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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top March events for families in greater Phoenix

Cactus League spring training games are a fun way to spend an afternoon. There are games daily all month across metro Phoenix like this one at Salt River Fields.

There’s no time for spring cleaning this month, because these family events will keep you on the go. Lace up those sneakers, because the weather is perfect for fun runs. Experience rich culture at these favorite annual festivals and stage productions that can take you to new places without booking a flight. Ready, set, March!

Find much more extensive day-by-day event listings at

March 1-27

Cactus League spring training. With 10 facilities hosting 15 Major League Baseball teams, there are plenty of opportunities for fans to catch a spring training game in greater Phoenix daily through March 27.

Bodies Revealed. Opening March 1, this eye-opening exhibit by Atlanta-based Premier Exhibitions gives visitors an unprecedented way to view beneath the surface of the human body. See more than 200 whole and partial human specimens preserved by Polymer Preservation at OdySea in the Desert.

March 2

It’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! Read Across America is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually today in Seuss’s honor. Look for events at libraries and bookstores.

Canal Convergence offers family friendly activities and performances in downtown Scottsdale.

March 2-3

Canal Convergence Water + Art + Light. Presented by Scottsdale Public Art and Salt River Project, the event offers family-friendly hands-on activities, art and dance workshops and live performances on the Scottsdale Waterfront.

March 2-4

McDowell Mountain Music Festival is celebrating 15 years of community, culture and charity. This three-day festival features music, food and shopping. All proceeds benefit local nonprofits.

March 3-4

Phoenix Scottish Games. You don’t have to be Scottish — everyone is welcome. Enjoy traditional and modern Scottish tunes, competitive Highland dancing, pipe bands, athletics, historical re-enactments and vintage car exhibitions.

Tres Rios Nature Festival. This two-day outdoor festival showcases the rich diversity of wildlife habitat, history and culture of the Gila River drainage. Enjoy guided bird tours, canoeing, archery and fishing, plus a concert, music and dance performances.

Indian Fair and Market. The Heard Museum Guild hosts this 60th annual event that includes juried Native American jewelry, art, pottery, basketry, photography and sculpture, plus cultural dances, artist demonstrations, entertainment, storytelling, crafts for kids and more.

March 3-April 1

Renaissance Festival. Huzzah! Travel back to the 16th century. Brave knights joust, castles beckon and nonstop pageantry fills a 30-acre festival village nestled in the shadows of the Superstition Mountains. Enjoy live entertainment, food and artisan shops.

March 3 and 9-11

Ostrich Festival. This 30th annual events kick off at 7:30 a.m. with the Mayor’s Fun Run followed by a Festival Parade in downtown Chandler with marching bands, dance groups, antique cars and floats. The Ostrich Festival is March 9-11 in Tumbleweed Park with carnival rides, games, food and live entertainment.

March 4, 18 and 25, April 1 and 8

Sunday A’Fair. Grab your picnic basket and enjoy a free outdoor concert by top Arizona musicians in Scottsdale Civic Center Park. Plus an arts-and-crafts market, kids activities and free docent-led tours of the park sculptures.

March 4

It’s Oscars night!

March 8-11

Cirque du Soleil: Crystal. For its first show on ice, world-class skaters and acrobats take their new frozen playground by storm with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

March 9-11

Scottsdale Arts Festival. Enjoy 170 selected artists, continuous live music and entertainment, gourmet food trucks and the Local First Arizona Marketplace. Plus, tons of creative activities for kids at the Imagine Nation Family area and free admission to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

March 10

Run to Fight Children’s Cancer. This is the largest race in Arizona dedicated solely to pediatric cancer with a 10K, 5K and Cancer Survivors Walk, plus a festival for an afternoon of family fun. Enjoy vendors, arts and crafts, jump castles, music and more.

Zoo Move and Groove 5K. Celebrate getting healthy and staying fit — with an animal twist. The Move and Groove Fitness Festival is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Phoenix Zoo.

The Arizona Young Artists’ Competition. Watch aspiring young artists compete in the disciplines of acting, dance, musical theater voice and classical voice at Herberger Theater Center.

March 10-11

Flutterfest. Enjoy a new spring family festival at the Desert Botanical Garden. Hear nature tales, make a treat for butterflies and dance to live music like you have wings.

Arizona Aloha Festival. Experience the sights, sounds and flavors of Hawaiian culture. Songs and dances from the islands, traditional crafts and leis and travel information.

March 15

Desert Night Cinema. On second Thursdays, the Desert Botanical Garden hosts movie nights under the stars. Pre-show entertainment includes JesterZ Improv. Local food trucks Short Leash Hot Dogs, Mustache Pretzels and Soda Rush will be there. March’s movie is “The Sandlot.”

March 16-18

Art Detour. Phoenix’s original art walk and the longest running arts festival in downtown Phoenix celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. Step into 100 artist studios, galleries, pop-up spaces and other venues and enjoy cultural performances and free family-friendly activities.

March 17

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Family Faire. The 10 a.m. parade travels south from Third and Sheridan streets to Willetta Street and includes marching bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, floats and more. The Faire follows at Margaret T. Hance Park with three stages of performers, food and craft vendors and merchandise.

Itty Bitty Olympics. Is your little one a jumper? Does she dart through the house and vault over furniture? If so, you may have the next Itty Bitty Olympian! Ages 6 and younger are invited to compete for ribbons and prizes in a (modified and adorable) Olympic-style event.

March 20-25

The King and I. Rodger and Hammerstein’s musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and a British teacher who is brought there to teach his many wives and children. At ASU Gammage.

March 24-25

Italian Festival. This two-day event sponsored by the City of Scottsdale celebrates Italian culture, food, music, art, fashion and commerce.

March 30

Dino Egg Hunt. Enjoy a prehistoric egg hunt at the Arizona Museum of Natural History plus crafts and activities.

March 31

D-Backs Race Against Cancer. This sixth annual event benefits Arizona nonprofits that provide screening, treatment and support for those dealing with all types of cancer. The 5K and 1-Mile Banana Boat Family Fun Walk wind through downtown Phoenix and end with a victory lap around Chase Field.

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Liz Petroff

Calendar Editor Liz Petroff is the mother of Jack (10) and Lucy (8). Send information about your upcoming events to [email protected]

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