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16 Things To Look Forward To This Fall in Downtown Phoenix

by Downtown Phoenix Inc.
Arts & Culture Food, Restaurants & Dining Downtown Phoenix Inc. October 9, 2020

Amidst lots of change throughout the pandemic, there are still things to look forward to this fall. Socially-distanced events are happening, new businesses are opening their doors, museums and cultural centers are reopening, and major development and construction projects are moving ahead.

Here are 16 reasons to look forward to this fall in Downtown Phoenix:

Socially distanced things to do

The Orpheum Theatre Fall Film Series

(Photo: Orpheum Theatre)

When moving pictures were first becoming a popular form of entertainment, the Orpheum Theatre became a famous location for the screening of new films, earning it the nickname “The Grand Dame of Movies.” Friends of the Orpheum Theatre (FOTOT) and FilmBar Phoenix are excited to bring film screenings back to the restored 1929 Orpheum Theatre. Expect an elevated premier viewing experience in this spectacular nostalgic former movie palace featuring a brand new state-of-the-art projection and sound system. Weekend screenings will include classics like The Wizard of Oz, The Bride of Frankenstein and Psycho. Of course, sanitizing and social distancing will be a top priority. Visit the FOTOT website for more details.

Downtown Pedal Around

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Downtown Pedal Around returns this October. Join us at Civic Space Park on Oct. 25 for a community ride around Downtown Phoenix. Stay socially distanced and hopefully support a downtown business or two when you’re done riding.

Buy & Fly

Urban Eyecare is one of nearly 150 Downtown Phoenix businesses participating in the Buy & Fly program.

Downtown Phoenix Inc.’s Buy & Fly program has been extended through the end of the year. Since June, we have given hundreds of DTPHX shirts, masks, hats and totes to those who shopped at local participating businesses. Want to rep DTPHX in style? All you have to do is follow the easy instructions listed at

Halloween Fun at the Arizona Science Center 

Use science to crack a Halloween-themed case using fingerprint analysis, picking locks, and analyzing handwriting.

From hair-raising activities and daring demos, head to the Arizona Science Center on Halloween for a socially-distanced activity perfect for families. All activities are included free with an Arizona Science Center Membership or the purchase of a self-guided experience ticket. Kids under 3 are always free.

Arts and culture coming back

Phoenix Art Museum

(Photo: Phoenix Art Museum)

Phoenix’s incredible art museum reopens to the public on Oct. 14. Visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance of their visit to ensure a no-touch or low-touch experience. The museum has installed additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the building and is implementing routine cleaning procedures throughout the day.

Otsukimi Moon Viewing & Exhibit 2020 at the Japanese Friendship Garden

(Photo: Taylor Bishop)

Instead of a large, two-day festival, the annual Otsukimi Moon Viewing will transform into an intimate and socially-distanced exhibit Oct. 30-31 from 5-9 p.m. Enjoy art installations, lanterns and plenty of Japanese snacks, sweets and drinks available at the gift shop. Tickets are $25.

The Nash Under the Stars

(Photo: The Nash)

After a six-month hiatus from live jazz at The Nash, a new series of  “Nash Under The Stars” outdoor shows at The Arizona Jewish Historical Society’s garden will launch Saturday, Oct. 10 with shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. by Valley favorites Dennis Rowland and Diana Lee.

Herberger Theater Center Festival of the Arts

(Photo: Herberger Theater Center)

Celebrate art in our community during Herberger Theater Center’s reimagined Festival of the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 14. This year’s event will feature live performances on a new outdoor stage and artist demos (in a safe and physically-distanced space), as well as virtual performances, activities for kids, an online vendor market and more.

The Phoenix Theatre Company’s “Outdoor Season”

(Photo: Phoenix Theatre)

From live, socially-distanced outdoor shows this fall and winter to traditional, indoor theater in the summer, the Phoenix Theatre Company recently announced its plans for the 2020-2021 season. This fall’s “Outdoor Season” will take place on the courtyard gardens of Central United Methodist Church, next door to The Phoenix Theatre Company. The first show is Happy Birthday Dionne, featuring We3, which runs Nov. 10-22. Check the website for showtimes and more info.

Bar, restaurant openings

Blanco Tacos & Tequila

Featuring tequila flights, a la carte tacos, burritos, bowls and more, Blanco Tacos and Tequila will be open by the end of 2020. (Rendering: Blanco Tacos and Tequila)

Located on the southwest corner of Second and Washington streets at Block 23, this is the seventh location for the Fox Restaurants concept, with three others around the Valley. Blanco Tacos and Tequila will open on Nov. 11. More restaurants coming to Block 23: Ingo’s Tasty Food, a popular craft cocktail and gourmet burger spot based in Arcadia.

New retail

Now or Never

A new retail option in Downtown Phoenix, Now or Never specializes in modern, innovative and interesting pieces you can’t find elsewhere. (Photo: Now or Never)

A locally-owned boutique called Now or Never just opened at the Ten-O-One building on Roosevelt Row (by appointment only until the grand opening on Oct. 17). A go-to for modern home décor, gifts, designer fashion, accessories and skincare, it will soon be joined by a number of new bar and restaurant concepts coming to the ground floor of the newly-renovated building, owned by True North Studio.

Major developments wrapping up

Kenect Phoenix

Kenect Phoenix features a social club on the ground floor with 320 apartments above. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

Next to Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix Campus and The Westin Phoenix Downtown, Kenect Phoenix broke ground in late 2018 and is slated to open by November. Featuring junior studios, studios, one-bedrooms, and three-bedroom co-living shared units, leasing is already underway. Just a couple blocks away at Collier Center, construction on Adeline, a 25-story, 379-unit luxury apartment complex, is expected to finish in early 2021.

Fiesta Bowl Play at Hance Park

The Hance Park Partner Coalition is leading revitalization efforts, comprised of Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA), the Hance Park Conservancy and Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. The public-private coalition was formed in 2017. (Rendering: Hargreaves Associates)

A 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art playground will open on the west side of Margaret T. Hance Park by the end of the year. Part of a massive, multi-phase revitalization project, plans for the park include new shade trees, a splash pad, restaurant, amphitheater and more.

PBC Innovation Center

The PBC Innovation Center is a partnership between Arizona State University and Wexford Science and Technology. (Rendering: Phoenix Biomedical Campus)

Located on the burgeoning Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the PBC Innovation Center is a 226,000-square-foot research and office building designed to expand Arizona State University’s research footprint in downtown, while also accommodating private science and technology infrastructure. The project is a partnership between ASU and Wexford Science and Technology.

New projects breaking ground

Central Station

The new Central Station project is bookended by Van Buren Street to the south and Civic Space Park to the north, and will incorporate a reimagined light rail and bus stop hub. (Rendering: Medistar / Gould Evans)

While not officially “breaking ground” in the traditional sense, site work will begin in earnest on the $231-million mixed-use project with temporary bus stop relocation, demolition and tree salvage. Located at 300 N. Central Avenue, the project includes two high-rise towers featuring 300 apartments, student housing, retail and office suites. It will also incorporate current light rail and bus infrastructure.

The Edith

A view of Adams Street with Renaissance Hotel Downtown Phoenix on the left and The Edith hotel and office concept on the right. (Rendering: Berger Holdings)

A small surface parking at the corner of Central Avenue and Adams Street (next to Hanny’s restaurant) will be transformed into a luxury hotel and office tower called The Edith. Slated to break ground this fall, The Edith adds 218 hotel keys and 20,000 square feet of office space to the Downtown Core.