Cultural Comebacks: 5 Museums Reopening Around the Valley

Alison CutlerJune 3, 2020
Share This

Many public venues and establishments have made adjustments or closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but all the pieces of Phoenix will still be there when they come out on the other side. As we step into June, several museums announced they are excited to open their doors to the public once more. Take a look at some of the museums in the Phoenix area that are planning their return in the near future.

Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
Phoenix is home to the world’s biggest museum of firefighting history. The Hall of Flame was established in 1961 and is a nonprofit organization that promotes the importance of fire safety to the Phoenix community, including thousands of youth, each year. The museum opened on June 2 at 10 a.m., with social distancing precautions in place. Their updated observed hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are also open on Mondays for pre-booked visits only.
Contact:, 602-275-3473,

Heard Museum
The Heard Museum needs no introduction to locals. The museum recently celebrated its 90th year and announced its plan to open for members from June 2 to 7. It will open to the public beginning June 9. The museum will require face masks for both staff and visitors, provide complimentary gloves and hand sanitizer and will only permit 100 visitors per hour. Once open to the public, its hours will be Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum will be closed on Mondays.
Contact:, 602-252-8840,

Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden stemmed from a small conservation effort in 1939. It eventually grew into one of  24 botanical gardens in the country accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum is not yet open to the public, but is welcoming back members from June 16 to through June 30. The garden requests that members place reservations for their visits online in order to mediate the amount of visitors at once and encourages members to wear facial coverings during their visit.
Contact:, 480-941-1225,

Tempe History Museum
This free-admission museum gives visitors a chance to burrow into the past of the desert and the city that grew out of it. It was founded in 1972 by the Tempe Historical Society and offers four main themes throughout the museum: Surviving in the Desert, Building Our Community, College Town and Living Together. It has something to offer for all visitors, from the traveler who is curious about the Wild West, to the college student who knows Tempe like the back of their hand. The Tempe History Museum announced it will reopen to the public on June 16 with modified hours.
Contact:, 480-350-5100,

Shemer Art Center
This house of art declared one of “Phoenix’s 10 Best Kept Secrets” by Culture Trip, is so much more than a museum. While it isn’t as mainstream as Heard Museum or the Phoenix Museum of Art, Shemer Art Center provides unique activities including art classes for children and adults, summer camps and festivals. Following its closure due to COVID-19, the center began offering virtual classes on its website. Shemer Art Center plans to open to the public on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.
Contact:, 602-262-4727,


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.