School is out, spring cleaning is done, pools are open and it's officially summer in Phoenix. June is one of the best months to be in the area because it is warm enough for water activities and it is right before the rainy monsoon season. Whether you are visiting for the weekend or planning a staycation, keep reading for ideas on what to do in Phoenix this month.
1. Check out a concert
June kicks off the busy concert season in Phoenix, with major acts coming to perform in the city. Dance along with Jennifer Lopez at the Talking Stick Resort Arena June 16, or check out country star Luke Bryan when he comes to the Ak-Chin Pavilion June 13. Classic rock lovers should see Paul McCartney when he performs June 26 or check out Santana June 22.
If you want a different music experience, then plan to see the monthly Lasers and Liquor show at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix. June’s theme is Beyoncé and Queen, and there will be karaoke and a cash bar for people 21 and up.
2. Head outdoors
Phoenix has a beautiful desert landscape worth exploring. Grab the fishing poles and head out June 1 for Free Fishing Day. No fishing licenses are required this day for people fishing in public waters. The city will also host several free fishing clinics as part of National Fishing and Boating Week.
If you’re an early bird, then head to the trails for a morning hike. There are several shorter hikes in the area that you can do before the sun rises, such as the Sidewinder, Apache Wash Loop in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve or the Holbert to Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
Art lovers should step outside for the First Fridays Art Walk. More than 70 galleries will open their doors June 7, and there are complimentary shuttles to each of the art hubs in downtown Phoenix.
3. Go for a swim
One of the best ways to beat the heat in Phoenix is splashing at a local waterpark. There are several to choose from, including Hurricane Harbor, Big Surf and the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa. The city also maintains public pools, such as the Pecos Park pool and the Cortez pool.
If you want to be adventurous, then rent a kayak or pontoon boat for a day on the lake. There are multiple lakes within a short drive of downtown. Options include Saguaro Lake in Tonto National Forest and Lake Pleasant Regional Park.
4. Party at a festival
Celebrate African American culture and history at the Juneteenth Festival on June 15. Taking place in Eastlake Park, this festival celebrates Texas announcing the abolishment of slavery two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The festival will feature historical exhibits, live music, a food court, and a vendor marketplace.
Phoenix has a thriving beer scene, and there’s no better place to experience this than the Bloomin’ Beerfest. This festival commemorates the novel “Ulysses” by the Irish author James Joyce. Head to the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library in the evening of June 15 for live music, craft beer tastings, and a costume contest.
5. See Phoenix after dark
Wait until after the sun sets and check out some fun nighttime activities in the Phoenix area. The Desert Botanical Garden hosts flashlight tours on Saturday nights where people can view blooming plants and nocturnal animals. The tour is for all ages, and the garden serves food and drinks.
For a great view of the stars, head to Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale for Astronomy Evenings. Taking place June 8, this monthly series includes a short explanation of the solar system and a view of the sky through a Celestron telescope.
If you’re looking for nighttime water fun, then head to Tempe for a glow paddle on Tempe Town Lake. Registration for the event includes all necessary kayaking equipment and glow in the dark accessories. Participants are also encouraged to wear their favorite glow in the dark clothing.
6. Try new flavors
Take a break from cooking this June and try some of the best foods Phoenix has to offer. Chelsea’s Kitchen is hosting a summer dining series June 13 which includes a five-course meal. Options include a homemade peach sangria, a blue corn veggie taco, and a berry cobbler.
Scottsdale is having beer and wine go head-to-head June 15 with Firestone Walker Brewery competing against Frog’s Leap Winery. The beverages are paired with a five-course meal, and at the end, participants will cast a secret ballot for the winner.
Cool off with a scoop of ice cream at Novel Ice Cream. Try some of their newer flavors such as Thai Tea and Taro, or a scoop of Midnight Munchies with sprinklings of Cracker Jacks. Step up your typical scoop by ordering the Dough Melt, which is ice cream sandwiched in between a warm doughnut.