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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 $10.00;  Seniors 65+ $8.00; Ages 7 – 17  $6.00

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


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 480-387-5365, or fill out a Tour Inquiry form.

February 22
“Preservation vs Enjoyment”: Debating the Contradictory Mandate that Created the National Parks; a talk by Dr. Eric Nystrom
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 pm
As part of our programming related to our In Celebration of Our National Parks exhibit, Dr. Eric Nystrom will explore the history and language of the Organic Act, which calls for “preservation for enjoyment of future generations”. Is it possible to both preserve and allow the public to truly enjoy our national parks? Dr. Nystrom will talk about how that seeming contradiction, influenced the history of the parks in different ways at different times in the last century. 
Admission to the event is free, and includes a tour of the In Celebration of Our National Parks exhibit. Donations welcome.

Open Now through February 28

At Work in Arizona: The First 100 Years

Open now through Feb. 28, 2017

This photography exhibition, features 100 years of Arizona history, and showcases innovation and commerce, highlighting milestones and achievements throughout the years.


The photographs are stunning – and include portraits of influential Arizonans and celebrities who visited here, as well as iconic buildings, landmarks and events throughout the years. The photograph of the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, by Jamey Stillings, is breathtaking.This exhibition is only open through February 2017. Don’t miss it!

Exhibit was curated by Marilyn Szabo, and sponsored by Alliance Bank.


Now Open: Phoenix Lights!

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What were those strange lights in the night skies over Phoenix on March 13, 1997? From Henderson, Nevada, across the Phoenix valley, to Tucson and beyond, numerous people reported seeing an enormous object with strange lights. See the flight path, listen to first hand accounts and 911 recordings from that night, and make your own decision…… extraterrestrial spacecraft? military flares? or……??

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.