When you visit a city, you may encounter a couple of museums worth checking out, but when you're in Phoenix, there's more than enough to keep you entertained whether you live there full time or you're just visiting. While all the museums in the area are worth checking out at some point, the following five museums should be bumped to the top of your list.
With more than 17,000 works of art, the Phoenix Art Museum is the largest fine-art museum in the Southwest United States. They have works from all over the world, including that in fashion design, and have an area called PhxArtKids that's geared toward children. When you get hungry, stop off at Palette for a bite, and when you want to shop, head over to The Museum Store. Whether you're into Photography or European art, there's more than enough culture at the Phoenix Art Museum to keep you occupied and enchanted for days.
The museum, which opened in June 1929, pays homage to American Indian arts and culture. The Heard Museum may not have gotten much attention back then, but over the years, it's become one of the best and most popular museums in Arizona. Just recently, it was deemed the 2012 Best Museum winner in Phoenix by Phoenix New Times, and also received a 2013 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. Their permanent collections include everything from textiles to baskets to pottery.
Opened in 2012, the Musical Instrument Museum has over 20,000 square feet of space devoted solely to musical instruments from over 200 countries and territories around the world. Whether you're into Chinese opera, rock, or jazz, there's something for everyone regardless of musical preference. They frequently feature new exhibitions and concerts, so you'll have even more of a reason to keep going back. When you've worked up an appetite, head over to Cafe Allegro for lunch or a snack.
When you have an appreciation of firefighters and the hard work they do on a daily basis, pay a visit to The Hall of Flame Fire Museum. Located over an acre of space, they have almost a hundred pieces of fire fighting apparatus, some of which date back hundreds of years. There's also the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which pays homage to firefighters who passed away in the line of duty. As part of their permanent collection, they have numerous firefighting helmets from around the globe.
When the kids are driving you crazy, especially on rainy days, bring them to the Children's Museum of Phoenix and let them play to their heart's content. They have over 48,000 square feet of space and are designed specifically for children ages birth to 10 years old. There are over 300 play experiences as well as classes and programs. It's no wonder they've been the recipient of so many awards over the years.
It doesn't matter if you're into paintings, music, or pottery, there's a museum in Phoenix that caters to just what you're looking for. The city and all its museums are the perfect example of how culture is far from boring when done and taught the right way.