America’s Friendliest Airport® just became friendlier and more efficient.  On December 5, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and members of the Phoenix City Council rolled back temporary construction walls to officially open the first phase of the newly modernized Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.  The updated terminal offers spectacular views, an abundance of natural lighting and a more efficient travel experience for visitors to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with the addition of a larger, consolidated security checkpoint and new ticket counters. Over the past year, Terminal 3 has undergone a dramatic transformation.  Originally opened in 1979, the terminal has been updated to reflect Arizona’s hospitality feel with modern finishes, lots of light, and an overall more inviting travel experience with impressive views of the Phoenix landscape and downtown city skyline.  For example, one new feature is a West Plaza which provides an outdoor area with native Arizona plants and an animal relief area.

The first Poet Laureate for the City of Phoenix has been announced.  Rosemarie Dombrowski will serve as the first Poet Laureate for the City of Phoenix.  Supported by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and the Phoenix Public Library, Ms. Dombrowski will begin a two-year term beginning January 2017. Rosemarie Dombrowski is a highly respected arts and culture leader on the ASU Downtown Campus and in the Phoenix community.  She is a senior lecturer of English composition, creative writing, and literature on the ASU Downtown Campus and co-founder and editor of the undergraduate writing journal.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will begin offering direct flights to London, England in 2017. About 120 people travel from Phoenix to London as their final destination every day, about 80 of whom are on the British Airways nonstop flight. During the months of May and June, three days per week, a second British Airways flight to London will arrive at 12:25 in the afternoon and take off at about 2:35 pm, providing travelers with perfect connection times in London, so they may easily reach other cities around the world.


Enjoy some high-flying fun at the Phoenician with I. Fly Trapeze classes.  Under the guidance of I.FLY instructors, participants will learn timing and techniques for swinging, locking their legs on a bar and completing the celebrated wrist-to-wrist catch.  Each session is offered to individuals 4 years of age and older.  This adventure is available Tuesday-Sunday through April 30.

Enjoy "Another Day in Paradise" with a three-night stay at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort and get the 4th night free. Plan your next visit to paradise and relax by the pool. Pamper yourself with a treatment or salon service at the spa and salon. And, for something a little more physical, guests have access to a fully-equipped fitness centre too. Kids and adults alike love the Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch, complete with four acres of pools, lazy river, waterslide, miniature golf, and four tennis courts. Several dining options are available right here at the resort. And, with all-suite accommodations, guests can spread out and stay a while.

Get “Crafted at Westin”. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will offer a special “Crafted at Westin” menu at the Resort’s lobby bar, The Rim. This special menu will be offered during the 6th Annual Arizona Cocktail Week from Feb. 17- 24. During Arizona Cocktail Week guests will be able to savor The Rim’s most popular crafted cocktails, Basil Martini, Cucumber Basil Gimlet and Pomegranate Green Tea, all specially priced at $10 with part of the proceeds benefiting the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation in Phoenix.

60 Years as a mid-century modern icon. In celebration of this significant milestone, the Hotel Valley Ho is offering the 60th Anniversary Special from now through the end of 2017. It includes 10 percent off a room, two welcome drinks, $10 in hotel bucks nightly, an evening arrival amenity, and a $10 room upgrade upon arrival (based on availability). Rates vary based on dates of stay. Additionally, every day the special is available, one lucky guest will be upgraded to a suite and enjoy two welcome drinks with the Upgrade A Day promotion. ZuZu will be offering the 60th Anniversary Dinner Special throughout December. Guests can enjoy dinner for two for $60, plus tax and gratuity. This includes one starter or a bottle of house wine to share, two entrees, and one dessert to share, all selected from a special menu.

Happy 30th Birthday Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Opened in December 1986, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa brought a number of ‘firsts’ to the Valley of the Sun including: A 2.5-acre water extravaganza complete with 10 pools, a sand beach, 3-story waterslide, a 160’ aqueduct crossing over 6 pools, the “Big Gun” thunderfall; an open-air lobby that brings the natural beauty and romance of our Sonoran southwest into the resort; live nightly entertainment has been a signature of the resort for 365 evenings a year for 30 years or 10,950 nights continuously; Spa Avania is one of the world’s first resort spas and the first in the Valley of the Sun to choreograph all details of the spa experience to the science of time and the body’s internal daily time clock. It provides a holistic, total-immersion spa experience based on the elements deemed most essential to the body’s changing daily rhythms; The Native American Learning Center, a collaborative venture between native artists, educators and the resort, was designed to provide an environment that educates resort guests and visitors on native history, culture and teachings; and often referred to as the “Venice of the West,” the resort officially christened and launched “Maria”, “Bella Angelina,” “Paolo,” and “Christina,” four Venetian gondolas that made their way from Italy via Venice’s Grand Canal, Greece, across the Atlantic, through the Caribbean and Panama Canal, up the coast of South America to Mexico, arriving in the port of Long Beach, California and finally, concluding their journey via truck to Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa, a trip totaling 7,000 miles. Another signature of the resort, visitors can enjoy nightly cruises along the resort’s waterways as they are serenaded by a singing gondolier.

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will reward Spring Training enthusiasts/fans with discounts offered throughout the Resort. When guests show their Cactus League game ticket stub they will receive a 20 percent discount on lunch or dinner at any of the Resort’s four restaurants: deseo, Brittlebush Bar & Grill, Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Cafe and Waltz & Weiser Whiskey Bar and Cantina. In addition, guests can enjoy a 15 percent discount on spa treatments at Agave, The Arizona Spa and 15 percent discount on regularly priced shoes and apparel at The Westin Kierland Golf Club.  Conveniently situated with easy access to the city’s Loop 101 Freeway, which provides a quick route to nearly all of the area’s Cactus League ballparks, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, is an ideal location to relax before and after catching a Cactus League Spring Training game.

Hotel Valley Ho welcomes new executive chef. Russell LaCasce who will lead all culinary operations. LaCasce joins the team after serving as the executive sous chef at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, and began his new role at Hotel Valley Ho on January 2, 2017. LaCasce began his culinary career in Charleston, South Carolina as a dishwasher, and quickly found a passion for food and a love for the kitchen. He then spent time learning the service side of restaurants in Park City, Utah, before moving to the Valley in 2006. He has worked closely with legendary chefs such as Chef Lee Hillson (formerly of T.Cook’s) and Beau MacMillian (chef and star of Food Network).


A new tour company launches in downtown Phoenix. Phoenix Rising Tours is now selling tickets for their new tours being offered. Hop aboard and enjoy seeing the many sights that make downtown great. Featuring a History & Culture Trolley Tour, Art & Mural Bike Tour and Coffee Crawl Walking Tour. Tours rotate every Saturday of the month.

New taco festival coming to Phoenix in January. Tacolandia arrives in downtown taking place on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Featuring taco samples from 30 of the Valley’s top taquerias.  The event is sponsored by Phoenix New Times. Tickets are starting at $25 for entry into the event, unlimited taco samples, live entertainment, and access to cash bar.

Crafted cocktails, yes please. Arizona Cocktail Week is a week-long celebration of the craft of the cocktail that includes everything from parties, spirit tastings, and educational seminars, to cocktail competitions, drinks specials and dinners. The vast majority of the main events take place at the Hotel Valley Ho, and in the general vicinity of the hotel. Events are also planned at various locations in downtown Phoenix. Restaurant activations are planned throughout the week in the Phoenix Metro area. Arizona Cocktail Week’s opening event, The Cocktail Carnival, is on Friday, Feb. 17 and the preeminent festivities continue through Monday, February 20. The remainder of the week, Feb. 21-14, is filled with an assortment of special events. See the website for details.

The Western Region’s premier food truck event Street Eats at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, returns with a new date, Feb. 11 and 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., for a weekend packed with more than 70 food trucks dishing out everything from comfort classics to gourmet grabs. Plus, festival goers get more bang for their buck with this year’s ticket that includes admission to UnCommon Markets, a showcase of goods handcrafted by regional artists and artisans. UnCommon Markets highlights a vast array of artists and goods; from art that benefits social change to upcycled home furnishings, serving as an ideal source of custom goods, perfect for those on the list who have everything. The monthly market joins the Street Eats footprint and adds to the weekend of festival fun.

Every dog has his day even at the Desert Botanical Garden. Dog’s Day in the Garden takes place January 28, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take advantage of this special opportunity to bring the whole family, dogs included, to the Garden. Go for a walk on the trails, meet other dog lovers, and heel for photo opportunities. Learn about local dog-related nonprofits, shop and enjoy samples with your pup, and experience hands-on, canine-themed activities. Proceeds from canine admission fee benefit the Arizona Humane Society. Garden admission includes: all ages craft activity, samples of dog treats, special presentations from behavioral solutions to local activities for you and your dog, dog yoga, before you enter the Garden, visit the Arizona Humane Society Waggin’ Wheels Mobile Adoption Vehicle near the Garden Entry.

A romance that’s sure to set your heart astir, the most famous love story of all time is performed at Ballet Arizona with the Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall just in time for Valentine’s Day. Set in 16th century Verona, Romeo & Juliet chronicles Shakespeare’s tale of two passionate teenagers from great families on opposing sides of a bitter feud. With its sweepingly regal ballroom scenes, vivacious swordplay and poignant pas de deux, Ib Andersen’s production is a feast for the eyes and ears. Feb. 9-12. Tickets are on sale now.

Looking to learn more about the culture and history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas? The Heard Museum attracts visitors from all over the world to discover the more than 40,000 fine artworks and cultural artifacts as well as the 12 long-term and always evolving exhibit galleries. As part of its commitment to continuing education, the Heard Museum Guild presents in January a short course focusing on the Native People in the Southwest. the aim of the courses is to enhance one’s respect for Native peoples and to develop an appreciation of their art and culture. This month’s short course will focus on the culture and contributions of the many tribes of the American Southwest. The course is open to the public and is offered from 9 a.m. to noon on the following Saturdays: Jan. 14, 21 and 28.

The "Greatest Show on Grass" returns to the Valley. Annually sporting the largest crowds on the PGA Tour, the Waste Management Phoenix Open has gained legendary status on Tour for being unlike any other golf tournament. It starts with the unbelievable golf played by the likes of Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, and Keegan Bradley on the beautiful TPC Scottsdale and ends with the biggest galleries on Tour. If you are visiting for the first time, hole 16 is a must-see. With stadium seating and crowds exceeding 16,000, it makes the fan experience at this hole more comparable to a Phoenix Suns game than a traditional PGA Tournament. Visit their website for more information including a list of events and concerts throughout the week. Events are daily from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5.

Thousands of fruit trees are set to arrive in the valley this month and they are ripe for picking! The Urban Farm is opening its pop-up nursery events as part of its annual Fruit Tree Program. Shoppers can choose from an incredible selection of deciduous (apples, peaches, apricots, plums, figs, berries) and citrus such as lemons, limes or blood oranges. Tropical fruit trees will also be available such as guavas, Barbados cherries and—new this year—Arizona avocado trees! Owner Greg Peterson will answer questions throughout the day and offer tips on how to plant and nurture new trees. Prices of fruit trees, berries and grapes begin at just $10. The deciduous tree nurseries are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 13 through 28. The deciduous, citrus and tropical tree nurseries will open on February 17 to 18 and 24 to 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Japanese Culture Club of Arizona and the Phoenix Art Museum Asian Arts Council are excited to celebrate Japanese culture at the Japanese Cultural Festival. The Arizona Opera will host this event for the community to celebrate the culture and heritage of this island nation. Events include a traditional tea ceremony demonstration, taiko drumming, the meditative arts of origami, calligraphy and ikebana flower arranging and will conclude with a performance of traditional Japanese dance. The Japanese Cultural Festival is presented in collaboration with the Japanese Culture Club of Arizona and the Phoenix Art Museum Asian Arts Council.  

Arizona Opera kicks off the New Year with Puccini's masterpiece, Madama Butterfly, taking place in Phoenix at the Symphony Hall. With tender duets and the most breathtaking arias of all-time, Madama Butterfly encompasses a lifetime of hope and anticipation, betrayal and despair. Set in the idyllic village of Nagasaki, Japan, an innocent geisha's love for an American naval officer leads to the ultimate heartbreak and tragedy. Tickets for February 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. and February 5 at 2 p.m. are now on sale and start at $30.

Say Namasteeee: Goat Yoga is available at Arigtopia. Arizona Goat Yoga connects yogis with their inner farm girl or boy. Whether you are in warrior pose, downward dog or simply meditating, these lovable goats help motivate and challenge you to be your best. During the guided yoga class, these gentle, sweet, and loving animals roam the fields and are placed by the instructor on guests that are in specific poses. Class attendees have described goat yoga as therapeutic and effective in relieving their daily stresses of life.

Russo and Steele speeds into the Valley. It’s time to rev your engines. Arizona Car Week returns this January and Russo and Steele is at the center of the action. The car event celebrates year 17 with a brand new space at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. From January 18-22, watch as more than 800 cars cross the block. See why they are known as “The World’s Most Exciting Collector Automobile Auction”. Bidder registration is just $200 and includes admission for all 5 days of Auction in the Round action for the bidder and one lucky guest.

For nearly four decades, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company has been recognized throughout the world for offering only the finest selection of quality collector vehicles, outstanding professional service, and an unrivaled sales success. From classic and one-of-a-kind vehicles to exotics and muscle cars, Barrett-Jackson attracts only the best. The World’s Greatest Collector Car Events have captured the true essence of a passionate obsession with cars that extends to collectors and enthusiasts throughout the world. In addition to the amazing vehicles, attendees enjoy a lifestyle experience featuring fine art, fashion, and gourmet cuisine. Dates: Jan. 14- 22.

Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary at Tempe Center for the Arts, the 2017 Breaking Ground Festival will be held Jan. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.  The 2017 Breaking Ground Festival features top artists in contemporary dance, selected by a juried panel to perform. The Festival will also feature the popular "tiny dances," - short 5 minute pieces performed on 4 x 4 ft stages.  Ten Arizona companies will perform the "tiny dances" in the lobby and on the True North patio of the Tempe Center for the Arts during intermission.


For those simply seeking a luxurious treat for their special someone, Agave Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is offering its limited-time Roses and Chocolate Facial, which features all-organic ingredients by Éminence. The facial treats guests to Éminence’s luxurious line of Sweet Red Rose products including its hydrating cleansing milk, its soothing whip moisturizer, which is created using real sweet red rose petals, and the Éminence Sweet Red Rose Treatment, which revitalizes skin tone and vitality using red rose petals, lemon and honey. Adding even more decadence to the facial is the Éminence Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque, proving a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich cocoa, as well as macadamia, almond and jojoba oils to leave skin looking smooth and refreshed. The Roses and Chocolate Facial, is priced from $149 excluding tax and gratuity, is available from February 1.

Experience a Sonoran winter in Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Visit Spa Avania for a winter spa treatment. With this special offer, you will truly feel the sense of the festive winter season. Take the time now to enjoy and unwind, recharging your body and mind for the holidays with either a Peppermint Pedicure ($85 for 60-minutes) and/or Peppermint Manicure ($65 for 45-minutes). Featuring an invigorating combination of mint and coffee will surely leave your soles super refreshed. Enjoy the sweet smell of Candy Can Champagne Soak as it nourishes and softens your skin. The caramel coffee scrub, containing caffeine and Aracbica bean extract, exfoliates rough, dry skin, while fighting wrinkles and free-radical damage. Add a massage with the antioxidant-rich Red Hot Sparkling Oil and you've got the perfect treat for your feet. This is best enjoyed when you need a wintry wake-up call or perhaps a flawlessly fresh feet mood refresh.

Grown at the base of the San Tan Mountains, Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona’s only family-owned and operated working olive mill and farm where olives are grown and pressed for the production of high quality olive oil products. Expanding their product line beyond extra virgin olive oils, stuffed olives and tapenades, the mill’s OliveSpa line now offers home and body care items made from olive oil. Skincare products made from olive oil are known for their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties. The OliveSpa products line offers exfoliating scrubs, foot balms, hand salves, lip balms, body butters, laundry detergent, mens shaving foam and bar soaps.


The latest creation of Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva has landed a spot on the OpenTable's "100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016." Chef Silvana has been nominated for the James Beard Award four times for her original restaurant the Barrio Café.

The Arcadia neighborhood experienced a re-birth of Latin cuisine when CRUjiente Tacos is now open. The anticipated modern taqueria takes a creative spin on street tacos. Creatively-articulated, each hand-held delicacy contains fresh, high-quality ingredients, bold flavors, and more style, texture and variety than traditional street tacos. CRUjiente Tacos’ full-service menu features “antojitos” including soulful guacamoles, aguachiles, ceviches, seasonal soups, salads, and a juxtaposition of crunchy and soft street tacos. The restaurant located at 40th Street and Camelback Road is open 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, and closed on Sunday.

Want to receive cooking lessons from the highly acclaimed Chef Michael Rusconi? Rusconi will instruct the preparation of signature dishes at the Sonoran Winter Harvest Luncheon and Cooking Class. Rusconi is cooking fresh seasonal recipes that are sure to satisfy any foodie’s cravings. The dishes include: butternut squash soup, Pan roasted chicken with green chile mac and cheese, and Cranberry and White Chocolate Crème Brûlée. The class is on Saturday, January 28 from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. at Rusconi's American Kitchen. The package, which includes instruction, recipes and a 3-course lunch, is $65 per person. Wine pairings with lunch is available for a $12 supplement. Reserve your spot today.

Sam Fox, the mastermind behind Fox Restaurant Concepts, which has developed concepts such as The Henry, Flower Child and North Italia, among others, has announced plans to open Culinary Dropout at The Yard in downtown Gilbert. The 25,000-square-foot space, which is Fox's biggest development yet, will open off Gilbert Road, adjacent to the Powerline Trail in the Heritage District — directly across from Heritage Marketplace, a popular restaurant development. FRC and development partner Common Bond Development obtained the rights to the land from the town of Gilbert, and is slated to open in Fall 2018.

Whistling Pigs, Fancy Pineapples & Daily Daiquiris. Market Street Kitchen (MSK) unveils innovative new cocktail menu. MSK is rolling out its new winter cocktail menu featuring 20 handcrafted cocktails, all made with unique ingredients and innovative recipes, including a premium Rye Whiskey from Vermont. The menu features a cocktail that fit everyone's taste including casual sippers to adventurous craft cocktail aficionados. No wonder why Market Street Kitchen was finalist for the 2016 Foodist Award for its Premium Cocktail Program. Offered daily, MSK's new cocktail menu was created by MSK's Beverage Director, Garrit Guthrie, to showcase exciting new spirits and twists on classic cocktails such as the Chai-Tai, a chai tea-spiked version of a Mai Tai made with both Plantation's Old Fashioned Traditional Dark Overproof Rum (a 138-proof blend of rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados), and Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple Rum (a modern version of this centuries old distilling technique where both fresh pineapple and its aromatic rind are added to the rum to give it a subtle sweetness).


Interested in learning how the pros play golf? The Westin Kierland Golf Club will host the 2017 Women’s Golf Expo, an event designed to showcase what’s new in women’s golf, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2017, which Mayor Jim Lane has officially proclaimed as “Women’s Golf Day”. Open to the public, the event will include golf clinics taught by Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Central Section members, a marketplace of vendors offering golf products for women, drawings for prizes, lunch specials at the Brittlebush Bar & Grill, and special rates on greens fees for participants.Tickets for the 2017 Women’s Golf Expo are $25 per person in advance or $40 at the door. Proceeds from the event will benefit LPGA USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix, a non-profit program of the Junior Golf Association of Arizona, which organizes a variety of golf events throughout the year to create a network for girls to learn to play golf and build friendships.