Air-conditioning. Shade. Air-conditioning. Entertainment. Air-conditioning. These are the things we crave during Phoenix summers. Yet we have the hardest times finding them outside of our own homes. Rather than choosing between a boring day at home in the AC and a lively day trekking around in the sweltering heat, we found five places where you can enjoy what Phoenix has to offer from the cool and tolerable indoors.
Phoenix Art Museum The Phoenix Art Museum is one of the greatest treasures in the valley, yet people still forget that it's always there for our enjoyment. In addition to more traditional art, the museum offers unique shows like "Digital Print Fashion," which runs through July 14. Roaming the museum is great with company, but don't forget that it can also be a special experience on your own. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $6 for those age 17 and under.
Changing Hands Bookstore It's easy enough to spend a day browsing the shelves or picking a random book to power-read at Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore, but try going there with a more direct intention. The store constantly hosts events like book signings, conversations with authors, discussions, and workshops. Check out the store's events calendar to find something intriguing, and then make a day of it -- be productive before you browse aimlessly.
IKEA Yes, IKEA. Grab a couple of buddies and head out for a deliberately laughable day at IKEA. It's massive and cold, and the more creative you get, the more fun it can be. Make it into a game with silly tasks like "furnish Kim Kardashian's baby nursery" or "build the tackiest man-cave," then take pictures of your findings and share them over snacks meal at the IKEA Restaurant. And hey, for a good portion of Valley dwellers, the drive to the store practically counts as a road trip.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art offers free admission on Thursdays from noon to 9 p.m. You read that correctly: something free to do indoors that doesn't turn your brain to mush. Don't miss out on SMOCA's current featured exhibit called "Stocked: Contemporary Art From the Grocery Aisles" on view through September 1. It highlights artists who depict elements of grocery store culture and environment in their work.
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Take a staycation Let's be honest: doesn't it sound better to lounge around in a comfortable bed and watch TV with the AC cranked up when it isn't your own room (and your own electric bill)? If you get annoyed with yourself for doing virtually nothing during the summer, try doing nothing in a different place. Even one quick night away from your home will be good for your spirit, fancy hotel or not. Peep out list of best places in Phoenix to take your staycation. Pick your favorite and plan away.