Kids are expensive enough. Keeping them entertained shouldn’t have to be.
Here are the seven best free March events for kids in metro Phoenix, cherry-picked from our mothership at azcentral.com.
1. 3/4: Queen Creek Block Party
Head to Queen Creek for a community festival that is great for people of all ages. The third annual event features food trucks, live music, street vendors, a kids zone and more. Learn how to rock climb, half pipe or biplane during the “Extreme”-themed festivities.
Details: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, March 4. Town Center, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek. Free. queencreek.org.
2. 3/10-12: Arizona Wild West Fest
Arizona Wild West Fest returns with activities for the whole family. This town wide event features a wide range of activities that include Battle in the Saddle bull-riding, the Kickin’ ‘n Pickin’ western battle of the bands, Guns of Archery gunfighter performance competition and more.
Details: 6-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, March 10-12. Town wide event. Free. 602.400.3330, cavecreeklive.com.
3. 3/11: Ride-in Movies at the Park: The Secret Life of Pets
Ride-in Movies at the Park returns for its monthly movie. This month’s movie is “The Secret Life of Pets.” Pedestrians are encouraged to ride their bikes or walk to the park where they can picnic and watch a free movie. Popcorn will also be provided at the event. Movies are subject to change or cancellation. Stay up-to-date on the movie information via their website.
Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, March 11. Guerrero Park, 205 W 8th Ave, Mesa. Free. http://mesaaz.gov/bikeped.
4. 3/11-12: 23rd annual Aloha Festival
Come celebrate the many cultures of the South Pacific Islands at the Aloha Festival. The free family event features performers and artists, along with Keiki Make’n’Take Activities for the kids, Aunty Aloha’s Ukulele Corner where you can try your hand at the ukulele, the Discovery Stage and more. The festival also features tasty traditional foods and a marketplace filled with 120 booths selling traditional and island lifestyle items.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe. Free. azalohafest.org.
5. 3/17-18: Spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity
Creative activities for all ages, live music and food can be found at this annual event. Among the attractions are: The “Narrative Nest,” where visitors can explore a treetop space and storytelling in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum’s Courtyard; and “We are Musical,” in which attendees build electrical instruments, perform in a drum circle and create music with modern apps and controllers.
Details: noon-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, March 17-18. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Free, mesaartscenter.com.
6. 3/17-19: Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek
Roots n’ Boots returns for its weekend-long event featuring a PRCA Pro-Rodeo, community barrel roping and sorting competitions, a carnival, live entertainment, vendors, a rodeo dance and numerous free family activities for all ages.
Details: 9 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. Sunday. Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Center, 20464 E. Riggs Road, Queen Creek. Admission free. Many events/activities free. Rodeo tickets start at $16; Carnival wristbands $18. Parking $5. 480-358-3710, www.rootsnboots.org.
7. 3/31-4/2: NCAA March Madness Music Festival
Embrace the sunshine and sounds of the March Madness Music Festival in downtown Phoenix. This weekend-long festival is free for all ages. The schedule for events includes the AT&T Block Party Friday, Coca-Cola Music Saturday and Capital One Jamfest Sunday. The full lineup has yet to be announced.
Details: March 31-April 2. 4-10 p.m. Friday, 2-10:30 p.m. Saturday, 3-10 p.m. Sunday. Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver St., Phoenix. Free. ncaa.com/final-four.
Want more? Check out azcentral.com/thingstodo for more free events.