With the Phoenix heat doing what it does best, indoors might feel like the best place to be this summer.
It can be fun and affordable, too.
Several museums offer free admission every day. Some offer it in conjunction with special events such as First Fridays. Others have free hours on specific days.
This list includes something for just about everyone, from the Phoenix Art Museum and Mesa Arts Center to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the Penske Racing Museum.
Here is your guide to museums throughout metro Phoenix where you can get in free.
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Phoenix Art Museum
Guests can attend the Phoenix Art Museum for free between 3 and 9 p.m. Wednesdays in June, July and August. Admission is also free from 4 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.
Details: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-257-1880, phxart.org.
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Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Whether you want to be outside or indoors, or your child is 3 or 10, this museum has you covered. Kids can visit the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for free from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.
Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. 215 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. $16; free for age 1 and younger. 602-253-0501, https://childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.
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The Heard Museum offers free admission from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of the month from June through September. American Indians receive free admission daily with I.D.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Closed Mondays. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $9-$20. 602-252-8840, https://heard.org.
Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix has the largest musical instrument museum in the world, with instruments from more than 200 countries and regions. July is Educator Appreciation Month and all educators can visit for free with ID.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 pm. daily. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. $20; $15 for ages 13-19; $10 for ages 4-12; free for age 3 and younger. 480-478-6000, https://www.mim.org.
Penske Racing Museum
Cars on display include the 1963 Pontiac Catalina, which Roger Penske drove to victory in the 1963 Riverside 250.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Free. 7125 E. Chauncey Lane, Phoenix. 480-538-4444, https://www.penskeautomall.com/penske-racing-museum/.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
SMoCA, one of Arizona’s leading contemporary art museums, offers Pay-What-You-Wish all day Thursdays (the museum is open to 7 p.m.) and every second Saturday of the month. Guests must make reservations in advance online to obtain a free ticket.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays-Sundays; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 7374 E. Second St. $7-$10. 480-874-4666, https://smoca.org.
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ASU Art Museum
Tucked away inside the Nelson Fine Arts Center, the ASU Art Museum is one of Tempe’s hidden gems. With seasonal exhibitions featuring contemporary art from local and visiting artists, admission is always free.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. 51 E. 10th St., Tempe. Free. https://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/visit/asu-art-museum.
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
With five exhibition galleries including the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, the Mesa Arts Center houses artwork from visiting and local artists. All galleries are open for free daily.