Summer is just around the corner and that means the temperatures are climbing. While you maybe limiting your outdoor activities, there’s still plenty to do indoors around the valley. And that includes museums. Below are some of the museums offering free admission.
PHOENIX POLICE MUSEUM
The Phoenix Police Museum represents the dedication of the City of Phoenix Police Department, headquartered since the 1920s, in the building where the museum now exists, the historic City Hall building. The Phoenix Police museum started as a small exhibit in 1993 and grew in exhibit size and popularity. It eventually received its own space and the recognition as a full-fledged museum in June 2012.
Full-size vehicles are on display along with historical timelines about the department. There’s also a fallen officer memorial.
You might only need about 30-45 minutes to explore the museum and gift shop.
Historic City Hall
17 S. 2nd Avenue (on the north side of Jefferson, between 1st and 3rd Avenues) The museum is accessible by METRO Light Rail.
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed for all City of Phoenix holidays.
SAHUARO RANCH PARK HISTORICAL AREA
Glendale is home to the 17-acre Sahuaro Ranch Park Historical Area which features 13 original buildings, a rose garden, barnyard, and historic orchards. Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area features 13 original buildings, a rose garden, barnyard and historic orchards.
Also known as the “Showplace of the Valley,” the Historic Sahuaro Ranch offers activities, exhibits and guided tours.
Our mission is to preserve a historic site where the community participates in the ongoing development of educational and social experiences that connect Glendale residents and visitors to the past and to each other.
FREE ADMISSION (except during certain special events)
9802 N. 59th Ave.
Glendale Arizona 85302
Open: 6 a.m. to sunset
SCOTTSDALE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicated to "presenting exhibitions on contemporary and modern art, architecture, and design." There are five galleries on a single level which rotate exhibitions three times per year in the fall, spring and summer. In addition, the galleries host traveling exhibitions and those specially researched and organized in-house by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as occasional rotating segments of the permanent collection. You also won’t want to miss an outdoor sculpture garden, which includes a permanent ‘skyspace’ viewing chamber.
Through its exhibitions, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art includes in its mission to "educate audiences for modern and contemporary art, as well as to provide opportunities for the artistic community—locally, nationally and internationally."
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Hours:
Noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Noon to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
Noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays
Closed Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
In the summer (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day):
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Admission (2016)
15 and under: Free
Thursdays: Free for everyone
Fridays and Saturdays after 5 p.m.: Free for everyone
Admission to the young@art gallery, the gift shop and the sculpture garden is always free.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Address
7374 East Second Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
SHEMER ART CENTER AND MUSEUM
The Shemer Art Center and Museum is located at the southeast corner of Camelback Road and East Arcadia Lane (48th Street) in Phoenix. Set at the base of Camelback Mountain, the site offers panoramic views of the beautiful Arcadia neighborhood, framed by a touch of nostalgia.
In 1919, developers formed the Arcadia Water Company and began drilling wells with the intent to sell home sites in the newly named Arcadia neighborhood. To house the foreman of the water company, the first home in Arcadia was built.
In July 1984, long-time Phoenix resident and real estate investor Martha Evvard Shemer purchased the twice-renovated, Sante-Fe mission-style home and land. Mrs. Shemer donated the home to the City of Phoenix to ensure it was used as a community center for city residents.
Today, the Shemer Art Center has become a cultural center for all ages and provides an atmosphere for residents and visitors to learn about visual art, through fun and affordable classes, lectures, workshops, exhibits and events.
Additional features of the Shemer Art Center include an on-site gift shop plus an outdoor sculpture garden.
ADMISSION: Free (Suggested Donation of $7/person, $10/couple)
HOURS: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
WELLS FARGO MUSEUM
Wells Fargo has several museums in cities where the bank has a major presence. In Phoenix, the exhibits include a gallery of western art, historical photographs and prints, relics and historic documents, an authentic 19th century stagecoach and a replica stagecoach. The replica stagecoach is a popular spot for family photo opportunities.
Wells Fargo Museum
145 W. Adams Street, Phoenix.
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed for bank holidays.
Admission is free.
AFRICAN AMERICAN MULTICULTURAL MUSEUM
The African American Multicultural Museum is a local Museum with a global perspective. It emphasizes the positive contributions of many races and cultures while incorporating the African American segment. An extensive variety of exhibits and programs featuring art, historical items, speakers, and artist are highlighted throughout the year. Exhibits are changed quarterly.
The African American Multicultural Museum is a non-profit, tax exempt organization. Exhibitions, programming, and operations are member supported and privately funded through contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
617 N Scottsdale Rd # A
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
ARIZONA MILITARY MUSEUM
The Arizona Military Museum was established in 1981 in an original raw adobe building that was constructed in 1936 to serve as a National Guard arsenal. In World War II, it was converted into a maintenance shop for a German prisoner of war compound.
The Arizona Military Museum is currently operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society and contains a chronological display of military activities related to Arizona starting with the Spanish Conquistadors and continuing through operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also houses a military library which contains an extensive collection of books, documents, and maps of military actions all over the world.
The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4p.m. and is also available for special group tours by appointment.
There is no entry fee for the museum but donations are welcome.
Arizona Military Museum
5636 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix AZ 85008-3495.
Open Saturday & Sunday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. or by appointment