To fight the spread of COVID-19, entertainment options from Luke Days 2020 air show to concerts have been postponed or canceled across metro Phoenix. Last Wednesday, Governor Doug Ducey announced a state of emergency. Since the coronavirus has been confirmed in Arizona, despite the Department of Health Services not banning mass gatherings, occasions like Arizona Aloha Festival, Chandler Ostrich Festival, and Scottsdale Arts Festival will take place no longer.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. There are many things to do in Phoenix. Across town, many art venues and museums are open as well as food occasions celebrating Pi Day. Ensure you follow recommended guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you want to go out and busk in Arizona’s cool spring weather.
Below are some scenic drives, Arizona hikes, and more things to do this weekend. Always call in advance before you embark on a journey to make sure all is well at your destination.
Arts and the museums
A couple of Phoenix arts institutions haven’t closed their doors as they encourage good hygiene and step up their cleaning procedures among visitors. The Arizona Museum of Natural History, Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Musical Instrument Museum, and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix are functioning normally. (More details on some of these sites can be found below). However, mass gatherings and festivals are being canceled by some museums.
If you have pre-purchased tickets and are worried about being outdoors, you can ring the venues directly regarding cancellation policies.
Proceed north to discover some prominent Sedona scenery and clear your mind (on coronavirus) on these simple hiking trails. For dramatic sights, embark on the 3-mile Horse Trail round-trip and work your way up to Chicken Point. Baldwin Trail is another option, as it’s a 2.3-mile loop that offers majestic views of Cathedral Rock.
Tucson Free Things
Tucson offers a range of free entertainment alternatives. If you don’t want to miss the David Hume Kennerly photo exhibit, which is premiered by the Center for Creative Photography, you better get going right now. This weekend is the only chance you got remaining.
If you prefer to stay outdoors, I suggest you tour the city through the Turquoise Trail (2.5 miles) or hike the Hidden Canyon Trail, which is a 2-mile loop. There, you’ll pass landmarks and historic homes. Again, remember to make a phone call to ensure your selected destination is still open.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
At the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, there’s a 392-acre oasis that lies one hour east of Phoenix. It is suitable for cactus fanatics, bird watchers, and hikers. At the Cactus Garden, you will find a 1.25-mile loop trail, 230 bird species, meditative labyrinths, a human-made lake, and over 800 cactus varieties.
Embark on a wildflower scenic drive
You should drive south to Saguaro National Park, Picacho State Park, or Catalina State Park to witness some desert chicory, penstemon, lupines, poppies, and cream cups.
Witness wildflowers around Phoenix
At this time of the year, there are no better things to do in Arizona than seeing wildflowers and updating your social media feeds with pictures of the spring blooms. At White Tank Mountain Regional Park, you will find wild geraniums, desert lavender, and poppies in the West Valley.
Bartlett Lake is surrounded by mountains and provides impressive views of a sparkling reservoir and white poppies. While there, look out for rattlesnakes, avoid flower picking, and stay on the trails.
Arizona Museum of Natural History (AzMNH)
According to the Museum’s director, Tom Wilson, the Mesa museum is maintaining its regular hours. In addition to the policies initiated at AzMNH, the Museum pledged to oblige to citywide procedures and policies. To bolster their sanitizing and cleaning processes, the Museum’s management has incorporated some internal steps and displayed information on cleanliness in the washrooms. Special attention is given to hands-on areas.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Executive Director Samantha Turner said that the School of Ballet Arizona, business office, and Ballet Arizona’s studios are open for activities. They have taken initiatives to reduce the opportunity for COVID-19 to spread. The ballet is availing more hand sanitizers and issuing disinfectant wipes.
Artlink’s Art Detour
Artlink’s yearly Art Detour, which is scheduled to occur March 19-23, will go on as planned. However, several elements like studio tours, Grand Avenue trolley, Creative City Symposium, and Art d’Core Gala have been canceled.
Art d’Core, the exhibition of the works by Artlink Artist Council members, will be on display to the public at Artlink’s Park Central headquarters. It will also be on show online in a virtual gallery. 1-9 p.m. are the exhibition hours. March 19-20; 1-5 p.m. March 21; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 22; 1-5 p.m. March 25-28.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
The Museum’s management announced that its doors would be closed as of Saturday, March 14-31st. They made this decision on March 13 in order to help stem the spread of coronavirus. They said that they will keep an eye on this fast-growing situation and will re-evaluate its decision every week. When the Museum reopens, pre-purchased tickets will be honored.
Regular hours are being observed by the Heard Museum. According to a communication on the Heard’s website, new procedures include dispensing hand sanitizer in washrooms and high-traffic zones, sanitizing surfaces, elevator buttons and door handles.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Ireland event scheduled for March 14-15 has been canceled, but the MIM Music Theater and galleries will remain open. In a statement, the Museum revealed that it had no plans to alter its museum hours. They said that while the generality of COVID-19 is low at this moment, their leadership team is keeping tabs on public health announcements and recommendations.
Precautions include adding sanitation and food safety measures at the café, offering new hand-sanitizing stations, and disinfecting high-touch zones.
It’s a shame that we’ve only entered a new decade only for the world to be hit by the deadly COVID-19. None of us anticipated this would happen when we ushered in the New Year in style. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even though some of our favorite destinations might be closed at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before everything is back to normal. In the meantime, try to stay indoors as much as possible, and if you have to go outdoors, exercise caution so that you don’t become the latest carrier of this deadly virus.