May might be the month where you often hear the question “when is Cinco de Mayo?” — or when Star Wars continues to find relevance with streams of social media posts lauding puns as an actual form of comedy. But it's also a great time to celebrate not only your actual mother, but Mother Nature as well. That’s right, Phoenicians, there’s still time to enjoy the outdoors here in Phoenix. And to make it a little easier on you, we have compiled a list of five great outdoor events happening this May.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Learn about the life of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and the history of the Arboretum with Phoenix historian, Sylvia Lee. This hike, departing at 10 a.m., will last about one-and-a-half hours and will take you through the history of the 1800s. This will be the last hike of its kind in this area until next fall. So, if history is your jam, be sure not to miss it. Groups will meet at the Visitor Center Breezeway, and it is recommended that hikers bring plenty of water and wear proper footwear.
Mom & Me Hike
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Spend some quality time out on the trails with your mom. Enjoy an easy, guided mile-and-a-half nature walk in the beautiful White Tank Mountain Regional Park. The hike will begin at 7 a.m. and will take you along the Black Rock Long Loop Trail. It is expected to last about an hour and a half, so be sure to bring water with you. Let Mother Nature treat you and your mom to the abundant flora and fauna of the area.
Astronomy in the Park – Planet Mercury Viewing
Pinnacle Peak Park
On this Monday morning, the planet Mercury is scheduled to cross the sun and can be viewed through special equipment with the help of the Pinnacle Peak Park staff. From 6 to 10 a.m., this special occurrence, not safe to view without the help of a special Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope, will be able to be seen by visitors of the park. Viewers may also be privy to other solar activity such as solar flares and sunspots. No registration is necessary, just show up and enjoy the view.
Estrella Cactus 5K
Estrella Mountain Regional Park
The last of a three-run series, this trail run will challenge you from beginning to end. But don’t be surprised if you get side tracked by the immense beauty of the trails you are running. This run is great for beginners and experienced trail runners alike and will have you enjoying the fresh air and the scenic mountains surrounding. Registration begins at 5:30 a.m., with the race starting at 6. An awards ceremony will follow one hour later with plenty of water and Gatorade, snacks, and celebratory live music to enjoy.
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Cave Creek Balloon Festival
Ranch Manana Golf Course
Join Cave Creek for its seventh annual balloon festival. Watch as giant air balloons are inflated for lift off right before your eyes. Then, witness them as they take off and glow into the evening sky. Enjoy live music, a fireworks show and many more activities for the whole family. This event will also include a kid zone, where you will find face painting, balloon creations, and plenty of room for kids to run around and enjoy their surroudings. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will go until 10. Food and drink will be available for purchase, and tickets will be available for general and VIP admission.