If you can't stay out on a Monday night for St. Patrick's Day, fret not, because plenty of places will kick off their green beer festivities a few days early. Those St. Paddy's events are just a few of our top things to do in Phoenix this weekend:
Chicago Fest: March 14-16
All things Windy City will be celebrated at this weekend's festival, adjacent to the new Cubs Park at Mesa Riverview. Chow down on Chicago cuisine from places such as Mike Ditka's Restaurant while listening to live music from blues, polka and Irish bands. Admission is FREE with a ticket from a Cubbies spring training game.
Liquid Sol Music Festival: March 15
Another festival packed with bag-name bands rolls through Phoenix this weekend. The Liquid Sol Music Festival features Train, The All-American Rejects and '90s alt-rock favorites such as Everclear, Buckcherry, Tonic and the Arizona-bred Gin Blossoms.
St. Patrick's Day Parade and Faire: March 15
Don your favorite green garb and head to downtown's Irish Cultural Center for the 31st annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Faire. Marching bands, floats and - of course - bagpipes will be in the parade, which heads down 3rd Street from Sheridan south to McDowell at 10 a.m. The all-things Irish faire will have three stages of entertainment with music and dancers, plus plenty of Irish food to chow down on.
Experience Ireland at MIM: March 15-16
For a family-fun Irish celebration, head to the Musical Instrument Museum Saturday or Sunday for their Experience Ireland festivities. Gather for traditional Irish stories, play with the bodhráns (Irish drums), and take in Irish musical and dance performances. The festivities are included with general admission, so be sure to check out everything else in the one-of-a-kind museum.
Baseball City: March 15-16
Before or after you go to the ballpark to enjoy a Spring Training game this weekend, head downtown to the Phoenix Convention Center for Baseball City. The two-day fan fest will features activities such as a home run derby field, speed pitch competitions, a lil' sluggers field for kids and more. Fans can also meet players players such as Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Orlando Cepeda, Fergie Jenkins and more.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Here are the top places to get ice cream in Phoenix.
Serving more than just ice cream, this locally owned ice cream parlor also serves has breakfast and lunch all day long. Hang out and play a game or ready a book on one of their comfy couches or get some work done while you enjoy your ice cream with their free wi-fi.
Sweet Republic has been recognized for their unique artisan ice cream by Sunset Magazine, Bon Appétit, the Food Network and many others. You can try their yummy flavors like Blue Cheese with Medjool Dates, Salted Caramel or Guinness at their original Scottsdale location, in central Phoenix (coming soon) and Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.
This adorable ice cream parlor is located next door to Windsor and serves up many delicious seasonal flavors like Vanilla Lemon and Peanut Butter. Our recommendation is to choose two cookies to go along with your favorite flavor of ice cream to make one delicious ice cream sandwich.
If you have a late night ice cream craving, Melt is the place for you. Open until midnight daily and located just off of Roosevelt Row next door to Jobot Coffee, Melt serves Udder Delights ice cream with flavors like licorice, sour apple, cotton candy and birthday cake.
For the classic ice parlor experience look no further than local favorite, Mary Coyle's. With it's pink striped walls and good time tunes, Mary Coyle's serves up your favorite ice cream parlor favorites like chocolate shakes and big-enough-to-share ice cream sundaes.
This Gilbert ice cream shop is known for it's experimental flavors like potato chip, and red hot banana, but their traditional flavors are plentiful and delicious too. For a special treat, try the chocolate milkshake.
Retro soda shop, MacAlpines has all the retro ice cream treats you can dream of. Malts, shakes, sundaes, ice cream sodas and egg creams are all delicious at this vintage Phoenix spot.
Half vintage women's clothing store, half soda fountain Bertie's of Arcadia has a fun retro vibe. Make sure to try to try one of their signature shakes like the PB and banana Elvis Presley.
Like music? We've got two events for you. Like art? We've got another two. Throw in dueling salsas and you've got our top things to do in Phoenix this weekend:
Paint PHX: March 6-9
Where one may see a plain ol' wall on a building or alleyway, Phoenix's talented mural artists see a blank canvas. Over four days this week, graffiti artists and muralists will be be working their craft at locations all across Phoenix. Check the event's website for specific locations where artists will be working.
Viva Phx Music Festival: March 7
One of the biggest musical events to ever hit downtown Phoenix is going down Friday night. Seventy bands will be rocking out across 14 stages throughout downtown Phoenix. See a number of local and national acts plus headliners such as The Neighbourhood, Pinback, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Kitten. See the full schedule here.
Artlink's Art Detour: March 8-9
A night after enjoying downtown's music scene, head back to explore the the area's bustling art scene. More than 100 artists, studios, galleries and spaces will open their doors to visitors for free for two days. Explore by foot, bike or a double-decker bus that will be circulating throughout the spaces.
Blues Blast Music Festival: March 8
Enjoy a sunny spring day jamming out to the blues at downtown's Margaret T. Hance Park. Get there early for the Generation Next Music Clinics at 10 a.m. before the first band hit the stage at 11 a.m.
My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge: March 8
Who doesn't love a good salsa? More than 100 types of the country's top condiment will be competing for the crown at the 30th annual My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge. The attendees are the real winners as everyone gets unlimited chips and salsa! Wash it down with a cold margarita or beer while enjoying the live music, too.
Clean and press your finest green garb and get your Guinness mugs polished: St. Patrick's Day is on the way! The holiday falls on a Monday this year but don’t fret, as there are plenty of festivities the preceding weekend. Check out these events celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Phoenix:
Saint Patrick’s Weekend Festival at Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill: March 14-17
Thirsty Lion’s will be serving green beer and featuring a hand-crafted Irish menu during their weekend festival. The Irish pub will also be serving 52 beers on tap and Irish cocktails. Enjoy live music and get involved with the Annual St. Baldrick’s head shaving event on Saturday and Sunday! Come out for a great cause and help raise money for childhood cancer research.
Details: Thirsty Lion, 2000 East Salado Pkwy, Tempe
31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire: March 15, 10 a.m.
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade embraces the heritage and traditions of the Irish culture by giving its guests an event to remember. The parade includes bagpipers, Irish step dancers, marching bands, police and fire vehicles, floats, and more. The Irish Family Faire begins after the parade and features three stages of Irish music and dancers, food and beverages, and crafts. There’s even a kid’s area for the wee lassies and lads!
Details: Margaret T. Hance Park, 1134 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix.
Admission (Faire): $10 for ages 13 and older
Kiss Me I’m Irish Run: March 15, 7:17 a.m.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a 17K or 8K run along the Arizona Cardinals Stadium and through the Westgate Entertainment District. Bringing the kids along? No problem! The event also has a 4K that’s perfect for the family, even pets. Everyone will receive a Hershey Kiss at the end of the run, and participants that are 21 and over will receive green beer. Spend the rest of the day showing off your moves and partying to live Irish music.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd, Glendale
Admission: $35- $50. Saturday, March 15th 7:17 a.m.
While you may not be able to skip town and revel on Bourbon Street next Tuesday, there are still plenty of things to do for Mardi Gras in Phoenix.
Though Saturday's Downtown Phoenix Mardi Gras Parade and Festival has been cancelled due to impending rain, there will still be plenty of parties throughout downtown that day. Check out the map below for details:
Get your Cajun kick at restaurants such as Flavors of Louisiana, Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen, Fat Tuesday, and Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, who will be serving a King Cake cheesecake through March 4. For some sweet Louisiana treats, head to New Orleans SNO BALL.
Laissez les bon temps roulez!
Spring is in the air! And if the weather wasn't enough of an indicator, we see the return of several springtime traditions in our top things to do in Phoenix this weekend:
Peach Blossom Celebration: Through March 1
It’s your last chance to catch a glimpse of the pink and white blossoms that have taken residence across more than 80 acres at Schnepf Farms. Take a guided hayride throughout the farm with Mr. Schnepf himself or a short train ride through the orchards. Just make sure to stop by the bakery to grab some of their famous peach cinnamon rolls and peach pies before you leave!
Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market: March 1-2
One of the Southwest's largest events of its kind returns for its 56th year with the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market. Rain or shine, more than 600 American Indian artists will be on hand to showcase their works, speak with visitors and sell their handmade pottery, jewelry, sculptures, paintings and more. In addition to the artists' market, there will be live music and dance performances and chefs showcasing cuisine created with native ingredients.
Spring Butterfly Exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden: March 1- May 11
Hundreds of butterflies will return to the Desert Botanical Garden this weekend for the annual spring butterfly exhibit. The garden's butterfly pavilion provides the colorful insects a welcoming environment with lush gardens and host plants, which gives you the perfect opportunity to see them up close. Get your phone's camera ready for all the Instagram-worthy photos!
Cactus League Spring Training: Through March 29
It’s time to play ball! Teams will be taking to the fields this weekend for the start of the 2014 Cactus League season. Before you head out to the ballpark, check out our Spring Training guide for spectator tips at each venue, where to eat around each stadium and more.
NASCAR weekend at Phoenix International Raceway: February 28 - March 2
Jimmie Johnson and last week's Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will highlight the field at Sunday's The Profit on CNBC 500. No need to wait until Sunday to get your need for speed, though, as the Mexico Toyota Series kicks off on Friday, followed by the Nationwide Series Blue Jeans Go Green 200 on Saturday.