Our media relations intern Andrea attended this year's Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market . She offered to provide her insider’s perspective of this popular Phoenix event.
I had the chance to experience the annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market this past weekend in Phoenix. Having been there before, I knew that it was going to be awesome.
This event is Arizona's largest Indian market, and if you want to experience everything relating to the culture, it's the best place to do it. The market has over 700 of the nation's best American Indian artists, artist demonstrations, music and dance performances and amazing Indian fry bread.
On Saturday morning, I ventured to the museum via the Metro Light Rail, which stops right in front of the fair entrance. When I went last year, the line to the fry bread stand was so long in the afternoon that it took almost 45 minutes before I got my hands on some (which isn't surprising, it's absolutely delicious). This year, I knew better. As soon as I went through the ticket line, I headed straight towards the good stuff. Indian fry bread is so good that it can be eaten plain. I prefer it sweet though so I ordered mine with powdered sugar and honey. It was amazing!
After satisfying my carb cravings, I headed to the tents. The parking lot of the museum housed multiple tents with artists inside. Items included everything from jewelry and pottery to weavings and paintings. The artists are all so incredibly talented and take pride in their work. And it's also cool to see what tribe the Indians come from. A few that I remembered were Navajo, Hopi and Santo Domingo.
During the day, the fair has music and dancing performances. I had the pleasure of watching Navajo dancers show the audience some traditional dances while live music was playing in the background. Some spectators even joined in to learn the dance.
One of the great things about the annual fair is the fact that your ticket gets you into the Heard Museum for free. Visitors are able to experience all 10 exhibits inside and learn more about Indian culture and history, and can even have a tour guide show them around.
This was the museum's 55th Indian fair, and it continues to get better every year. Be sure to check it out next year - you won't regret it! With American Indian food, shopping, music, dancing and entrance to the museum, you're bound to be entertained!
Think that ice skating is a holiday activity reserved for our friends up North and on the East Coast? Think again! Here are some places that you can go ice skating right here in the desert.
Temporary Ice Skating Rinks
CityScape set up its holiday ice skating rink right on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix this year. Chloe’s Corner will serve free hot chocolate with every skate rental. The rink will be open until Jan. 6.
Details: CityScape Phoenix 1 E. Washington Street, Phoenix. Hours: 5-11pm Monday – Friday, 3-11pm Saturday – Sunday from Nov. 24 – Dec. 18 and Jan. 2- 6. 3-11pm daily, Dec. 19 – Jan 1.
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is putting extra icing on the holidays with its new Desert Ice Holiday Rink located in the picturesque Cactus Garden. The 5,400 square foot rink, made with real ice and is open daily to the public until Jan. 6.
Details: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale. Hours: 2-5pm and 6-9pm Nov. 27 – Jan. 6 Sunday – Thursday, 2-5pm and 7-10pm Friday – Saturday.
Enjoy the holidays on the W’s Wet Deck. Where you normally find their pool, you’ll find a 2,100 square foot ice rink made from not ice, but a recyclable polymer that doesn't require electricity to cool or a Zamboni to smooth out. The hotel’s rink-side cabanas will be decked out in holiday décor and the bar will serve holiday-inspired cocktails.
Details: W Scottsdale Hotel 7277 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. Hours: 4-10pm Nov. 16 – Jan. 3 Monday – Wednesday, 4pm – midnight Thursday – Friday, noon – midnight Saturday, noon – 10pm Sunday.
Year-Round Ice Skating Rinks
Arcadia Ice Arena 3853 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix
Ice Den 9375 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale
Oceanside Ice Arena 1520 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe
Polar Ice Gilbert 2305 E. Knox Road, Gilbert
Polar Ice Chandler 7225 W. Harrison Street, Chandler
Polar Ice Peoria 15829 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria
Our media relations intern Lauren got the opportunity to experience a hot air balloon adventure with Hot Air Expeditions. She offered to provide her insider’s perspective of this unique and thrilling adventure in Phoenix.
Waking up before sunrise can only be justified for a special occasion, but when I had the chance to take my first hot air balloon ride, I decided it was definitely worth it! Bright and early on a Monday morning, I met with three other willing explorers to join me and Hot Air Expeditions in viewing the Sonoran Desert from a different angle- the sky. Now, I have never had a crippling fear of heights and I was a little unsure of how a hot air balloon works - but, this was one adventure I was ready to experience. I always wondered how the pilot controls the balloon, but I left the flying up to him.
A driver from Hot Air Expeditions arrived at our hotel that morning and drove us to the launch site. For added convenience, they are happy to provide transportation for hotel and resort guests. We met the Hot Air Expeditions crew in the desert near Deer Valley Airport in North Phoenix. Phoenix has over 320 days of sunshine annually and today was no exception. Keep in mind that balloon adventures are weather permitted, so check the weather before confirming your expedition. Upon our arrival, we watched the balloon grow in size as the crew inflated the balloon with motorized fans.
About 30 minutes later, the balloon was filled with air and we were ready for our flight. We met our pilot, Patrick Stevens, who is actually the Chief Pilot of Hot Air Expeditions and has over 20 years of ballooning experience. His casual demeanor convinced us that this flight would be fun. One person in our group was a little nervous about the balloon ride, but we were reassured by Patrick the ride would be relaxing. He mentioned that many people who have a fear of heights typically do not have issues while riding in a hot air balloon. Our group paired up with a few other small groups to fill up the largest wicker balloon basket, which holds 12-14 people.
Soon we were all secured in the basket and Patrick was ready to take off – we drifted up, up and away! He used the propane burners to ignite and heat the air inside. We let the pilot worry about flying and we took in the amazing, unobstructed view of the Sonoran Desert below us.
We flew over houses and farms, reaching about 1,000 feet in the air. Off in one direction, a bright blue body of water stood out amongst the desert landscape, "Lake Pleasant,” Patrick said. He also mentioned that more people own boats in Arizona than you might think, especially because there are six lakes with 45 minutes of the Valley.
With the ease of a bird, we soared over mountain tops covered in Saguaro cacti and peered into a basin where wildlife is known to live. Although Patrick said the balloon reached a top speed of 9 m.p.h., we felt almost no sensation of movement because we were flying with the wind. It feels like you are floating in a bubble above the beautiful mountain scenery. Luckily, one difference from floating in a bubble is that Patrick could control our direction, height and speed leaving nothing for the passengers to worry about.
Time flew by and soon it was time to find a landing spot, so Patrick radioed to the ground crew to follow us as he navigated the balloon closer to the ground. We slowly eased back to earth and were given instructions to lean forward and grab onto the handles inside the basket. The landing was fairly smooth as the basket’s bottom skimmed along the desert surface. Our group slightly embraced each other, knowing we were safely back on the ground. One by one, we jumped out of the basket remarking, “We made it! That wasn’t scary.” Then the Hot Air Expeditions crew deflated the balloon and folded it carefully for storage. Our ballooning adventure was concluding, but we still had something to look forward to; Patrick served us a nice “welcome back to Earth” gourmet breakfast of chocolate-filled croissants, Quiche Lorraine, apple slices and cheese. We also toasted flutes of champagne, which is a legendary ceremony that balloonists all over the world have shared for over a century. Now that we had our fill of adventure, the day was officially complete. Not a bad Monday, if you ask me!
Is a hot air balloon ride on your bucket list?
This Saturday, October 20, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) will unveil the newest addition to its Artist Gallery—an exhibit honoring international multiplatinum superstar Taylor Swift. If you, or someone you know is a Taylor Swift fan, you won't want to miss the weekend-long celebration including live music, educational workshops, exhibit talks, and more.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the exhibit, check it out!
The first section of the exhibit details the beginning of Swift’s career, from learning to play guitar and writing songs to the release of her first single, “Tim McGraw,” in June 2006. Swift writes or cowrites every song on all of her albums, including her self-titled debut, “Taylor Swift" (released in October 2006). Objects in this part of the exhibit include Swift’s handwritten lyrics for the song “Tim McGraw,” along with her signature Taylor koa, six-string acoustic guitar and cowboy boots featured in the “Tim McGraw” music video.
The second section features Swift’s rise to superstardom, shown through instruments, stage wear, and set pieces from the Speak Now World Tour. Items on exhibit from this tour include her sparkly red Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, which she played while outfitted in her gold Roberto Cavalli dress for tour performances of “Mine.” Also on display will be a Deering banjo and a Leilani ukulele used on the tour, which demonstrate Swift’s talents as a multi-instrumentalist. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a large prop bell that was a featured and interactive set piece used during performances of the song “Haunted” on the Speak Now World Tour.
MIM will celebrate the exhibit’s opening with a variety of activities for the entire family on October 20 and 21. Museum guests will have the opportunity to listen to an exhibit talk by MIM curatorial assistant David Wegehaupt, attend a songwriting workshop with the Arizona Songwriters Association, watch Taylor Swift music videos in the MIM Music Theater, and listen to students from Rock ’n’ Roll High School singing Taylor Swift songs. All activities are free with museum admission.
Phoenix may have gussied itself up from its days as a frontier town, but the Old West is still alive and well – you just have to look for it. So, dust off those cowboy boots and enjoy these Western-themed attractions in the Greater Phoenix area.
Frontier Town is a themed replica of an Old West town located on the original spot where Cave Creek, AZ was founded in the 1870s. Enjoy a Western meal at the Smokehouse Restaurant then do some shopping in the town’s unique shops.
During Arizona’s territory days, Greasewood Flat was an old stagecoach stop. Today, instead of serving weary Western travelers, Greasewood Flat is a great place to enjoy a cold drink, good food and live music under the stars.
If you’re looking for a place to do some two-steppin’, Handlebar J Restaurant & Saloon is your place. Enjoy Western-style cuisine and live country music seven days a week.
Johnny Walker opened the Corral Bar in 1935 to serve the workers who were building Bartlett Dam. Today, Harold’s is a popular stomping ground for both locals and visitors. You can always count on lively entertainment and a great Western meal at Harold’s Corral.
Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse has been around for over 50 years. Enjoy cowboy-style dining, live music and desert views. Be warned – do not wear your favorite tie to dinner.
Step back in time and experience territorial Arizona through a walk around this living history town, comprised of authentic buildings that have been moved to this location from other places in Arizona.
Explore America's largest municipal park the cowboy way. Ponderosa Stables offers a variety of horseback rides and cookouts through the South Mountain Park and Preserve.
Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse is Arizona's largest Western-themed attraction. Rawhide is an authentic replica of an 1880's town complete with a Main Street, gunfights, stagecoach and train rides, burro rides, mechanical bull, climbing wall, gold pannin', shootin' gallery, unique shops, and sundown cookouts.
Rustler's Rooste mountaintop eatery boasts one of the best places to catch a sunset in Phoenix. You can also enjoy nightly live Country Western music, casual dining, and their famous tin slide.
Recently added to the City of Phoenix Historical Register for both its central role in Arizona’s cattle industry and its relevant architectural style, The Stockyards, Arizona’s Original Steakhouse, has retained its Old West comfort and charm while regaining its foothold as one of Phoenix’s favorite steakhouses.
The Superstition Mountain Museum collects, preserves and displays the artifacts, history and folklore of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction and surrounding region.
Tortilla Flat started out as a stage stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to remove this historic stop along the Apache Trail. Today you can enjoy Western-themed fun, food and re-enactments.
Celebrating Wells Fargo’s role in Arizona’s colorful history, the Wells Fargo History Museum is just steps away from popular downtown Phoenix attractions. The collection includes an authentic 19th century stagecoach, a replica stagecoach you can climb aboard, gold and precious minerals, a replica mine shaft, antique firearms, working telegraph and other artifacts depicting western development.
Palm trees, sunshine, sparkling pools and margaritas – Phoenix has all the ingredients you need for a relaxing getaway. Our recommendation is to kick back and enjoy some of the more unique pools that our resorts have to offer – grab your flip flops and sunglasses and choose which resort pool suits you.
For pampered poolside fun the Paradise Pool at the Arizona Biltmore has an exciting 92-foot waterslide, in-water bar and dining and poolside games. You can also enjoy a movie at the Splash Movies event while floating in your own personal inter tube.
Built for the debut of the resort in 1988, the centerpiece of The Phoenician’s eight-pool complex is the relaxation pool, elegantly tiled by hand in Mother of Pearl and surrounded by vibrant and shady cabanas.
Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak offers four acres of cascading waterfalls, secluded waterways, three swimming pools, and a lazy river for tubing. Perfect for families, as the resort offers children’s and family oriented poolside activities.
Situated between north-facing views of Paradise Valley and Mummy Mountain, and south-facing views of Camelback Mountain, the infinity edged pool at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is perfect for gazing out at the breathtaking Sonoran sunsets.
Voted as one of the top ten water parks in the U.S., the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa’s Oasis Water Park will entertain the entire family.
The Butte’s pool is one of the Southwest’s largest free-form swimming pools (the length of a football field) built on a natural mountainside. Kids and adults alike will also enjoy the thrilling 150 foot water slide.
The four-acre pool complex at JW Marriott Desert Ridge has been voted the “Number 1 Pool” in Phoenix by Phoenix Magazine for its meandering 1,600-linear-foot lazy river and 89-foot waterslide. The resorts Wildfire pool is topped by a glowing fire at night and the Sidewinder pool takes inspiration from some of Arizona’s scaly residents.
This resort boasts a 2.5-acre “water playground” complete with 10 pools. Pools for two, a lap pool, sand beach pool, water volleyball and basketball pools, adult only pool and an aqueduct that crosses over six pools thundering down into a five foot-wide rushing waterfall called the “Big Gun.” There’s also a Grecian water temple that houses a Jacuzzi-style spa that seats 25-30 people and is surrounded by four cold plunges.
Incorporating the beauty of the surrounding desert, the pool area at the Four Seasons offers sweeping views of the valley below. The resort keeps guests lounging poolside comfortable with complimentary amenities such as chilled fruit kebabs and cooling mint-scented towels.
Voted “best spa” by readers of Phoenix Magazine, the uniquely Southwestern spa’s outdoor lap pool offers stunning sunset views over Camelback Mountain. The pool is heated in the winter for year-round enjoyment.
The large, martini olive-shaped pool is located in the center of the hotel and has been named one of the “World’s Coolest Pools” by Travel + Leisure, a distinction held by only fifteen other pools around the globe.
Carefully placed within the midst of this desert hideaway, The Boulder’s swimming pool blends seamlessly with the surrounding desert landscape with a cascading waterfall from a prehistoric boulder formation as a backdrop. Pool guests are likely to see chuckwallas and colorful lizards native to the Southwest, who warm themselves on the gigantic granite boulders in the surrounding area.
Take a dip in the W Scottsdale’s signature WET pool, with its high-tech chillers that keep water temperatures crisp when the desert heats up. Swimmers can relax poolside under umbrellas, enjoy underwater tunes while swimming and wave hello to arriving guests below through four giant portholes at the bottom of the pool.