Pioneer Museum

AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park (Tempe)

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

Courtyard in spring 2016_v2

Welcome to the AZ Heritage Center, home of the Centennial Museum, where we honor the state’s rich heritage, celebrate the present, and together, create a vibrant and sustainable future. Our museum features exhibits spanning more than 100 years of Central Arizona history, and introduces visitors to the life and work of Arizonans, past and present.

Current exhibits include:

  • Natives and Newcomers – A glimpse into early settlement life
  • Roosevelt Dam – Construction and impact
  • Arizona in the War – WI & WWII, POW camps, Japanese Internment Camp
  • Desert Cities – Post-war urban, suburban and economic development
  • Pop Culture & Entertainment – Wallace & Ladmo, Bob’s Big Boy, Fox Theatre
  • Natural History – Rocks, minerals, fossils, a meteor and moon rock
  • Copper Mining – Scale model of an Arizona copper mine
  • Routes – A kid-friendly, hands-on look at transportation in Arizona
  • SRP: The Power of Water – How water powers and feeds the desert, sponsored by SRP.
  • Historymakers™ – Meet the movers and shakers who have shaped Arizona’s history. Sponsored by the Historical League, an AZ Heritage Center support group.

New exhibit coming August 20th:

Phoenix Lights. What was in the night sky on March 13, 1997? An extra-terrestrial aircraft? A military flare? See this exhibit and decide for yourself!

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 and theater, and multiple meeting spaces.

Located at the edge of Papago Park in Tempe, our central location is convenient to the metropolitan Phoenix area.


Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m./Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Summer Admission: Adults $10.00;  Seniors 65+ $8.00; Ages 7 – 17  $6.00

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


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




Thank you to everyone who attended our Amazing Arizona Kids! programs! Summer Sizzle is Saturday, June 30th!

Click here to see the flyer!


Coming Events!


Children’s Summer Programming:

Summer Sizzle!  July 30, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us as we wrap up our Amazing Arizona Kids! summer program with a full day of fun, food, and learning. Educational, hands-on activities… beat the heat and enjoy our cool A/C! Event admission: $5 per person or $15 per family (up to 4 people). Price of admission includes entrance into museum and plenty of programs throughout the day, including:



                 Keeping Cool in the Desert


Crafts: Puppets, Block Printing, and Sculpture

       Arizona Rocks! Volcanoes and Mining

  See you at the SUMMER SIZZLE!




Now Open! Copper Mine Exhibit

Mining Day! Scale Model of an AZ Copper Mine

On display now, the exhibit features a scale model of an Arizona copper mine, and brings to life the process of taking copper ore from the earth in order to turn it into the products we use everyday. Educational videos, interesting facts, mineral and ore displays and Geology Activity Booklets for children – it’s all at the AZ Heritage Center!



Wedding and Corporate Event Facility Rentals

event images

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 or visit us on