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.
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- Arizona Renaissance Festival
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
- Art Shows
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.