From June to September about two dozen ranger programs are offered each day, including guided walks and nature talks, at various locations around Grand Canyon Village , Canyon View Information Plaza , Tusayan Museum , and Desert View .
These free programs, lasting from 20 minutes to four hours, are a great way to gain a more in-depth understanding of Grand Canyon, whether your interest is condors or constellations, birds or brachiopods. Many programs are geared toward families and children, such as storytelling, easy nature hikes, or activities leading to a Junior Ranger certificate and badge.
Offerings are fewer during the winter, but still include a variety of lectures, hikes, and other activities throughout the day. See The Guide  for schedules. Sometimes additional programs are added at the last minute; announcements about changes or additions are posted at the CVIP visitor center , along the rim near El Tovar or Bright Angel Lodge , or at Yavapai Observation Station .
Park events are distributed throughout the year, peaking in fall when the weather is at its finest. Possibilities include lectures by visiting scholars, free digital camera workshops offered by vendors, art openings at Kolb Studio, or book signings and author appearances in lodges or shops. Annual events are posted on the park’s website (www.nps.gov/grca ) or described in The Guide,  which you can preview online before your visit to help you plan your time.
One of the park’s most anticipated events is the Grand Canyon Music Festival (928/638-9215 or 800/997-8285, www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org ), an annual gathering of musicians that has grown since its inaugural 1984 season to more than half a dozen concerts over a two-week period each September. Every year the festival offers a wide repertoire of classical to contemporary music, and some events are free.
Past performers have included Robert Bonfiglio (a festival cofounder), R. Carlos Nakai, the Amadeus Trio, and the Calder Quartet. Most of the concerts are held at the Shrine of the Ages , an indoor auditorium on the east side of the village at Park Headquarters.
A relatively new event—or rather, series of events—is the fall Celebration of Art, when landscape painters from around the United States travel to the South Rim to work en plein air, painting outdoors on location. A highlight is the “quick draw,” when artists create paintings in two hours to be auctioned later in the day. The Celebration of Art culminates in a juried exhibit with an opening reception at Kolb Studio.
Fall is a good time for naturalists to visit the canyon. Every October, the public is welcome to participate when members of HawkWatch International record the annual hawk migration over Yaki Point. The park usually hosts lectures or informal talks on Grand Canyon’s raptors to coincide with this event. Also in October, special programs are featured during Earth Science Week.
March is Arizona’s Archaeology Awareness Month, with statewide events that include Archaeology Day at Grand Canyon with various family-oriented hands-on activities such as making split-twig figurines like those on display in Tusayan Museum . In June, the South Rim holds its highly popular annual Star Party, when amateur astronomers present a slide show at the main visitors center and set up telescopes for nighttime viewing.
Historic Kolb Studio , located a few yards west of Bright Angel Lodge at the head of Bright Angel Trail, hosts revolving exhibits that sometimes launch with opening-night festivities. Exhibits change three or four times a year, usually featuring paintings, photographs, or historic artifacts relating to the canyon.
Art events such as workshops, demonstrations, or performances are offered monthly by the South Rim’s artists-in-residence. Artists specializing in a variety of media compete for the chance to live and work at Grand Canyon. Writers, photographers, visual artists, and performers have participated in past artist-in-residence programs at the South Rim. Check The Guide for art events scheduled during your stay. If you’re an artist interested in applying for residency, visit the park’s website (www.nps.gov/grca/supportyourpark/air.htm ) for more information.
During the canyon’s less-visited periods, rangers and staff may host impromptu events, such as an off-season, behind-the-scenes tour of Kolb Studio, a condor puppet show, or a full-moon walk through the South Rim’s pioneer cemetery. Last-minute programs are posted at Grand Canyon Visitors Center  and at locations around the village.
If your alarm isn’t set for dark-thirty to get an early start on a hike or to watch the sunrise, you’ll find a few things to while away the evening in Grand Canyon Village . The Village Route shuttle runs until 11 p.m. daily June-August, and until 10 p.m. daily in May and September, but many venues are within walking distance of rim lodges. It’s a good idea to carry a small flashlight for getting around the village area after dark.
Nighttime ranger programs include campfire talks at Mather Amphitheater and moonlight walks near Mather Point . Shrine of the Ages , located at Park Headquarters, often hosts ranger talks or art performances.
Inside Maswik Lodge, the Pizza Pub (5-11 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 3-11 p.m. Sat.-Sun.) has suds and snacks, TVs tuned to current games, and pool, air hockey, and video games. The Bright Angel Bar (11 a.m.-close, hours vary seasonally) occasionally offers live entertainment, generally folk or acoustic country music. El Tovar’s lounge is a comfortable, quiet place to gather for drinks and conversation or a light meal.
South of the park entrance in the town of Tusayan, hotel lounges at the Canyon Plaza (928/638-2673), Grand Canyon Squire (928/638-2681), and the Grand Hotel (928/638-3333) stay open late. The Canyon Star Saloon in the Grand Hotel often has live music or performances. The Grand Canyon Squire has a billiards lounge and bowling alley.