What are the best free things to do in Phoenix?

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Some of the best of Phoenix is available for free, from gorgeous hiking trails to frequent cultural events. There's a lot to see in the Valley of the Sun for cheap, making it easy to have fun without spending a dime. Here's our list of the best things to do for free:

1. Check out First Friday. First Friday turns downtown Phoenix into a massive art walk with open galleries, live bands and performance art. Best of all, the whole experience is free. Missed it? Many galleries reopen for Third Friday while Scottsdale's ArtWalk, which takes place every Thursday, is a close second.

2. Hit the trails. Head outside to enjoy the desert at South Mountain or Piestewa Peak, where hiking trails for everyone from beginners to experts lead to the top with panoramic views of the Valley. Be sure to bring plenty of water if you're heading out on the trails, even in cooler weather the desert can easily leave you dehydrated.

3. Enjoy Free Museum Night. Many area museums, including the Phoenix Art Museum, host a free night once a month. The art museum is a cultural beacon in the city, with strong European, Latin American and Asian art collections. Don't miss the lively contemporary art collection or frequent traveling exhibitions.

4. Check out the area's farmers markets. Once a staple of the state's economy, citrus is the pride of the Valley of the Sun. Don't miss the sweet oranges, tangy yet sweet lemons or the multiple varieties of grapefruit from local farmers who showcase the best seasonal produce from around the state. For something unique, sample some of the local Queen Creek Olive Mill's olive oil. Surprising flavors and a mild finish make this distinctive product worth spending a few dollars on. Farmers markets are spread across the city but the Downtown Phoenix Public Market on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings is a favorite.

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