Thursday, October 23, 2014

More October Events

Looking for something to do this weekend? Things is a lot happening in Arizona in the fall! Make sure to check out our Fall Guide to Arizona for lots of ideas. Here are even more events for this weekend that didn't make it into the Fall Guide:

18th Annual Pumpkins At The Peak.
Friday, October 24th from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PMPoint Hilton Squaw Peak, 7677 North 16th Street, Phoenix. Join the Phoenix Fire Dept. for a fun family celebration, all while helping out a good cause at the same time. Admission is just two cans of food or $5 per person for St. Mary's Food Bank. Go trick-or-treating, play carnival games, make Halloween crafts, get your face painted, have your picture taken and lots more. Click here for more info.

College Nannies and Tutors Grand Opening and FREE SAT Practice Test
College Nannies + Tutors of Gilbert is celebrating their grand opening on Friday, October 24. There will be a ribbon-cutting event at 3:00 PM and an open house until 7:00 PM. The event will feature door prizes, tours of the new facility, and a chance to meet with the College Nannies and Tutors staff. This is a great company--you can read our review of their nanny services here

Saturday, October 25 starting at 9:00 AM Colleg Nannies + Tutors will host a practice SAT test for high school students. It will be run just like the real test and will be a great opportunity to do some practice taking the test--for FREE! To register, call 480-237-2333. Go here for more information.

Taste of Chandler
Saturday, October 25th, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM, 2855 W Queen Creek Rd, Chandler.
More than 30 East Valley restaurants have gotten together to showcase the best in gourmet food. Patrons will enjoy unlimited food samplings and a wide variety of fine wines, craft beers and spirits. This event showcases local businesses and benefits local charities through the silent auction portion of the event. Tickets are $65/person but you can get $30 OFF with promo code SAVOR. Yum!

Family Day at the IDEA Museum
Saturday, October 25th from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. 15 W. Pepper Pl, Mesa.
Fun activities for families throughout the day such as live insects you can touch, a puppet theater, games, and loads more. You could really make a whole day out of your visit if you'd like, just bring lunch to eat in the snackery or take a walk to downtown Mesa for some food. FREE Admission for children in costumes. Sorry, just free for the kids!

National Make a Difference Day

Saturday, October 25th. Use this website to find an event in your area and get involved helping in your community. It's not too late to register and easy to join. Check out what is happening in Fountain Hills, for instance, and get involved in that project or another project of your choice. 

Halloween Party at Kartchner Caverns State Park
October 25, from 5:00 - 7:00 PM. Face painting, children’s games, coloring contest, candy & prizes, plus a costume contest. FREE park admission with costume! (Free park admission does not include tours.) Read our experience at Karchner Caverns here. 

Halloween Festival at Goodyear Ballpark
This family celebration includes a costume contest, pumpkin patch, pony and train rides, hay maze, and more. Help fill the Mayflower (moving truck) with canned goods, toiletries, new clothing ,and toys to support Goodyear's Fill-A-Need program, which assists families in need during the holiday season. Free parking and admission, nominal cost for some activities. Go here for more info. 

Dia de Los Muertos Festival at the Mesa Arts Center
From 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Saturday, October 25 and from 12:00 noon - 5:00 PM Sunday, October 26. Free festival including food, a colorful mercado, live entertainment, and more.  

Phoenix Dia de los Muertos Festival
Sunday, October 26 from 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Free festival with masked entertainers, musicians, dance, theater, food, arts activities, and candlelight procession.

Here are a few things coming up that you can get involved with to help the community.

Spend $60 on a Care Card as a donation to Phoenix Children's Hospital and get 20% off at a ton of businesses through October 26th. Anthropologie, Children's Place, Frances, Ace Hardware, and Gap are just a few of the places you can get 20% off at. 

Order baked goods for the holidays from East Valley Institute of Technology. The food is great quality and the prices are great too. Proceeds from annual sale provide scholarships for Culinary Arts & Commercial Baking students. Information can be found here. 

Lastly, we wanted to direct you to a family that could use some support during a difficult time.  Help out a good cause and get some exercise in while you're at it. Set your calendar for Andy's Run in Mesa on Saturday, November 15th.  Proceeds go towards supporting Andy, a husband and father of two and his family as he is being treated for cancer for the second time this year. You can read the family's story here or here

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The North Pole Experience in Flagstaff, AZ

This could possibly be the greatest Christmas event in all of Arizona. 

Do you want to provide a truly magical holiday experience for some little people in your life? 

You have got to check The North Pole Experience:

Take a drive to Flagstaff's Little America Hotel where you will board the trolley that will drive you and your family straight through a portal to the North Pole! From there, families are led on an interactive visit through Santa's incredible 12,000 square-foot workshop. 

Kids get to build toys with elves, attend Elf University, visit Mrs. Claus, and have treats and snowman soup in the bakery. There's also Santa’s mailroom, office, and his top-secret "Area 47" Sleigh Hanger to visit. 

Check out these pictures--so much fun!

With tickets starting at just $38 for children and $44 for adults, this really is a good deal for such a fun and magical time. 

North Pole Experience recently finished a $200,000 upgrade, making this event even more impressive than ever before. They are open November 21st through December 27th but spaces fill up quickly--several time slots and/or days are already sold out. Book your tickets now! 

Once you have booked tickets for North Pole Experience, you can stretch your adventure out even longer by booking a meal or overnight stay at the Little America Hotel. Options include breakfast with Santa and/or the North Pole Experience dinner buffet. 

Meals are available for purchase even if you don't stay the night at the hotel. But really, you won't want to miss a night at Little America--it is the perfect family hotel. 

The hotel is located on 500+ acres of ponderosa pine forest and includes a playground and lots of space for playing in snow right on the hotel property. Can you imagine a Christmas more magical than that? (In addition to the Little America, you can check North Pole Experience's website for other hotel accommodations in the area.)

Seats fill up fast for this Christmas adventure of a lifetime. Go here to book your tickets. 

Have any of you been to the North Pole Experience? We'd love to hear how it went!

--Photography copyright North Pole Experience. Used with permission--

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Arizona Science Center - Why a membership is really worth the money

You hear about memberships to museums and you wonder if the membership is a good fit for your family, would you get your money's worth?  Currently there is a Groupon deal for the Arizona Science Center.  $55 for a 4 person membership!  $46.75 if you purchase today (see reason #6).  Here are a few things you may not have known about with a membership to the Arizona Science Center:

1 - A membership to the Arizona Science Center also gets you admission into 250 other science museums world wide, including Arizona's Lowell Observatory (for those making a fall or winter trip up north) and Tucson's International Wildlife Museum (my big cat lover would love the November 15th big cat up close and personal activity).  Marily used this perk when traveling to Texas last summer and was able to get entrance into a few Texas museums.  This site here has a list of other participating science centers and more information on the 90 mile rule.  As always, it is best to call a science center ahead of time to make sure your membership is accepted there as well.  But, it is nice to know that a local membership can save you money on future family vacations.

2 - Share your membership perks with friends.  The Arizona Science Center website states that with each membership you can name a maximum of two adults per membership and that, "The Science Center requires one of the named adults to be present each visit. That adult can bring any combination of adults and children that their 'Admit Number' allows."  Meaning, if my older kids are in school and therefore are not able to go to the museum with me, I can take my sister and her at home children with me to the museum to get in for free with my membership.   Or take your 4 person membership and go on a double date with friends.  Many options for sharing here.

3 - Members get reduced admission to the traveling exhibits, the planetarium, and IMAX.  Think paying $24 to see the newest exhibit is pricey?  Yep, me too.  But, with a membership, if you want to check out a featured exhibit the cost is $5.  The planetarium and IMAX are between $5 and $6 as well.

4 - We just made it through summer, but think about SUMMER!  It is hot in the summer.  Everyone is always asking us "what can I do?!"  Purchase a membership now at this discounted rate and it is good for a year.  The Arizona Science Center will keep you cool and entertained all. year. long.

5 - Purchase this Groupon as a gift.  The holidays are right around the corner.  I'm always trying to think of gifts that are useful, creative, and don't just add the the clutter of a home.  If you purchase the Groupon now, the membership does not need to be activated until January 1st, 2015.

6 - But Wait!  There's More.  (Do I sound like a QVC saleman yet?)  If you purchase today from Groupon, you can use the code local15 (must be purchase by 10/21/14) making the membership $46.75.

What if a four person membership is not large enough?

I verified this morning that you can add up to two children on your membership for $10 each.  I have a family of 7.  To remedy this I can purchase the $55 Groupon offer, add two more children for $10 more each, and then ages 2 and under (one of my 7 is a baby) get in free.

Last year my friend e-mailed me a link to a deal on a membership to the Arizona Science Center.  At the time life was crazy and I let the deal pass me by.  This last month my friend had extra guest passes so she invited us to tag along with her to the science center . It had been years since I last took my kiddos so we were all super excited to go.  Even just a few minutes into our explorations of the Arizona Science Center, I knew I shouldn't let another deal on a membership pass me up.  

So what do we think about the Arizona Science Center?

See for yourselves!
Bed of nails!


Interactive technology.

Workers who teach.

Each exhibit kept my kids engaged.  We stayed for several hours, but still felt like we had so much to explore.  There were demonstrations that we could have sat and watched.  We could have spent more time understanding the science behind some of the exhibits.  I'm a certified teacher, so my mind was spinning with lessons I could teach at home and then explore more at the museum.  For instance, there is the exhibit on the body.  I would love to teach more about the body at home so that when we return, the exhibits are much more relevant.

Basically this is an awesome deal, but even if you wait and pay full price, I'd say it is still worth it.

Buy the Groupon here.

text and images by Kathryn

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Phoenix Date Night Ideas - Something Special

Date night posts are back!

Today we have 8 ideas for when you are trying to find something special--whether you are looking for something for an anniversary or just want to have the perfect night with the perfect person. Here are our suggestions:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vertuccio Farms Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday everyone.  We were happy to see so many excited comments about Vertuccio Farms.  We know going to the farm has been a fun experience for our family.  We hope that even if you did not win, that you check out our farm post for deals and a coupon for $1 off admission.  So without further adieu:

Angela Kegerreis

Congratulations!  You won four tickets to Vertuccio Farms' Fall Festival.  Send us an e-mail at for more details.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 2014 Events

Looking for something to do this weekend? We have you covered. There are lots of fun events, including fall festivals, hiking ideas, farmers markets, and more included in our Fall Guide to Arizona

In addition, here are a few more events coming up this month for you. A couple of them are included in the Fall Guide, and others are not:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Giveaway: Fall Festival at Vertuccio Farms

We hope you have been enjoying our 2014 Fall Guide to Arizona.  If you have not had a chance to read through it, we hope you take the time and plan some fun adventures for this fall.  

Today we wanted to share a little more about one of the farms we wrote about in our guide:  Vertuccio Farms

I discovered Vertuccio Farms about 4 years ago when my oldest set of twins were in preschool.  I taught their preschool and wanted a fun way to celebrate fall.  I had heard about Vertuccio Farms and thought we would give it a try.  We loved it!  And each year it just gets better and better.  Last year my four girls didn't want to leave and we ended up staying longer than I had planned (as in way past bedtime...gasp), just because we were having so much fun. 

I wish I had pictures to capture all the fun, but I was too busy...having fun!

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