30 Best Things to Do in Phoenix at Night & Late Afternoon | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Published: July 31, 2023

Hi there! I'm Natasha, and I'm thrilled to share with you an exciting compilation of the top recommendations for experiencing the vibrant nightlife and late afternoon delights in Phoenix. Prepare for an amazing journey as we dive into an array of captivating activities to make your trip unforgettable!

Phoenix at Night & Late Afternoon

Welcome to the enchanting desert oasis of Phoenix, where the excitement doesn't fade with the setting sun. As the stars light up the Arizona sky, this bustling city reveals a captivating nocturnal charm, offering an array of unforgettable experiences.

In this article, we'll be your guide to the best things to do in Phoenix at night and late afternoon, ensuring that you make the most of your evenings in this vibrant metropolis.

From awe-inspiring desert landscapes to lively entertainment hubs, we'll explore the top attractions that Phoenix has to offer after dark.

So, gear up to immerse yourself in the heart of the city's nightlife, and let the magic of Phoenix light up your nights.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Hyatt Regency Phoenix

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Mild winter, hot desert summers, explore at spring.

Average Temperature

Hot and sunny, typical Arizona desert climate.

Transportation Options

Bus, light rail, taxi, Uber, Lyft, car rental, bike, walking

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

For a truly personal experience in Phoenix, United States of America, immerse yourself in the vibrant local art scene by visiting the Roosevelt Row Arts District. Marvel at the colorful street art, explore local galleries, and connect with local artists to gain insight into the city's creative spirit.

To further personalize your time in Phoenix, take a leisurely hike up Camelback Mountain and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding desert landscape, creating a memorable and intimate connection with the natural beauty that Phoenix has to offer.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Lightweight clothing suitable for hot desert weather
  2. Sunscreen and a hat to protect against the intense sun
  3. Comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city

What Not to Miss

  1. Heard Museum
  2. Desert Botanical Garden
  3. Camelback Mountain
  4. Phoenix Art Museum
  5. Papago Park

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacking
  2. Underestimating the heat
  3. Ignoring sun safety

1. Head To Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum, sometimes referred to as the PHX Art Museum, is one of the biggest art museums in the southwest.

The museum features international contemporary art, fashion, and photography among the more than 18,000 pieces in its collection.

The museum is a great location for art lovers of all ages and backgrounds because it offers lectures, tours, and other program events in addition to its amazing collection.

2. Enjoy Kayaking at Night at The Tempe Town Lake

Kayaking at Night at The Tempe Town Lake

Next up on our list of things to do in Phoenix at night, it's kayaking at the Tempe Town Lake.

This lake offers a one-of-a-kind experience, where you'll paddle and glide across the water while taking in the views from beneath the stars.

The Tempe Town Lake offers a secure and enjoyable setting for water sports lovers, whether you're a novice or an expert kayaker.

Don't pass up this fantastic opportunity to make priceless memories with loved ones and friends while taking in the breathtaking landscape of Tempe Town Lake.

3. Visit The Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo offers a distinctive opportunity to learn about animals from all around the world with more than 3,000 animals from 30 different types.

The zoo also hosts entertaining nighttime activities like "Roars and Pours" and "ZooLights" during the Christmas season.

4. Watch Drive-in Movies at Greater Phoenix at Night

Drive-in Movies at Greater Phoenix at Night

Consider viewing a movie at Digital Drive-In AZ or West Wind Drive-In if you want a fun and unique experience in Phoenix at night.

These drive-in theaters provide family fun nights where you can watch recent blockbusters and classic movies under the stars.

To plan your travel arrangements, review the hotel's events schedule and room information.

Digital Drive-In AZ is located at Alma School Road, Mesa, while West Wind is located at 5650 N 55th Avenue near Glendale.

Visit these drive-in theaters to enjoy movies with your loved ones and make lifelong memories.

5. Hike Your Way Through Papago Park

Papago Park

If you're looking for an exciting outdoor adventure in Phoenix at night, don't miss the chance to hike your way through Papago Park.

This park is one of the most well-liked hiking locations in the region, with a selection of paths suitable for hikers of all experience levels.

Additionally, the trails are well-lit, enabling people to stroll through the park even after dusk.

A night hike in Papago Park is an unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss, with breathtaking vistas of the Sonoran Desert scenery and the famous Hole-in-the-Rock landmark.

6. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden

Visit the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park if you want to reconnect with nature while you're in Phoenix.

With more than 50,000 plants and 4,000 different species, this stunning garden highlights the distinctive flora and animals of the Sonoran Desert.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden during the day or attend the "Las Noches de las Luminarias" event at night to see it in a different light.

The Desert Botanical Garden is a must-visit location for anybody traveling to Phoenix because of its stunning views, educational displays, and seasonal special events.

7. Take a Trip to The Phoenix Bat Cave

Phoenix Bat Cave

One of the unusual things to do in Phoenix at night is visit the Phoenix Bat Cave.

During the summer season, hundreds of bats reside in this hidden gem on the north bank of the Arizona Canal.

At dusk, visitors can watch the bats take flight, which is an amazing and unforgettable sight. The bats are largely in the Arizona Canal area and the Phoenix Tunnel.

These locations make it easy to witness the bats in their natural habitat. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience the beauty of nature at the Phoenix Bat Cave.

8. Enjoy Stargazing with Your Kids

Stargazing with Your Kids

Looking for fun and educational things to do in Phoenix at night with your kids? Consider taking them to South Mountain Park to observe the stars.

Visitors can take in stunning views of the starry sky and learn about astronomy from qualified guides at the park's free monthly stargazing sessions.

It's a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship with your kids and teach them about the wonders of the cosmos.

Encourage your kids not to pass up this truly unique and unforgettable opportunity to ignite a passion for science and discovery in them.

9. Study The Night Sky at The Gilbert Riparian Observatory

Night Sky at The Gilbert Riparian Observatory

The Gilbert Riparian Observatory is a must-see place in Phoenix if you enjoy stargazing.

This cutting-edge facility, which is situated in Gilbert, gives tourists the opportunity to explore the sky like never before.

The observatory's telescopes and knowledgeable staff make it simple to get started, whether you're an amateur astronomer or just looking to appreciate the grandeur of the sky.

Additionally, if you plan your trip well and go during a full moon, you'll get to experience the Phoenix skyline in a completely other way.

10. Enjoy a Night of Symphony

Night of Symphony

Listening to the Phoenix Symphony is an excellent choice if you're searching for a chic and cultured night out in Phoenix.

They perform at several venues such as Symphony Hall, Mesa Arts Centre, Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, and Orpheum Theatre.

The symphony performs a range of classic and contemporary pieces, frequently with world-famous soloists and guest conductors.

A night listening to this virtuosic symphony orchestra is likely to be a wonderful experience, whether you're an experienced classical music listener or just eager to try something new.

11. Gamble The Night Away in Phoenix


There are many casinos in Phoenix, but the Gila River Resorts and Casino is a popular choice.

It has a variety of gambling opportunities, including table games, slots, and bingo, and is adjacent to Sky Harbor Airport.

The casino also features live comedic and musical performances for people seeking amusement.

The on-site restaurant and bars serve delectable fare and handcrafted beverages to keep guests energized throughout the night.

So, if you're feeling lucky, head to this casino for a fun-filled night of gambling in Phoenix.

12. Go on Ghost Hunting Tours

Ghost Hunting Tours

Going on ghost-hunting tours in Phoenix might be fun if you like thrills.

These tours provide the opportunity to investigate some of Phoenix's most haunted locations.

You will learn all there is to know about Phoenix and its notorious true-crime history throughout the tours. These excursions will undoubtedly give you a good scare whether or not you believe in ghosts.

So, gather your family and friends and venture outside to discover Phoenix's shadowier side.

13. Explore The Desert On A Sonoran Desert Tour

Desert On A Sonoran Desert Tour

A Sonoran Desert Tour is a fantastic way to discover Phoenix's desert habitat.

You will have the chance to witness nocturnal animals and night-blooming plants while on the tour, as well as learn about the ecology and background of the desert.

The journey is supervised by professional guides who will impart knowledge on the flora and fauna that make up this desert environment.

There is always something fresh and fascinating to view on these tours because this Desert is one of the world's most diversified desert ecosystems.

14. Listen To Live Music At The Van Buren

The Van Buren

A prominent live music venue in Phoenix, the Van Buren presents a variety of musical acts as well as other forms of entertainment.

It's a terrific venue to listen to live performances while you explore Phoenix's thriving nightlife scene, with a capacity of up to 1,800 people.

The Van Buren is a must-go location for every music enthusiast because some of the biggest stars in music have performed there.

The Van Buren is likely to have an event to suit your taste, whether you're into rock, pop, hip hop, or something else different.

15. Let Loose At The Castles N' Coasters Amusement Park

The Castles N' Coasters Amusement Park

Castles N' Coasters is a premier amusement park in Phoenix that offers fun activities for all ages.

This amusement park offers a variety of thrilling rides, bumper boats, go-kart tracks, miniature golf, and arcade games.

The park has a distinctive ambiance that enhances the overall experience thanks to the wild west and ancient Middle Eastern themes.

The park is ideal for enjoyable family nights because it also has a family-friendly setting.

Visitors are sure to have a great time and make priceless memories at Castles N' Coasters, which features both roller coasters and arcade games.

16. Go For A Stroll Around Arizona Falls

Arizona Falls

Arizona Falls, which lies in Phoenix's Arcadia district, is the ideal location for a picturesque stroll. The Valley's first hydroelectric power plant included the falls, which were built in 1902.

Arizona Falls is now a tranquil haven in the middle of the city.

Since the falls are illuminated at night, it is a well-liked location for nighttime strolls. Arizona Falls is a must-visit for nature lovers in Phoenix because of its stunning views and peaceful ambiance.

17. Go Hiking in Phoenix at Night

Hiking in Phoenix at Night

Hiking is one of the many late afternoon activities for exercise enthusiasts ****in Phoenix. South Mountain and Piestewa Peak in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve are the most popular Phoenix hiking spots.

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and Usery Mountain Regional Park offers ranger-led, interpretive moonlight hikes on select summer nights for individuals who'd want some assistance with their nocturnal hike.

An entirely new experience and spectacular city views are offered by hiking at night. However, it's important to remember to bring a flashlight and other essential gear to stay safe on the trails.

18. Play an Escape Game with Your Friends

Escape Game

Consider playing an escape game if you're seeking fun and challenging things to do in Phoenix at night with your friends in downtown Phoenix.

You and your pals can choose from a variety of themes and scenarios by playing an escape game in one of the many rooms that are available, such as solving puzzles and tracking down clues to escape a haunted hotel or a hidden laboratory.

Your cooperation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills will be put to the test by these engaging, interactive games. Additionally, they provide a memorable adventure night for you and your buddies.

19. Catch a Live Sporting Event

Live Sporting Event

The Gila River Arena, now called Desert Diamond Arena, is a popular location for live sporting events including hockey and basketball games as well as concerts and other performances.

This multipurpose arena is a terrific spot to watch a game or show whether you're a devoted Arizona Coyotes fan or just looking for an exhilarating night out with friends or family.

It's no surprise that the arena is a well-liked venue for both locals and visitors given the abundance of food and drink options and the comfy seats.

So, why not make plans to attend a live sporting event at the Gila River Arena on a night out?

20. Explore Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix

A variety of attractions and activities are available to discover in Phoenix's Downtown area. There is something for everyone, from world-class museums to trendy restaurants and bars.

One of the best things about Phoenix's downtown area is its booming comedy scene, where prominent comics from throughout the nation perform at a number of comedy nightclubs.

If you're interested in so many different styles of humor, head to Stand Up Live or The Improv.

This part of Phoenix is a great spot to spend a night out on the town because it features entertainment venues, art galleries, and cultural activities all year round in addition to comedy.

21. Watch Spectacular Sunset Views

Spectacular Sunset Views

In Phoenix, one of the must-do things is to witness a magnificent sunset.

There are several vantage places in the city from which to view the fiery sky as it falls behind the mountains.

For some of the best sunset views in the city, head to Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, or South Mountain. It's a great place to see the city lights glittering below as the sky grows dark.

Viewing the sunset is a stunning and unforgettable event that should not be missed whether you're with family, friends, or someone special.

22. Sign up with The Arizona Territorial Adventures

 Arizona Territorial Adventures

This tour agency offers a fantastic opportunity to discover Phoenix's cowboy and Wild West cultures.

They provide guided tours on particular days of the month, such as the two days before, during, and after the full moon.

The trips include stops at historic locations including Cave Creek, the Superstition Mountains, and others. You can pan for gold, explore a ghost town, ride horses, and learn about the Wild West's past.

The moonlit night tours are a special way to appreciate Phoenix's natural beauty and its environs. For people of all ages, it's a fantastic adventure in Arizona.

23. Drink The Night Away At Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

In the heart of Phoenix, the trendy Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour serves you a variety of cocktails and other drinks.

Its speakeasy-like ambiance makes it the ideal place to unwind and spend a night out with friends.

The Old West, The Far East, and The British Raj are just a few of the categories on their cocktail menu that each offer a different theme and assortment of beverages.

The Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour is the ideal place for supper and cocktails because it also provides delectable food.

So, be sure to check it out if you're searching for a cocktail bar in which to unwind and have fun.

24. Enjoy Movies at The FilmBar


The FilmBar is a famous Phoenix cinema for movie lovers eager to see independent, foreign, or cult classic movies.

This quaint theater offers refreshments and nibbles while movies are being shown. Special occasions are also held at The FilmBar, including movie-themed parties and quiz nights.

The FilmBar has something for everyone, whether you're looking for a thought-provoking documentary or a nostalgic trip down memory lane to a cherished 80s movie.

Find out what's playing by looking at the schedule, then take a seat for a movie night out at this movie theater.

25. Check out The Desert Ridge Marketplace

Desert Ridge Marketplace

Northeast Phoenix is home to the popular outdoor shopping mall known as Desert Ridge Marketplace. In addition to a variety of dining and retail options, the mall also features a movie theater, and a splash pad.

Popular retailers including American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, and Sephora are among the many shops in the mall. It also has a range of eateries, including sit-down and quick food options.

The Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix is an excellent spot to spend an afternoon or evening because of its welcoming ambiance for children and handy location.

26. Stroll Through Roosevelt Row

Roosevelt Row

For lovers of art, Roosevelt Row is a must-visit location. This vibrant street art district serves as a gathering place for regional artists and galleries and presents a wide variety of artistic experiences.

Amazing murals, graffiti, and street art projects may be seen as you meander around the streets.

The neighborhood organizes a monthly art walk where guests can interact with the artists, peruse the galleries, and take in live performances.

Roosevelt Row is a must-visit location in Phoenix, regardless of whether you're an experienced art enthusiast or just searching for a novel experience.

27. See Top Level Basketball At The Footprint Center

Footprint Center

The Footprint Center, previously known as the Talking Stick Resort Arena, is the home of the Phoenix Suns basketball team.

Additionally, this arena doubles as a concert venue and hosts special events.

Basketball players of the highest caliber can be seen by spectators while they also take in the vibrant ambiance of the arena and eat and drink from a variety of vendors.

Since the stadium is in the center of Phoenix's downtown, it is simple to get to from anywhere in the city.

28. Have Fun at The Arizona State Fairgrounds

Arizona State Fairgrounds

The Arizona State Fairgrounds is a place where guests can partake in exciting rides and amusing carnival games.

A variety of attractions, including as live performances, displays, and competitions, are available at the fairgrounds.

It's a fun location for families with activities for all ages, including thrilling rides, petting zoos, and everything in between.

The fairgrounds are renowned for holding several festivals and events all year long, making it a bustling location to visit at any time.

29. Visit CityScape


CityScape is a dynamic and urban destination in Phoenix, offering a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

This thriving downtown area is home to well-known eateries, hip bars, chic boutiques, live events, and other entertainment options.

CityScape has something for everyone, whether you're searching for a night out on the town or just want to get a quick bite to eat.

30. Chill at The Duce

The Duce

Phoenix's The Duce is a stylish event venue that makes for the ideal hangout spot for friends and family.

This retro-themed establishment has a shuffleboard court, an art deco bar, and old-school arcade games.

Furthermore, there are live DJ performances and amazing cocktails and cuisine available. Dance parties, trivia nights, and other events are also hosted by The Duce.

FAQs About Fun Things to Do in Phoenix at Night

Below, you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Phoenix at night.

Does Phoenix have nightlife?

Yes, Phoenix has a bustling nightlife with plenty of things to do in Phoenix at night, including watching Drive-In Movies for movie night, catching live musical performances at Gila River Resorts and Casinos, going craft beer tasting, and laughing at comedy clubs on Friday evenings. In addition, visitors can take in the beautiful city lights over the night sky.

What part of Phoenix has the best nightlife?

Downtown Phoenix is the perfect place for a night owl and has the best nightlife, and there are a plethora of fun things to do in Phoenix at night. Visitors can explore various places to enjoy live music, ranging from intimate bars to large concert venues. The twinkling city also provides a scenic backdrop for a memorable night out.

Is there anything fun to do in Phoenix?

Yes, there are plenty of fun things to do in Phoenix for people of all ages and interests. Art lovers can visit the PHX Art Museum, while thrill-seekers can visit an amusement park or play escape games. Those looking for outdoor activities can go hiking at Papago Park or play mini golf. Sports fans can catch an Arizona Coyotes game at the Gila River Arena.

What is something fun I can do on a Thursday night in Phoenix?

There are many night activities to do on a Thursday night in Phoenix. Visitors can go for a night hike, visit the Maricopa County Parks, or Old Town Scottsdale near Phoenix for an adventure, and check out the most haunted locations in Phoenix. Additionally, catching a live music performance at a concert venue in Phoenix is always a great option for music lovers.

Summing it up: Things to Do in Phoenix at Night & Late Afternoon

If you're planning to visit Phoenix, a sprawling desert metropolis, be sure to explore the city's night activities and check out some of the fun things to do in Phoenix at night.

With so many options available, there's no shortage of excitement and adventure to be had - and don't miss out on the chance to explore downtown Phoenix.

Additionally, you can visit the Gila River Resorts and Casinos, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Desert Botanical Garden, Tempe Town Lake, and Phoenix Bat Cave.

So, get out there and experience all the night activities Phoenix has to offer.