Musical Instrument Museum
Try Three Underated Phoenix Museums!
Blah blah Phoenix Art Museum, yada yada Heard Museum, something something Arizona Science Center – that’s probably the furthest some people get when trying to list cultural centers in the Valley of the Sun.
Well heck, Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the country, and there’s much more to museum hopping around here than some may realize.
1. Musical Instrument Museum
A fairly recent addition to Phoenix’s cultural scene is the Musical Instrument Museum – established in 2010 right at the 101 and Tatum Boulevard. Housing more than 15,000 instruments in this two-story, 200,000-square-foot complex, MIM is the largest museum of its kind on the globe.
Roughly 200 countries are represented in this northern Phoenix museum thanks to the Geographical Galleries, while the Artist Gallery showcases memorabilia of world-famous guitar gods, piano men, soul singers, and classical stars.
Additional collections at MIM include the Mechanical Music Gallery, the hands-on Experience Gallery, and the Conservation Lab. Other features include the 300-seat MIM Music Theater for special events, the onsite Café Allegro, and of course, a museum store.
MIM is open daily, offers free parking and group tours, and will only run you $18 per adult – and less for kids, teens, and tots.
2. Pueblo Grande Museum
Maybe you’ve passed the sign on the way to Sky Harbor International Airport, but were too busy worrying about your carry-on busting open to give it much thought. Well the Pueblo Grande Museum Archaeological Park is a must-see for Valley visitors and residents – located right in the thick of Phoenix.
Both a National Historic Landmark and a Phoenix Point of Pride, the Pueblo Grande Ruin preserves irrigation canals and platform mounds from the Ancient Sonoran Desert People – known less formally as the Hohokam.
The site has been operated by the City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department since the early days of 1929, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Pueblo Grande visitors are encouraged to take it inside for exhibits on archaeology and the Hohokam people, as well as shopping for Native American art, jewelry, crafts, you name it.
3. Hall of Flame Fire Museum
Last one for you culture vultures. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum, accompanied by the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, is an uno-acre fire history center set in east Phoenix.
Open daily, this adorably- titled, incredibly inexpensive museum is home to nearly 100 pieces of fire fighting equipment, artifacts, and memorabilia – some of which date to friggin’ 1725.
The hall is divided into six galleries, exhibiting everything from horse-drawn “firetrucks” and vintage uniforms to the fiery beginnings of the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management.
Neighboring Phoenix icons like Papago Peak, Phoenix Zoo, and Tempe Town Lake, the Hall of Flame is perfect for kids, parents, bored couples looking for a random activity, and visitors alike.