CITY NEWS

The Arizona Cardinals have awarded naming rights for the University of Phoenix Stadium to State Farm insurance company. As a result of the 18-year agreement, the venue will be known as State Farm Stadium. The partnership will also focus on community programs to bring about a positive impact across Arizona.  The stadium recently completed $28 million in renovations to their club level earlier this year and was recently selected to host Super Bowl LVII in 2023 and the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball finals in 2024.

The 2018 Cactus League season generated $373 million for Arizona's GDP, according to a study by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. The study found that the Cactus League created 6,439 annual jobs paying $224.6 million in 2018. Spring training also directly generated a total of $31.9 million in taxes for the state ($24.2 million) and local governments ($7.7 million).

 

RESORT NEWS

FOUND:RE Phoenix is celebrating Halloween with the spookiest celebration in downtown Phoenix. On Oct. 27 at 6:00 p.m., guests and locals alike are invited to don their scariest costume and take part in a frightful evening with zombies taking over the boutique art hotel.

The Scott Resort & Spa completed the second phase of its $15 million reinvention, featuring a complete facelift of all guest rooms and suites. Room upgrades include case goods, furniture, redesigned bathrooms, an all-new presidential suite and four new one-bedroom suites. The second phase follows the recent renovations of the resort’s public spaces, lobby, lobby bar and restaurant.

The all-new AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Biltmore is opening Oct. 3 in the heart of Phoenix. The hotel blends “European soul” with sophisticated style to provide guests with a unique perspective and stay here in the Valley of the Sun. AC Hotel Biltmore offers comfortable rooms, fresh European-influenced breakfast including signature French croissants and artisan-cured meats, a hip social lounge, complimentary Wi-Fi and more.

Kick off your weekend with a happy hour like no other at Arizona Biltmore’s Happy Hour History Tours. While enjoying refreshing libations, the resort’s Historians will then share highlights of this Arizona landmark’s storied past since opening in 1929 involving celebrities, worldly dignitaries and U.S. Presidents. It is priced at $20 and includes two cocktails and a 45-minute tour, and it takes place every Friday at 6 p.m.

The Moxy Phoenix Tempe Hotel is introducing its new schedule. The programs will take place in the plug-and-play Moxy living rooms, which serve as the social hub of the hotel, offering communal tables and flexible seating along with a bevy of game tables. Some happenings will take place at the lively pool area - replete with private, shaded cabanas - and, the bar, which is the center of attention at Moxy Tempe, acting as the check-in counter while also serving up cocktails, well-sourced wines and local beers, grab-and-go bites and handcrafted coffee at all hours. Beyond the programming, Insta-worthy experiences abound through innovative hotel features from the Moxy Digital Guestbook to a one-of-a-kind vending machine, offering a playful coterie of items including selfie sticks, fidget spinners and Kylie lip gloss. Activities include themed movie Mondays featuring $7 drink specials, Taco Tuesdays from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. with $5 margaritas and all-you-can-eat chips and salsa, Wednesday’s Live & Local showcasing the area’s emerging talent, Blacklight Bingo on Thursdays from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m., Karaoke on Fridays from 7 p.m. -10 p.m., Saturday Game Days and Sunday Funday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Looking for a little bit of paradise? Then look no further than the JW Marriott Camelback Inn. The resort’s new Paradise Ballroom features breathtaking décor and a welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect place to host an event. 

Enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving buffet and resort activities at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa. Experience a Thanksgiving buffet with a variety of holiday favorites including herb-roasted turkey, brown sugar Virginia ham, prime rib, Alaskan crab legs, shrimp, chocolate-dipped apple wedges, pumpkin pies, and more, served from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Parents can relax while the kids enjoy decorating cupcakes at the kid’s table. The cost is $95 for adults, $105 including champagne, $47 for children ages 6-12, and is complementary for children 5 and under.

The Boulders Resort is igniting southwest holiday tradition with festive décor, culinary adventure, fun outdoor activities, and soul-soothing spa treatments. Relax in one of the 160 private casitas featuring wood-burning fireplaces and private patios. Guests can enjoy an abundance of outdoor pursuits like desert hikes, bicycling, rock climbing, hot air balloon rides, and horseback riding, all offered right on the resort’s 1,300 acre grounds. The Holiday Golf Academy programs are designed for families and junior golfers to play a round of golf on the resort’s 36-hole championship course. Evening activities include Holiday Stargazing and even Moonlight Yoga. Not to be missed is a visit to the resort’s acclaimed Spa at the Boulders which offers unique holiday treatments to soothe away the stress with warm and wonderful treatments. Don’t forget to stop by the resort’s signature restaurant, Palo Verde, for delicious holiday-inspired cuisine. 

Train rides, s’mores, and photos with Santa – The Wigwam Resort is gearing up for the holiday season with activities the entire family can enjoy. The resort’s annual Tree Lighting ceremony on November 23rd is free to all and invites kids to decorate holiday crafts, experience a performance of the Nutcracker, and get their picture taken with Santa Claus. The event is held from 5:30 – 8 p.m. and will include a toy drive to benefit Goodyear Firefighter Charities. Gather the family together to have breakfast with Santa at Litchfield’s Restaurant featuring a breakfast buffet and holiday crafts. Take a train ride and build s’mores next to a warm fire during the resort’s Holiday Nights in Lights.  Embrace all this charming resort has to offer this season at The Wigwam.

The newly redesigned Phoenician is partnering with Emmy award-winning screenwriter and author Karen Schaler is creating an exclusive holiday experience at the resort from December 7-15 to coincide with Schaler’s upcoming Christmas Camp TV movie and novel. This season, the Phoenician is offering a signature Christmas Camp Room Package starting at $249 per night. The offer includes accommodations for two, a complimentary Christmas Camp book, one complimentary glass of champagne, each, and daily breakfast for two. The resort will also present a variety of festive activities such as a reception and book signing with Schaler, mixology and culinary courses, special spa treatments, charity activities, and more.

 

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Lace up your lederhosen and hit the Bavarian dance floor after sampling some German bier, brats, schnitzel, pretzels and more. Happening on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 4-10 p.m. at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, Oktoberfest admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and includes access to the festival, entertainment, games and contests. Food and beverages are sold separately (must be 21 and over).

PHX Zine Fest brings people together through a shared love of DIY small-press publications, comics, photo books and art on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m at the Unexpected Art Gallery in downtown Phoenix. It’s a family-friendly day filled with guest speakers, music and paper. Lots of paper. Admission is free.

More than 50 teams will make up the taco challenge as fans sample and savor their creations at the Arizona Taco Festival. Held from October 13-14 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the event is filled with music, food, and fun – including lucha libre wrestling, a taco eating contest, and more than 100 different types of tequila. General admission tickets start at $12 online. Food and beverages sold separately.

All Things Comedy Festival is a weekend packed with comedy shows, live podcasts, musical performances and all kinds of activities, including an outdoor block party on Central Avenue. Some additional stand up shows will be held at Orpheum Theatre and Comerica, so be sure to check out the full lineup. Show dates are listed October 25 – 28; most shows sold separately.

Celebrate the arts in Phoenix with performances by more than 25 local organizations, live music, children’s activities, great food, pet adoptions, wine tastings and more. Festival of the Arts is Saturday, Oct. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Admission is free.

Don your costume and bring your four-legged best friend to a fun, dress-up day at the park featuring bands, DJs, games, craft cocktails and a costume parade Saturday Oct. 28 from 1-5:30 p.m. The Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade, held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, starts at 3 p.m. and is $20 to participate (with proceeds benefiting local charities). Festivities at the park are free. More details coming soon.

Barrels, bottles, and brews go bottoms up at this inaugural beer festival held on Nov. 3rd. Over 25 local breweries gather at the Salt River Fields to share samples produced exclusively in Arizona. Wander through the park while sampling new releases from Arizona breweries, taste varieties from Arizona wineries, and enjoy the finest spirits at the AZ Barrels, Bottles, and Brews Festival.

Taste beers from dozens of local and national breweries while enjoying great food and live entertainment Saturday Nov. 10 from 1-5 p.m. on Washington Street between First and Third avenues in downtown Phoenix. The final lineup for NovemBEER festival includes ACE Premium Craft Cider, Deschutes Brewery, Duvel Imports Beer, Founders Brewing Company, Funkwerks, and many more. General admission ticket prices start at $25, which includes up to 30 samples and a commemorative tasting mug. Must be 21 years and older.

This year, Arizona Hip-Hop Festival is a family friendly affair (free for kids 5 years and under) and features more than 300 DJs, rappers and artists across multiple outdoor stages. The festival starts at 12 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11 in downtown Phoenix with lots of vendors, food trucks, live painters and more. Tickets start at $25. Artist lineup and venue information coming soon.

The Grand Avenue Festival is fun for the whole family featuring indoor and outdoor art installations, historic building tours, music, food trucks and more. The festival, held on historic Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix, is from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 10 and free to attend. More details coming soon.

Feast your eyes on doughy goodness at the Phoenix Pizza Festival, where the valley’s best pizza makers face off in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, Nov. 17th. Taste test your way through this festival with pizza starting at just $2 a slice. Enjoy live music or challenge friends to games on the lawn during this fun weekend festival. Get your hands on tickets now so you can taste all the pizza later.

Devour delicious donuts from more than 15 local purveyors while enjoying craft beer, mimosas, coffee, music and activities for the little ones. The Downtown Donut Festival is Sunday, Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Admission is $8 (infants and toddlers are free). Food and drink tickets are for purchase.

Join the Arizona Territory Gourd Society for the 19th Annual Veterans Day Gourd Dance on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pueblo Grande Museum. This annual event honors the memory of all the men and women who have served our nation. Gourd dancing is conducted by the Arizona Territory Gourd Society, a non-profit group of American Indian United States War Veterans and their families who celebrate and support the local Arizona veteran community. The event is free and open to the public.

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is revealing their newest exhibit, The Electric Guitar: Inventing an American Icon, which shares the untold story of the invention and how it revolutionized music and pop culture. The exclusive exhibition showcases more than 80 of the rarest electric guitars and amplifiers from around the world. Highlights include electric guitars played by Ron Wood and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Alvino Rey’s 1932 Electro A-25 (the first electric guitar played on a national radio broadcast), a 1940 Gibson ES-250 played by Charlie Christian (who was a member of Benny Goodman’s sextet), and more. The exhibit opens November 9 and is included with general admission tickets.

 

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Let the unforgettable fall season memories begin at Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze at Tolmachoff Farms, where the entire family can experience a fun holiday outing. Explore a 6-acre corn maze with a new theme each year (search for clues on your map as you walk through), enjoy a giant pumpkin patch, a mini corn maze perfect for the little ones, and a haunted corn maze for those courageous kiddos, just to name a few. Other activities include a petting zoo, train ride, hay pyramid, corn box, pedal carts, jumping pillow, and more. Friday – Sunday in October, Thursday – Sunday in November.

Celebrate the season with the Fall Festival at Vertuccio Farms featuring a 7-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch, barrel train rides, farm animals, and more. Pick up your favorite pumpkin and carve your jack-o-lantern while you enjoy time at the farm with family and friends. Oct. 1st – Nov. 1st.

Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party offers fun fall activities for the entire family to enjoy, including hay rides, a 4-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch, pig races, and, of course, chili. Enjoy food like burgers, a chicken chili dinner, or succotash. Kids can take a spin on the farm’s train and roast marshmallows at the bonfire. A firework show will be provided on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Schnepf Farms will also feature a rock climbing wall, rides like the swinging lady bugs, and a petting zoo. Don’t forget to grad your Halloween pumpkin during your visit! Thursday – Sunday, Oct. 4 – 28th.

The entire family can enjoy free admission to the Fall Festival at Goodyear Ball Park on Oct. 20th. The event offers trick-or-treating, a costume contest, pumpkin patch, rock climbing wall, inflatables, arts and crafts, and live performances. Don’t forget to take a family photo at the photo station!

Celebrate all things fall at the Autumnfest Arts & Crafts Fair from Oct. 20-21st where you can shop arts and crafts vendors, enjoy carnival rides, a pumpkin patch, and live entertainment. Kids can enter their best-decorated pumpkin in a contest where event-goers vote for their favorites.  The kids’ zone offers inflatables, train rides, hayrides, and more for the little ones.

Family and friends are invited to bring a blanket and grab a spot at Steele Indian School Park for the 7th annual Dia de Los Muertos Festival held on Oct. 28th. The free event held from 2 – 8 p.m. celebrates those who have passed on with music, dance, and theatre performances. Kids will enjoy making their own mask, decorating sugar skulls, face-painting, and an artist’s Mercado. Grab a bite to eat at the food booth and experience an authentic celebration of diverse community at the park.

Local First Arizona Fall Festival is a free and family-friendly celebration of everything Arizona, featuring samples from local restaurants, a beer and wine garden, unique vendors from all over the state, and live entertainment on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Free to attend, food and drink tasting tickets sold separately.

The Arizona Harvest Festival in downtown Chandler on Nov. 11th will feature over 100 merchants in an open-air market offering local farmer’s market finds, local produce, artisan gourmet foods, handcrafted holiday items, home décor, art, jewelry, and more. Featuring live entertainment, Arizona Harvest Fest will offer activities for the entire family like a pumpkin toss, pumpkin pageant, a pie eating contest, corn shucking, cake walks, a hay maze, and a kid’s zone. For the adults, enjoy flavors of the season in the beer garden featuring local pumpkin ales and seasonal brews.

 

SPA

“Fall” in love with Spa Avania’s Autumn Gold treatment offerings. From September 15th through November 30th, Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa celebrates this special time of year. These treatment offerings have been designed to rejuvenate the skin from the effects of the summer sun by purifying, firming, lifting and hydrating to relaxing and energizing the body. 

Begin the fall season relaxed and renewed by indulging in the ultimate gift of ‘me time.’  For a truly decadent and all-encompassing spa day, Luna Spa at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch invites you to indulge in an apricot rich harvest moon inspired full body massage, a decadently invigorating cranberry pumpkin facial or enjoy the complete relaxation offered in the Autumn Bliss sampler package.

 

DINING

Experience the regional tastes of Italy without ever leaving the Valley! Mora Italian’s Tour of Italy series brings the cuisine of Italia to guests each month, guided by celebrity chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and “Chopped” judge Chef Scott Conant – the creative culinary force behind Mora Italian. The monthly Tour of Italy series will feature a different locale’s flavors, from Puglia to Sicily, with select dates including appearances from Conant. The five-course dining experience is reserved for 100 guests.

 The highly anticipated shipping container marketplace, The Churchill, has officially opened. Enjoy Arizona’s beautiful fall weather while shopping, eating, and drinking your way through local Arizona businesses. 10 brands have signed up to set up shop inside: Breadwinner, a brand-new restaurant concept by Culinary Mafia Group; the talented team behind Scottsdale’s EVO; Pedal Haus Brewery, the second installment of the world-class Tempe-based brewpub; Pobrecito, a new cocktail concept from the innovative team behind Counter Intuitive and Undertow; Provecho, a food concept that offers bold flavors from Central Mexico; Freak Brothers Pizza, a food truck turned brick and mortar, which cooks up Neapolitan-style pizzas in 90 seconds using a 1,000-degree oven; Foxy Fruit, a health-conscious spot serving smoothies and acai bowls; Sauvage, a bottle shop offering honest wines at an approachable price; State Forty Eight, a homegrown lifestyle brand that caters to sports fans, outdoor enthusiasts and the fashion-forward; Cosas, a container boutique that will feature the work of local artisans from various regions of Mexico; and Gather, a mindful retail spot offering home and lifestyle goods.

A welcoming Italian-style tavern with craft cocktails with irresistible food? Yes, please. Fellow, set to open this September, will serve a compact yet irresistible menu of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner. Fellow will also offer premium coffee drinks and freshly-prepared grab & go meals at breakfast, as well as gourmet ice cream. Not to mention a globe-spanning menu of wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers and hand-shaken cocktails. Open daily, Fellow will serve as an all-day hangout, including fun bar games such as standup shuffleboard. Plus, the state-of-the-art kitchen will also offer catering services to surrounding business and SkySong events. 

North Phoenix seafood and steak restaurant Ocean Prime announces its newest feature — a trip to Oregon’s Willamette Valley by way of salmon and wine. Ocean Prime is serving up the season’s first catch of wild salmon from the Columbia River, line-caught and delivered next day to Ocean Prime’s Phoenix location, paired with two Oregon Pinot Noirs — one from Penner Ash and one from WillaKenzie Estate.

Calling all seafood lovers. Famed local fishmongers, Jon Heflin and Hogan Jamison of Chula Seafood Fresh Fish Market + Restaurant recently announced an all-new storefront coming to Phoenix's Uptown Plaza. Chula Seafood Market at Uptown Plaza will offer a wide selection of never frozen, sustainable fish-by-the pound, including additional shellfish options and mouthwatering house-smoked seafood. It is set to open this fall.

The team behind Phoenix favorite The Clever Koi is expanding their reach with a new craft cocktail bar, Across The Pond.  Across The Pond (4236 N. Central Ave #101), an intimate craft cocktail bar, reclaims the old Central Wine space just across the walkway from the Clever Koi's Phoenix location. Now under construction, Across The Pond (ATP) will feature a compact, ever-changing menu of 10 different custom cocktails, plus an extensive selection of Japanese whisky, craft beers and wines, all paired with the Valley's freshest sushi and bar bites served off the Clever Koi menu next door.

Learn how to cook a five-star meal at home at Match Restaurant & Lounge’s latest cooking class led by Executive Chef Alex Stratta. The class features a welcome cocktail along with a demonstration and tasting of three fungi-inspired recipes. You’ll learn to make maitake mushroom and chicken liver crostini with raisins and green apples, shiitake and porcini gemelle with parmigiano and butter, and chicken and chanterelle fricassee with artichokes, bacon and shallots.

On your mark, get set, grill! The Slider Throwdown returns this year to grill up some burgers while supporting local foster children. The competition will be held at Kierland Commons from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. Admission is $35 and includes samples of all sliders plus three non-alcoholic drink tickets. All proceeds from the event benefit the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF), which is dedicated to giving foster children the opportunity for “normal” childhoods and prepare them for successful adulthoods through programming and scholarships. To date, the organization has awarded more than $5.7 million to 26,000 children —and counting — in foster care in Arizona.

Looking for spooky ice cream treats for the Halloween season? Look no further than Creamistry who will be offering spooktacular holiday flavors for a limited time. The Charcoal Cookies and Scream ice cream features the classic cookies and cream with activated charcoal for an ominous black visual effect. The Midnight Black Bubble Waffles features a freshly-baked waffle cone for those on-the-go. October 18 – 31 at all Phoenix locations.

The newly renovated J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician has reopened following their summer remodel. Now open nightly for dinner from 5 – 10 p.m., J&G Steakhouse will also premier Executive Chef Jacques Qualin’s new seasonal menu including all-new standouts such as chestnut risotto, a 30-ounce ribeye, and a towering rack of lamb. The restaurant will also be serving a tasty new cocktail menu including a jalapeno-spiked fiery mandarin drink.

Granada Bar & Grill, located in the Embassy Suites Scottsdale Hotel, is now serving up a new, fresh menu. Enjoy dishes like vegan wraps, blackened salmon, half-rack BBQ pork ribs and so much more. Plus, wash down your meal with a custom cocktail like the La Belle Fleur that incorporates hibiscus-infused vodka made in house. 

In honor of National Pasta Month this October, The Sicilian Butcher will donate 100 percent of the sales of Sheriff Penzone’s favorite pasta dish, Tagliatelle with Bolognese, throughout the entire month. The fundraiser will benefit local nonprofit The Singletons. The Singletons is a locally based nonprofit that provides support and supplies to single parents undergoing cancer treatment and single parents nurturing a child through a cancer diagnosis.

 

SPORTS/GOLF

Take us out to the ballgame because the Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the start of their 2019 season. The D-Backs will host the Red Sox for the second time in franchise history at Chase Field on Friday, April 5. If you want to catch a game (and a fly ball) sooner, the D-Backs are concluding the 2018 season Sept. 30.