On Saturday, October 19, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix opens “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power,” created by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibition features stage outfits, original handwritten lyrics, instruments, concert posters and videos from artists including Billie Holiday, Maybelle Carter, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and more.
The MIM will celebrate the opening of the exhibition with a variety of activities for the entire family on Saturday, October 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests can learn to play a chord on an electric guitar, receive a “rock star” makeover and learn about the female musicians featured in the exhibit. MIM Music Theater will also host performances by Phoenix female musicians, including Pick and Holler, French Girls and Catfish Mustache. All activities are included with paid museum admission.
Phoenix isn't just known for its golf courses, colorful sunsets and desert landscapes. It's also a hub of culture with a diverse mix of museums and cultural attractions.
This minute-long visual tour gives you a glimpse of the one-of-a-kind Musical Instrument Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, the internationally-acclaimed Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and the tranquil Desert Botanical Garden.
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This one-minute visual tour of Phoenix whisks you away to stunning resorts and their sparkling pools (The Phoenician, Arizona Biltmore, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa) and restaurants with views as memorable as the food (El Chorro). See where you can experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert by road (Desert Dog Hummer Adventures) or by trail (South Mountain Park and Preserve).
Catch a glimpse of a desert golf course (The Phoenician Golf Club, Wildfire Golf Club) and get a sneak peek at some Cactus League Spring Training action. You'll also get a taste of Phoenix's Wild West roots (Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse), its modern urban amenties (Kierland Commons, US Airways Center, CityScape, Zinc Bistro) and cultural centers (Taliesin West). Enjoy the trip!
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If you ever stocked up on quarters to feed the Pac-Man machine at the arcade or have spent hours creating elaborate characters in games like World of Warcraft then the Phoenix Art Museum’s latest exhibit, "The Art of Video Games," is for you. Not your traditional art exhibit, "The Art of Video Games" features twenty gaming systems like Atari and Xbox. You’ll also find eighty featured games that demonstrate the evolution of video games over time along with the opportunity to play Pac-Man, the original Super Mario Brothers and to watch video interviews with developers and artists.
"The Art of Video Games" was originally curated for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and will be at the Phoenix Art Museum from June 16 – September 29, 2013. Tickets for "The Art of Video Games" are included with General Admission to the museum and are available at a special discounted rate during the Museum’s Free Wednesdays 3-9 p.m. and First Fridays, 6-10 p.m.
Our media relations intern Andrea recently visited the Desert Botanical Garden and it's new restaurant Gertrude's . She offered to provide her insider’s perspective of this popular attraction. Enjoy!
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Desert Botanical Garden, a popular attraction to both locals and visitors. It’s considered a “Phoenix Point of Pride,” and has over 50,000 desert plants to see and learn about.
The Desert Botanical Garden first opened in 1939 after a group of Phoenix locals saw the need to conserve the desert environment. Today, the Garden continues to grow and currently has 145 acres of desert plants not just found in the Sonoran Desert, but from other deserts around the world.
There are five thematic trails at the Garden that you can go on. My personal favorite is the Plants and People of the of the Sonoran Desert Trail which shows visitors the relationships between people and plants in our region and how the plants are useful when it comes to needing food, medicine and fiber. As you walk through this trail, you get an understanding of how past Indians used the desert to their advantage.
Walking along the other beautiful trails, you’ll find the scenic views are incredible. There are many hills surrounding the whole area that covered with hundreds of different types of cacti, as well as Papago Park in the distance. And, if you’re lucky, a roadrunner or quail might cross your path.
Earlier this year, the Garden opened a new restaurant called Gertrude’s, which was named after Gertrude Webster who founded the Desert Botanical Garden. The restaurant focuses on utilizing fresh ingredients from farmers and artisan food producers from around the state of Arizona and the Southwest. They kitchen even uses some of the fresh herbs and vegetables from their own garden located on the property.
Since the restaurant just opened at the end of January, I was very excited to go. Our group was seated outside on the patio, which was gorgeous. There were beautiful desert plants surrounding it and thankfully, a lot of shade to keep the Arizona sun at bay.
Everyone at my table ordered from the lunch menu and everyone seemed to be happy with their choices. Some unique items included:
- Chicken Sandwich (Achiote + Citrus Marinated Chicken Breast, Apple Wood Bacon, Avocado, Arizona Cheese Co. Pepper Jack, Jicama, Napa Cabbage, Brioche Bun)
- Beets Salad (Garden Beets, Seasonal Lettuces, Crow’s Dairy Cherve, Maple-Sherry Vinaigrette, Hazelnuts)
- Sonoran Dog (Bacon Wrapped Shriener’s Beef Hot Dog, Avocado, Tepary Beans, Queso Fresco, Tomatillo Relish, Poppy Bun)
The food was absolutely delicious and the atmosphere is great. If you want to get away from the city and enjoy a few hours getting drinks and food, Gertrude’s would be a great place to go.
Overall, my experience to the Desert Botanical Garden and Gertrude’s was fantastic - I highly recommend going. And if you want to be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies, be sure to go between now and May 12 for the Spring Butterfly Exhibit.
Phoenix’s perpetual sunshine might tempt you to spend all your free time sipping frozen beverages next to a swimming pool. Don’t give in. Exploring the Sonoran Desert’s horizons will broaden yours.
Nearly every outdoors-loving Phoenix local has, at some time or another, started his or her day with a hike to the top of Camelback Mountain. The city’s most famous landmark resembles a dromedary camel in repost, and the mountain challenges hikers with a rugged but rewarding trek to its 2,700-foot “hump”. Visitors who prefer not to scale Camelback can still gawk at it from a nearby restaurant patio.
Phoenix’s newest must-see attraction is the first museum in the world dedicated to the celebration of global instruments. This $250 million museum features a collection of more than 15,000 instruments – including the last guitar Elvis played in concert.
As its name suggests, this outdoor museum showcases desert plants – and not just those native to the Southwest. Among the succulents that adorn the garden’s 50-acre grounds are endangered desert species from around the world, including Dali-esque trees from North Africa and sprawling cactuses from Mesopotamia.
Greater Phoenix is home to more than 200 golf courses, many designed by legends of the game such as Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Check out stay-and-play packages at area resorts before you come, and consider playing one of Phoenix’s true desert layouts.
5. Heard Museum
The Heard is Arizona’s most famous museum. The traditional and contemporary art on display provides insight into the culture of Arizona’s 22 Native American tribes. Not to be missed is the haunting exhibit on Indian boarding schools. The Heard Museum Shop is one of the best places in Phoenix to buy authentic American Indian jewelry, pottery, paintings, sculpture and weavings.
Located near the famed Arizona Biltmore resort, this fashionable shopping desintation has a garden-park courtyard, upscale retailers and plenty of dining options. Be sure to check out the Fashion Park’s newest addition: UNION, a wing of locally owned boutiques.
A major player in the Southwest’s art landscape, Phoenix Art Museum showcases an impressive collection of European, Asian, Latin American, Western American and contemporary pieces. Be sure to check out the sculpture garden, Museum Store and the museum restaurant, Palette.
Occupying a city block in downtown Phoenix, Heritage Square is home to the Arizona Science Center. But go for the food. Pizzeria Bianco serves pizza that a New York Times food critic deemed the best in the country, and Nobuo at Teeter House is an Asian-style teahouse by day and a funky izakaya by night.
The Old West and New West converge in Old Town Scottsdale, where galleries dedicated to American Indian and cowboy arts share a pedestrian-friendly streetscape with shops that sell Southwestern jewelry and crafts. Nearby, you’ll find some of Greater Phoenix’s finest restaurants and trendiest nightlife.
10. Taliesin West
The sprawling wonder at the foot of the McDowell Mountains was the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect. Wright constructed Taliesin West from sand, gravel and stone he found on the mountain’s talus slope. It’s open to the public for tours.