Local venues that enrich, educate and entertain us are coming back online after months of enforced closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. As they do, expect to see changes in numerous procedures — from schedules and capacity limits to payment methods and increased cleaning and safety regimens.
Last updated Nov. 23, 2020
What’s opening soon
Mesa Arts Center will reopen its Art Studios to in-person classes on Dec. 1 and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum will reopen to the public Dec. 22 with robust safety protocols. What you need to know before you visit.
What’s open now
Arizona Boardwalk: This popular Scottsdale entertainment destination — which includes OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Laser + Mirror Maze, Surprise Your Eyes, and Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs and Johnny Rockets restaurant — has reopened with updated safety protocols.
Arizona Doll and Toy Museum in Glendale is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe has reopened with limited hours: 10am-2pm Tuesday-Saturday.
Arizona Historical Museum in Tucson has reopened with limited hours: 10am-2pm Tuesday-Saturday.
Arizona Museum of Natural History has reopened with reduced museum capacity, timed tickets, new low-touch activities and robust safety protocols.
Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum is Mesa is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Open cockpit tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Fridays. Face coverings are now required for all visitors and personnel age six and over until further notice.
Arizona Science Center is open to the general public. Guests have the option of self-guided tours, guided experiences, or a combination of both — while following strict health and safety guidelines. The Center will remain closed on Tuesdays for deep cleaning. Some exhibits also will remain closed.
AZ on the Rocks in Scottsdale is open to both members and the public. All visitors must register for a session in advance and must complete both the waiver and the entrance survey before arrival.
Biosphere 2 is again welcoming visitors to tour the world-class research facility safely and at their own pace, using the updated Biosphere 2 Experience app.
Boyce-Thompson Arboretum in Superior is open, and celebrating the completion of the Wallace Garden, which offers new loop trails and water features.
Castles-n-Coasters in north Phoenix has reopened, offering miniature golf, bumper boats and Indy cars from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Thrill Ride Park is open 6-11 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix has reopened to the general public with an all-outdoors weekends-only experience called “Adventure Play.”
Desert Botanical Garden has opened its trails to guests. All visitors will be required to make a timed reservation online or by calling 480-941-1225 before they arrive. The Garden will limit capacity and provide a touchless admissions experience.
Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg is open Tuesday through Sunday. English- and Spanish-language tours are available in version for adults and children. Masks are required.
Enchanted Island reopened on Saturdays and Sundays with rides on the C.P. Huntington Train, Encanto Carousel, Kiddie Cars, Dragon Wagon, Bumper Boats and more.
FatCats in Gilbert has reopened with bowlers on every two lanes, sanitized bowling balls and shoes, food orders in to-go containers and theater seats spaced every third seat. (Family groups can sit together with a two-seat gap between them and the next occupied seat.) Team members will wear masks and hours of operation have been adjusted.
Great Wolf Lodge has welcomed guests back to the resort/waterpark and is introducing its new Paw Pledge program, a company-wide initiative focused on keeping families healthy and safe while they play together at the indoor waterpark resort.
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting in Phoenix is open with new hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Harkins Theatres reopened Friday, Aug. 28. Face coverings are required. Loyalty Cup refills will be made in disposable cups, and safety shields have been installed throughout the theater. Because seating is limited to provide social distancing, no free passes will be honored.
The i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa has reopened with reduced museum capacity, timed tickets, new low-touch activities and robust safety protocols.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is open to the public, with free admission the entire month of October.
The Heard Museum has reopened and attendance will be limited to 100 per hour, with a maximum capacity of 240 visitors. Face coverings and social distancing are required for staff and visitors for all indoor spaces. Disposable masks and gloves will be available upon request and free of charge.
Legoland Discovery Center indoor play center at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe reopened with limited capacity timed ticket entry and access to “your family only” building blocks.
Main Event in Avondale, Gilbert and Tempe is now open, offering bowling, video games, laser tag, gravity ropes, billiards and more. Other Arizona locations are expected to follow soon.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale has opened its 30-acre family park playground and is offering miniature train and carousel rides.
Medieval Times reopened Aug. 6, offering a live dinner theater experience including a two-hour medieval jousting tournament, competing knights on horses and a live flight of the “royal” falcon.
Mesa Historical Museum has reopened with two new exhibits: Women in Aviation and Mesa’s Founding Families. For now, hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. All visitors will be required to have face coverings and you are asked to call ahead to reserve a time slot.
The Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix reopened Aug. 10. Don’t miss the MIM’s newest exhibition, Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa, which offers a glimpse into the dramatic and lively masquerade traditions of Central Africa with an exclusive collection of more than 150 rare masks, instruments, and costumes from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Octane Raceway in Scottsdale has reopened. Go-karts are cleaned with disinfectant and sanitizing fog after every race. Full-face headsocks and helmets also are sanitized after every use.
Organ Stop Pizza: The home of the world’s largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in Mesa has reopened and has lots of social distancing procedures in effect.
Phoenix Art Museum has reopened to the general public.
Phoenix Zoo has reopened to the general public.
Rosson House Museum, a fully-restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house museum interpreting the history of Phoenix, has resumed tours on specific days.
Sea Life Arizona Aquarium in Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe — across from Legoland Discovery Center — is open. Masks are required for all guests age 6 and older. Some attractions (Interactive Tidepool, Kids Play Area, Critter Canyon and River Race) remain temporarily closed.
Shemer Art Center in Phoenix is open. Currently exhibiting “Inside Perspectives,” an annual event highlighting works created by Shemer Art Center instructors, students and staff. “Nature in Balance,” featuring artwork related to the natural world, opens Sept. 9.
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale is open by appointment only. All tours remain outdoors. Tour capacity has been capped at 10 and all visitors ages 10 and older must wear masks at all times.
Taliesin West has reopened with a touchless tour experience for small, socially distanced groups and new, self-guided audio tours.
Top Golf in Scottsdale — featuring climate-controlled hitting bays and a full-service restaurant and bar — has reopened.
Western Spirit, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, has reopened with new exhibits and extra safety and health protocols so people can feel safe while enjoying western art and culture.
Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, home to Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals, with more than 600 species, opened just before the Labor Day weekend. The Aquarium features over 75 indoor exhibits including stingrays you can feed, penguins, otters, and sharks plus rides & a petting zoo.