PHOENIX — For many, July marks four months of being at home. Of being a stay-at-home caregiver. A tutor. A kitchen master. And, perhaps, even the family entertainment director and activity planner.
Between changing executive orders and guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some businesses making personal safety choices to close, open, and close again, it may be confusing to know what's open and not open, allowed and not allowed, especially when it comes to family activities.
"You are safer at home," Gov. Doug Ducey said recently during one of his weekly press conferences. "This virus is widespread in our state and in our country." He also reminded Arizonans to wear a mask when out and about, especially when social distancing isn't possible.
Maricopa County, as well as local cities and towns in the Valley, have issued mask mandates, requiring face coverings to be worn in most indoor public places, including restaurants, stores, and venues.
In terms of closures, bars (with series 6 or 7 liquor license), fitness centers, movie theaters, and tubing operators, such as Salt River Tubing, remain closed until at least July 27, per an executive order from the governor's office. However, bars can remain open for takeout and pickup.
We also know that families are looking for activities to do safely. If you are looking for something to do, we've put together a list of activities and places that we know are open. We also understand that each person and family will have to decide what their own personal comfort levels are for each activity. ABC15 isn't endorsing any of these options or recommending that you leave your home.
If you choose to do so, please practice social distancing, wear a mask, and frequently wash your hands.
Support a local eatery or restaurant: If the home menu is getting a bit dull, restaurants, ice cream shops, and dessert spots are open around the Valley for dine-in, takeout, or delivery. Restaurants are operating their dining rooms at 50% capacity or less in accordance with a recent executive order.
Take a dip in the pool: While aquatic centers and water parks remain closed until at least July 27, community pools are open in some cities with strict capacity limits and social distancing guidelines. View the links below to see what the latest guidelines from your city or town are:
The City of Phoenix decided previously not to open its pools for the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
See a movie at the drive-in: West Wind Drive-In in Glendale is the only true drive-in left in the Phoenix area and has been showing movies throughout the pandemic. However, in light of COVID-19, pop-up drive-ins have opened in Mesa, Schnepf Farms, and WestWorld of Scottsdale.
- Digital Drive-In AZ (Mesa)
- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Scottsdale)
- PopUp Events at WestWorld of Scottsdale (Scottsdale)
- Schnepf Farms (Queen Creek)
- West Wind Drive-In (Glendale)
Maricopa County Parks: Most parks, trails, lakes and campsites within the Maricopa County Parks system are open. Some portions of the Maricopa Trail that go through the Tonto National Forest are closed, as are some areas impacted by the wildfires. Parks will monitor daily capacity, which could result in temporary closures. Nature centers, playgrounds, and some restrooms are also closed. More information.
Arizona State Parks: Nearly all of the Arizona State Parks remain open for "responsible" recreation, according to the parks website, including Lake Havasu State Park, Slide Rock State Park, and Kartchner Caverns State Park. McFarland State Historic Park and Riordan Mansion State Historic Park are currently closed. Some parks have capacity limits, and masks are required in restrooms, ranger stations, and when unable to safely socially distance. Campgrounds and cabins are open. Trails are open. Kartchner Caverns has resumed tours. Masks are required and tours are limited to six people per hour. Make sure to visit each park's website for specific changes. More information.
Desert Botanical Garden: Those looking to explore the garden will likely want to visit in the morning and in the evening when temperatures are relatively cooler. The garden is open with reduced capacity. Morning and evening sessions are available. Advanced reservations are required and can be made online. Admission is $10-$15. Some trails, galleries, and docent-led tours are closed or suspended. More information.
Cruise The Zoo: Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Phoenix Zoo re-closed to in-person visits. However, people can drive through the zoo, part of the zoo's "Cruise The Zoo" experience, and have a chance to see some of the animals. The next available dates are Aug. 6-10. Admission (per car) is $50 for members and $65 for non-members. There is a limit of 450 vehicles per day. More information.
Heard Museum: People can explore one of the state's premier museums for Native American history and art. The Heard Museum is open Tuesday - Sunday. It has reduced the number of people allowed inside at one time, created one-way pathways through some galleries, and installed more hand sanitizer locations. Admission is $9-$15.
Arizona Boardwalk: Most of the attractions at Arizona Boardwalk, including Odysea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, and Pangaea: Land of the Dinosaurs, are open with reduced capacity and mask requirements. Admission varies with each activity. More information.
CrackerJax: The outdoor Scottsdale park has reopened some of its attractions, including the driving range, mini golf, batting cages, go-karts, and bumper boats. The arcade, laser tag, main building, and kitchen remain closed. More information.
TopGolf: TopGolf has reopened all three of its venues in the Phoenix area (Gilbert, Glendale, and Scottsdale), according to its website. Bays are limited to six people, are spaced 11 feet from tee to tee, and require face masks, depending on government mandates. Maricopa County has issued a face mask requirement. More information.
If you're looking to hit the real links, some golf courses around the state are open and accepting tee times.
FatCats: While FatCats' movie theaters remain closed until July 27, per an executive order, the arcade, bowling alley, and glow golf courses remain open. It has two locations in Gilbert and Mesa. More information.
Weekend road trip: Another option is to travel for a weekend socially-distant getaway. Popular spots up north include Flagstaff, Greer, Payson, Pinetop-Lakeside, and Sedona. Each one has hiking, walking trails or campsites to explore.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park: Home to a panther, bears, zebras, tigers, and giraffes, Out of Africa remains open for a traditional walk-through experience (Wednesday - Sunday) or a drive-thru experience (Tuesdays only). The park is located in Camp Verde, Arizona, which is about an hour and 30 minutes north of Phoenix. Tickets for the drive-thru are $24 (bought at the gate) or $24-$39 (bought online) for the walk-through experience. Add-ons, such as feeding the tigers, are also available. Feeding of camels, giraffes, and "The Predator Feed" experience are currently suspended. More information.
Bearizona: Beat the heat and see North American animals in their natural habitats, including bears, Rocky Mountain elk, deer, American burros, Arctic wolves, sheep, and bison. Bearizona is a 160-acre drive-thru wildlife park in Williams, Arizona, which is about 30 minutes west of Flagstaff. Visitors drive through nearly three miles of Ponderosa Pine and see the animals in their natural habitats, the website states. More animals can be seen in Fort Bearizona, a 20-acre zoo. Both experiences are currently open. Admission is $15-$23 per person, though there is a max rate of $120 per vehicle. Shows, bus tours, and petting zoo remain closed. More information.
Verde Canyon Railroad: The Verde Canyon Railroad has resumed its train excursions along the Verde River. The 3 1/2-hour train ride travels approximately 20 miles from Clarkdale to Perkinsville and back to Clarkdale. Masks are required aboard the train, temperatures will be taken, and capacity has been reduced to 50%, according to the website. Advanced reservations are highly recommended. Tickets start at $54 per person. More information.
Meteor Crater: Billed as the "world's best preserved meteor impact site," Meteor Crater has reopened. The attraction is located along Interstate 40, about 45 miles east of Flagstaff. It is believed to be the site of a meteorite impact some 50,000 years ago, according to the website. It is open daily. Admission is $11-$20 online (tickets are $2 more at the site). More information.