Thunderbird Senior Living: 15 Fun Things to Do in Glendale, Arizona

Arizona is well known for sun, sky and tourism. There are plenty of fun things to do all over the state, in the Phoenix area and especially in Glendale, home of the Thunderbird Senior Living community. 

There are many unique locations to visit while you or your family are in Arizona. Here are some of the best things to do in and around Glendale.

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15 of the Best Things To Do in and Near Glendale

1. Arizona Broadway Theater

This dinner theater in nearby Peoria was started in 2005 by two working actors based out of New York City. It offers Broadway-quality productions throughout the year, featuring professional musicals, murder mysteries, tribute band concerts and more. The theater has partnered with the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix to stage two or three productions there annually.

The Arizona Broadway Theater also offers sit-down dinner service for 470 to go along with the entertainment of the evening. The facility also has rooms for parties and special events.

2. Arizona Doll & Toy Museum

This unique museum, in the Glendale Historic District, features displays of dolls and other exhibits. Among the scenes depicted are a 1912 schoolroom filled with dolls, a dry goods store and a hat shop.

The museum was founded in 1987 and features European and American styles of dolls, from paper dolls to modern toys to one doll that is more than 300 years old.  

3. Camelback Ranch

Despite the name, this is actually one of the many Spring League baseball stadiums in the Phoenix area. It is the spring home of both the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball teams.

Besides being a great place to catch a game, the facility also features scenic walking trails, an orange grove and a five-acre lake stocked with fish. 

4. Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

The preserve features ancient rock petroglyphs carved by Native Americans, along with native desert plants and animals along a quarter-mile nature trail. A museum, gallery and store finish out the preserve.

The preserve displays historical research of Southwest archaeology by faculty and students of Arizona State University, which oversees the site. Self-guided tours of the preserve are available with explanatory audio.

5. Desert Diamond Casino West Valley

This casino in the Westgate Entertainment District features 1,400 slot machines, electronic games and game tables. A bingo hall, poker room and sports book are also available.

Dining options abound, along with two bars, a food court, a wine and spirits store, and retail shopping. 

6. Gila River Arena

Right next door to the Westgate Entertainment District is an 18,000-seat area for indoor sports and events. Until 2022, it was home to the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League.

The arena currently hosts major concerts and events, such as monster trucks, the Cirque du Soleil, rodeos and mixed martial arts matches. Local basketball and hockey tournaments are also held there. 

7. Glendale Police Museum

This unusual museum shows the history of Glendale’s law enforcement from the territorial sheriff’s office to the present-day police department. The museum exhibits more than 100 years of memorabilia.

The museum was established in 2002 and moved to its new location in the Fraternal Order of Police building downtown in 2010.

8. Historic Downtown Glendale 

Glendale’s downtown is a shopper’s dream with 80 antique stores and dozens of eateries in its 10 square blocks. Special events such as concerts and festivals are scheduled throughout the year.

Downtown Glendale is split into two districts. Old Towne features old-time brick sidewalks and gaslights leading to antique shops, restaurants and specialty stores. Catlin Court features bungalows with boutiques and eateries.

9. Park West

Park West, in nearby Peoria, offers upscale open-air shopping experiences with more than 40 shops and restaurants. 

The shopping center is anchored at one end by a large movie theater featuring the latest pictures.

10. State Farm Stadium

This venue is the home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and has hosted Super Bowl XLIX, with more to come.

Besides professional football, the stadium hosts trade shows, major concerts and the Fiesta Bowl college football game.

11. Tanger Outlets Phoenix

This shopping center features more than 90 designer and name-brand outlets, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Zumiez. Gap, Nike and Old Navy stores are also available, along with several eateries.

When you visit, a quick stop at shopper services will give you the opportunity to purchase a coupon book good for many of the stores in the center.

12. West Valley Arts Council

This board in nearby Surprise is an advisor, creator and organizer of arts programs and venues throughout Phoenix’s West Valley. It oversees exhibits, arts festivals, public art and regional promotion of arts.

The council hosts the Arts HQ Gallery, with rotating exhibits, and more than 100 other events annually including performances, exhibits and workshops. 

13. West Valley Symphony

This regional symphony was incorporated in 1968 in Sun City, Arizona, and presents classical music programs from November to March.

Now based in nearby Surprise, the West Valley Symphony features concerts and guest performers. All performances are conveniently scheduled for Sunday afternoons.   

14. West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In

West Wind revives the legendary drive-in movie theater with new amenities, such as all-digital projections of first-run movies and sound sent straight to your car stereo. The traditional features are still here, from a snack bar to playgrounds for the kids and arcades with video games. 

The drive-in also hosts free summer movies and a swap meet on Saturdays and Sundays.

15. Westgate Entertainment District

This district of restaurants, shops and other entertainment sits between the State Farm Stadium and Gila River Arena. People attending the sports events commonly hang out here before, during and after the games.

Westgate also hosts special events like live music and fun for the kids.

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Live a Fun Life at Thunderbird Senior Living

Thunderbird Senior Living in Glendale will take care of the day-to-day needs of life, such as cleaning and cooking, freeing you up to have fun and make friends. You’ll choose the lifestyle that fits you best, from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Memory Care.

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