Phoenix is host to an array of music festivals, cultural celebrations, and special events. Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix is where you’ll find all the action. Set on 2.5 acres of green lawns, the park features a fishing pond, landscaped pathways, two dog parks, and a playground. But a closer look at Steele Indian School Park reveals a storied past rich in local and Native American history.
Learn About the Park’s Native American Past
Once site to the Phoenix Indian Boarding School from the 1890s to the middle of the 20th century, the school buildings now serve as a setting for performances, arts presentations, and community events. History buffs must visit the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center, located next to the Memorial Hall, featuring exhibits showcasing the school’s history through photographs, displays, and memorabilia.
Walk the Circle of Life
Immerse yourself in the history of Steele Indian School Park at the Circle of Life. One of the park’s main features is the Circle of Life, a circular walkway encompassing the historic school buildings. Informational placards are set throughout the walkway, revealing further insight into the park’s history. In the center of the area lies a water fountain with a poem etched into the surrounding concrete.
Find Your Zen at the Entry Garden
The Circle of Life leads to the Arbor Bridge, crossing a small pond over to the Entry Garden. This serene spot is made up of a gentle pathway lined with desert shrubs and trees, spiraling down to a stunning fountain where you can relax in soothing tranquility. Stop to read the Native American poems etched along the way, inspiring calm contemplation and relaxation.
Cast Your Line at Bird Lake
At the opposite end of the Circle of Life you’ll find a pathway leading to a large outdoor amphitheater, descending down to the Steele Indian School Park Pond. This is one of the best spots in Phoenix for urban fishing, so bring your fishing rod along, or simply pop up a chair and watch the ducks lazily swim by.
Enjoy a Family Picnic at Indian School Park
With spacious lawns and shady spots for a picnic, the park is a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. Barbecue grills and ramadas are also available, so you can easily set up lunch while the kids blow off some steam at the park’s playground and volleyball courts.
Catch a Local Festival
Steele Indian School Park hosts festivals and special events year-round, from raging music festivals with national headliners to craft beer and coffee fests. If you’re visiting Phoenix in July, don’t miss out on the annual Fourth of July Festival, a day-long event of music, food, and family fun culminating in an evening fireworks spectacle. Be sure to check out the Native Nation performances at the park in spring, with a collection of vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, and artwork.
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