as part of this monthly showcase. Some downtown museums will also open their doors for free.
Unlike other communities in Phoenix, the Scottsdale ArtWalk takes place every Thursday night in July.
Starting at 5 p.m., the Scottsdale Art District invites guests to spend a casual evening walking downtown and enjoying fine art at local galleries for free.
Fourth of July Events and Celebrations
If you're in town for Independence Day, which falls on a Wednesday in 2018, you can stop by a celebration in almost every city and town in the Valley. From fireworks in Tempe and Phoenix to day-long festivals like the Fourth of July Freedom Fest at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess, these Fourth of July festivals and fireworks celebrations are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Several events will also take place over the weekend before the Fourth, starting as soon as June 30, 2018.
Local and Professional Sporting Events
The Arizona Cardinals Training Camp Practice Sessions will start on July 28, 2018, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. However, although the first practice game won't take place until mid-August, you can still watch one of their scheduled practices for free by simply stopping by the box office.
Ranked first in the National League in 2018, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the official Major League Baseball team of Phoenix. The Diamondbacks will play several home games in July 2018 starting on July 1 at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.
Minor League Baseball has 14 Rookie League teams in the Phoenix area, and the 56-game season takes place all summer long. With games in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria, or Surprise, there's plenty of opportunities to catch a local amateur team play almost every night of the month.
If you're a fan of soccer, you can watch the Phoenix Rising Football Club take on the Seattle Sounders at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in Scottsdale on July 20, 2018. For basketball, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team Phoenix Mercury will play several games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix throughout the month.
Arizona Authors Summertime Storytelling
Every Saturday in July, the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix hosts the Arizona Authors Summertime Storytelling, which invites pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students to enjoy readings by local writers and story-related crafts and snacks.
The museum is also open from Tuesday through Sunday all month long, with reduced admission for adults and seniors from July 3 through 7 for Independence Day.
Along with three galleries of artifacts of the Hohokam people (450 to 1450 A.D.) at the indoor facilities, the Pueblo Grande Museum also offers outdoor exhibits as part of an "interpretive trail," which consists of archaeological features and replicas of prehistoric houses. There's also a children's gallery (where the storytelling events take place) and an extensive online exhibit with digital copies and photographs of artifacts.
Education and Educator Events
The 35th Annual Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE) Convention will take place on July 13 and 14, 2018, at the Phoenix Convention Center. With over 5,000 in attendance, this is the largest gathering of homeschoolers and educators in the state.
Meanwhile, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) celebrates educators all month long for Educator Appreciation Month at MIM, offering free admission so teachers can learn how to incorporate arts into their curriculum. The MIM will welcome a new exhibit on July 7, 2018, called "In the Company of Women: Women Artists from the Collection," which features 50 artworks from the Phoenix Art Museum’s collection created by women.
There are also special Flashlight Tours of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix all summer long. These sensory adventures invite kids of all ages to bring their own flashlights and explore the trails to see nocturnal-blooming plants or enjoy a different play and education-based activity sponsored by the Garden each night.
Christmas in July 2018
Historic Downtown Glendale will host its annual "Christmas in July" event on July 14, 2018. Featuring holiday crafts, sweet treats, and merchant discounts along with a visit from a summertime Santa Claus and free trolley rides, this yearly celebration is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon near Phoenix, especially if you're traveling with children. Start at the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, where they'll be distributing a special holiday map to all guests so you don't miss any of the festive fun.
Crossroads of the West Gun Show
On July 21 and 22, 2018, the Arizona State Fairgrounds will host the annual Crossroads of the West Gun Show(CWGS), which features hundreds of tables with merchandise that both once-a-year hunters and avid gun collectors can appreciate (or purchase, if able). The GWGS hosts gun shows at multiple locations in the western United States, but the Phoenix event is among the largest. No loaded guns are allowed in the venue at any time, and all sales must comply with local, state, and federal laws.
Desert Ridge Marketplace Concerts
Starting on Friday, July 6, 2018, the Desert Ridge Marketplace in North Phoenix will host a series of concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings all month long. In 2018, performances will include Come Back Buddy (a Buddy Holly tribute band), West Hills Brothers, Sawmill Grinders, People Who Could Fly, Rachel Svetz, Whitney Steele, Manic Monkeys, 3Nations, Ratio, Henry Thompson, Sunday At Noon, Kevin Thomas, Cliffside Push, and Nicole Grace.
Other music events include the Glendale Summer Band Concerts at the Amphitheater in downtown Glendale on July 5, 12, 19, and 25, 2018, and the " Live and Local Fridays" at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, where local bands will perform family-friendly tunes each Friday of July. Additionally, every Wednesday from June 6 through July 25, 2018, the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale welcomes guests to a family-friend event appropriately called "Westgate Wednesdays." Festivities include dancing, sing-alongs, prize giveaways, and crafts—all for free.
Real, Wild, and Wood Beer Festival and Brew-Con 2018
Each year at the end of July, residents and tourists alike celebrate the local tradition of brewing beer with three days of festivals and events. First, the Arizona Brew Conference and Tradeshow presented by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild will take over Events on Jackson on Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, 2018. Then the Real, Wild and Woody Beer Festival takes over the Phoenix Convention Center on July 28, where dozens of brewers and vendors will celebrate the craft with samples and snacks.
Maricopa County Home and Landscape Show
On July 13 through 15, 2018, the Maricopa County Home and Landscape Show will return to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for a weekend full of crafting workshops, hands-on demonstrations, expert panels, cooking and wine tasting events, and special giveaways. All activities are included in the price of admission, and although no outside food or drinks are permitted (except bottled water), there is a large food court with snacks available for purchase and ATMs on-site if you need to draw out cash.