Prescott, Arizona

20 Free (or Nearly Free!) Fun Things to Do in Prescott, Arizona

Are you wondering about the best free and fun things to do in Prescott Arizona (AZ) and don’t know where to start? . Home to some of the most beautiful natural sites in the state, Prescott, Arizona is the perfect place for your next family vacation. Between the incredible nature reserves and the quaint, yet fun, city, there’s something here for people of all ages. If you’re looking for an Arizona vacation, you won’t forget anytime soon, keep reading to find out the best free things to do with kids in Prescott, Arizona. 


Things to Know Before You Travel to Prescott, AZ

Before your trip, you’re going to want to know some useful information about Prescott! To make your trip easier, consider the following information to make sure you’re totally prepared!


Where is Prescott Arizona (AZ) and what is the Population?

Prescott, Arizona is located at the lower end of the Chino Valley in northwest Arizona. With a population of just over 41,000, the city is small, despite being the center of activity for the surrounding area.


What is the Best Time to Visit Prescott, AZ

If you’re looking to get the most out of your Prescott vacation, consider visiting in the summer months. In particular, May, June, and September are noted as some of the best months to visit Prescott, Arizona. During these months, the weather stays comfortably warm (without being scorching hot), giving you and your family the comfort to enjoy a broad range of outdoor activities. This is about the best time to find fun things to do in Prescott AZ!

Prescott, Arizona


What is the Weather in Prescott, AZ

The weather in Prescott remains sunny throughout the year, with the city receiving less than half the average amount of US rainfall. According to the Best Places Climate Index, Prescott ranks an incredible 7.9/10 on the comfort scale, which makes it a great location for those who love the outdoors. 

And trust us, with the incredible range of outdoor activities available for families and kids in Prescott, Arizona, you’ll be spending plenty of time outside when you visit this fantastic little city! There is so much Prescott AZ things to do as well as attractions to see that your vacation will be filled with fun memories. 


20 Free (or Nearly Free!) Things to Do in Prescott, Arizona

Now that you’ve got some basic logistics down, it’s time to take a look at twenty of the best free (or almost free) things to do in Prescott with kids. These incredible sites and activities are sure to give you and your family a great time during your next vacation. And we promise that these things to do in Prescott, AZ are fun attractions that will keep the kids entertained for days. 

1. Watson Lake

Located just four miles from downtown Prescott, Watson Lake is a reservoir in the Granite Dells formed from water that was dammed on Granite Creek.

Watson Lake
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The lake was built in the early 1900s but enjoys popularity today from nature enthusiasts and families alike. Go fishing with the kids and see who catches the most at this incredibly blue and breathtakingly gorgeous body of water. We rank this as one of our top things to do in Prescott! 

2. Prescott Peavine National Recreational Trail

You might be wondering what to do in Prescott AZ and we’ll tell you that no trip to Prescott is complete without a bit of hiking. This six-mile trail loops around Watson Lake and offers families an incredible chance to see the fantastic reservoir in its entirety. Enjoy a smooth hike that’s easy even on beginners while also taking in a beautiful arid landscape that epitomizes the glory of the American desert. Without a doubt, Prescott Peavine National Recreational Trail is one of the top activities for kids in Prescott, meaning you don’t want to leave it off your bucket list!

3. Prescott National Forest

With 1.25 million acres of trees and wildlands, Prescott National Forest is one of the city’s main attractions. With a number of hiking trails and camping spots available, Prescott National Forest immerses tourists into the heart of the Arizona wilderness. These are pictures of Prescott Arizona that you want to capture with your eyes and mind. 

Prescott National Forest - Prescott Arizona Photos
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Come prepared to relax in the beautiful natural landscape of the forest – and consider spending a day, or maybe even two, at this unforgettable location. And if you’re wondering what to do in Prescott AZ this weekend (on a weekend when it’s safe to do so after lockdowns), you will find that this is one of Prescott AZ attractions you can’t miss. 

4. Goldwater Lake

One of the absolute best things to do in Prescott, Arizona, Goldwater Lake offers a number of attractions for tourists. Those who come out to sit by the reservoir’s natural blue waters can take part in a game of horseshoes, go fishing, camping, or even visit some of the area’s wonderful hiking trails.  So, if you’re wondering about things to do near Prescott AZ or things to see in Prescott AZ, this is a point of interest you shouldn’t miss! 

5. Historic Downtown Area

The Historic Downtown Area of Prescott, AZ is famed for its beauty. Many of the most famous buildings and museums in the city can be found here, and beautiful nearby streets such as Mt. Vernon give a glimpse into the city’s beautiful past. One of the major attractions of Prescott AZ or best things to do in Prescott is actually visiting this historic downtown area as seen in the photo of Prescott Arizona here. 

Downtown Prescott - pictures of Prescott Arizona
Credits: Ken Lund, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

With great dining and entertainment options nearby, visiting Historic Downtown Prescott should be among your top attractions for free things to do in Prescott, Arizona. 

6. Lynx Lake Recreation Area

Located near Lynx Lake in Prescott, Arizona, this amazing recreation area boasts unforgettable (and almost-all-free) entertainment options for you and your family. From fun hiking trails and camping to fishing and more, this one-of-a-kind recreation area is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the Prescott area—making it one of the Prescott’s must-see attractions. This always ranks high on our list of what to do in Prescott AZ today or this weekend or when you’re able to safely spend time outside. 

7. Fort Whipple Museum

This historical museum pays a tribute to the former capital of the Arizona territory: Fort Whipple. Founded in 1863, Fort Whipple was the US Army Post that took control of the Arizona Territory prior to its integration into the United States. If you visit Prescott, this has to be one of the places to see in Prescott. So when you are wondering about attractions near Prescott AZ or in Prescott AZ, this should make your list.  

Fort Whipple Museum
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Now, you and your family can see important period relics, documents, and artifacts that highlight Arizona’s entrance into the Union. In this way, Fort Whipple proves to be one of the most important of all attractions in Prescott, AZ as it gives tourists a chance to see the documents and history that helped shaped the nation.

8. Smoki Museum

Smoki Museum is unlike any other that you’ll find in Arizona. This incredible museum pays tribute to the history of the Native Americans in the Prescott Valley. With incredible educational exhibits and a number of authentic artifacts, Smoki Museum offers a jaw-dropping look at the lives of the Native Americans who once inhabited the land. One of the hottest Prescott AZ tourist attractions, this museum is a must-see for anyone with a love of history and one of the best things to do in Prescott AZ! 

9. Phippen Museum

One of the most famous art museums in the region, Phippen Museum offers several exhibits featuring different art styles. From sculptures to paintings and everything in between, Phippen Museum is a fine-arts cultural mecca for the Prescott Valley. With a collection of some of the finest art in the state, Phippen Museum also features temporary exhibits that change and keep tourists coming back for more!

Phippen Museum - pictures of prescott arizona
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

With both local and national artwork available on display, Phippen Museum charges reasonable prices that you and your family will love! We certainly rank it as one of the top things to do in Prescott Arizona on a weekend. 

10. Fain Park

One of the main Prescott points of interest is Fain Park. This beautiful park rests on right at one hundred acres of land and gives a glimpse at some of the rugged natural landscape that Arizona is so famous for. Here, you can also visit historical sites such as a refurbished stamp mill, buy souvenirs to remember your trip, and even go fishing over a beautiful bridge. If you do nothing else while you’re in the city, at least go to Fain Park as it is one of the top sights and places to visit in Prescott AZ today. 

11. Sharlot Hall Museum

One of the absolute best things to do in Prescott, AZ, the Sharlot Hall Museum provides an incredible look at Arizona’s natural and historical landscape 362 days out of the year.

Sharlot Hall Museum
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

With a total of eleven buildings on site (including five of them historical!) and a research center that researches and collects artifacts, this museum is always growing its exhibits to provide an even more eye-catching experience. Great for singles and families alike, this incredible museum boasts an impressive educational experience that helps you understand the historical and social nature of Arizona. What to do in Prescott? Here is your answer. Visit this amazing place and enjoy a day trip to Prescott AZ. 

12. Harkins Theatre

Harkins Theatre puts on some of the best movies—both new and old—available for prices that you’ll have to see to believe. Great for the whole family, consider adding this famed theatre to your itinerary! An incredible venue where you can have fun with family, friends, and strangers alike, the Harkins Theatre offers super-sized fun at discount prizes. We rank this as one of the best fun things to do in Prescott AZ. 

13. Tonto Park

If you are still wondering what is there to do in Prescott AZ then we want to let you know that Tonto Park boasts an experience unlike any other. With nearly three million acres of land, Tonto Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife in all of Arizona. Prescott AZ images like this should make you want to put this city on your top list of places to visit within the US! 

Tonto Park
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This makes it one of the best things to do near Prescott, AZ. A trip to this classic, rugged park showcases some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire country. No matter how many people are in your party, you can be sure that you’ll all be enthralled at its classic beauty and will enjoy its recreation centers and dining options. This place is one of the top things to see in Prescott and one of the top attractions in Prescott as well.

14. Prescott Valley Event Center

This $35-million facility has a variety of purposes, all with one goal in mind—entertain guests like you. This upscale venue features some of the best entertainment in the Prescott Valley area—and it comes at a price tag that’s cheaper than you think. From concerts to wrestling matches and everything in between, this event center provides an unforgettable evening of entertainment—and you’ll be shocked to know that some tickets can be purchased for less than $15. For fun things to do in Prescott Valley area, head out here. A full schedule of events can be found on the event center website—be sure to check what’s available when planning your trip!

15. Douglas Mansion

Located in Jerome, AZ just a short drive away from Prescott, Douglas Mansion is a regional icon. This famed mansion has caught the attention of tourists and locals for years—and continues to be one of the most highly-visited attractions in the area.

Douglas Mansion
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1916, this beautiful house pays homage to the region’s mining history and gives a rare first-hand look at the wealth brought to some. We love this tourist spot and think you should have it on your top 10 things to do in Prescott Arizona. 

16. Gold King Mine & Ghost Town

Want to experience one of the best things to do in Prescott, AZ? A trip to Gold King Mine & Ghost Town provides a mind-blowing experience that immerses you into the rich history of the area! This incredible ghost town features a full-on recreation of the days of the miners. See what life was like for those hopeful souls who went searching for gold by taking in some of the local period buildings. What’s more, staff and crew will be dressed in period outfits, and experts will be on site to help bring further insight to guests about what life was really like for miners. What’s more, incredible dining and souvenir options are available for those who are looking for cheap keepsakes of their unforgettable journey. This is a top thing to do and a top place to see in Prescott AZ. 

17. Jerome State Historic Park

If you’re looking for things to do near Prescott, consider taking a trip to Jerome State Historic Park. This beautiful park walks you through some of the region’s defining natural scenery and gives you a glimpse at the rugged terrain those moving West had to conquer back in the pioneer days.

Jerome State Historic Park
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Great for the whole family, couples, or even those who are going at it alone, a trip to the Jerome State Historic Park is one of the best things to do for those who want to visit Prescott. It certainly ranks high on our things to see in Prescott AZ. 

18. Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum

The Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum pays homage to the region’s mining history with local artifacts that you won’t find anywhere eels. Called by some the “best-kept secret in Arizona,” the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum is one of the best things to do near Prescott. Loaded with first-hand artifacts, this great museum puts you straight into the heart of the region’s history unlike any other! If you want attractions near Prescott this weekend or any weekend you can safely visit Prescott AZ, this is one of the top places to see and visit. 

19. Historic Old Town Cottonwood

If you’re in the mood for traveling, take a short trip to Cottonwood, Arizona. Only a short drive away from Prescott, Cottonwood features a unique, old-fashioned downtown area that’s perfect for photographs!

Cottonwood
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

What’s more, you can enjoy a full day of free window-shopping and great cheap dining! So, if you want something fun near Prescott AZ then you should head out to Cottonwood. 

20. Ghost Town Tours (in nearby Jerome, AZ)

One of the most fascinating attractions near Prescott, AZ is the large number of ghost towns. These towns, once inhabited by pioneers searching West, many looking for gold, have now been abandoned. With a cheap ghost town tour, you can witness the history of the area and see for yourself some vestiges of the old Wild West. One of the absolute best things to do in Prescott, AZ, these ghost town tours can be extended to nearby cities for an unforgettable experience. So if you are looking for stuff to do around or near Prescott AZ, a trip to nearby Jerome will give you plenty of options for fun stuff to do in Arizona. 


Expert Tips

Bring Hiking ShoesMuch of what you can do in Prescott, AZ and surrounding areas involves a lot of hiking and walking outdoors. Make sure that you and your family come prepared so that your feet will thank you later!

Bring Sunscreen—Because you’ll likely be outdoors A LOT (and because it’s very hot in Arizona), you’ll want to protect yourself from the sun and the state’s dry heat with a lot of sunscreen! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Have Your Camera Ready—Whether you’re scrolling through Prescott’s beautiful downtown or visiting nearby ghost towns, you’ll want to have your camera ready to capture every moment of the magic!

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