Category Archives: things to do

Sea Life Aquarium

When you think of Arizona, large bodies of water, diverse marine creatures and underwater ecosystem probably aren’t the first things to come to mind. Tomorrow, though, the Sea Life Aquarium opens at Arizona Mills Mall. It’s a big deal – it’s only the second in the United States of its kind – and will have over 5,000 marine creatures, which visitors can see by walking through “tubes” where the sea will be all around you, but you don’t have to get wet. You observe the oh-so-natural habitats up-close and personal in 12 different habitats, making it a truly unique experience.

Sea Life also has a children’s center and educational areas, so bring the whole family. Adult admission is $18.50, kids are $10.50.

Check back on the blog for pics soon!

Sea Life Aquarium
Arizona Mills Mall
5000 Arizona Mills Circle
Tempe, AZ
480-478-7600

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Astronomy Day at AZ Science Center

Arizona Science Center

Tomorrow, April 24, from 10am – 10pm, the Arizona Science Center will host Astronomy Day, put on by Honeywell and it’s sure to be a big hit with adults and kids. Where else will you be able to boil water with ice, make a comet and see how telescopes were made in the Dorrance Planetarium (which is amazing on its own).

The best part is that starting at sunset, the party will move to Heritage Park, just outside the Science Center, to look through a huge telescope into the night sky. Astronomers will be on hand all day to answer questions and talk about their science, but this will be the best part for everyone.

Check it out!

Arizona Science Center
600 E. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
www.azscience.org

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival begins today in North Scottsdale, gates open at 4pm (which is perfect, because Happy Hour is from 4-6pm at the MMMF). Tomorrow and Sunday they open at 11am, and the schedule is crammed with local bands, including Ryan Shaw, Easton Ashe, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and the Sugar Thieves.  Assembly of Dust and Steve Kimock Crazy Engine perform at the After Hours events on Friday and Saturday night, respectively, and require a separate ticket. Those shows run from 11pm – 2am.

Single Day adult tickets are $35 on Friday and Sunday each; $45 on Saturday. But save yourself some cash and pay $100 for all three days and make a weekend out of it.

The event is put on by the same crew that owns The Compound Bar & Grill (next door to the MMMF this year), which always has live music and has become a major hot spot in northern Scottsdale/Phoenix.

Read more about the festival, including the full lineups and ticket information on their website.

Location: NE corner of 68th St. and Mayo Boulevard, just SW of the Scottsdale Rd/Loop 101 exit.

Local Fave: Devil’s Martini

Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe are known for their nightlife, and make no mistake, there are bars and dance clubs abounding. But just like anywhere else, there are a few hot spots that stick out above the rest. For us Phoenicians, it’s Devil’s Martini in Scottsdale. Now there are two locations – one in Old Town – and “Devil’s north” on Scottsdale Rd & Shea, and now Devil’s Martini has been voted by our blog readers as the Best Nightlife Spot.

At either location, you can expect to find a perfect combination of bar, lounge and dance club, all with a very open, airy, Hamptons-y feel to it. The DJs are always the top crop in town, and the dance floor is pretty packed starting at about 10:30, although there’s always room for one more person, somehow.

Devil's Martini

The drinks are always flowing, too. Unlike other bars that demand long wait times for a drink, both Devil’s locations have multiple bars so you can squeeze in and get your beverage of choice. The multi-bar floor plan also serves to accommodate the non-dancing (read: most men) crowd. Yes, the dance floor is hoppin’ but there is plenty of seating for those who just don’t have the moves. That’s actually one reason it has become so popular – there’s a spot for everyone.

There’s also a spot in line for you, too. That’s right – the popular places come at a bit of a price. Typically at 11pm or after, you’re gonna have to wait a little to get in. It might be 10 minutes, it might be 30, but it’s always worth it.

Devil’s Martini (original location)
4175 North Goldwater Boulevard
Scottsdale, AZ‎
www.devilsmartini.com

Biltmore Fashion Park

Let’s just be honest – the best places to shop are also the best places to just be – where you can stroll around, grab a cup of coffee, and leisurely get your fill of retail therapy and a beautiful environment. Enter Biltmore Fashion Park to play the part wonderfully. A bunch of high-end to mid-line shops all with their doors open and the breeze blowing in, not to mention the immaculate lawns, gardens and fountains. Every little turn is a different garden area.

A couple years ago, they also renovated the exterior to harken back to the first days of the Biltmore shopping area, and now it’s a great blend of retro and modern. The Biltmore area is called such because of the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, which sits just behind the shopping center. The sprawling resort was built in 1929 by the Wrigley family (hence The Wrigley Mansion, also in the Biltmore area), and now “The Biltmore Area” refers to the resort, the shops, the surrounding restaurants and neighborhoods. “The Biltmore” can either mean the resort or the shopping center, depending on the context. Now you know the lingo.


Biltmore Fashion Park

The Center Lawn is the big focal point of the Biltmore, and it’s bigger than a camera can get. They have a bunch of events here year round (and about every day for picnics at lunch), but the most popular are the Movies in the Park, where they show generally older landmark films like Singin’ in the Rain or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. James Bond has been known to turn up on the screen as well.

Biltmore Fashion Park

As mentioned, the fountains and gardens are all over the place, mixing with the architectural lines. Lines are not found, however, at the stores. No matter how busy, there is always a certain calm feeling at the Biltmore that makes it great for strolling. And there are the signature stores like Saks and Macy’s and Pottery Barn, but there are also local boutiques like Cornelia Park, a home store that makes the best decorators swoon, and This Little Piggy Wears Cotton, which the locals know as the best kids’ shop in the area. There are also exclusive shops like Calypso St. Barth, Escada and even an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.

Biltmore Fashion Park

When you’re there, make sure you take time to replenish your shopping fuel at one of the restaurants. True Food Kitchen was opened by Sam Fox, a local restaurateur and Andrew Weil, the doctor known for his lessons in well-being (and if you wanted to try Green Tea Noodles, this is where to do it). Also stop by Christopher’s for an upscale treat (or swing by the lounge for a really good time) and Zinburger for a one-stop wine and burger run (because they go so great together).

Can’t you tell I love the Biltmore? Now happy shopping…and movie watching…and strolling…and eating…

Megan Finnerty’s Dream Night

On a night not so long ago, we had a blazing fun time shooting Megan Finnerty’s Dream Night. You might know her as @122degrees on Twitter, but she’s better known as the nightlife editor at The Arizona Republic and one of Phoenix’s best gals for going out.

For these videos, we really do let our hosts pick their favorite places, and Megan’s list was so much fun. I could go on, but I’ll let you watch for yourself.

UPDATE: check out the behind the scenes photos on our Flickr page: http://bit.ly/ai8UnC

Joya Spa at Montelucia

As mentioned previously on this blog, I’m a girl who loves going to the spa. I do it most often when I’m on vacation or if girlfriends are visiting, but every now and again I’ll hit a spa on my own right here in Phoenix. I’m not afraid to admit that I like my “me time.” I recently ventured out to Joya Spa at the Montelucia. I can’t take full credit for the idea since by husband encouraged it with a generous gift certificate (insert: “Awww!”).

They offer lots of options for massages, body treatments, facials, etc. But after perusing their site, I settled on their 80-minute Joyambrosia Signature Massage. Well, if I do say so myself, that was a brilliant decision. Of course, I’m now hooked on the longer massage. I’m pretty sure I can never go back to a 50-minute treatment. Oh, I almost forgot – I also added in paraffin treatments for my hands and feet. Tres magnifique!

Aside from the amazing massage, Joya Spa is a beautiful place. It redefines pampering and relaxation. You can’t help but feel like a princess with the Moroccan decor – rich, deep colors, comfy furniture and pillows everywhere!

Joya Spa
4949 E. Lincoln Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
www.joyaspa.com