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First Fridays Phoenix: Your ultimate guide to parking, galleries, museums and what’s free

First Fridays Phoenix: Your ultimate guide to parking, galleries, museums and what’s free

First Fridays in downtown Phoenix have been a fan favorite activity and the monthly art walk has grown into one of the largest in the country.

Several Phoenix arts districts and neighborhoods are involved in First Fridays, from Grand Avenue to midtown Phoenix, the Warehouse District and Roosevelt Row.

Several arts districts and neighborhoods are involved with First Fridays from Grand Avenue to midtown Phoenix, the Warehouse District and Roosevelt Row.

Art lovers and those looking for a fun evening out gather from 6-10 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. They stop by the pop-up market on Roosevelt Row, listen to street music throughout downtown or head into galleries and museums, including the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Children’s Museum and Heard Museum.

Here’s how to take advantage of everything First Fridays in Phoenix have to offer.

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What is First Fridays in Phoenix?

First Fridays, one of the nation’s largest self-guided art walks, happens on the first Friday of every month as the name suggests. Many galleries across downtown Phoenix are open for anyone to stop by and look around. Roosevelt Row visitors can take in an evening of street music, pop-up markets and tasty food trucks.

First Friday is often the opening night for gallery exhibitions. Art lovers can stop by for opening receptions that sometimes feature the exhibiting artists.

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Is the Phoenix Art Museum free on First Fridays?

While the Phoenix Art Museum is free for the quarterly “After Hours” event, “Family Fun Day” and every Wednesday from 3-9 p.m., it will not be free on the First Fridays Art Walk. The Phoenix Children’s Museum will also not be offering free admission on First Fridays.

The Heard Museum at 2301 North Central Avenue will have free admission from 5-9 p.m. for First Fridays.

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What time does First Fridays start in Phoenix?

It depends on the venue. Most First Friday events start at 6 p.m. and go until 10 p.m.

The Heard Museum will open at 5 p.m.

Check with specific galleries for opening times on First Friday. You can find specific opening times on the First Friday map via Art Link’s website, as well as gallery social pages.

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Where can I park for First Friday?

Street parking fills quickly, especially near Roosevelt Row. Meters are enforced from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and cost $1-$1.50 an hour. There are plenty of parking garages.

A good option is to park at (or near) the trolley hubs and walk to your destinations. Or, park farther away and explore new areas. Parking is available at these Phoenix hubs:

  • Grand and 15th avenues.
  • Arizona Center: Third and Taylor streets (garage entrance located at Fifth Street northbound, or Fillmore Street between Third and Fifth streets).
  • Phoenix Art Museum: 1625 N. Central Ave.

How can I get around on First Friday?

Walking, biking and light rail are all options depending on where you want to go and how far you want to walk.

Light rail: The light rail is an ideal way to explore First Friday, with stops close to many of the galleries. The main stops are:

  • Indian School Road/Central Avenue (Midtown).
  • Encanto Boulevard/Central Avenue (Heard Museum).
  • McDowell Road/Central Avenue (Phoenix Art Museum).
  • Roosevelt Street/Central Avenue (Roosevelt Row).
  • Van Buren Street/Central and First avenues; Washington Street/Central and Third avenues (Downtown).
  • Jefferson Street/First Avenue and Third Street (Warehouse District)

Biking: There are bike racks throughout downtown. Pedal with caution — streets are packed with cars and pedestrians. Wear comfortable shoes because you could still do a lot of walking.

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Where can I go on First Friday?

There are several galleries, museums and restaurants where you can go on First Friday. Below, you’ll see ideas in four main neighborhoods where you can explore. Visit ArtLink for a full map to all venues and stops.

Roosevelt Row

Boundaries: From Seventh Avenue to 16th Street, and Culver to Fillmore streets.

Galleries on Roosevelt Row:

Grand Avenue

Boundaries: From Roosevelt to Van Buren streets, and Seventh to 15th avenues

Galleries on Grand:

The Warehouse District

Galleries at The Warehouse District:

Midtown Phoenix

Boundaries: Along McDowell Road from Seventh to Central avenues, from Seventh Avenue to 16th Street and from Palm Lane to Camelback Road.

Galleries & Museums in Midtown Phoenix:

First Fridays Details

  • When: 6-10 p.m. the first Friday of each month.
  • Where: Throughout downtown and midtown Phoenix. Go to the Artlink website for an interactive map of the destinations. You can pick up a physical copy courtesy of Downtown Phoenix Inc.
  • Admission: Free. Details: info@artlinkphx.org, artlinkphx.org/first-fridays.

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