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 to keep busy with throughout the city.
July is one of the most action-packed months of the summer in Phoenix, with summer concerts, local shows, art walks, sporting events, and more to keep people entertained. However, many of these events have been altered or canceled in 2020. Check details below and websites of the organizers for more information.
Art Walks and Community Events
The town of Mesa presents a free, family-friendly art walk called 2nd Friday Night Out, which also features live music and prize raffles on the second Friday of each month. Meanwhile, the Downtown Chandler Art Walk features more than 50 artists on the third Friday of July in Historic Downtown Chandler. At Phoenix First Friday, more than 100 downtown art galleries, studios, and art spaces host special receptions on the first Friday of July. Some downtown museums will also open their doors for free, but the event has taken place exclusively virtually in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Visit the First Friday Facebook page to find out how to participate.
For a weeknight outing, 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.
If you're in town for Independence Day, which falls on a Saturday in 2020, you can catch a celebration in almost any city or town in the Valley of the Sun. From fireworks in Tempe and Phoenix—both suspended in 2020—to day-long festivals like the Fourth of July Freedom Fest at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess, the Phoenix area's Fourth of July festivals and fireworks celebrations are sure to delight visitors of all ages. A few annual favorites include Red, White & Boom at the Fort McDowell Casino, Celebrate America! at Lake Pleasant, and Fabulous Phoenix 4th at Steele Indian School Park. Check the local calendars for updates and cancellations in 2020.
The Arizona Cardinals training camp practice sessions typically start in July at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, so although the first practice game won't take place until August, you can sometimes watch a scheduled practice for free simply by stopping by the box office.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are the official Major League Baseball team of Phoenix and July is high season at Chase Field. In 2020, the Diamondbacks are scheduled to play 14 home games throughout July, against the Cincinnati Reds, the Miami Marlins, the Minnesota Twins, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
There are 14 Minor League Baseball teams in the Phoenix area. With games in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria, and Surprise, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a local amateur team play almost every night of the month. And if you're a fan of soccer, you can watch the Phoenix Rising Football Club take on the Real Monarchs at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in Scottsdale on July 17, 2020.
For basketball, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team Phoenix Mercury usually plays several games in July at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. However, the WNBA continues to make changes to the 2020 schedule amid coronavirus concerns.
Every summer, the Desert Ridge Marketplace in North Phoenix hosts a series of concerts on weekend evenings. The July 2020 lineup includes modern rock band Viper Club, Mesa-based pop-rock band Courtesy Call, Corridor Sixteen, decades cover band Too Fat for Summer, party band Frosty & The Silver Tones, bassist Tristan Lauzon, indie pop group People Who Could Fly, and Traveler, which combines multicultural musical elements from all over the world.
While the Glendale Summer Band's 2020 has been canceled, it usually plays through July at the Amphitheater in downtown Glendale. Additionally, the Westgate Entertainment District typically hosts festivities like concerts, dancing, singalongs, prize giveaways, and crafts throughout the month—all for free. Visit the calendar on its website for updated happenings.
The Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix is temporarily closed due to coronavirus, but usually, it hosts Arizona Authors Summertime Storytelling throughout July. This event 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, with reduced admission for adults and seniors around Independence Day.
Along with three galleries of artifacts that once belonged to the Hohokam people, 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 a children's gallery (where the storytelling events take place) and an extensive online exhibit with digital copies and photographs of artifacts.
Real, Wild, and Wood Beer Festival and Arizona Brew-Con
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 is the Arizona Brew Conference and Tradeshow presented by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, then there's the Real, Wild and Woody Beer Festival, which will take over the Phoenix Convention Center on July 27, 2020, with dozens of brewers and vendors celebrating the craft with samples and snacks.
Education and Educator Events and Conventions
The Annual Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE) Convention has been canceled in 2020. It usually takes place in July at the Phoenix Convention Center and draws more than 5,000 attendees. It's 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, offering free admission so teachers can learn how to incorporate arts into their curriculum.
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.
Maricopa County Home and Landscape Show
On July 17 to 19, 2020, the Maricopa County Home and Landscape Show will return to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for a weekend 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.
Glendale's Christmas in July
Historic Downtown Glendale's annual Christmas in July event features 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 special holiday maps are distrubted to guests. Check the Visit Glendale website for updates and cancellations.