When the sun slips below the horizon in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix comes alive with energy and intrigue. From historical haunts to cosmopolitan culinary scenes, Phoenix transforms after dark into a vibrant playground filled with singular sensations. This extensive guide covers some of the most memorable attractions and activities in Phoenix once the sun goes down.
As the heart of the city, downtown Phoenix provides a captivating blend of historical charm and contemporary culture. Walkable districts like Roosevelt Row and Evans Churchill brim with restaurants, bars, museums and more to explore after hours.
Drink and Dance the Night Away in Roosevelt Row
The epicenter of downtown Phoenix's arts and nightlife scene, Roosevelt Row contains blocks of bars, eateries, galleries and creative businesses. Postino WineCafé offers an extensive by-the-glass list and bruschetta boards perfect for sharing over conversation on their sprawling patio. Continue the night at Cobra Arcade Bar, where you can sip local brews and play retro video games into the wee hours. Looking to dance? Monarch Theatre is a multi-level club located inside a renovated movie theater, spinning DJ sets across genres. End your night on a sweet note at jobot, a hip coffee shop slinging spiked milkshakes and other late-night treats.
Catch a Show at Orpheum Theatre
First opened in 1929, the Orpheum Theatre presents ballet, concerts, comedy shows, classic movies and more inside a stunning example of French Renaissance architecture complete with opulent chandeliers and gilded molding. Arrive early to admire the ornate interior before enjoying an eclectic mix of shows from local performing groups and big-name touring acts.
Stroll Through CityScape
This mixed-use district encompasses apartment high-rises, offices, a hotel and endless dining and nightlife options all in one convenient block. Take a spin on the ice at the CitySkate outdoor rink in winter months or relax outdoors to live music at CityScape's central plaza. Meander through the district sampling cuisine at Ajisen Noodle House, Duke's Sports Bar & Grill, Arrogant Butcher and more eateries buzzing well into the night.
Explore Local History
Learn about Phoenix history at the Rosson House Museum, an impeccably restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian mansion demonstrating late 19th century architecture and lifestyle. Just down the road lies Patriots Square Park where the lawn comes alive on weekends with yoga classes, pop-up markets and kids activities under strings of patio lights. Feel the past come to life at these family-friendly downtown destinations.
Head further northeast to find Camelback East, an under-the-radar hub of culture, food and drink.
Unwind at Local Favorites
By day, Lux Central is a laidback coffeehouse serving espresso drinks and scratch-made pastries. Nighttimes brings an intimate vibe perfect for unwinding with a craft beer or statement cocktail using housemade syrups. Similarly, Postino Arcadia transforms from neighborhood cafe by day to a bustling wine bar at night with a sprawling covered patio strung with patio lights.
See a Cult Classic at FilmBar
Grab a glass of wine or local beer before settling into a couch or comfy chair to watch indie flicks, cult classics and retro hits selected by the owner at this cozy neighborhood cinema. With just 70 seats, FilmBar offers a uniquely intimate movie-going experience with affordable tickets to see cinematic gems you can't find at big theaters.
Try Taiwanese Hot Pot
At Jeju Korean Hot Pot, groups gather around bubbling broths and grill platters filled with thinly sliced meat, seafood and veggies for a hands-on dining experience. Let the savory smells entice you in. The Hong Kong-style congee (rice porridge) makes a soothing late night meal.
With glitzy clubs and chic lounges, Scottsdale provides a sophisticated alternative to downtown and uptown nightlife.
Go Club-Hopping in Old Town
In central Scottsdale, Old Town overflows with upscale night spots. Start at The Mint, a dim lounge inside a historic bungalow perfect for craft cocktails in a swanky setting. Nearby Rusty Spur Saloon offers a rowdy cowboy club vibe with country bands and mechanical bull rides. End at Bottled Blonde, a sleek open-air bar and pizza joint pulsing with music.
Experience Native Culture
At the Heard Museum, evening events include Native American cultural performances, artist demonstrations, and contemporary exhibits examining indigenous art. Don't miss Hoop Dances by Champions, where championship hoop dancers display athleticism and storytelling through dance. The monthly Third Friday block party provides live music, artisans, food and drinks.
Try Chef-Driven Cuisine
Old Town dining impresses with celebrity chef restaurants like Citizen Public House helmed by James Beard semifinalist Bernie Kantak. The seasonal New American menu changes often but staples like seared diver scallops in thyme butter shine. Over at Virtù Honest Craft, Chef Gio Osso plates Italian cuisine with locally-sourced Arizona ingredients.
Home to Arizona State University, Tempe juxtaposes college town energy with eclectic bars, nerdy haunts and culinary gems.
Nerd Out on Mill Avenue
At the Mad Hatter Cafe & Tea Shop, don your wizard robes for Harry Potter trivia nights or grab a butterbeer cocktail before battling with foam weapons like at Jedi training. Weeknights you'll find board games and karaoke while weekends include live music and DJs. Or get your retro gaming fix at Gamer's Lounge with arcade games and gaming stations.
See a Comedy Show
For guaranteed laughs, head to Tempe Improv where national headliners perform Wednesday through Sunday evenings. Arrive early for dinner and watch the show while enjoying dishes like macadamia nut chicken and mahi fish tacos. Just down the street, Tempe Center for the Arts hosts intimate gallery shows for local comedians and improv troupes.
Catch a Baseball Game
Tempe Diablo Stadium is home to the Los Angeles Angels for spring training from late February through March. Head to an evening game to enjoy America's favorite pastime under the lights with a hot dog in hand. The stadium offers lawn seating so you can spread out a blanket and take in a game under the stars.
Phoenix boasts an array of lodging options convenient to the nightlife.
In Old Town Scottsdale, Hotel Valley Ho exudes mid-century modern style with a posh spa and poolside cabanas. Ask for a room facing the city lights and mountains. Near Tempe, Graduate Hotel offers collegiate-inspired decor along with live music at the poolside restaurant and bar. In downtown, Hotel San Carlos combines vintage flair with modern luxuries like a rooftop fitness center.
Stay on a Budget
The Clarendon Hotel provides a central downtown location plus free wi-fi and breakfast starting around $100 per night. Near the airport, Best Western Inn of Chandler sports an outdoor pool and rates averaging $80 per night. Motel 6 Tempe offers rooms with microwaves and mini-fridges starting around $75 nightly.
Live Like a Local
To fully immerse in Phoenix culture, stay at a residential-style accommodation like The Melrose Inn or AlmaSuites Historic Lodging filled with homey amenities and Southwestern decor. Both provide easy access to nearby nightlife.
Local Eats After Dark in Phoenix
From late night comfort food to fine dining, Phoenix serves up prime cuisine after hours.
For diner fare and greasy late-night eats, Melrose Diner fires up burgers, omelets and shakes 24/7. Matt's Big Breakfast staves off hungry revelers downtown with weekend dinner service offering creative comfort food. Mi Patio Restaurant in Tempe slings Mexican food favorites until 3 a.m. on weekends. The legendary Bill Johnson’s Big Apple in Glendale provides pizza and beer until dawn.
Pizza, Wings and More
Locals flock to Pomo Pizzeria for wood-fired pies, salads and deck seating in uptown Phoenix. Near ASU, Zzeeks Pizza offers thick, chewy pies with oddball toppings like mac & cheese or creme brûlée until 2 a.m. For shareable wings, A-1 Wings in Old Town Scottsdale serves juicy fried chicken in 12 signature sauces. Pair it with one of AZ Wilderness Brewing Co.'s craft beers on tap.
More Local Nightlife
Beyond the main nightlife thoroughfares, Phoenix neighborhoods host under-the-radar attractions.
Shop and Dine Local in Camelback
In the Camelback East Village, stroll boutique-lined Camelback Road or unwind over a glass of Arizona wine at Postino WineCafe. For dinner, Crudo offers creative small plates and hand-crafted negronis in an industrial-chic setting.
Experience Westgate Entertainment
At Westgate Entertainment District, enjoy bowling, arcade games, movies and casual eateries like Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Saddle Ranch, and Shane's Rib Shack. On weekend nights, the District comes alive with live music and festive crowds.
Tour a Candle Factory After Dark
At Arizona Candle Company, watch candle artisans hand-pour soy candles at their warehouse headquarters during special evening factory tours. Make your own candle or shop their home fragrance collection during this behind-the-scenes nocturnal experience.
Local Arts and Culture After Dark
Phoenix museums and cultural centers unlock their doors for singular nighttime programming showcasing the arts into the late hours.
Desert Botanical Garden
As day fades to night in the Sonoran Desert, the Desert Botanical Garden comes alive with a magical exhibit called Electric Desert. From November through May each year, thousands of luminarias and festive lights adorn the Garden's desert trails to create a one-of-a-kind after dark experience. Whimsical light installations place iconic desert plants like barrel cacti and agave in an ethereal new light. The Living Wall art piece illuminates a vertical succulent garden in shifting color patterns. Guests can stroll through the luminous landscape and discover new visual perspectives on the Garden's 5,000 species of desert flora. On select nights, live music adds to the experience with performances staged throughout the garden. From jazz trios to mariachi bands, regional acts provide a soundtrack to your stroll. In the Music Garden, guests can lounge amid twinkling lights swaying to acoustic sets. By experiencing the Garden at night, visitors gain a new appreciation for the enchanting beauty and life that emerges after dark in the desert.
Dedicated to the advancement of Native American arts and cultures, the Heard Museum offers a variety of special evening programs. On select nights, the signature Hoop Dance Competition showcases accomplished Native hoop dancers incorporating storytelling and percussion through rapid hoop maneuvers. The Heard also hosts monthly Fire & Water Nights with traditional dances, drumming, and food available from popup vendors. On the Courtyard Stage, the museum presents multiple free summer concert series spotlighting Indigenous musicians. Local performers like the Gabriel Ayala Trio provide contemporary blues and jazz fusion under the stars. On 3rd Fridays, the Heard stays open late for pop-up shops with 100+ Native artisans, live painting, cultural demonstrations, and performances until 9pm—bringing Indigenous talent to life after hours.
Phoenix Art Museum
On the first Friday evening of every month, the Phoenix Art Museum stays open until 10pm for its free-admission Friday Night Flights. These lively events include extended gallery hours along with live music, cash bars, food trucks, and pop-up experiences throughout the museum. Local bands perform on the outdoor Katzin Concert Hall stage with musical acts ranging from jazz to funk to mariachi. Guests can explore special programming like photography walkshops, art-making activities, and dance lessons. Friday Night Flights offer a vibrant, interactive way to experience the museum's global art collection accompanied by entertainment, education, and community bonding. The museum partners with local organizations to engage diverse audiences with art after hours.
Operating as a non-profit, The Nash aims to make jazz music accessible through intimate live shows in downtown Phoenix. The venue provides a cozy 100-seat listening room inside a converted firehouse, focused entirely on jazz education and performances. Local musicians take The Nash stage alongside touring acts like Grammy-winning bassist John Clayton. Weekly Jazz Jams allow seasoned pros to improvise alongside aspiring students for creative musical conversations. Beyond concerts, The Nash offers jazz workshops for kids and adults, instrument instruction, and outreach programs to foster appreciation for America's indigenous art form. With affordable ticket prices and shows nightly in an historic venue, The Nash invites music lovers to soak in the sounds of jazz after hours in an immersive setting focused wholly on this versatile, living art form.
Local Brewpubs for Nightcaps
Cap off long nights on the town at local brewhouses and pubs where the beer flows after dark.
Wren House Brewing Co
Tucked into the hip Roosevelt Row arts district of downtown Phoenix, Wren House Brewing Company has earned a reputation for its bold experimental brews and laidback urban taproom. The nano-brewery has won awards for signature beers like their Spiral Jetty India Pale Ale, infused with local orange blossom honey and named after a land art piece by Robert Smithson. Another standout is their cucumber lime gose, a refreshing wheat beer made tangy with additions of cucumber, lime, and sea salt. Wren House fearlessly uses local ingredients like AZ-grown grains and desert botanicals to create unique brews. Their taproom provides an artsy, modern industrial setting with 16 rotating beers on tap and outdoor beer garden seating. Local bands and musicians often perform live at the downtown brewpub, adding to the energetic vibe. Wren House hosts events like beer yoga, trivia nights, and dog-friendly parties. Leashed pups are welcome in their outdoor spaces. With its ceaselessly imaginative brewing philosophy and commitment to community, Wren House Brewing has developed an enthusiastic local following and cemented itself as a Phoenix craft beer destination.
Pedal Haus Brewery
Pedal Haus Brewery in Tempe takes its name from the German tradition of brewing beer using pedal power, reflected in the brewery’s bike-themed decor. The Tempe Marketplace brewpub offers house beers crafted by Brewmaster Julian Wright, a medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Popular mainstay brews include their SMaSH pale ale featuring a single malt and hop varietal for purity of flavor. Their Farmhouse Ale provides bright citrus notes from Brettanomyces yeast. Guest brewers are often invited to collaborate on specialty releases as well. Pedal Haus pairs its craft beers with brick oven pizzas, soft pretzels and menu items incorporating beer ingredients like the Drunken Mussels cooked with pilsner. Nighttimes bring a lively pub environment with 50+ picnic tables on the dog-friendly patio, plus flickering fire pits. Live local musicians perform on weekends. With its celebration of bicycles, housemade brews and community spirit, Pedal Haus delivers an authentic neighborhood brewery vibe in Tempe.
The Shop Beer Co
Bringing a touch of punk rock attitude to the craft beer scene, The Shop Beer Co. opened its laidback Tempe taproom in 2016. Their constantly rotating beer list experiments with new styles and provocative names like Resting B**ch Face double IPA and their flagship Chasing Citra IPA. The Shop hosts Arizona craft brewers for guest taps along with their own small-batch creations brewed on a modest 3 barrel system. Their industrial taproom provides an adults-only vibe with punk and metal playing while patrons toss cornhole outside. Food trucks like organic sandwich purveyor Short Leash park outside regularly. A mural wall pays homage to legendary skaters and punk bands. For those craving a brewery without pretension that welcomes all styles, The Shop offers an informal, come-as-you-are spot to throw back brews in Tempe’s warehouse district.
State 48 Brewery
Right in downtown Phoenix, State 48 Brewery pays homage to Arizona’s status as the 48th state admitted to the union. Their signature beers highlight local ingredients like Arizona-grown malt, citrus, prickly pear and more. Core brews include the State 48 IPA bursting with berry and citrus notes and the Kolsch golden ale with a crisp, delicate profile. State 48 also offers a rotating lineup of seasonal and specialty brews like their cactus-infused Prickly Pear Wheat. Inside the warehouse taproom, guests can admire the steel brewing tanks while tossing games like cornhole and giant Jenga. Vintage games like Pac Man provide retro entertainment as patrons sip beers on the dog-friendly patio. Daily food trucks and weekend live music enhance the experience. For locally-inspired brews in the heart of downtown Phoenix, State 48 Brewery delivers quality craft beer with Southwestern soul.
Helton Brewing Company
Launching in 2017, Helton Brewing brought another family-owned brewhouse to the West Valley of Phoenix. Their taproom in Surprise pours traditional styles like Irish Red Ale and Oatmeal Stout along with experimental takes like a lime gose and blood orange hefeweizen. The operation is a father-son venture, with brewing experience spanning over two decades. Helton’s team strives to perfect classic beer recipes while infusing select brews with bright citrus and fruit essences reflective of the sunny Southwest. Their Belgian White ale offers a creamy base of wheat malt, orange peel and coriander spice. Helton hosts trivia nights, live music, charity fundraisers and other community events including yoga classes. Leashed dogs are welcome in their pet-friendly beer garden. For a true neighborhood experience with quality craft brews and small-town charm, Helton Brewing delivers.
When the sun slips below the horizon, Phoenix emerges as an endless playground for nighttime revelry. From bustling entertainment districts downtown to hidden neighborhood gems, the Valley of the Sun provides a range of alluring attractions once the moon illuminates the desert sky.
In ritzy Old Town Scottsdale, upscale clubs and chef-driven restaurants create a more polished nocturnal experience. Just east, Tempe juxtaposes college town enthusiasm with nerdy taverns, dive bars, and sports stadiums. Beyond the urban centers, destinations like the Desert Botanical Garden unlock stunning natural landscapes exclusively after hours.
From high-end extravagance to hipster havens, Phoenix reveals an endless mosaic of nighttime pastimes. Each neighborhood comes alive at sundown with its own audacious identity waiting to be discovered under diamond-speckled skies. So when seeking a memorable night out, head to the Valley to eat, drink, play and experience the rich tapestry of attractions ablaze after the sun dips below Arizona's sunset-colored horizon.
In Phoenix, one thing is certain - the night is sure to satisfy.