Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Glendale, AZ

  • Published 2022/12/13

Behold a family trip to remember in Glendale, AZ.

Glendale City awaits you with its promising activities for the family.

Don’t forget to put on your backpack, baseball cap, and running shoes, because an unforgettable adventure awaits you in this wonderful city.

Glendale City is situated in Maricopa County in Arizona.

Categorized as Mediterranean climate, the city has humid summers and warm to mild winters.

It is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family getaway because there is something for every generation (kids, teenagers, young and older adults).

You’ll be surprised by what this magnificent city has to offer!

Glendale offers a variety of activities to stir the interest of every generation and every personality.

Here is a run-down of the best things to do in Glendale City:

Hike at the Thunderbird Conservation Park

Trail at Thunderbird Conservation Park

Patrick Lansing /

This breathtaking park runs 1,185 acres.

Aiming to preserve its desert environment, you can enjoy the Thunderbird Conservation Park’s trails by jogging, biking, or hiking.

Hike at your pace as it offers easy, moderate, and difficult hiking levels.

Cacti at Thunderbird Conservation Park

WongPing /

If you are brave enough to go for the latter, be rewarded at the top with an astonishing view of Phoenix, which is 30 miles away.

If you prefer less heart-racing activities, bird watching or simply putting up a picnic and enjoying mother nature is perhaps more suitable for you.

Hikers at Thunderbird Conservation Park

WongPing /

Go Antique Shopping at the Glendale District

Looking for a unique souvenir to remember your Glendale trip by?

Visit the Old Town Glendale for some vintage finds.

What makes this district even more charming is the fact that the antique stores were once historic homes.

Some, dating back to more than 100 years ago.

Now that is vintage!

Complete your old-town experience by dining in one of the ethnic eateries in the district.

Visit the University of Phoenix Stadium

Exterior of the University of Phoenix Stadium

Harold Stiver /

Moving on with the trip for the sports-enthusiast in the family (spoiler alert: you’ll be sure to enjoy MORE than one place!), The University of Phoenix Stadium is a sight to see.

Ignite your team spirit when you watch an Arizona Cardinals game in this 72,000 seating capacity stadium.

The field of University of Phoenix Stadium

tishomir /

No game on the day of your visit?

You can still tour this unique stadium and be in awe of its retractable roof and retractable field.

Soccer at University of Phoenix Stadium

Keeton Gale /

Watch Candy Making in Cerreta Candy Company

Exterior of Cerreta Candy Company

Marine 69-71 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Candy making is just as sweet as it tastes!

Cerreta Candy Company is a family-owned business that has stood in Glendale City for more than 50 years.

This charming candy store and factory uphold its high quality of candies, making it stand the test of time.

The kids at heart will enjoy watching how their favorite sweet treats are made before indulging in them.

Escape the Hustle and Bustle of City Life in the Xeriscape Botanical Gardens

Nothing is more relaxing than breathing fresh air and being surrounded by greenery.

If you’re into plants, you’ll surely give this place a (green) thumbs up!

You can also learn about these plants as each is labeled with its name.

Complete your experience with nature as the garden is also home to different species of birds!

Kids would love to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

The best part?

Xeriscape is open to the public, and pets are welcome too.

Just make sure to keep your dog on a leash.

If you want to catch up on your reading, you can also visit the Glendale Library, which is right next to Xeriscape Botanical Garden.

Enjoy Shopping and Al Fresco Dining at Westgate Entertainment District

Night scene at Westgate Entertainment District

James Kirkikis /

If you’re looking for some laid-back strolling or some Friday night vibe, don’t miss out on visiting the Westgate Entertainment District.

Dine al fresco style, and be sure to hit the line of shopping stores in the district.

Al fresco dining at Westgate Entertainment District

Paul McKinnon /

If you come here to welcome the weekend, you’ll enjoy the live music by Fountain Park.

The Westgate District is just a few minutes away from the University of Phoenix Stadium, so you may want to hit the district next for a hearty lunch or dinner after watching and cheering for a game.

Daytime view of Westgate Entertainment District

Paul McKinnon /

Tour the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum

Here is something that kids and grandma would both enjoy!

The Arizona Doll and Toy Museum is home to a vast collection of toys.

The boys and men of the family won’t be bored too.

The Arizona Doll and Toy Museum also holds a collection of Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, among other toys.

Don’t forget to visit the gift shop for some cool toys and books before you leave.

Watch Hockey or Lacrosse at the Gila River Arena

Exterior of the Gila River Arena

James Kirkikis /

Yes, sports enthusiasts, here’s another one for you!

The Gila River Arena has been home to countless hockey and lacrosse games.

The arena has also been the home of the Arizona Coyotes.

Hockey game at Gila River Arena

Keeton Gale /

What other events can be done in this 17,125-seater facility?

You guess that right, concerts!

Many world-renowned singers have already graced the arena with their music.

Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Drake, to name a few.

Interior of Gila River Arena

The original uploader was Betp at French Wikipedia. Later versions were uploaded by Bibi Saint-Pol at fr.wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Feast Your Eyes on the Magnificent View From Above in the Firebird Balloon Ride

What’s a better way of enjoying the sunset view, other than seeing it from above?

The hot air balloon ride from Firebird Balloons is a box you should not miss ticking in your bucket list.

Although this may not be for everyone in the family (if you’re afraid of heights, you probably shouldn’t sign up), couples would particularly love this rather romantic experience.

What awaits you as you soar?

Nothing short than the majestic Sonoran desert view.

Firebird Balloons also offer personalized hot air balloon rides.

They also greatly care for your comfort and not just safety, so they only offer a maximum of 6 persons on board.

This includes the pilot as well.

Firebird Balloons know it’s not every day you get a chance to ride a hot air balloon.

In fact, it is a chance of a lifetime for most!

So they are open to customized arrangements other than just a typical tourist activity.

The colorful hot air balloons have been venues for other dates, marriage proposals, and even wedding ceremonies!

After all, who could say no after seeing such a breathtaking view of Arizona?

Go All Out on Outdoor Activities in Sahuaro Ranch Park

Entrance to Sahuaro Ranch Park

Thomas Trompeter /

If you want to enjoy a lovely summer afternoon with no concrete activity in mind, all you have to do is head to Sahuaro Ranch Park.

Don’t forget to bring the rest of the family (the dog is very much welcome to come, too)!

You’ll never run out of recreational activities in this park.

Enjoy ball games at any of the four fields.

Softball, Soccer, Volleyball, or whatever you feel like.

Peacocks and chickens also freely roam the park and will be a source of fun for the little ones.

Small children can also enjoy the day in the playground.

If you just feel like relaxing, you can spread your picnic blanket, grab a book and listen to some music under the covered Ramadas.

Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale

Thomas Trompeter /

Your dog won’t miss out on the fun too!

There is a dog park within the Sahuaro Ranch Park where they can play with other dogs without a leash.

As if not enough, the fun doesn’t end here.

It’s not all land activities in this park.

You can also take a dip at the Aquatics Center.

A rose garden is also enclosed in the Sahuaro Ranch Park.

With its rustic appeal, the rose garden is also the venue for countless memorable weddings.

The Sahuaro Ranch Rose Garden has been holding outdoor wedding ceremonies since 1986.

The Sahuaro Ranch Park doesn’t fall short of becoming educational too.

Being one of Glendale’s oldest ranches, Sahuaro Ranch Park takes pride in its history and offers historic tours.

Joining one will make you fall even more in love with this place.

Sign Up for Cooking Lessons Under the Tuscan Fork

Glendale will also teach you a culinary skill or two.

You will not only learn some cooking but food preparation as well.

You will be under the chef spell at Under the Tuscan Fork.

Be in Touch With History in Deer Valley Petroglyph Reserve

Signage of Deer Valley Petroglyph Reserve

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the things Glendale City takes pride in is its rich history and heritage.

You’ll be amazed by the massive collection of rock drawings in the Deer Valley Petroglyph Reserve.

The reserve holds about 1,500 carefully preserved petroglyphs made by the Native Americans.

It’s an astonishing sight to see!

Reading about history is something, but seeing it with your own eyes is definitely something more.

Petroglyphs on a rock at Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unwind Under the Stars in the Glendale 9 Drive-In Movie Theater

Bringing typically indoor activities outdoors, you’ll fall in love with the Glendale 9 Drive-In Movie Theater experience.

Remember dressing up for movie night?

You can skip that part!

Come as you are since you technically won’t be leaving your car.

You can also bring your own snacks.

Glendale 9 Drive-In Movie Theater is one of the few left in the USA.

Make sure to experience this old-school charm of watching a movie right under the stars.

Romantic mood cannot be guaranteed, as theater plays current movies in different genres, including horror and thriller.

But fun is guaranteed, always.

Harvest Produce at the Tolmachoff Farms

Small windmill at Tolmachoff Farms

Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Experience country vibes with these simple yet fun farm activities with the family.

Four family generations have upheld the Tolmachoff Farms.

Depending on the season, you get to pick your own fruits and vegetables from the farm!

During winter, you can pick your own beets, bell peppers, turnips, among others.

In the summer season, you can pick cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and other fun produce.

Pumpkin patch at Tolmachoff Farms

Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prepare to get muddy and go for a train ride or a pedal cart around the farm.

The pumpkin patch is also a hit for both the young and old.

Take photos and create memories with these bountiful harvests.

You’ll also have a fantastic time with any of the corn mazes.

There is one for everyone in the family!

People harvesting vegetables at Tolmachoff Farms

Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kids will love the mini corn maze.

The family can also enjoy the 6-acre corn maze.

Or, if you’re up for a challenge, a haunted corn maze awaits you.

The kids would also have a fun time interacting with the farm animals.

You can pet goats, cows, pigs, horses, and others more.

Submerge in Fun at the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Formerly known as Wet ’n’ Wild Phoenix, this water park changed its name to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix in Spring of 2019.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is located on the border of Glendale and Phoenix, so you may want to plan your visit.

Its precise location is at 4243 W.

Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale, Arizona.

If the family wants to switch from land to water activities, this is the place to be!

Rides vary from kid-friendly, family-friendly and the more thrilling ones.

Over 30 rides await you and your family at the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

To avoid long lines, you can buy your tickets online ahead of your visit.

Tickets and passes tend to also be cheaper if purchased online compared to on-site.

Prepare to Explore Great Things at Catlin Court Retail District

Antique store at Catlin Court Retail District

Nathan O’Brennan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Glendale Old Towne District is about a block north of the 1914-established Catlin Court Historic District.

The Catlin Court Retail District is home to a lovely assortment of independently owned specialized shops, boutiques, restaurants, and public art projects.

Eateries and businesses are housed in real early and mid-century artisan bungalows and farm-style National Register structures.

The strolling neighborhood has welcoming entrance porches bordered by picket railings and thick shade trees.

Come and see this cherished historic neighborhood to shop, eat, and explore!

Spend a Leisurely Afternoon at the 500 Club

Developed and planned by Brian Whitcomb in 2005, Futures Course at the 500 Club is one of northwestern Phoenix’s well-kept secrets.

Even the best players find it tricky due to the course’s lush emerald fairways, strategically positioned bunkers, and sloping greens.

Numerous native creatures live nearby, which can be seen in the early mornings or late evenings.

You can find yourself playing golf with the desert wildlife as your backdrop.

The southwestern-style golf shop features the 500 Club trademark apparel and has the newest golf gear, clothing, and accessories.

Enjoy leisurely meals in the COZ clubhouse or on the expansive outdoor terrace, which is fitted with misting systems.

Watch a Game at State Farm Stadium

Exterior of State Farm Stadium

Troutfarm27, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

State Farm Stadium, created by New York architect Peter Eisenman, is a perfect example of cutting-edge structure, innovation, and architecture.

The annual Fiesta Bowl, the Arizona Cardinals Football Club (NFL), and countless other sporting and entertainment events occur at the Stadium.

The Stadium’s top-tier approach to sports design and construction combines the first retractable natural grass playing field in North America and the first fully retractable roof functioning at an angle, providing spectators, organizers, and players with a truly exceptional experience.

Interior of State Farm Stadium

John Martinez Pavliga from San Pablo, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fans within the Stadium get spectacular views of the desert horizon thanks to 21 vertical glass-walled holes built into the Stadium’s outer walls, reflecting the changing desert light.

State Farm Stadium, spanning over 1.7 million square feet, offers a variety of upscale seats and area options, featuring 88 lofts and 7,505 club seats.

Football game in State Farm Stadium

All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shop at Arrowhead Towne Center

Arrowhead Towne Mall, a retail center with 180 businesses and food establishments, is situated in Glendale, Arizona.

It provides free wireless internet access throughout the building and electronics charging stations in most dining spaces.

Accessible parking spaces and restrooms, free wheelchairs, automated door entries, and elevators are all available at Arrowhead Towne Center.

The picturesque outdoor amphitheater, which can accommodate 350 people, provides a pleasant ambiance all year round.

The 1,000-square-foot meeting and event facility has a distinct kitchenette area, an outside patio, unique millwork, high-definition audio/video capabilities, and varying seating arrangements.

Explore Arrowhead Towne Center for a day filled with dining, shopping, and everything in between.

Test Your Lucky at Desert Diamond Casino

Head to Desert Diamond Casino West Valley and prepare to play at a top-notch casino in Arizona.

It is situated in Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District and offers more than 75,000 square feet of sheer enjoyment.

With more than 1,400 slot machines, digital table games, and live games to play from, Desert Diamond offers all the newest, trendiest games.

Three incredible restaurants, a food hall, and two bars serving artisan brews and drinks are all waiting to enchant you.

Nobody offers more jackpot payouts than they do, and since a large winner emerges every five minutes, you may be the next!

Final Thoughts

Glendale City does not fall short in representing Arizona with how much it treasures its history and heritage, which are reflected in the arts and culture of this city.

Glendale is one of the cities that offer the most diverse activities to be enjoyed by every generation.

This is what makes it a perfect family getaway not just by tourists from across the world but by neighboring cities as well.

Glendale guarantees to be an adventure for everyone in the family without anyone missing out on the fun.

© All rights reserved.