About 30% of Arizona’s population is at least 50 years old. Active senior (or approaching senior) adults living in the Phoenix area will find that there are endless opportunities for entertainment and activities. Whether you live here all year-round, or even if you are winter visitors, there is always more to learn and explore about Greater Phoenix. For those seniors who are vacationing in Arizona, finding the best resorts, dining and attractions for a memorable stay are paramount during the trip planning process. For those of you who are thinking about retiring to the Valley of the Sun, there are a myriad of considerations; evaluate the pros and cons, and make this major decision about your future with your eyes wide open.
You can be sure that there are senior citizens in Arizona who enjoy roller coasters, make-and-take crafts, and cosplay events — that’s great! At this site, though, I will try to assist with information, tips, ideas and recommendations that are geared toward (but not restricted to) Arizona’s seniors who are active, but generally seek a more mature lifestyle.
The weather in March is typically the closest to springtime that we experience throughout the year. Winter visitors typically stay through the month of March. Local schools schedule off time for the kids, and college/university students travel here from around the country to enjoy their spring break. For that reason, you’ll find countless activities, events, concerts and festivals in the Phoenix area during the month of March. Here are some of my favorites. All prices mentioned are subject to change without notice, and may not include taxes or service fees. Visit each event website for specifics on activities, pricing and restrictions.
Arizona Renaissance Festival Website
It might take you quite a while to get there, unless you live in the Gold Canyon area! This annual event is described as “a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts faire, a Jousting Tournament and a feast, all rolled into one non-stop, day-long, adventure!” You will spend the entire day here, and you’ll need the festival map to plan what you want to see and where you want to go. You won’t see it all in one day. This is a rain or shine event; much of it is outdoors, but some seating areas for the shows are covered. No need to come dressed in costume, but wear comfortable walking shoes that are OK getting dirty. Weekends only, so there are always crowds. Traffic getting in can be annoying, so you might want to get to Gold Canyon area early, have some breakfast, and then head over to the festival.
Typical pricing: about $25 per ticket. No senior pricing. You might find coupons at some local businesses like Wendy’s, but you’ll have to stand on line at the gate to use those. The feast is an extra charge. Parking is free.
Dates in 2018: In March, every weekend
There are two art shows that set up tents each year during the winter/spring season. They are similar in format, both in North Scottsdale, but not otherwise associated with one another. The Arizona Fine Art Expo and the Celebration of Fine Art each feature more than 100 artists. During the run of these shows, there are also demonstrations, performances and workshops to attend. Need a new work of art for your bedroom or hallway? Just enjoy browsing and chatting with artists? It’s all good! Both shows are open seven days per week. They opened in January, but you can still enjoy the experience this month.
Typical pricing: $10 for a season pass admission, discount for seniors. Check online for additional coupons.
Dates in 2018: In March, every day through March 25
Spring Training Baseball – Cactus League Stadium Tips, Maps
People travel from far and wide to see their favorite baseball players gear up during exhibition baseball in March. Half the teams in Major League Baseball play here at ten stadiums located in various parts of the Valley of the Sun. The stadiums are smaller than major league ballparks, so all the seats are good seats, and they generally cost less than tickets during the regular season. Still, they aren’t as cheap as they used to be. Outfield grass seats, usually in the $8 to $10 range, are usually favored by the younger crowd who either bring little kids who need space to romp. People who prefer to spend their time at the bar or hang out on the concourse with a beer also choose the grass (berm) seats; they are the cheapest and it makes no sense to pay more for a ticket that won’t be used for sitting! Beware: on a sunny day the fans on the berm can expect to have the sun directly in their eyes for the entire game. I highly recommend springing for the regular seats. Keep in mind that upper level seats still have great views of the action. Single game tickets for some teams start in November, with other teams scheduling ticket sales through December and early January. To avoid long parking lines, go at least an hour before game time. If you need to use a handicap parking spot, you’ll have to get there even earlier.
Typical pricing: Between $8 and $40 per ticket. Most of Arizona’s ballparks charge to park.
Dates in 2018: In March, every day through March 27
Maricopa County Home Show Website
You can spend the better part of a day perusing all the displays, meeting the vendors and attending DIY sessions at this huge trade show that is open to the public. It takes place a few times per year, and varies location between Central Phoenix at the Arizona Fairgrounds, and Glendale at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Typical pricing: less than $10 per ticket, coupon usually available at website. Seniors get a deep discount on Friday mornings, and if it is your birthday and you have photo ID you’ll get in for free. Parking at University of Phoenix Stadium is free.
Dates in 2018: March 2-4
Sunday A’Fair Website
If weather permits, grab your lawn chair or camp chair and head to Scottsdale Civic Center Park in Downtown Scottsdale to enjoy free musical entertainment. On those dates, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) offers free docent-led tours of the sculptures in the park.
Typical pricing: free admission. Parking is free at lots around downtown Scottsdale, and a free trolley stops at this area.
Dates in 2018: March 4, 18, 25
Scottsdale Arts Fest Website
The Scottsdale Civic Center Park, located next to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in the Downtown Scottsdale district is the place to be, rain or shine, for an outdoor arts festival. This is a juried event, where artists offer their work created in various media, including painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, printmaking, textiles, and woodworking.
Typical pricing: less than $15 per ticket, free for members of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and SMoCA. Seniors (65+) get a discount. Parking is free at lots around downtown Scottsdale, and a free trolley stops at this area.
Dates in 2018: March 9 – 11
Parada del Sol Rodeo Website
For decades this PRCA-sanctioned rodeo in North Scottsdale has pleased those crave a return to the wild west. You be up close and personal for Bareback Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Calf Roping, Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping and more.
Typical pricing: less than $50 per ticket. No senior discount. There is a charge to park.
Dates in 2018: March 9 – 11
Arizona Aloha Festival Website
This is a family event, and it is free to get in, so there will be lots of kids. But if you want to enjoy the spirit of aloha through Hawaiian performances, food and vendors — or if you’ve always wanted to play the ukelele — this is the festival for you.
Typical pricing: free admission. Parking is available at lots around Tempe Beach Park, but you’ll pay for it. Tempe Beach Park is accessible by light rail.
Dates in 2018: March 10, 11
LPGA Golf Website
Women pro golfers come to the Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in North Phoenix each year. It is a full field, four-day televised event featuring a $1.5 million purse. Anticipate that you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
Typical pricing: less than $25 per ticket, packages for the week available. If the grandkids are visiting, you can take a few with you; under 17 are admitted free. There is a parking offsite with shuttle transportation. There’s a charge to park.
Dates in 2018: March 13 – 18
St. Patrick’s Day Website
No matter your age, you can still celebrate the Irish in you (or that you wish you had in you) in mid-March. At the Margaret T. Hance Park and Irish Cultural Center near Downtown Phoenix, you can spend the entire day absorbing everything Irish — music, step dancing, bagpipers, crafts and merchandise, genealogy, and Irish clubs. The McClelland Library at the Irish Cultural Center offers a guided tour. The Irish Cultural Center will be hosting Irish Tea Ceremony (extra charge). Then, in the evening, the Irish Cultural Center hosts an evening of Ceili dancing, traditional Irish music (additional charge). You can take light rail to this location.
Typical pricing: Under $25 for the festival, seniors (55+) get a significant discount.
Dates in 2018: March 17
International Sportsman’s Expo and Boat Show Website
This trade show held at WestWorld in North Scottsdale is billed as “Arizona’s largest boat, outdoor gear, RV, four-wheeler and travel show” attracts people of all ages. There will be plenty of kids at the activity areas, but those who love to boat, fish, hike, go off-road or camp will want to participate in seminars, see what’s new in the outdoor gear world and plan your next adventure enjoying the beauty of Arizona.
Typical pricing: Under $15, no senior discount. There’s a charge to park.
Dates in 2018: March 22 – 25
Tempe Festival of the Arts Website
Twice each year downtown Tempe is transformed into a mecca of arts and craft booths, and entertainment areas. The streets are closed to vehicular traffic, and you’ll have nice, flat walkways to peruse hundreds of booths and food vendors, as well as musicians, dancers, and maybe even jugglers, street chalk artists and comedians. It is considered one of the best art festivals in the U.S. and you can be sure that thousands of your closest friends and neighbors will be on hand to enjoy it with you. It’s a rain or shine event. Try to take public transportation (light rail or bus) if you don’t want to pay for a parking spot nearby. Can’t get there this month? Make sure you mark your calendar for the first weekend in December for the next one.
Typical pricing: admission is free. No free parking.
Dates in 2018: March 23 – 25
If you are looking for discounted tickets for shows, concerts, sporting events and other local activities during this month (and maybe beyond), try Goldstar.com.
The month of March is a busy one in the Phoenix area. Cactus League Spring Training baseball, spring break, art festivals — any way we can spend time outdoors works for most of the month. If we had four seasons in the Valley of the Sun (other than cool, warm, hot and hotter) March would be considered the epitome of springtime. Temperatures in March are typically moderate for the desert, and there might be an occasional rain shower. Baseball games are more likely to be called on account of bees than rain!
Phoenix in March typically sees temperatures averaging about 65°F, with variances averaging between about 53°F and 77°F. Temperatures early in the month can be expected to be closer to the lower of that range, and as the end of the month approaches, and we start to anticipate summer in the desert, the temperatures will rise toward the higher end of those averages. The warmest month of March on record for Phoenix, Arizona was 2015, with an average temperature of about 72°F. The coldest March on record was in 1965 (56°F) so I doubt that will be happening again any time soon!
During the month of March the Phoenix area has averaged less than one inch of rain since 2000; in the past ten years there was only one year, 2010, when more than an inch of rain was recorded. Our wettest March in the past 25 years was in the year 2000, when almost three inches of rain fell in Phoenix.
Really? You want to know if there has been snow in Phoenix in March? Don’t worry about it. You can put your parka and snowshoes in storage; there won’t be any snow in Phoenix in March.
(Source: National Weather Service, Phoenix. Statistics mentioned here were recorded at the Phoenix, AZ weather station. Portions of the metro area may see variations in temperatures and rainfall from those mentioned here.)