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40 things to do in Arizona over the Labor Day 2020 weekend

Bearizona - Instagram - Used with permission
Posted at 12:28 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 17:18:25-04

PHOENIX — It is going to be a very hot Labor Day weekend around the state with temperatures forecasted to be in the triple digits, some places expected to go above 110 degrees.

Make sure to stay safe, drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and try not to be outside during the hottest parts of the day. Also, never leave kids or pets in the vehicle and watch them in or near swimming pools.

As the state's COVID-19 numbers continue to trend down, the Arizona Department of Health Services urged people planning to hang out over the weekend to stay in small groups, to stay outdoor, wear masks, and to practice safe food handling.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, whether you're looking to get outside or want something to do indoors, we've put together a list of attractions and museums that have reopened, as well as places to visit around the state. ABC15 is not recommending any of these places, but if you do decide to go and visit, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.

Movie theaters

Harkins Theatres, AMC Theatres, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Fat Cats, Cinemark, Regal, Roadhouse Cinemas, and Picture Show Entertainment have all reopened their indoor theaters in Arizona, as the state moved into the "moderate" phase of reopening last week.

For those not comfortable going to an indoor movie theater, how about the drive-in? WestWind Drive-in in Glendale is also open.

Visit each theater's website to see their safety protocols. Masks are required, seats have to be booked online, theater capacities have been reduced to 50% or less, and groups are typically separated from each other with "buffer" seats between them.

Zoos and animal parks

If you're looking for an outdoor activity -- or even an indoor one -- some of the zoos, animal parks, and aquariums have reopened around the state. The Phoenix Zoo does not reopen until Sept. 14 for members and Sept. 19 for the general public, but it does have three weekends left of its drive-thru "Cruise the Zoo" program. Bearizona and Out of Africa, both located in northern Arizona, both have drive-thru experiences.

  • Wildlife World Zoo, Litchfield Park
  • Cruise The Zoo, Phoenix
  • Odysea Aquarium, Scottsdale
  • Sea Life Arizona, Tempe
  • Bearizona, Williams
  • Out of Africa, Camp Verde
  • Reid Park Zoo, Tucson

Outdoor attractions

Remember, it is going to be hot this weekend, but if you're looking for something to do outside, here are a few options.

Parks, trails, lakes and splash pads: Several parks, hiking trails, and city-owned splash pads around the Valley have reopened. Also, nearly all of Arizona State Parks, Maricopa County Parks, National Forests, and Grand Canyon National Park are open. If you're looking to hit the lakes, Tempe Town Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, and Lake Pleasant are open. Make sure to check their individual websites for operating hours and fees. Some trails could be closed due to the wildfires burning in some parts of the state.

Road trips: For others, road trips have become a popular activity amid the pandemic. Arizona is home to several small and large towns. Flagstaff, Sedona, and Tucson are popular destinations. But, there is also Bisbee, Greer, Pinetop, Tombstone, and Winslow, plus other destinations.

Desert Botanical Garden: The outdoor garden has reopened. Reservations are required and tickets have to be bought online. They have a day pass, as well as a night pass where people can see lighted animal sculptures, part of "Wild Rising by Cracking art."

Golfland Sunsplash: Golfland has been open for several weeks, but the slides at Sunsplash water park recently reopened. Admission has to be bought online. There are a variety of day and evening passes available.

CrackerJax: The entertainment attraction in Scottsdale has reopened its bumper boats, go-karts, mini golf, and driving range attractions. The indoor arcade has also reopened.

Japanese Friendship Garden: Located in downtown Phoenix, the Japanese Friendship Garden has also reopened.

Topgolf: Topgolf has opened all three of its locations in Gilbert, Glendale, and Scottsdale.

Indoor attractions

For those looking to beat the heat and stay indoors, here are some indoor attractions that have reopened around the Valley.

Arizona Science Center: Located in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center is offering self-guided experiences through some of the center's exhibits, as well as small, guided tours of some of the center's special exhibits.

Musical Instrument Museum: The MIM has hundreds of musical instruments and artifacts from around the World. It recently reopened.

Heard Museum: Known as one of the state's premier Native American museums, the Heard Museum highlights local Native American artists, artworks, and history.

Arizona Boardwalk: Nearly all of the attractions at Arizona Boardwalk have reopened: Odysea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Titanic: The Artifact Experience, and Pangaea: Land of the Dinosaurs.

Medieval Times: The knights at Medieval Times are jousting again with reduce capacity in the arena.

Mavrix & Octane Raceway: Mavrix is a relatively new concept to the Valley, opening in March. It has bowling lanes, laser tag, and an arcade. Octane Raceway has go-karts and a virtual reality experience.