Best Things to Do in Glendale, AZ

If you’re looking for things to do in Glendale, AZ, the truth is you won’t have to look far. Glendale has fantastic outdoor recreation and exciting events and hosts the state’s one and only NFL team – the Arizona Cardinals!

Whether you’re in town for business or family vacation, Glendale offers a wide range of activities for people of every age. Upscale shopping and dining make it easy to plan a night on the town while parents can take comfort in knowing that in Glendale, a kid-friendly park is never too far away. Plus, year-round sunshine means you can enjoy everything from animal encounters at the zoo to an outdoor movie night! Here are the Best things to do in Glendale, AZ:

Drive-In for a Flick at the West Wind

things to do in glendale

Grab some snacks and get ready for a fun family night at the West Wind Glendale 9 drive-in. This modern drive-in plays first-run movies at the same time as indoor theaters, and kids get in for only $2! It’s the perfect way to enjoy the newest movie releases without ever leaving your vehicle. But if the family ever needs to stretch their legs, walk over to the snack bar area for some popcorn and playtime on the nearby play structure.

Cheer the Home Team at an Arizona Cardinals Game

Silhouettes of cheering fans at a football game, with their arms raised in various gestures of excitement and support.

Whether it’s in the heat of the summer or a beautiful sunny day in January, you won’t want to miss a visit to State Farm Stadium. This Phoenix Stadium houses over 64,000 seats, a retractable roof, and some of the most anticipated events in Arizona. Get tickets to State Farm stadium for an Arizona Cardinals football game, concert, or one of the other exciting sporting events. 2024 events include Monster Jam and AMA Supercross, as well as The Rolling Stones Tour and Luke Combs! 

Spend the Day at Sahuaro Ranch Park

What’s a trip to Arizona without some fun in the sun? Summer gets pretty hot, but 9 months out of the year, Sahuaro Ranch Park is a great place to enjoy the desert and all its natural beauty. Located just North of Glendale Community College, Sahuaro Ranch offers so much more than the average park. It has rose gardens to explore, museums where you can learn about the local history of Glendale, and even farm animals! Here are some of the Park’s best attractions:

  • Have a Picnic in the Park. Next to the Sahuaro Ranch Sports Complex are plenty of covered ramadas with picnic tables and grills, a large play area for the kids, softball and soccer fields, and even an off-leash dog park your pooch will love to explore.
  • Gardens and Hiking Trails. This park has some of the best (and free) nature walks in the Phoenix area. The Xeriscape Botanical Garden surrounds the library and features a wide variety of desert plants lining a lovely trail. Or wander the well-kept grounds of the historic Ranch buildings – featuring a rose garden and palm-tree-lined walkways. Just keep an eye out for horseback riders!
  • Ranch Houses. Take a tour of the Sahuaro Ranch Guest House or Manistee Ranch House and Museum. Located in the center of the park, these two historic places are home to the Glendale Historical Society and help paint a picture of Glendale’s rich history.
  • Farm Animals. Kids love interacting with the bunnies and chickens that live on the Ranch, and the young visitors to Sahuaro Ranch Park considered the roaming peacocks to be a highlight of the trip.
  • Glendale Main Library. Search for books, music, video games, and much more at the Glendale Library. You’ll find a wide selection of materials for kids and adults, as well as plenty of quiet corners to read in peace. Check out their events calendar for upcoming events for kids, teens, and adults.

Explore Historic Downtown Glendale

As a small town with an exciting vibe, historic downtown Glendale offers entertainment that rivals downtown Phoenix and any other big city. With attractions that are both family-friendly and a party-lover’s dream, Downtown Glendale is truly one of the best attractions Arizona has to offer. Visitors will find ten square blocks of a pedestrian-friendly area featuring unique antique shops and comic book stores, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and plenty of fun things for the entire family. Enjoy live music on Saturday evenings, food truck events, and special holiday traditions like Glendale Glitters. Or enjoy a walk through history on a warm summer day in the Circles of Time pocket park or along the Glendale History Walk. Discover a calendar of events here.

Visit the Glendale Police Museum

Speaking of history, the Glendale Police Museum is a fun way to learn about the history of local law enforcement. This one-of-a-kind exhibit is dedicated to the men and women in law enforcement and offers visitors a look into the past of the city’s bravest police officers. The museum showcases over 100 years of police memorabilia, including old radio equipment, uniforms, and badges from each decade, and it even has statues of legendary K9 officers. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Glendale Police Department building.

Go Wild at the Wildlife World Zoo

A sloth hangs leisurely from a thick rope, its long claws gripping securely as it displays its characteristic relaxed pose.

Wildlife World Zoo Safari and Aquarium is one of Glendale’s more popular attractions. This 100-acre zoo houses over 6,000 animals and offers unique animal encounters you won’t find at the Phoenix Zoo. Get up close and personal with sea lions, spend the afternoon with an adorable capybara, or take a selfie with a sloth! Visitors can also experience underwater worlds at their aquarium – featuring turtles, sharks, and stingrays you can feed!

Go Shopping at Westgate Entertainment District

Located off Glendale Avenue, in between the State Farm Stadium and Northern Avenue, is the Westgate Entertainment District. Westgate has specialty shops and boutiques that offer a unique shopping experience as well as a local art fair open on select Saturdays called Artisan Alley. Visitors will also find one of the biggest selections of restaurants in Maricopa County as well as exciting year-round events.

Get a History Lesson at Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

This self-guided hiking trail and historical preserve is a wonderful way to enjoy the desert in all its natural beauty. Visitors can access a free audio tour that shares historical information about the cultures, desert ecosystem, and incredible petroglyphs. Visit the exhibits for a fascinating look into the rock art and archeology of Deer Valley as well as Southwest displays of cultures past. Located just North of the 101, the preserve is a wonderful way to learn about Glendale, Arizona’s natural history, and experience a true desert hike without having to travel too far out of the city.

Begin planning your vacation to Glendale, AZ, with PrimeNest Arizona. Our goal is to create positive experiences for visitors by finding you the perfect rental. Contact us today for more information.

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