Flights from Dallas Love Field to Phoenix will begins this month after the lifting of the Wright Amendment, which limited Dallas Love Field’s ability to operate long-haul flights outside of Texas. Now, travelers coming to Phoenix from Dallas will have more options and cheaper fares. Southwest added Phoenix as a nonstop destination, and United Airlines has plans to add additional flights out of Love Field.
Travelers from Canada will have more convenient options for escaping the cold winter with Porter Airlines’agreement with JetBlue. Porter can now send customers from downtown Toronto to Boston Logan Airport, where JetBlue takes passengers directly to Phoenix. The interline agreement allows passengers to seamlessly transfer between carriers and purchase tickets directly from Porter.
Arizona is set to host Super Bowl XLIX Feb. 1 and the 2015 Pro Bowl Jan. 25, and downtown Phoenix welcomes visitors as the host of Super Bowl Central and several other events ripe for the biggest football fans. Super Bowl Central will span 12 blocks in the heart of downtown Phoenix Jan. 28 through Feb. 1 and offer family-friendly entertainment with free admission. The event will feature live music and meet and greets with former NFL Players. Beer and wine gardens are available all day and fireworks displays finish off every night. The NFL Experience takes hold of the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix from Jan. 24 through Feb. 1. The interactive theme park offers games, displays, entertainment attractions, youth football clinics and autograph sessions. For more information on Super Bowl Events, check out the Visit Phoenix website.
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort will transform its Falls Water Village into a winter wonderland Dec. 11 for its annual Holiday Festival at the Falls. The event, which takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., benefits St. Mary’s Food Bank. Guests of all ages are invited to indulge in holiday sweets while strolling through cabanas featuring holiday-themed activities, treats and more. Children can tell Santa Claus their favorite wishes, decorate cookies, play putt-putt golf and make arts and crafts. The Phoenix Fire Department will offer a special meet-and-greet and fire truck showcase. Those attending the event are asked to bring two cans of food or a donation of $5 per person.
The Phoenician is launching a special program to invite its guests to learn about Phoenix from a mythical perspective. Every Friday and Saturday at sunset, guests gather on the Thirsty Camel patio to learn the tale of the Mayan Fire Spirit, which ancients believed could rise from the ashes and be born again. The creater, Zopilote Rey, soars high into the air and swoops down into the audience. The South American Vulture’s twilight return to The Phoenician symbolizes renewal, as prophesized in the story, bringing good fortune and well-being to all who witness him. After the complimentary performance, guests are allowed to take pictures of Rey and ask questions. They then can finish the evening with Thirsty Camel’s Classic is Cool offerings, which include hand-crafted drinks like the Phoenix Rising cocktail.
The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician is partnering with Forbes Travel Guide and Porsche Cars North America to provide guests with keys to a luxurious, best-in-class experience to guests Nov. 1 through Dec. 13. Guests will have the opportunity to test drive one of three 2014 Porsche models: Panamera S E-Hybrid, Cayenne GTS SUV or 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. Drivers can select from expert routes and signature itineraries that highlight the area’s best destinations on the two-hour journey. Guests can also take advantage of the Destination Drivespackage, which includes five-star accommodation, a round of golf, test drive reservations and a Porsche backpack.
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa offers up some bountiful Thanksgiving dining options this November, with guests invited to feast in multiple different settings. Enjoy the farm-to-table package where guests enjoy the luxury of a Thanksgiving meal without the hassle of actually preparing one. Families pick up a meal that serves 6-8 people for only $249. The resort provides all the reheating instructions, 18-pound turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, stuffing, green beans, tart cranberry relish and much more. The meal concludes with a choice from three different pies. For families looking to get out of the house, head over to the Ko’Sin restaurant for a traditional, four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving menu. The menu is available Thanksgiving Day from 12 to 8p.m.
The Wigwam offers numerous events this holiday season, starting with the resort’s 85th anniversary Nov. 28 and ending with the New Year’s Eve bash Dec. 31. Families and guests can choose from two different packages, the Holiday Lights and Ice Package, which offers free ice skating and s’mores kit, and the Tanger Shopping Package, which includes a $25 gift card to the Tanger Outlets, a coupon book and a $10 voucher to Wigwam Bar. The resort provides two different Thanksgiving dinner options from 12 to 7 p.m. in buffet or sit-down styles. A synthetic ice rink provides guests with a seasonal outdoor experience Nov. 28 through Jan. 3, and kids can visit with Santa and receive a special gift on select dates in November and December. An abundance of other holiday activities occur all throughout the holiday season, from cooking classes to a holiday parade.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess rolls out its “Christmas at the Princess” festival Nov. 20 – Jan. 4 with the resort’s transformation into a winter wonderland nestled in the desert. The hotel’s accents include a four-story musical tree, the Desert Ice Holiday Rink, Princess Express Train, 2 million lights and a holiday carousel. The tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 20 also signifies the opening of the skating rink and express train. The musical tree twinkles and dances to 12 holiday songs nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. A nativity garden light show comes to life each night starting at 5 p.m. and includes a light and music show about the story of Christmas.
The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch invites guests and Valley residents to celebrate Thanksgiving with a special buffet at SWB, a southwest bistro, on Thanksgiving Day. The buffet will serve up a variety of favorites, such as omelets, eggs Benedict, king crab legs, salmon, herb-roasted turkey and much more. Dessert selections include made-to-order bananas foster, tiramisu, various pies and chocolate dipped apple wedges. A special buffet is dedicated just for kids. The food will be served all day from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. An a la carte menu will be available from 6:30 to 10 a.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m.
Enjoy Thanksgiving at ZuZu’s inside Hotel Valley Ho this year and skip the long day of cooking. The restaurant will serve brunch from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the menu will feature smoked salmon frittata with brussels sprouts, carmelized onions, tomatoes, poached eggs and dill hollandaise. Guests can build their own drink at the Bloody Mary + Mimosa Bar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The regular dinner menu will be served from 3 to 9 p.m. Special items including butternut squash soup, slow roasted red bird farms turkey and pumpkin pie are served starting at 11 a.m.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is offering its Mi Casa Mi Chef package for those looking for an unforgettable foodie experience. Guests work hand-in-hand with acclaimed chefs from Sanctuary’s elements restaurant to create a personalized dining experience in one of the resort’s Mountainside Estates. The package starts with a trip to the local farmer’s market to choose the perfect ingredients for the meal that follows. After the party returns to the estate, guests can help prepare the meal with the chef or enjoy spa treatments and the home’s amenities. The chef and guests then enjoy the dinner with expertly paired wine and a picturesque sunset. The entire package includes double occupancy in a private Mountainside Estate, a 60-minute in-home spa treatment and the personalized dining experience.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain invites guests to skip the chaos of the holiday season and relax with its special packages. Starting Nov. 16, guests can take advantage of the Home for the Holidays package, which includes one of the spectacular homes with room for large families, festive decorations, a $250 resort credit and a seasonal welcome basket. The Holiday in Paradise (Valley) package offers guests 15 percent off rates starting Nov. 15 for those staying three nights or longer. On Thanksgiving Day, enjoy a holiday buffet in The Views ballroom or a four-course Thanksgiving dinner at elements.
Celebrate Thanksgiving at The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort with two different dining options. The signature Latilla restaurant will offer a gourmet, four course prix fixe dinner. Menu options include vanilla poached pear salad, candied sweet potatoes, cedar plank salmon and traditional pumpkin pie. Dinner is served from 2 to 8 p.m. and reservations are suggested. A three course specialty menu will also be available on Thanksgiving at the Grill Kitchen and Bar. The menu will feature festive, holiday items such as roasted crusted rack of lamb, cornbread stuffing and dark chocolate bread pudding.
ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT
Las Noches de las Luminarias lights up the Desert Botanical Garden with thousands of hand-lit paper lanterns that line the garden’s paths starting Nov. 28. For 16 nights, the Garden will illuminate from 8,000 luminaria bags and thousands of twinkling lights. Live entertainment will be provided from different groups, including local artists and handbell ensembles. Guests can enjoy a warm cup of cider or cocoa while strolling the garden’s expansive exhibits. Visitors can also choose from two different times, a new feature this year.
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo brings 3.8 million lights and 700 sparkling displays to transform the exhibits into the largest holiday lighting event in the Southwest. New this year are the showing of Polar Express in the zoo’s 4-D theater, extended hours and a meet and greet with Tortuga the Talking Galapagos Tortoise. ZooLights is available nightly from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. starting Nov. 24 and ending Jan. 11. Special features of the event include Jengo the Talking Giraffe, a Stingray Bay touch tank and wagon rides. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase every Friday and Saturday.
The Musical Instrument Museum brings drums from around the world to its exhibit Beyond the Beat: Drums of the World, which opens Nov. 15. The museum will present dozens of drums from Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States of all shapes, sizes and materials. Videos, photographs and other multimedia content will accompany the exhibit and highlight themes ranging from drum construction to performance techniques. A special benefit luncheon, Passport to Asia, on Nov. 13 will allow guests to preview the special exhibition and contribute to MIM’s efforts.
This winter, guests of Superbowl XLIX are invited to stop by the Pueblo Grande Museum for fun and educational programs focused on the history of games in Arizona. Different tours and lectures will be offered at the museum in late January. Join the curator for a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum to learn about the different attractions hidden from museum goers. Learn about prehistoric games by playing them or take a tour through the natural desert to view the prehistoric hohokam canal systems. Listen to a lecture about ancient ballcourts, which were stone features used in various rubber-ball games. Some programs are free and others are included with museum admission.
Three new exhibits come to the Phoenix Art Museum this November, bringing together multiple themes across different mediums. All that Glitters is Not Gold: Platinum Photography from the Center for Creative Photographyhighlights platinum prints, which are coveted for their luscious matte surface texture, range of tones and beautiful colors. Vanitas: Contemporary Reflections on Love and Death from the Collection of Stephane Janssen explores the visual representation of the sorrow and pain of loss. Stories of Europe presents artworks from the museum’s own collection of European works on paper. The museum will also host the West Select Exhibition and Sale on Nov. 14, which showcases diverse American West artwork by today’s leading artists.
The Phoenix Art Museum is bringing Moscow to Phoenix with the live-captured broadcast of The Bolshoi Balletstarting in November. The museum will show five ballets the company puts on in its 2014-2015. The first performance, The Legend of Love, will broadcast on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. The ballet tells the story of forbidden love, sacrifice, jealously and suffering. The museum will show a ballet each month, ending in May with Ivan the Terrible. Tickets start at $15 for students and members and $18 for non-members.
The Phoenix Art Museum brings Peter Hutton, an avant-garde filmmaker, to discuss his 2007 film At Sea. On Jan. 28, the film will be screened it its original 16mm format followed by a conversation and audience Q&A with Hutton. The film is known as the best avant-garde film of the decade and is a haunting meditation on human progress. Hutton first began as a painter, sculptor and student at the Hudson River School. His work has been featured in several international film festivals, and he was honored in a 2008 Museum of Modern Art retrospective. The event starts at 7 p.m. and costs $12 for general admission.
Arizona Opera brings Verdi’s Rigoletto to life Nov. 14-16 at Symphony Hall. With unforgettable arias that are synonymous with Italian Opera and a dramatic, twisting plot, Rigoletto features dark assassins, a philandering Duke and the self-sacrificing Gilda. Tickets start at just $25. Symphony Hall also hosts The Phoenix Symphony and its presentation of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, “New World Symphony” on Nov. 28 and 29. The program will also include Borodin’s Overture to Prince Igor and Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 1 in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, op. 10.
The Phoenix Symphony invites guests to take a ride on The Polar Express Nov. 30. A narrator and special guest will help the audience delve into the world for those who believe in the magic of Christmas. The symphony is joined by the Phoenix Girls Choir and guest vocalist Chris Carr of The Arizona Opera. Pre-concert activities include an Instrument Petting Zoo, coloring tickets and stringing sleigh bells. The show starts at 2:30 p.m. at Symphony Hall.
The Phoenix Symphony continues its Holiday Pops tradition with four concerts Dec. 5-7. The symphony is led by guest conductor Stuart Chafetz and joined by Tenor Mike Elderidge from the Desert Bells Bell Choir and the Phoenix Girls Chorus. The concert includes seasonal favorites and the popular holiday sing along. Night showings are available Dec. 5 and 6 with matinees on Dec. 6 and 7.
Ring in New Year’s with The Phoenix Symphony with the popular New Year’s Eve Celebration. Guests can choose from the newly added 4 p.m. performance or the 7:30 p.m. showing. Audience members will enjoy a variety of music from the Strauss waltzes to contemporary favorites like Simon and Garfunkel. The showings are expected to sell out, so it is recommended to reserve tickets early. Champaign will be served for guests during admission, and the evening concludes with a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.”
The Arizona Science Center opened the new exhibition, National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers, this fall. The exhibit teaches about different eco-zones and allows guests to follow explorers to the end of the earth by coming face-to-face with a polar bear and climbing to the top of a rain forest tree canopy. MAKE IT Weekendswrap up in November. These free workshops allow guests to create different crafts or electronics every weekend. On Veterans Day, prepare for a zombie invasion with Zombie MD, which explores the biology of fear and the spread of viruses and disease.
Barrett-Jackson and Phoenix International Raceway bring together cars and music in the inaugural Sound of Speed, a concert and street festival benefitting the Phoenix Symphony. The Pit Road Street Festival will showcase nearly 30 famous cars including the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Paul Walker in “2 Fast 2 Furious” and the Dodge Charger driven and made famous by Dukes of Hazzard and owned by pro-golfer Bubba Watson. The festival will take place Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. with a special concert by The Phoenix Symphony at 7:30 p.m. that features the world premiere of The Sound of Speed Overture.
Butterfly Wonderland welcomes veterans with special offers all day long on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. All veterans with proper identification will receive free admission into the wonderland and can enjoy the 3-D theatre, Chrysalis Emergence Gallery and Rainforest Conservatory where 2,000 to 3,000 thousand butterflies from around the world fly freely. Continuing their indoor experience and learning more about nature’s wonders is the Live Ant Colony with 360-degree viewing to follow the ants to different environments.
Outlets at Anthem will light the national’s tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree, which stands at 115 feet, on Nov. 16 in a free gala. The event will include a variety of entertainment from 5:30 to 9 p.m. including live music from pop singing duo Megan and Liz. When fully-decorated, the white fir from northern California tops out at 115 feet, standing taller than an NBA basketball court and at twice the size of the iconic Hollywood sign. It is decorated with three miles of LED lights, more than 6,000 ornaments and bows and a three-foot-tall copper star hand-wrought by Outlets at Anthem staff. A VIP package for the event is available for those wanting to meet the entertaining and participate in a private party.
The award-winning Litchfield Park Festival of Arts, now in its 44th year, rates as one of the oldest and most popular festivals in the Southwest. For two glorious days this historic resort community is transformed into a vibrant street scene filled with colorful art, lively music and irresistible aromas. The festival features over 250 fine artists and craftsmen exhibiting a wide selection of original arts and crafts, ranging from functional to decorative, and contemporary to Native American.
Every week at The Vig Fillmore, a different style of beer will be celebrated, leading up to the first ever NovemBEER Festival on Nov. 22 at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix. At the festival, attendees can expect nearly 50 breweries serving more than 100 beer options, including the debut of six brews from new distributor AZ Beer & Cider, brews from Hensley Beverage Company, and Crescent Crown Distributing. The festival will also showcase a variety of food vendors including The Monastery, Burgers Amore, Buzz N Beez and more.
Local restaurant developer Tucker Woodbury will introduce a new bar and restaurant in north Phoenix this November called the Linger Longer Lounge. The new concept is similar to Woodbury’s speakeasy-style bar The Little Woody, which is located near the Arcadia district. The new restaurant will offer a game room, bar room and outdoor patio. It will serve up 16 craft beers and four cocktails on tap with a large, diverse menu.
Second Story Liquor Bar has created a fun, creative, easy going atmosphere to learn about whiskey in all expressions. On November 19th, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. get ready for a trip to Ireland with the bar’sWhiskey Wednesday class, Erin Go Braugh. Get to know all of the information that an informed whiskey enthusiast would need to approach the glory of Irish whiskey. The history and basic criteria of whiskey from the green isle is where this class will start. The tasting and palate notes will be the next stop, along with some savory foods to help wet the palate. The class will finish with a group discussion of brands, styles and the future of Irish whiskey in the 21st century.
Ko’Sin at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa recently completed a $400,000 renovation and introduces three new menus. Highlights of the upgrade include a mosaic wall mural comprised of more than 170,000 hand-placed tiles, new custom flooring, state-of-the-art kitchen equipment and new lounge. The new menus were inspired by a collaborative effort by Ko’Sin chefs, who drew from their personalities and experiences in the kitchen to craft some of the best comfort fare. Highlights of the menu include bacon wrapped buffalo meatloaf and grilled pancakes with mesquite infused syrup.
One estate winery is giving Valley imbibers yet another reason to clink glasses with the Lawrence Dunham Vineyards Wine Gallery tasting room and shop set to open Nov. 1. Since their first harvest in the heart of Arizona wine country in 2009, winemaker, grower and co-owner Curt Dunham and co-owner Peggy Fiandaca have perfected their craft earning high marks from Wine Spectator and continuous praise from local and national aficionados alike. The wine gallery will accommodate up to 50 patrons and experience a gallery of local art and secluded patio.
Aji Spa at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort announces its new appointment of Sara Howard as Spa Director. She brings more than 14 years of experience in luxury spas and has previously held management positions at multiple high-end Arizona spas. Howard earned a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education and a Masters in Counseling Human Relations. At Aji Spa, she will oversee all aspects of operations and recruit and develop staff.
Pep up with the Pre-Party Facial at Agave, The Arizona Spa at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. The spa unveils the Arctic Berry Sparkling Facial just in time for the holiday party season. The treatment has peptides paired with a NuFACE micro-current promise to reveal healthy, radiant and youthful-looking skin. The treatment uses Arctic Berry products by Eminence, which are all-organic and derived from bitter almond, sugar, grains and hibiscus flowers. The 50-minute facial is available Nov. 1 through Jan. 1.
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is launching a new Sleepytime Services menu this fall. The menu features a body treatment and facial designed to promote rest, relaxation and results. The Nighttime Repair Facial harnesses the anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties of gold that helps resurface wrinkles, repair and strengthen skin. The Dream Weaver Massage begins with guided relaxation and continues with a massage using long strokes that help pull energy from the body. Each treatment includes takeaway gifts and samples to continue the treatments at home.
The Diamondbacks Baseball Academy is offering elite player development hitting program for children ages 8-18 each week November through December. The program offers 60-minute sessions in the Diamondbacks batting cages and personalized hitting instruction from Diamondbacks staff members. Staffers include assisting hitting coach Mark Grace, minor league hitting coordinator Chris Cron and Arizona League manager Luis Urieta. The sessions are offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4-8 p.m. and can be purchased in different increments of sessions.
The NASCAR Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 will take place Sunday, Nov. 9 at Phoenix International Raceway and is the semi-final race of the Sprint for the Cup. The race is the main event of four days of racing action at PIR. Practices, qualifying and races start Thursday, Nov. 6 and go through Sunday, all available to the public. Tickets start at $35 for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.
Arizona became the 31st state to legalize gay marriage. County clerks across the state started issuing marriage licenses to couples Oct. 17 after a federal judge ruled Arizona’s ban unconstitutional. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced he would not appeal the decision, and gay couples were allowed to legally wed. Officials in Maricopa County, where most Greater Phoenix cities are located, estimated the county issued nearly double the daily average of marriage licenses. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton handed out slices of banana butter cream cake to newlyweds that were married in his conference room.
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