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Final Four Phoenix: 15 things to do around Glendale, University of Phoenix Stadium & Phoenix

Posted at 10:55 AM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 13:25:05-04

Out-of-towner headed to Arizona for the Final Four championship game? First off, welcome to the Grand Canyon State!

There are quite a few events happening around town that are part of the championship festivities, including Fan Fest and the three-day, free March Madness Music Festival!

GUIDE: What you need to know about Fan Fest, concerts, parking and getting around town.

Depending on where you're staying, you may be wondering what fun stuff there is to do around Phoenix. We've rounded up a few things to do!

AROUND THE STADIUM:

Westgate Entertainment District/ESPN Broadcast: If you're looking for a bite to eat without having to drive somewhere, Westgate is close -- really close -- and has more than 20 dining options, including Bar Louie, Calico Jack's, McFadden's and Saddle Ranch. Some places have live music. For fun, there is Dave & Buster's and an AMC movie theatre.

Between April 1-3, ESPN will broadcast live from Westgate's Fountain Park. Because it's the Final Four, Westgate will have a parking free. Prices vary between $10 - $20 per vehicle.

Address: 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale AZ 85305

Modern Round: Modern Round is a virtual shooting range and cocktail lounge. It's located in Peoria's entertainment district, which is ~10 miles north of the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Address: 8320 W. Mariners Way, Peoria AZ 85382

Glendale's West Wind Drive-In: The only drive-in left in the state, Glendale's West Wind Drive-in is less than 7 miles from the stadium. Enjoy a unique movie experience watching the latest movies beneath Arizona's stars from the comfort of your vehicle. The sound pumps in through the radio. Don't worry, the concession stand sells popcorn and other snacks.

Address: 5650 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale AZ 85301

Arizona Coyotes game: The Arizona Coyotes have two home games around the time the Final Four festivities are in town. The Coyotes take on the St. Louis Blues on March 29 and the Washington Capitals on March 31. The arena is located between Westgate and the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Address: 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale AZ 85305

Wet 'n Wild: Take advantage of Arizona's sunny skies at the water park. Wet n' Wild is about a 30-minute drive north of the University of Phoenix Stadium. It'll be open on Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. Ticket information.

Address: 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale AZ 85310

Desert Diamond West Valley Casino: Located less than five minutes drive from the stadium, Desert Diamond is the newest casino to the Valley. The casino has more than 1,000 slot machines and a food court. Due to its current gaming license, it does not have table games nor does it sell alcohol.

Address: 9431 W. Northern Avenue, Glendale AZ 85305

AROUND PHOENIX:

Go on a SAFE hike: One of Arizona's best features is its weather and natural landscape. There are several mountains and hiking trails in the area. If you're looking for a relaxing hike, South Mountain and Phoenix Mountain Preserve are good places to start. Avoid diamond or double-diamond trails. Looking for an aggressive hike, Camelback Mountain's Echo Canyon is popular as is Piestewa Peak's Summit Trail.

Because it's hot, here are some safety tips to remember: hike when it's cooler out, wear proper shoes, stay on the trail, bring more than enough water and snacks, wear a hat, and let friends and family know when and where you're hiking.

Related: 20 dog-friendly hiking trails in the Valley

Arizona Science Center: The 164,000-square-foot center has three floors of exhibits, activities and demos, plus a movie theatre and planetarium. The current featured exhibition is "Planet Shark: Predator or Prey," a "walk-through multi-sensory cinematic gallery experience." Museum admission is $13 - $18 per person. The featured exhibition requires an additional fee.

Address: 600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix AZ 85004

Phoenix Zoo: The Phoenix Zoo has more than 1,400 species of animals, at least 30 of which are endangered or threatened. You can see and learn about the African Lion, Sumatran Tiger, Jaguar, meerkats and a Bornean Orangutan. You can also meet the zoo's newest member, LouLou, a Southern White Rhino.

Address: 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix AZ 85008

Desert Botanical Garden: Just down the street from the zoo is the Desert Botanical Garden. More than 50,000 plant species make up the 140-acre garden. The BDG recently unveiled its updated butterfly exhibit which features hundreds of butterflies flying all around you. Admission to the garden is $13 - $25.

Address: 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix AZ 85008

Japanese Friendship Garden: Ro Ho En (the official name for the garden) is a 3.5-acre garden, tea garden and tea house. The peaceful stroll features a waterfall, streams, Koi pond and plant life in an urban environment. Himeji and Phoenix became sister cities in 1976. The garden opened in 2002. Admission is $5.

Address: 1125 N. Third Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85003

Odysea Aquarium: Odysea Aquarium opened off the Loop 101 & Via de Ventura in Scottsdale last year. The aquarium has penguins, otters, sharks and dozens of fish species. The Penguin Interaction Program (additional fee) lets guests learn more about penguins in an up close and personal way.

Address: 9500 Via de Ventura, Scottsdale AZ 85256

Butterfly Wonderland: Butterfly Wonderland has a massive atrium filled with plants and more than 3,000 butterflies flying around. One may even land on your shoulder! There is also the emergence gallery where you'll be able to witness the process of a caterpillar transform into a butterfly. Admission is $13 - $20.

Address: 9500 Via de Ventura, Scottsdale AZ 85256

Dolphinaris: Located within the "Odysea in the Desert" area, Dolphinaris Arizona offers various experiences that let guests learn about and interact with dolphins. Eight dolphins live at Dolphinaris. There are both out-of-water and in-water experiences available. Admission varies between $50 - $400 per person, depending on the experience.

Address: 9500 Via de Ventura, Scottsdale AZ 85256

Musical Instrument Museum: More than 6,500 instruments from around the world live at the Musical Instrument Museum, or MIM. Instruments played by John Lennon, Elvis and Taylor Swift are also on display. If you love music, this is a museum worth checking out. Admission is $10 - $20.

Address: 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix AZ 85050