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AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park (Tempe)

AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park
1300 North College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

AHS _dusk_jpegCourtyard in spring 2016_3

Welcome to the AZ Heritage Center, home of the Centennial Museum,

Explore Arizona’s history with a tour of our Centennial Museum. Take a trip through time, from western frontier days to war times and the post war building boom. Learn how water makes life possible in the  desert, and discover the beauty and variety of Arizona’s vast natural resources. Marvel at the breathtaking desert vistas as you wander through our outdoor spaces.

Nestled against the base of beautiful Papago Park, the museum features exhibits spanning more than 100 years of Central Arizona history, making it the perfect place to enjoy the best of Arizona’s past and present!


More Than A Museum

In addition to the Centennial Museum, the AZ Heritage Center is a cultural center where visitors can participate in a variety of educational and entertaining programming and events for adults and children. Guided and self-guided tours are available for school children and adult groups, and can be customized to meet your needs.

The AZ Heritage Center is also a beautiful and functional event venue, featuring a charming brick courtyard, majestic sandstone lobby, auditorium, theater, and multiple meeting spaces.

Located at the edge of Papago Park in Tempe, near the Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road, our central location is convenient to the metropolitan Phoenix area.


Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m./Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Closed on Sunday

Admission: Adults $12.00;  Seniors 65+ $10.00; Ages 7 – 17  $8.00

Children 6 and under – Free;   AHS members, Military and Veterans – Free

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school busTours

For groups of 10 or more, we offer guided and self-guided tours for school children and adults. Have a special request? Let us know – we can create a special program for you. 

For more information call 480-387-5367, or fill out a Tour Inquiry form.

 Coming Events

Date Time Event Speaker Name Type
April 27 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Members 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Public Phoenix Phabulous Grand Opening Various Exhibit Opening

RSVP required

May 1 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm The Foods of Arizona: Many Cultures, Many Flavors!  (Presented by the Historical League) Gregory McNamee Lecture
May 2 Check-in 6:00 p.m.

Stories 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Arizona Storytellers Project presents, “Growing Up” Various Event

Tickets required

May 9 10:00 am Social
11:00 am Lunch
Historical League Annual Meeting and Recognition Luncheon, keynote speaker Jana Bommersbach Jana Bommersbach Luncheon & Lecture
May 16 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Songs, Stories and Poems of the Old-Time Cowboys Marshall Trimble Event
July 13 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Members 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Public Sonoran Silver Grand Opening TBD Exhibit Opening

Opening Reception – April 27

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. –  AHS Members and Special Guests only
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – General Public
Short program begins at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP Required: 480-929-0292 or azheritagecenter@azhs.gov

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Join us for the opening reception for the Phoenix Phabulous History Mural collection, an indoor mural series sharing the fascinating story of Phoenix in nine distinct time periods.

From the early Hohokam civilization to the imagined future, the display includes 16 large painted murals capturing iconic events representing Phoenix history. The exhibit runs through February 2018, and will be activated trhough a four-part storytelling series, including hosted networking receptions for patrons and visitors.

The opening program will feature keynote speaker, Carol Poore, Ph.D., president and founder of the Phoenix Phabulous Mural collection, along with several Phoenix history experts and artists who will bring to life each Phoenix time period in a brief, engaging program beginning at 6:00 p.m. The reception includes refreshments and an opportunity to mingle with mural artists while viewing the installation. Event is free.

RSVP is required: azheritagecenter@azhs.gov or 480-929-0292


May 1

Historical League presents The Foods of Arizona: Many Cultures, Many Flavors, with Gregory McNamee.
12:00 p.m.  – 1:00 p.m.
Gregory McNamee is a writer, journalist, editor, publisher and photographer. Gregory will share stories of the multi-cultural foods of Arizona. A reflection of the diversity of Arizonans, both native and newcomer, Arizona cuisine is a cultural delight. Join us for a deliciously entertaining presentation!
Visit the Historical League website for more information. Presentation follows Historical League general membership meeting. Presentation is open to the public.
This event is free to the public. Does not include museum admission. Donations welcome.

 May 2

Arizona Storytellers Project presents, “Growing Up”

Check in: 6:00 p.m., Stories: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

storytellers project logo_500x500_croppedGrowing up and adulting are two separate things. Join us for a night of stories about the funny, and sometimes poignant, leaps of growing and becoming a grown-up.

Food and beverage available for purchase.

$10 general admission, $5 students. Purchase tickets through AZ Central, or click here.


 May 9

Historical League Annual Meeting and Recognition Luncheon, “Boots and Bangles”
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
McCormick Ranch Golf Club Pavilion, 7505 East McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ, 85258.
Featuring Guest Speaker, Jana Bommersbach, an acclaimed and respected journalist whose work has encompassed every facet of the profession: she’s been a reporter and editor for both weekly and daily newspapers; she’s written books and is a major contributor to an anthology; she’s written columns and investigative stories for magazines; she’s appeared on television with both political commentaries and investigative stories. Her speeches are direct, pithy, funny, engaging, entertaining and informative.
Cost is $50. Open to the public. For reservations and information, contact Historical League member Mary Garbaciak at 480-951-2801, or click here. The Historical League is a volunteer support organization of the Arizona Historical Society AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park.

May 16

Songs, Stories and Poems of the Old-Time Cowboys, with Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s Official State Historian
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Arizona’s Official State Historian never disappoints! Join us as Marshall entertains and educates with the songs, stories and poems of cowboys of yesteryear. You can almost smell the campfire and hear the lonely sounds of the cattle lowing in the night.

This event is free to the public. Does not include museum admission. Donations welcome.

July 13

Grand Opening of Sonoran Silver at AZ Heritage Center
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. –  AHS Members and Special Guests only
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – General Public
mcdowell mtn ranchWe are pleased to present Sonoran Silver, an exhibit celebrating the 25th anniversary of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. The McDowell Mountain Preserve is the largest, and one of the most beautiful, urban preserves in the U.S. Learn the history of the Preserve and the Conservancy, and what the Conservancy does to preserve and share this incredible natural legacy. This exhibit is possible as part of a partnership with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. As part of this partnership, the Conservancy will display an exhibit created by the AZ Heritage Center, in the exhibit space at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead in north Scottsdale. We invite you to visit both exhibits!


The AZ Heritage Center has been featured by Tempe Tourism! Check it out:

Wedding and Corporate Event Facility Rentals

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The AZ Heritage Center features a wide array of venue options for your next corporate event, wedding, or gala celebration.

Choose from:

♦ Romantic Brick Courtyard with water feature

♦ Majestic Sandstone Lobby with grand staircase

♦ Bright and airy Courtyard Pavilion

♦ Steele Auditorium (272 capacity)

♦ Brown Theater (50 capacity)

♦ Scenic Desert Terrace

♦ Expansive Orientation Point

View our online brochure.

Contact our Event Planning Department at 480-387-5367, email DMcKinion@azhs.gov or visit us on WeddingWire.com.