Top 13 Things To Do Downtown in 2013

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As the new year rolls around we reached out to Downtowners to find out: what are your must-see spots Downtown? Over 100 people weighed in, creating the list of The Top 13 Things to do Downtown in 2013.

13. Experience the 2013 Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 9

It’s a parade, a festival and a pub crawl all rolled into one and at this day-long festival, anything goes. Dress up, dress down, grab a mask or a costume, whatever it is, just get out there. The outdoor festival kicks off at 3 p.m., the parade starts at 4 p.m. and the Pub Crawl starts at 9 p.m.

12. Take a break and get out of the office at a Pop Up Park

Soak up the sun, listen to some tunes, play a game or borrow a book during your lunch hour at a Pop-Up Park. With games ranging from Jenga to basketball, there’s never been a better time to get out of the office and enjoy the city. Pop-Up Parks take place at Patriot’s Square Park Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; The Arizona Center on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Civic Space Park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

11. Grab a brew at Angels Trumpet Ale House

One of the newest bars Downtown, Angel’s Trumpet Ale House offers a rotating cast of craft and unique brews as well as fun and seriously good eats. Combine a beer and upscale pub grub with an expansive outdoor patio and you’ve got yourself a little piece of hipster paradise.

10. Sip poolside at Lustre Bar

Head up the stairs or take the exclusive elevator to this semi-hidden bar at the Hotel Palomar at CityScape. Located next to the hotel’s outdoor pool, Lustre Bar is cool in the summer and heated in the winter and is an ideal location to sip a cocktail while enjoying some of the best views Downtown.

9. Take your kids to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The hands-on, highly interactive exhibits are sure to keep kiddos 10 and under (and parents) entertained for hours. Don’t skip the Noodle Forest or the fort building room. And, good news! Admission is free almost every First Friday.

ZombieWalk-3988. Zombie Walk Oct. 26

Last year over 5,000 zombies took to the streets of Downtown in the fourth annual Zombie Walk. This year the daylong festival and walk turns five – and we’re going for the Guinness World Record. Practice your limp, get your makeup set and join us for live music, vendors and – let’s hope – the largest Zombie Walk in the nation.

7. Experience the culinary scene Downtown on a Taste it Tour

Taste It Tours’ vision is to have its customers savor, learn, explore and connect with each guided tour and the ticket price includes food and drink from 5-8 restaurants, access to the talented chefs, plus tie-ins to architecture, historical insights, stories about the history of Downtown and the personalities that forged the region.

6. Comicon May 23 – 26

Nerds, geeks, zombies and aliens. This three day festival brings out the inner nerd and is the perfect time to celebrate that alternative comic book/movie/movement you’re into. And, if you aren’t a geek, there’s no reason to skip it. The festival is ideal for people watching and killer parties.

5. Check out the Arizona Science Center for free during Adults’ Night Out

The first Friday of each month, the Arizona Science Center turns into an adult’s only night at the museum. The fun includes a local DJ, cash bar and, did we mention, FREE admission to all four floors of hands-on science? And, each month, the Center hosts a new installment of their award-winning lecture series.

4. Speaking of First Friday, get out there!

It’s the largest art walk in the nation and on the first Friday of the month the entirety of Downtown is transformed into a street festival, gallery viewing hotspot and all-around outdoor party. If you haven’t experienced it yet, your next chance happens this Friday, Jan. 4.

3. Grab lunch at Food Truck Friday

Food Truck Friday has become a Downtown staple since kicking off in November 2010 and is still the place to check out the widest variety of food trucks in the Valley. By all accounts, these un-restaurants have become as big a part of the culinary scene as, well, restaurants. There’s just something magical about ordering high-end food from a truck. The fun takes place at the Phoenix Public Market every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Crescent2. Shop at the Phoenix Public Market

A bastion of all that is locally farmed, raised and produced in Arizona, the largest outdoor market in the Valley sells local goods, produce and results in all-around lovely way to spend a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening. After shopping, grab a meal at a food truck, grab a seat at a table and enjoy the community.

1. Catch a show at Crescent Ballroom

The top spot for indie and up-and-coming acts also features a killer kitchen that kicks out craveable burritos and expertly mixed cocktails. With music every night of the week and an intimate-but-not-crowded space, there’s no reason not to catch a show, eat dinner and dance the night away.

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Downtown Phoenix
All about Downtown Phoenix from the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.


  1. Who shot the photos in this article? I didn’t see photo credit and always look for that as a Phoenix photographer myself. Great list, BTW.

  2. aconsie says:

    Hi Devon,

    Thanks for asking!

    The first photo is by Jamie Peachey. His website is here.

    The other two photos are by Jess Nichols. Her website is here.