CITY NEWS

Pack your bags. American Airlines at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is adding an extra daily flight between Phoenix and Edmonton International Airport in Alberta, Canada. The extra flight is perfect for the snowbirds in need of some sunny Phoenix weather. It will offer two daily non-stops Dec. 15, 2017- April 2, 2018. 

Experience the streets of Downtown Phoenix with ease as the city works to make it more bikeable, walkable and livable. Some of these improvements include two-way bike lanes, lighting and ADA improvements and more. Peddling throughout Downtown Phoenix has also become easier thanks to the recent bike lanes project. In addition to connecting parks, neighborhoods and businesses, the bike lane project has lead to the development of bike groups that regularly meet up for social bike rides. Some of these biking groups include Phoenix Downtempo Ride, which meets every Monday at 7 p.m. in Civic Space Park, and Crescent Community Bike Ride, which meets every Thursday at Crescent Ballroom.

 

RESORT NEWS

Steeped in nearly 100 years of history, romance and elegance, Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix has been meticulously restored and revived after the conclusion of a $3.7 million renovation of the Mediterranean-style hideaway. The renovation touched all 119 guest rooms including the Presidential Suite; the Mother-of-Pearl swimming pool and lounge area; various event lawns; as well as landscaping and upkeep of close to 200 towering palms accenting the nine acres.

As the temperatures drop make your way to the fabulous FOUND:RE Phoenix and enjoy its December exhibit, Man + Man. The exhibit is the final component to artist Aileen Frick’s three-part series, and explores peoples’ interactions with public art and with nature. Man + Man is currently open and will be open to guests through January, and the gallery is open from 9 am. – 5 p.m. on weekdays. Check the availability at the front desk on weekends.

Whether guests are looking for a fun-filled weekend or a night on the town, The Wigwam offers festive celebrations, family entertainment and an authentic Southwestern experience. The Holiday Family Fun package at The Wigwam includes a one-night stay starting from $199 and includes in-room camping with a kid’s tee pee and s’mores kit, and an elf stocking delivery that includes a personalized letter from Santa, a magic holiday bell, stuffed animal and a sweet treat. Deliveries will be made daily to the room between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. The Holiday Family Fun package at The Wigwam is valid for stays between until Dec. 23, 2017 for two adults and one child ages 4 to 12. Guests of the Holiday Family Fun package will receive a discounted resort fee of $10 (normally $30.) Additional elf stocking deliveries to a child in the room is $20 per child. The Wigwam will also feature Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve dining experiences.

Downtown Phoenix is welcoming yet another fabulous hotel: AC Hotel by Marriot. The hotel is being developed by LaPour Partners, and will be 15 stories and have 200 rooms. It will be located at the Arizona Center, which is in the heart of all the hustle and bustle of the downtown area and features Starbucks, AMC Theatres and a variety of restaurants and shops that attract shoppers and diners.

After you see what Santa left under the tree, enjoy The Camby’s Christmas Brunch Buffet at the Artizen. Guests will be pleased with a selection of locally curated, holiday-inspired dishes created by Director of Culinary Experiences Dushyant Singh. The Christmas Day Buffet menu will be available from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and adults are priced $75 per person, and children ages 12 and under are priced at $25. Reservations are currently being accepted.

Sip on eggnog and hot chocolate will giving back to the community at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort’s Holiday Festival at The Falls. Guests will join the Phoenix Fire Department and benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank in their effort to alleviate hunger in Arizona. Guests will take delight in festive carols, treat stations, arts & crafts booths, and a photo opps with Santa Claus (be sure to bring your camera). Admission is just 5 non-perishable food items or $5 per person.

Ring in the New Year at the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center with a delicious New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Ahnala Mesquite Room. Guests will enjoy a four-course meal with a variety of options including Apple Wood Pineapple, Filet Mignon Wellington and a Lobster Tail and more. The New Year’s Eve Dinner includes one glass of wine per person and is available from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. It is priced at $99 per person.

It’s a season of thanks and a season to give at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. The resort is featuring two community focused programs taking place in Kitchen West and Bar Six40. Every Tuesday after 4 p.m. is First Responders Night, and all First Responders (with an official I.D.) will receive 15 percent off of their bill in Kitchen West and Bar 640. Every Thursday after 4 p.m. is Community Nights, and the resort will donate 5 percent of all restaurant and bar proceeds from sales every Thursday night to Children’s Cancer Network.

‘Tis the season of elegant cuisine, jovial dancing and tons of holiday spirit at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. For Christmas Day dinner, Sanctuary’s acclaimed elements restaurant will feature breathtaking views of Paradise Valley as well as an unforgettable four-course dinner by executive chef and Food Network Star Beau MacMillan.  It will be served from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. at $105 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For New Year’s Eve, guests can toast 2017 one last time with a sophisticated sit-down affair at elements, which will offer two seating times. The first seating takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and is priced at $150 per person. The second seating, which includes a complimentary Champagne toast, party favors and admission to the jade bar celebration takes place from 8 to 10:30 p.m. and is priced at $185 per person. Guests can also ring in the New Year at jade bar’s New Year’s Eve bash, complete with a dance floor and live music by DJ Hybrid that is sure to pack the dance floor. It takes place from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. and tables are available for purchase.

Jazz it up a little at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. The resort’s Tidings of Jazz & Joy concert will feature a variety of not-to-be-missed jazz artists performing holiday classics as well as their own hits. Acclaimed pianist Keiko Matsui and saxophonist Euge Grove, along with Lindsey Webster and “Debut Artist of the Year” Adam Hawley, will please guests with a night full of holiday classics, delightful atmosphere and phenomenal jazz. The concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10, and tickets are available for purchase.

The acclaimed Storytelling & Song program, now in its eleventh year, returns for the winter season at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. Storytelling & Song aims to protect and share the ancient cultures, traditions and meaningful history of the Pima and Maricopa People.  Enrolled members tell a combination of Pima and Maricopa legends based on desert wildlife, typically with a moral lesson, as well as personal stories about their experiences growing up on the surrounding Tribal lands. Traditional and social songs are also shared during the one-hour presentation that will take place from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. It is held at the resort’s outdoor fire pit and is complimentary to all resort and resort restaurant guests. The program will open with a ceremonial blessing on Dec. 7 and will continue until the closing blessing on Feb.  17.

Enjoy endless entertainment this holiday season at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa. From young indie/pop to progressive soul, the resort has entertainment sure to please a variety of music lovers. The Waiters, a progressive folk band, will perform Dec. 6, 13, 20 and 27. Nick Heward, contemporary acoustic & feels, will perform Dec. 19 and 24. Native American Dancing performing the “dance of life” will captivate guests on Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.  A variety of other not-to-be-missed artists will perform at the Hyatt Regency. Performance times vary.

Mountain Shadows is heating up the resort scene with its inaugural exhibit FLW 150: Image & Influence at The Gallery. The exhibit features Frank Lloyd Wright’s work through the lens of a variety of noteworthy artists. Paintings, sculptures and lithographs reflect each artists’ homage to the pioneering architect. Throughout the duration of the bold installation, art patrons and guests can toast with another tribute: The Frank Lloyd Wright Delight, a specialty cocktail. FLW 150: Image & Influence will be on display until Dec. 30.

Christmas at the Princess is the ideal way to celebrate the holiday season and create memories. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will transform into an enchanting winter wonderland with the Desert Ice Skating Rink, Enchanted Plaza Shows and much more. New this year, guests can build and adopt their own stuffed bear at Build-A-Bear Workshop right on the property. Bear adoptions start at $20. The young ones can enjoy a photo with Santa Claus every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Grab your loved ones – and your coat- and make your way to Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and enjoy s’mores, light shows, train rides, shopping and so much more. Christmas at the Princess is open through Dec. 31.

Kick off the New Year with a new approach to fitness and wellness at Boulders Resort. 12 Weeks to Wellness is a new fitness program that will be offered throughout 2018 and includes two fitness assessments with the spa’s certified fitness instructor; weekly sessions with the spa’s certified personal trainer; customized healthy eating programs by the spa’s certified nutritionist. The program also includes all fitness classes and 15 percent off meals at the Spa Café. 12 Weeks to Wellness is available for both resort guests and local residents.

 

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Take a stroll and view festive farm-inspired Christmas lights at The Farm at South Mountain. Christmas at The Farm features variety of fun activities for guests of all ages. The kiddos can take a photo with Santa at the photo booth, and bring your camera to take a photo. Guests can also purchase a kit to make a holiday ornament in the Christmas Craft Zone, sing along to Christmas tunes and enjoy in family-friendly lawn games. Come hungry because there will be plenty of food, hot chocolate, cider and while available for purchase at The Farm Kitchen. Christmas at The Farm will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Thursday, Dec. 21 from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. The Farm also offers a variety of fun holiday workshops including Holiday Succulent Wreaths on Dec. 10, Aromatherapy Holiday Gifts on Dec. 16 and more. Tickets for the classes are available for purchase.

It’s that time of year again. Join Clara on her wintery adventure battling rodents and charming the Sugar Plum Fairy in Ib Anderson’s The Nutcracker. The holiday favorite, hosted at the Phoenix Symphony Hall, returns for two weeks from Dec. 8 – 24. More than 150 of Ballet Arizona’s nationally-recognized dancers are accompanied by live music from the Phoenix Symphony at every performance. Tickets are available online and at the box office, starting at $25.

Explore the photographic revolution at the Phoenix Art Museum. The Logic of Copy: Four Decades of Photography in Print delves into the fusion of printmaking and photography that transformed the art world beginning in the 1960s.  It highlights the influence of artists as Robert Heinecken, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, James Turrell and Tacita Dean. On Dec. 6, exhibition curator Andrew Kensett will lead a tour of The Logic of Copy. The exhibit is open from Dec. 2- April 22.

The beloved Artlink Trolley Tour that runs on First Friday now offers a complimentary Third Friday Trolley Tour. Art lovers will have easy access to Phoenix’s art districts and destinations, as the Third Friday trolley will circulate between Roosevelt Row and the Historic Grand Avenue Arts Districts, and the downtown Phoenix core, with periodic stops along the route. It will operate on the third Friday of every month from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Kick off 2018 with Pueblo Grande Museum for a variety of not-to-be-missed activities. At the Behind the Scene Tour on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m., take an intimate tour of the lab, storage, and archival areas not open to the public, and see how museums process, organize, and care for their collections. Cost is $5; Space is limited, register at front desk in Museum Lobby. The Petroglyph Discover Hike on Saturday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., the whole family will enjoy short one mile Hohokam petroglyph discovery hike at South Mountain for an easy but also petroglyph rich hiking experience. Space is limited and registration is required by Jan. 18, 2018 cost is $5. At the Park of Four Waters Tour on Friday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m., take a walk through undeveloped, natural desert to the ruins of prehistoric Hohokam canal systems. Cost is $5; Space is limited, register at front desk in Museum Lobby.

Lace up your ice skates and enjoy CitySkate, the Valley’s largest outdoor holiday ice rink. Just like in years before, guests will be surrounded with holiday cheer, beautiful lights and cheerful ice skaters. But new this year, CitySkate is partnering with the Phoenix Art Museum to create an interactive art pop-up show at CityScape. The pop-up show will feature an installation by Saskia Jordá, dance, music and interactive activities. CitySkate is located at CityScape through Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018.

Calling all fans of action and adrenaline. Monster Jam is back for another exciting weekend event with even bigger trucks and more excitement. On Feb. 3 Monster Jam takes center stage in at the University of Phoenix Stadium, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered larger-than-life 12,000 pound trucks to the limit.   Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track. New in 2018 across all Monster Jam events, fans will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones.

Grab your mittens and scarves because the Arizona Science Center is bringing a winter wonderland, complete with over 60 tons of snow, to the Phoenix desert. The Arizona Science Center’s Snow Week 2017 is being sponsored by Subaru of America and is sure to fill guests with holiday spirit. It will be held in Heritage and Science Park, which will be a blanket of white and will act as the backdrop for seven days of frosty and scientific fun designed to inspire and engage curious minds. Guests of all ages are invited to play in the snow, participate in interactive science demonstrations by the Center’s highly-trained Blue Crew, and explore a unique onsite Subaru experience. This experience includes a vehicle display to showcase the innovation of Subaru, and of course, giveaways. It will take place Dec. 26 - Jan. 1, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day. Entry is included with general admission to the Science Center, $18 for adults, $13 for kids and free for members.

Swim on over to OdySea Aquarium and enjoy its variety of not-to-be-missed events. Every weekend throughout the month of December, guests can enjoy SeaTREK Santa swimming in the Living Sea Carousel, Penguin Parades at the South Pole, and a Hot Chocolate Bar for children and adults alike. From Dec. 21 – Jan. 6, OdySea welcomes guests with OdySea Chillfest, a premium ice skating area that offers ice skate rentals, daily family fun activities, and an array of special holiday events. Monday through Thursday, kids of all ages can skate with “holiday mascots” during the day, while evening entertainment includes the show-stopping Snowgirls Holiday Revue, a performance that got its start in Las Vegas and is filled with all the glamour spectators love about ice-skating — the glitz, sequins, theatrics, attitude and style. On Saturday mornings, ChillFest offers “Tips & Tricks” lessons with the pros, and other weekend events include Snow Blitz with falling snow and wintry special effects. ChillFest hosts, guests and entertainment include some of Scottsdale’s top figure skating and ice skating professionals.

Dance on over to Symphony Hall and enjoy a spectacular performance Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker. The Phoenix Symphony will put guests in the holiday spirit as it complements the performance with live music. Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker is a $1.8 million production was created in 2006 by Ballet Arizona Artistic Director Ib Andersen, and features the company’s 30 professional dancers, more than 100 youth performers, 100,000 Swarovski crystals, and 260 costumes created with 6,500 yards of tulle. The performances will take place Dec. 8-24 at Symphony Hall. Tickets are currently available for purchase.

Art and nature are intertwined during the enchanting return of MOMIX’s Opus Cactus. With only three performances from Jan. 12-13, Ballet Arizona and Desert Botanical Garden invite audiences on a dynamic journey where MOMIX’s dancers’ bodies become towering cacti and bring the landscape of the American Southwest to life through the illusionistic style of critically acclaimed Opus Cactus. Tickets start at $35. For more additional ticket information, visit balletaz.org or call 602-381-1096.

What better way to enjoy Phoenix’s fabulous winter weather than at the seventh annual Arizona Cocktail Week-End? From Feb. 17 – 19, shake up some fun at the festival’s new location in Downtown Phoenix. The 2018 Arizona Cocktail Week-End kicks off on Saturday, Feb.  17 with an all-new opening night party "The Cocktail Jam,” hosted at The Van Buren. The Cocktail Jam will pair trending spirit brands, amazingly crafted cocktails with live music to create a one of kind experience.  Then on Sunday, Feb. 18, it's the return of Top Bars, showcasing pop-up versions of renowned bars from across the globe, hosted at The Croft. Furthermore, top lounges, bars and restaurants across downtown will be hosting AZCW events, dinners and exclusive cocktail tastings. Participating venues include Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor, Blue Hound, Lustre Rooftop Bar, Chick Malo, Nook Kitchen, Arrogant Butcher and many other iconic downtown spots.

Join Phoenix New Times to celebrate everyone’s favorite street food – tacos. At Tacolandia on Jan. 27, 2018, guests can enjoy an endless selection of tacos from the Valley’s favorite taquerias. General admission is $25, and includes entry, unlimited taco samples, entertainment and access to the festival’s cash bars. For those wanting an extra memorable experience, a VIP ticket is available for $45. VIP ticketholders will have access to the private VIP entrance, VIP lounge and two drink vouchers. Tickets are available now. 

Explore the musical world of ancient China at the Musical Instrument Museum. The museum’s new exhibition showcases outstanding musical and archaeological treasures spanning 9,000 years of Chinese music and history displayed for the first time in the U.S. Tickets to the special exhibition may be purchased separately for $7 with general museum admission or $10 for the exhibition only.

Vroom, vroom. Calling all automotive enthusiasts.  Barrett-Jackson, The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions, will be in the Valley this January. Head to WestWorld of Scottsdale and gaze at stunning cars and chat with fellow car lovers. The show will take place Jan. 13 – Jan. 21, 2018.

 

SPA

It’s no secret that the holidays are a stressful time, but let Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia put you in a relaxing holiday spirit. Spa goers can enjoy peppermint body cream and foot treating with the Peppermint Treat For The Feet ($239-$269), a decadent facial with the Holiday Glow Facial ($159-$189) and a relaxing foot soak with the Anti-Fatigue Stone Pedicure ($89). Treat yourself this holiday season with Omni Scottsdale’s soothing spa specials.

Relax and recharge this holiday season VH Spa at Hotel Valley Ho with a variety of deals on soothing treatments. The Pro Script Peel is a rejuvenating facial that will leave your ski looking refreshed and radiant. It is priced at $80 (regular price $130). The Coffee Fig Pedicure is a luxurious treatment that features products from red flower, a Hammam ritual, and Morgan Taylor polish. It is priced at $50 (regular price $185). The Nature Signature Treatment will soothe and hydrate that pesky dry winter skin. It is priced at $135 (regular price $185).

 

DINING

Mowry and Cotton has an exciting announcement for fans of the restaurant’s delicious bites - it’s now open for brunch. Located inside The Phoenician, the newly-opened spot will be serving up a full-scale brunch menu from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, giving guests a morning or midday dose of Chef de Cuisine Tandy Peterson’s inventive, regionally inspired American dishes. Can’t decide on just one dish? Grab some adventurous friends and pull up a chair for the Porch, a community dining experience where guests can sample 10 ingredient-driven fan favorite dishes and house specialties. And because brunching and cocktailing are often synonymous, Mowry & Cotton has a solid lineup of drinks in store for brunch-time diners.

A modern American steakhouse with an expansive dinner menu and decadent desserts- what could be better? Lincoln, a JW Steakhouse located at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa boasts its boasting hand-cut Prime and Wagyu butcher’s steaks perfectly seared at 1200°  in the Valley’s only Josper Charcoal Oven, which is fired by extremely high-heat hardwood charcoal, creating a unique crust to lock in flavor and tenderness. With a brilliant culinary team, led by Executive Chef Paul Millist, who has twice won the Award of Culinary Excellence for the JW Brand, the synergy proved to be prophetic. The result is a menu offering a delectable and delightful range that will satisfy carnivores, vegans and foodies alike.

Wood-fired deliciousness and a menu that changes every day? The newly opened Pa’La features a small menu that offers tapas, flat breads, fish, rice and grains. The wood-fired dishes will have a flare of Mediterranean and South American flavors, and the fish will be sourced from Mexico and the West Coast and the produce from local providers.

 

SPORTS/GOLF

Take me out to the ball game- preferably an Arizona Diamondbacks game. The D-backs’ Cactus League Spring Training schedule will feature 19 home games and three road games at the award-winning salt River Fields at Talking stick and two exhibition games at Chase Field. The D-backs kick off their Cactus League season on Feb. 23 against the Colorado Rockies, and their first home game will be on Feb. 24 against the Cleveland Indians. Ticket prices vary. In addition to the upcoming Cactus League, the Arizona Diamondbacks were recently inducted into the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence for the fourth consecutive year.

Don’t miss out on “The Greatest Show on Grass”, also known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Watch your favorite golfers hit the links and get rowdy at the 16th hole Jan. 29 – Feb. 4 at TPC Scottsdale. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the most attended golf tournament around the world for a reason; check it out for yourself and see why this golf open is not to be missed.

Tee time, anyone? At the Troon North Golf Club at Four Seasons Scottsdale, golfers can enjoy exclusive access to 50 percent off club rentals and 15 percent off tee times, in addition to preferred tee times.  This offer must be booked at least eight days in advance, and discounted tee times must be booked with the Concierge at least eight days in advance.