Spring is here. Just as the season arrives, it seems to quickly vanish to the scorching summer temperatures. Spring is here. Now is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, parks and gardens of Downtown Phoenix.
Margaret T. Hance Park, named after former Phoenix Mayor Margaret Taylor Hance, sits directly above the Papago Freeway Tunnel (also known as the Deck Park Tunnel) in Downtown Phoenix. Hance was a strong proponent of the tunnel and the park, and thus the park was named after her. On any given day, hundreds of vehicles drive through the tunnel right under the feet of any park-goer! The park is lovely and features walking paths, drinking fountains, grills, ramadas to reserve, a volleyball court, and The Irish Cultural Center and Japanese Friendship Garden.
At The Irish Cultural Center the foundation’s Academy of Irish and Celtic Studies offers an array of unique indoor and outdoor classes in everything from Celtic instruments – including bagpipes and the bodhran – to Celtic languages, such as Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, to step dancing.
At the Japanese Friendship Garden (Ro Ho En), one can admire elegant waterfalls, streams filled with swimming Koi fish, and more than 50 varieties of plants. Strolling through the garden offers tranquility and beauty. The garden’s name, Ro Ho En, is a combination of three Japanese words. Ro means Heron, a bird symbol of Himeji City. Ho is the Japanese word for the city of mythical Phoenix bird. En means garden. Apparently, more than 50 landscape architects from Himeji, Japan, contributed to the Japanese Friendship Garden project. General admission prices are: adults $5; students, military, seniors (62+), and children $4; children ages six and younger when accompanied by an adult are free. Daily traditional Japanese Tea Ceremonies take place at various times. Participation is available for an additional fee.
Just a few blocks away, Civic Space Park sits as the newest park in downtown Phoenix, which is across the street from Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. At night, look for a large illuminating sculpture that soars high into the sky. This sculpture is called “Her Secret is Patience” and was created by Janet Echelman. During the day, this park offers many shaded areas making Civic Space Park a comfortable retreat from the sun. Frequently, park-goers can enjoy weekend activities such as yoga and movie nights in the park.
At Central Avenue and Washington Street sits Patriots Square Park at CityScape where kids can enjoy water features and adults can kick back to relax in the outdoors on a lunch break. Patriots Square Park also features Pop-Up Parks during the week with a DJ, games, and even a library of books to choose from! The park also hosts yoga and other fitness activities throughout the year.
Spring is here and Downtown Phoenix offers many options to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in an urban setting. So, get out there!
Margaret T. Hance Park
West side of the park -> 67 W. Culver Street
(between Central and Third Avenues in downtown Phoenix)
Japanese Friendship Garden – Ro Ho En
1125 N. Third Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Irish Cultural Center
1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Civic Space Park
424 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Patriots Square Park at Cityscape
1 East Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85004