Beet lovers will be pleased to hear that Glendale was built on them. Well, not literally, but the building and commercial concentration in 1906 of the Beet Sugar Factory definitely played a big part. Although factory operations only lasted until 1913, it helped play a very relevant role in the increase of settlers to the town. Together with William John Murphy, who had found a way to provide good access into the vicinity by way of railroad and canal (and name the area in the interim), the town of Glendale in Arizona is now home to a population of approximately 227,000, as of 2010.
So, to make the most out of your Glendale trip, let me help you make the best plan and let’s go explore the best things to do in Glendale.
1. State Farm Stadium
As a proud resident of Arizona, I can’t help but admire the University of Phoenix Stadium that graces our city. This architectural marvel is truly exceptional and stands out from any other stadium in North America. Its unique features include not only a retractable roof but also a retractable field, setting it apart from the rest.
What makes this stadium even more remarkable is that all the games are held indoors. The absence of rain runoff considerations means the field remains perfectly flat, ensuring excellent seating views for everyone in attendance. Whether you’re in the front row or up in the nosebleeds, you’re guaranteed a fantastic view of the action.
Our beloved stadium is the proud home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. With a seating capacity of 72,200, it can accommodate a massive number of loyal fans who come together to cheer on our beloved team. The atmosphere during Cardinals games is electrifying, uniting the community in support of our local heroes.
2. Be entertained in the Westgate Entertainment District
I can attest to the joy and excitement that awaits you and your family at the Westgate Entertainment District. This vibrant hub has it all, offering a delightful mix of activities and attractions that will keep everyone entertained. One of the first things that will captivate you is the picturesque outdoor setting. With its charming water features, inviting patios, and swaying palm trees, Westgate creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for spending quality time with loved ones.
When it comes to entertainment, Westgate truly shines. The district boasts a diverse range of shops, restaurants, and bars, catering to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for a shopping spree, craving a delicious meal, or looking to unwind with a refreshing drink, Westgate has got you covered.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Westgate also offers fantastic outdoor entertainment options for the whole family to enjoy. On Friday and Saturday evenings, you can groove to the sounds of live music at the Fountain Park, adding a delightful ambiance to your visit. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax, let loose, and create lasting memories with loved ones.
3. Desert Diamond Arena
I absolutely adore our local sports and entertainment arena. It’s renowned for its numerous advantages, which I truly appreciate. One of the standout features is the fantastic signage that proves extremely helpful for out-of-towners like me. Navigating the arena’s well-laid-out parking is a breeze, and once inside, finding my seat is a cinch. The staff members are friendly and always ready to assist, which adds to the overall positive experience.
The arena primarily hosts lacrosse and hockey games, accommodating an impressive 17,125 spectators. It proudly serves as the home arena for the Phoenix Coyotes, our beloved National Hockey League (NHL) team. In the past, it was also the home of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Arizona Sting team, which adds to its rich sporting history.
To me, attending a sporting event at this arena sounds like a fantastic opportunity for the whole family to enjoy. With its incredible location and alluring atmosphere, it promises a memorable experience that combines sports and entertainment in the best way possible.
4. Drop into Glendale Historic District for some antique shopping
As an enthusiastic traveler in Arizona, I can’t help but recommend exploring the charming old district of this town. The experience is truly delightful for both you and your family. Begin your adventure by visiting the historic Old Towne and Catlin Court areas, where you’ll be enchanted by a leisurely walk through the well-maintained, tree-lined streets spanning 10 square blocks. These blocks are home to a plethora of antique and gift shops, cleverly converted from older historic homes. It’s a perfect opportunity to discover unique treasures and immerse yourself in the town’s rich history.
As you stroll along, you’ll notice the warm glow of gaslights lining the streets, creating an atmosphere that transports you back in time. It’s a nostalgic feeling that adds to the overall charm of the district. And when you’re ready to satisfy your taste buds, you’ll find an abundance of ethnic eateries to choose from. These culinary gems offer a diverse range of flavors and dishes, ensuring that you’ll find something delicious to reenergize yourselves.
5. Thunderbird Conservation Park
As an avid Arizona travel enthusiast, I couldn’t resist exploring the remarkable beauty of the Hedgpeth Hills Park. Spanning across 1,185 acres, this park is not only a testament to its namesake, Robert Hedgpeth, an early homesteader, but also a dedicated sanctuary for preserving the enchanting desert environment.
One of the things that makes this park truly exceptional is its wide range of hiking trails, catering to all skill levels. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a challenging adventure, there’s a trail for everyone. As an enthusiast seeking an adrenaline rush, I eagerly tackled the difficult paths, relishing every step as I made my way to the summit. And oh, the view from the top! Standing triumphantly, I beheld the sprawling cityscape of Phoenix, a breathtaking sight just 30 miles away.
But it’s not just hiking that makes this park an ideal destination for families. Jogging enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to indulge in their passion amidst the serene surroundings. And for those who appreciate the wonders of nature, the park offers a haven for bird watching, allowing you to spot various avian species in their natural habitat.
To ensure a comfortable visit, the park boasts numerous picnic areas and well-maintained restrooms. However, as an experienced traveler, I must remind myself and fellow adventurers to carry an adequate water supply, especially during the scorching summer months. It’s always wise to embark on your hike early in the morning to beat the heat and fully enjoy the experience.
6. Miniature treasures at the Arizona Doll & Toy Museum
During my recent trip to Arizona, I had the pleasure of visiting the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum, an absolute must-see for doll and toy collectors, as well as anyone with an appreciation for these cherished artifacts. From the moment I stepped foot inside, I was captivated by the enchanting displays and the nostalgia they evoked.
My eyes were drawn to the meticulously crafted dolls and toys showcased in the numerous display cases. It was like stepping into a time capsule, with some of the dolls dating back to the 17th century. Regardless of my own generation, the museum had the remarkable ability to transport me back to my own childhood memories. It was a delight to witness the joy that these toys had brought to generations past.
One of the highlights of the museum was the “School Room,” a meticulously reconstructed space reminiscent of a schoolhouse from bygone days. It truly captured the essence of a bygone era, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of old-fashioned education. It was a fascinating glimpse into the past, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the attention to detail.
Before leaving the museum, I made sure to explore the well-stocked gift shop. It was a treasure trove of dolls, toys, and books, offering visitors the opportunity to take a piece of the museum’s magic home with them. The variety of items catered to collectors and toy enthusiasts of all ages, ensuring that everyone could find something special to commemorate their visit.
I must mention the invaluable presence of the museum curator, whose vast knowledge enhanced the entire experience. Their passion for dolls and toys was evident as they shared fascinating stories and historical tidbits, adding depth to the displays and enriching my understanding of the collection.
Whether you are nine or ninety, this museum has something to offer every visitor. If you find yourself in Arizona, I highly recommend adding the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum to your itinerary for a delightful trip down memory lane.
7. Let’s play ball – at Camelback Ranch
Being an Arizona resident and a passionate baseball fan, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the incredible lineup of Major League teams that call this state their spring training home. The Cactus League, renowned for its top-notch baseball action, showcases a total of 15 teams right here in Arizona each spring. And if you share my love for the sport, you’ll be delighted to know that two powerhouses, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, are among the teams that train here.
Among the esteemed training facilities, Camelback Ranch stands out as a true gem. Not only does it provide players with excellent fields and top-of-the-line facilities, but it also offers visitors a picturesque experience. As you stepped onto the grounds, you’ll be greeted by meticulously manicured landscapes, including an inviting orange grove and a network of scenic walking trails. The ambiance alone makes it an absolute joy to be part of the baseball action.
One of the highlights of Camelback Ranch is its stunning 1,300-foot, 5-acre lake system, which gracefully separates the training spaces of the Dodgers and White Sox. The lake is not just a beautiful feature; it’s also home to a variety of fish, adding an extra touch of tranquility to the surroundings. Whether you’re a baseball enthusiast or simply appreciate serene landscapes, this idyllic setting will surely captivate your heart.
8. Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
As an enthusiastic explorer and a lover of history, I had the pleasure of visiting the Petroglyph Preserve in Arizona. This captivating destination proved to be an exceptional learning experience for the entire family. The visit began with a short and enjoyable half-mile hike, accompanied by informative signposts that provided intriguing details about the surrounding area.
Upon reaching the preserve itself, we were greeted by a comprehensive display showcasing the rich history of the region. An in-depth explanation, accompanied by an informative video, offered a fascinating glimpse into the past. It was truly captivating to learn about the Hohokam people, who had once inhabited this land centuries ago, leaving behind over 1500 Native American petroglyphs as a testament to their existence.
The preserve provided a unique opportunity for my kids to engage with history in an interactive way. They were captivated by the fascinating artifacts and stories that shed light on the lives of the Hohokam people. It sparked their curiosity and allowed them to imagine the lives of those who came before us.
One aspect that truly enhanced our experience was the knowledgeable and friendly staff. They were not only passionate about the preserve but also eager to answer any questions we had. Their expertise and willingness to share insights made our visit even more enriching.
9. Christmas at Glendale certainly shines at Glendale Glitters
Christmas at Glendale is truly a sight to behold, especially during the enchanting Glendale Glitters event. While location reviews often lack season-specific details, I can’t resist making an exception for this extraordinary experience! If you find yourself in Glendale during the Christmas holidays, prepare to be dazzled. The Historic Downtown area transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with a stunning display of 1.5 million lights spanning across sixteen blocks. It’s a breathtaking spectacle that has even earned the festival the prestigious Critics’ Choice award for the Best Kid Event in Arizona back in 2012.
But Glendale Glitters has so much more to offer than just its radiant lights. The event also boasts a myriad of handcrafted holiday gifts, perfect for those seeking unique presents. As you stroll through the festive streets, you’ll discover an array of charming shops, each offering delightful treasures waiting to be discovered. And let’s not forget the children’s snow field, a magical playground where kids can frolic and make snow angels, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
As the intoxicating scent of delicious food wafts through the air, your taste buds will be enticed by a wide selection of culinary delights. From traditional holiday treats to gourmet delights, there’s something to satisfy every palate. And amidst the festivities, a towering Christmas tree takes center stage, adorned with exquisite decorations that capture the spirit of the season.
10. Drop in to Jimbo’s, where breakfast has never tasted so good!
Gather the kids, kick back, and immerse yourselves in the excitement of football while indulging in a delicious meal at one of the restaurant’s numerous TVs. The best part? On football Sundays, you can savor a complimentary breakfast (with the condition of purchasing some refreshments). At first glance, Jimbo’s may not appear overly spacious from the outside, but once we step through the doors, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the ample room available.
Warm and welcoming waitresses, as well as friendly patrons, create a convivial atmosphere that sets the stage for an enjoyable dining experience. The menu at Jimbo’s is a feast for the senses, featuring mouthwatering options such as toast, eggs cooked to perfection (over easy, scrambled, or fried), golden hash browns, and delectable sausages and bacon. From the moment we take that first bite, our taste buds will be treated to a flavorful and satisfying breakfast that caters to everyone’s palate.
So bring the whole family, settle in comfortably, and revel in the thrill of football while relishing a scrumptious morning meal at Jimbo’s. With its friendly ambiance, delectable offerings, and ample space, it’s an ideal destination to start our day on a high note.
11. Xeriscape Botanical Gardens
If you’ve ever found yourself curious about the name of that captivating desert plant that has captured your attention, look no further than the Xeriscape Botanical Gardens. Conveniently located adjacent to the Glendale library, this garden serves as the ideal destination for satisfying your curiosity. As you explore the grounds, you’ll discover that every plant is clearly labeled, providing an educational and enjoyable experience for everyone. It’s a unique outing where you can learn while you admire the beautiful flora surrounding you.
For an even more immersive journey, an audio tour is available, offering insightful explanations about the various plants and their characteristics. It’s a wonderful opportunity to deepen your knowledge and appreciate the diversity of the desert landscape.
But that’s not all the garden has to offer. The Xeriscape Botanical Gardens also play host to a charming array of feathered residents, including ornate peacocks and mischievous peahens. The presence of these flying companions adds an extra layer of amusement and captivation, especially for the little ones. Children will be delighted and engaged as they observe these colorful creatures roam and interact within the garden’s natural surroundings.
12. For brand names at bargain prices, shop at Tanger Outlets Westgate
Sometimes, a less bustling outlet mall can actually be a blessing in disguise. It means I have ample space and a peaceful atmosphere to thoroughly enjoy my bargain hunting journey. That’s exactly what I found at this particular mall. While it may not be the busiest, it certainly makes up for it with the abundance of great deals waiting to be discovered. I was able to leisurely explore each store, taking my time to find the perfect items at discounted prices.
The mall itself is a pleasant sight, with its modern and well-maintained appearance. It exudes a clean and inviting atmosphere that adds to the overall shopping experience. What’s more, it’s conveniently accessible and boasts excellent parking facilities, ensuring a hassle-free visit.
Here’s a handy tip to keep in mind: if you happen to be a AAA/CAA or AARP member, don’t forget to bring your membership card. By presenting it, you’ll be eligible to receive a complimentary Tanger Coupon Book filled with hundreds of dollars’ worth of bonus savings. It’s a fantastic perk that can enhance your shopping spree and help you maximize your savings. Similarly, all members of the military can also take advantage of this offer.
13. Sahuaro Ranch Park
One of Glendale’s most beloved parks, it offers a plethora of activities for families to enjoy. This park truly has something for everyone! We can start by having a delightful picnic under the shade of covered Ramadas, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor dining experience. For those who love sports, there are ball games to be played, playgrounds featuring the exciting EVOS structure for kids aged 5 and older, volleyball courts, and soccer fields. It’s a sports lover’s paradise!
But that’s not all—the park even includes a special treat for our furry friends. It’s home to the world’s first dog park, where we can take our beloved pooch for a leisurely stroll and some quality playtime. The park’s vibrant atmosphere is further enhanced by the presence of roaming peacocks and chickens, which are sure to captivate the little ones and add an element of charm to our visit.
As we explore further, we’ll come across a fragrant Rose Garden, offering a serene and aromatic escape. The scent of blooming roses fills the air, creating a tranquil ambiance that is perfect for relaxation and reflection. Additionally, we can admire the historic farm family homes, providing a glimpse into the rich heritage of the area.
14. Glendale 9 Drive-In Theater
Let’s gather the family and embark on a nostalgic evening at the Drive-In Theater! The Glendale 9 Drive-In is a rare gem, one of the few theaters left in the U.S., offering a unique opportunity for the kids to experience the magic of watching a movie “under the stars.” It’s a delightful journey back in time that the whole family will cherish.
For this special outing, we can embrace a casual and cozy atmosphere. Dress the kids in their pajamas, adding an extra touch of comfort to the experience. We can prepare some homemade snacks, ensuring we have our favorite treats at hand, and settle in for a night of relaxation and enjoyment. There’s something truly enchanting about the combination of outdoor cinema and the open sky above.
Should we crave a bit of variety or desire a quick snack, there’s also a snack bar available at the theater. It’s a convenient option to explore different treats and indulge in some movie theater classics. Additionally, we can rest easy knowing that clean and well-maintained bathrooms are accessible, ensuring our comfort throughout the evening.
Before the movie begins, the kids can have some fun in the small playground area, adding an extra element of excitement to the outing. They can release some energy, interact with other children, and build anticipation for the movie experience ahead.
15. Relax and rejuvenate at Elements Massage
If you’ve been tirelessly running around, ensuring the kids are entertained and occupied, it’s high time for us adults to treat ourselves to some well-deserved “me” time. And what better way to indulge in relaxation than a visit to Elements Massage? It’s the perfect sanctuary for pampering and rejuvenation.
At Elements Massage, their qualified and highly trained massage therapists offer a range of hour-long massages designed to melt away stress and ease the general aches and pains of the day. Whether you’re seeking relief from neck and back pain or simply longing for a moment of tranquility, their skilled therapists will tailor the massage to your specific needs, ensuring a blissful experience.
Not only does Elements Massage provide relief from physical discomfort, but their massages also assist in promoting increased circulation throughout the body. This can have numerous benefits, including improved overall well-being and a renewed sense of vitality.
16. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix
This water park is a fantastic destination that offers enjoyment for both kids and adults alike. It boasts a wide array of unique and thrilling attractions that will keep everyone entertained. From exhilarating rides designed for kids to exciting family rides like the Crazy Cactus Roaring River, and even heart-pounding thrill rides such as the Tornado and Maximum Velocity, there’s something for everyone’s taste. You’ll have plenty of floats and water equipment at your disposal to make the most of your aquatic adventure.
The facilities at the water park are well-maintained, ensuring a clean and comfortable environment. After enjoying the rides, you can find numerous pleasant spots to dine and simply relax, allowing you to recharge and refuel before diving back into the fun.
When nature calls, rest assured that the park offers separate male and female restrooms and changing facilities, ensuring convenience and privacy. For families, there are dedicated family restrooms available as well. If you’re seeking additional comfort and luxury, you have the option to rent a cabana, providing a private and exclusive space for you and your loved ones to relax and unwind.
To make your water park experience even more enjoyable, the park offers two types of tubes available for rent: the Single Rider and the Double Rider. These tubes are perfect for sliding down water slides and experiencing the thrill of the rides together.
17. Foothills Park
Foothills Park offers something for everyone in the family, catering to the diverse interests and needs of each member. If you’re a skateboard enthusiast, this park is a dream come true with its fantastic skateboarding facilities. As for those who prefer walking or biking, worry not, because the park also boasts terrific paths that are perfect for a leisurely stroll or invigorating bike ride.
Even the littlest members of the family are not forgotten here. Right next to the main park, there’s a small park designed specifically for them, complete with safe play areas that will keep them entertained and ensure their safety.
If the family is in the mood for a delightful picnic, Foothills Park has got you covered. You’ll find a large number of grills and picnic tables available, complete with a Ramada, providing a comfortable and shaded space to enjoy your meal and spend quality time together.
And let’s not forget our four-legged family members. Foothills Park has a dedicated dog park that offers grassy areas for them to run and play. There are even special sections for small dogs, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for dogs of all sizes. Additionally, the dog park features an agility course, allowing your furry friend to show off their skills and have a blast. With plenty of shaded areas, your canine companion can also relax and cool off when needed.
18. Tolmachoff Farms
Let’s head over to Tolmachoff Farms and experience a delightful day filled with fun and festivities! It’s the perfect place to pick up a pumpkin and create lasting memories with your grandkids. They will be overjoyed exploring the Pumpkin Patch and discovering the many exciting attractions designed just for them. From inflatable play areas to thrilling slide downs, a corn pit, a water trough, and a petting zoo with plenty of adorable farm animals to interact with, there’s no shortage of entertainment.
But don’t worry, the fun isn’t limited to the little ones. Tolmachoff Farms offers a wide range of activities that will captivate visitors of all ages. Take a tractor ride and embark on an adventure through the farm’s scenic surroundings. Or challenge yourself with a journey through the large maze, testing your sense of direction and problem-solving skills.
While you’re there, take advantage of the abundance of fresh produce available year-round. Tolmachoff Farms offers an impressive selection of farm-fresh goodies, including onions, garlic, corn, and tomatoes. It’s a wonderful opportunity to support local agriculture and bring home some delicious, high-quality produce.
If you happen to visit during the Christmas season, make sure to drop by Tolmachoff Farms and complete your holiday preparations. You can pick up a beautiful Christmas tree and a festive wreath to add that special touch to your home.
19. Grand Canal Linear Park
I had the pleasure of visiting an extraordinary park that offers a unique layout parallel to the Grand Canal. Unlike traditional parks that often lead you in circles, this one maximizes the use of space by providing a straight path. It’s truly a brilliant design!
The park spans approximately three and a half miles and features a beautifully lit paved trail. As I strolled along, I couldn’t help but admire the charming landscaping that adorned the surroundings. It created a serene and picturesque atmosphere, making it a delightful experience.
What impressed me the most was the park’s versatility. It caters to various recreational activities, attracting walkers, bikers, and even horseback riders. It’s wonderful to see people of all ages and interests enjoying the park in their own unique ways.
For families, the park offers a playground with swings and slides. It’s a perfect spot for children to release their energy and have a fantastic time. What’s even more remarkable is that the park ensures full accessibility for individuals using wheelchairs, making it an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy.
20. Glenfair Lanes Bowling and Entertainment
I can’t recommend Glenfair Lanes enough for a fantastic bowling experience. Even if you’re not part of a league, this place offers incredible fun for the whole family. The owners go above and beyond to ensure your satisfaction, creating a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone.
For league bowlers, Glenfair Lanes offers an amazing perk. You can receive four free games every week, a generous offer that allows you to practice and improve your skills. Additionally, there are monthly tournaments and special holiday tournaments exclusively for league bowlers, providing exciting opportunities to showcase your talents and compete against fellow bowlers.
If you’re looking for a great deal for the whole family, I highly recommend the family fun package. With this package, you get two hours of unlimited bowling, a large pitcher of soda, and a delicious large cheese pizza. It’s an unbeatable combination at a very reasonable price, ensuring that everyone can have a fantastic time without breaking the bank.
Glenfair Lanes truly goes above and beyond to provide a memorable and enjoyable bowling experience for everyone. Whether you’re a league bowler looking to enhance your skills or a family seeking a fun-filled outing, this bowling alley has something for you. The friendly atmosphere, the excellent service, and the enticing offers make it a top-notch destination for bowling enthusiasts of all ages.
21. A comfortable seat everywhere in the house, at AMC Arrowhead 14
I recently had the pleasure of visiting this incredible cinema house that has undergone a remarkable transformation, and let me tell you, the improvements are truly impressive! From the moment I settled into the newly refurbished seats, all upholstered in luxurious red leather recliners, I knew I was in for a treat. The level of comfort they provided was unmatched, making me feel as if I were in the cozy confines of my own home or even a lavish hotel.
What caught my attention was the attention to detail in the seating. Each seat came equipped with clean and comfortable adjustor controls, allowing me to find the perfect position for optimal relaxation. It truly elevated the movie-watching experience to a whole new level.
As if that wasn’t enough, the cinema also offers modern amenities that enhance convenience and enjoyment. I was thrilled to discover touch screen Coca-Cola machines, which dispensed a variety of flavors to suit every taste preference. It was a fun and interactive way to customize my beverage choice before the movie began.
Another convenient feature of this cinema house is the option for advance seat booking. It eliminates the stress of rushing to secure good seats and ensures that you can plan your movie outing with ease. Simply choose your desired seats in advance, and you can relax knowing that your spot is reserved.
Located at Arrowhead Mall, this cinema house also offers the perfect opportunity to combine shopping with your movie experience. You can take your time exploring the mall’s numerous shops and indulge in a bit of retail therapy before stopping by the cinema to catch a film. It’s a well-placed and convenient location that adds even more value to your visit.
22. A Touch of European Café
Looking to satisfy my craving for a unique culinary experience, I recently discovered A Touch of European Café, and let me tell you, it lives up to its name! This authentic Polish restaurant is renowned for its mouthwatering and generous portions of delectable food. From the moment I stepped inside, I knew I was in for a treat.
The menu offers a variety of tempting options, but one dish that caught my attention was the kielbasa sandwich served with coleslaw. It’s a true delight for the taste buds and provides a flavorful glimpse into the rich Polish cuisine. The combination of savory sausage and the refreshing crunch of coleslaw was simply heavenly. The portion sizes were so generous that I even had the option to take some home for later, ensuring that I could savor the flavors once again.
What truly adds to the charm of A Touch of European Café is the warm and welcoming atmosphere created by the family behind the scenes. The husband showcases his culinary talents as the skilled cook, while his wife provides attentive and friendly service. Their passion for their craft and dedication to creating an authentic dining experience shine through in every dish.
To end my meal on a sweet note, I indulged in a portion of baklava, a traditional European dessert known for its delicate layers of phyllo pastry and sweet, nutty filling. It was the perfect finale to an exceptional dining experience, leaving me with a lingering desire to plan my next visit.