The Hot Sheet | The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ


Weekender: April 4-6

The first weekend of April is quite similar to the last weekend of March: Perfect spring weather and lots of outdoor events across greater Phoenix with which to enjoy it! Check out our top picks for things to do in Phoenix this weekend:

Guided hikes at Maricopa Country Regional Parks: April 5
Get out and explore the region's desert parks with the people that know the areas best. The county's regional parks host guided tours throughout the year and this Saturday will be a perfect day for partaking in one! This weekend's guided hikes include:

See the full schedule here.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Arizona BBQ Festival featuring the 2014 Redneck Games
: April 5
The tons of mouth-watering BBQ that will be served up by over 20 Arizona pitmasters is just the beginning of this festival. After filling up on meat, don your best/worst overalls and go for the gold in competitions such as bobbing for pigs feet and hub cap hurling. Live bands, wrestling performances, and an appearance by Duck Dynasty stars are just a few more of the day's festivities.

Phoenix Pride Festival: April 5-6
The 34th annual Phoenix Pride Festival returns to Steele Indian School Park for a weekend of entertainment and camaraderie with the LGBTQ and allied communities. There'll be more than 150 entertaining performances across five stages, plus an arts expo, kids zone, and much more.

Phoenix Pride Festival

Phoenix Pride Festival


Superstitions Fine Art Show at Queen Creek Olive Mill: April 6
Set among the scenic Queen Creek Olive Mill is this juried art show featuring glassworks, paintings, pottery and more. After perusing the art, sip on complimentary wine tastings and enjoy some live tunes. The Mill will also be offering their Olive Oil 101 tours for just $5.

Phoenix Film Festival: Through April 10
More than 150 films and shorts will be shown throughout the week at the festival MovieMaker named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals. Check out the full schedule of movies being shown at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 theater and buy tickets here.

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Best Rooftop Pools in Phoenix

Resorts in greater Phoenix are known for having some spectacular pools. But it's not just the resorts that get to have all the fun when it comes to two of Phoenix's famous traditions. These hotels have created ideal spots for swimming and sunning upon their rooftops (or close to the roof, at least). Here are our picks for the best rooftop pools in Phoenix:

Westin Phoenix Downtown: 333 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85004
This urban oasis on the second level of the Westin Phoenix Downtown offers views of the surrounding city skyline and nearby mountain ranges. You can even take a dip in cooler months, as you'll find the pool heated to a cozy 85 degrees.

Westin Phoenix Downtown

Westin Phoenix Downtown


Hotel Palomar Phoenix: 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 85004
The Hotel Palomar's third-floor pool is not only a great place to swim, but is also home to LUSTRE Rooftop Garden, one of downtown's hottest spots. Complement your day by the pool with LUSTRE's "$6 before 6 p.m." happy hour menu, which won the Phoenix New Times' Best Poolside Happy Hour in Phoenix in 2013. Happy hour is available Monday - Friday. 

LUSTRE Rooftop Garden at Hotel Palomar Phoenix

LUSTRE Rooftop Garden at Hotel Palomar Phoenix

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Weekender: March 28-30

As one spring tradition comes to an end this weekend, two annual favorites roll back into town and one very special exhibit opens at the Phoenix Art Museum. Check out our top things to do this weekend in Phoenix:

Hollywood Costume at Phoenix Art Museum: Through July 6
It's going to be a star-studded lineup at the Phoenix Art Museum this spring. Batman, Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Superman are just a handful of the iconic characters whose outfits will be on display at the Hollywood Costume exhibit, making its first and only showing west of the Mississippi.

Hollywood Costume Exhibit Phoenix Art Museum

Hollywood Costume at Phoenix Art Museum (Photo credit: Phoenix Art Museum Instagram)


Spring Training’s final weekend: Through March 29
Soon, the 15 Cactus League teams will pack up their bags and head off to their respective home cities, leaving behind the warm, sunny skies of Phoenix. Sorry, Cleveland. So get yourself out to the ballpark by this Saturday to experience one last day on the lawn with a beer and a hot dog in hand. Don't forget to check out our spring training guide before heading out to a game.

Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts: March 28-30
The award-winning Tempe Festival of the Arts and its 400+ artists return to Mill Avenue this weekend. The weather will be perfect for an afternoon stroll through the hundreds of art booths. In addition, there will be live music, street performers, and nearby wine and beer festivals.

Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts

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McDowell Mountain Music Festival: March 28-30
Just a few weeks after the success of Viva Phx comes another marquee music festival to downtown Phoenix. Margaret T. Hance Park is the site of the annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival, featuring bands such as Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Dwight Yoakam, STS9, Slightly Stoopid, G. Love and Special Sauce and more than 20 more. Get the full lineup and tickets here.

Check, Please! Arizona Festival: March 30
Treat your taste buds to the culinary delights of Arizona's top independent restaurants at Sunday's Check, Please! Arizona Festival. Downtown's CityScape is the the site of the foodie fest, where festivalgoers will dig into dishes from restaurants that have been featured on the namesake show, such as Cowboy Ciao, Tarbell's and Havana Cafe.

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Home Cooking in Phoenix

There’s something to be said about a meal enjoyed at home. The coziness and warmth of the space, the care that goes into the meal, and the enjoyment of a drink shared with friends on the patio. US Airways Magazine helps you capture that feeling in Phoenix at these urban restaurants located in restored historic homes.

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Dining in Phoenix


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Weekender: March 21-23

Though we've been soaking up warm rays for a few weeks, we're just now heading into the first official weekend of spring. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather at these top things to do in Phoenix this weekend:

JTBC Founders Cup: March 20-23
Defending champion Stacy Lewis, world no.1 Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, and more of the LPGA's top golfers will hit the links at this weekend's JTBC Founders Cup. See the best in the world show off their skills while at the scenic Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge.

LPGA JTBP Founders Cup

JTBP Founders Cup


The Great American Beer and Barbecue Festival: March 22
Kick off the start of BBQ season with one the area's biggest annual events of its kind. Nearly 20,000 pounds of tasty meat will be served up by more than 60 pit masters from across the country. Show off your consumption skills at a variety of eating competitions, kick back in the SanTan Brewing tailgater's lawn, let the little ones enjoy the kid zone and more throughout the day. Blues Traveler highlights the music stage at 8 p.m.

Haru in the Garden: March 22
Celebrate the official arrival of spring Saturday night at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. Enjoy a relaxing evening in the urban oasis with traditional Japanese music, art and displays, plus a Japanese beer garden and Asian food.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden


Folk and Heritage Festival: March 22-23
More than 150 performers will be strumming away to folk and bluegrass music, cowboy poetry and more at Glendale's Sahuaro Ranch Park this weekend. In addition to performances by artists such as Arizona's official state historian, Marshall Trimble, there will be how-to workshops for beginners, blacksmith demonstrations and craft-making for the kids.

Arizona Dragon Boat Festival: March 22-23
Grab a spot along the banks of Tempe Town Lake for this weekend's Dragon Boat Festival. A number of competitive and recreational teams will speed through the lake on their dragons in a race for the trophies. The free event will also have activities for kids, food vendors and more.

Arizona Dragon Boat festival

Arizona Dragon Boat Festival


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Where to see wildflowers in Phoenix

Saguaro with wildflowers

The desert is in bloom! Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for a beautiful display of color from the desert this spring. Here are the best places in Phoenix to see the desert wildflowers.

South Mountain Park/Preserve
Areas in the preserve with wildflower displays usually include the Bajada, Las Lomitas, Ranger Kiwanic accessible from the Central Avenue entrance. The roadway leading to the Gila Valley overlook (Central Avenue entrance) also offers wildflower growth. Also, look for wildflowers on the north facing slopes in the Pima Canyon and Beverly Canyon (Javalina Trail) entrances of the park.

Sonoran Preserve
Check the north-facing slopes on trails from the Desert Vista Trail trailhead parking area, including areas along the Desert Tortoise and Verde trails, both accessible from the trailhead parking area.

Piestewa Peak Area
Trail 8, the Quartz Ridge Trail – the trailhead is at 40th street south of Shea Boulevard. Several trails with north-facing slopes around Piestewa Peak that are accessible from the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation area are also good spots for wildflower viewing.

Dreamy Draw
Hillsides and washes surrounding Trail 100 out of the Dreamy Draw trailhead at Northern Avenue and Highway 51 often are covered in a wide variety of wildflower blooms.

For more up-to-date information about wildflower blooms around Phoenix visit the Desert Botanical Gardens Wildflower Info site

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