March Activities Around the Valley

Scottsdale Phoenix bird photoIf you’re in the market for some fun activities to enjoy during the beautiful month of March, consider checking out one of the many festivals and events around the valley.  For example, from 4 pm-midnight on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, there will be a Shamrock Fest for adults, at Dr. AJ Chandler Park located at 178 E. Commonwealth Place in Chandler.  This festival will include Irish dancers, bagpipes, live entertainment, traditional Irish food, themed activities and a beer garden.  Several contests including stein-holding and eating contests will occur in the Kiss Me I’m Irish zone.

The 2017 spring plant sale at the Desert Botanical Garden is happening March 18-19 from 7 am to 5 pm Saturday and 7 am to 3 pm Sunday at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, in the Events Plaza Parking Lot.  (Members of the DBG have access to the sale on March 17).  Free admission, and you will discover over 30,000 plants for sale, including trees, succulents, cacti, perennials, shrubs and herbs. There will also be a large selection of bare root cactus, as well as garden-related pottery and art for sale.

Also happening the weekend of March 18-19 is the Glendale Folk and Heritage Festival, from 10 am to 5 pm at Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, 9802 N. 59th Avenue.  This festival will feature a celebration of the culture and history of folk music.  With more than 400 performers on stage, you’ll hear bluegrass and folk music, along with cowboy poetry and storytelling.  Vendors and a hands-on workshop will also be a part of the festival.

If you’re willing to travel south a few miles, consider visiting Pinal county to check out the 61st Annual Pinal County Fair, occurring March 22-26.  The fair will feature vendors, a carnival, exhibits, food, entertainment, 4-H corner and a lot more.  Pinal Fairgrounds and Event Center, 512 S. Eleven Mile Corner Road in Casa Grande.

If you’re looking for something a little more outdoorsy, venture over to the Scottsdale International Sportsmen’s Expo from March 23-26 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, located at 16601 N. Pima Road.  This event is in its 18th year and features boats, RVs, exhibits on gear, guides and services for campers, boaters, hunters and fishers.  Hands-on activities including a Watersports Pond with kayak, SUP and wakeboarding demos make this a fun event.  From 10 am to 7 pm Thursday-Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday.

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Phoenix Open: Where to park and win $100

There is no shortage of things to know when you go to the tournament.  One I find useful?  How do I get to the tournament the easiest way possible?

Baracades, police, security ropes and your lack of parking pass make it rather difficult to drive “in” to the open.  You certainly can, but without a parking pass displayed you will be parking in a designated lot, busing to a drop off place and walking to the entry.  You have some other options that get you from your meeting place (in this case a pub/bar) to the grounds without a 15 minute walk.

Moonshine Whiskey Bar: Shuttles depart at 10:30 a.m. and noon Saturday, Feb. 6. $35. 410 S. Mill Ave., Tempe.

The Lodge: Shuttles depart at 10:30 a.m. and noon Saturday, Feb. 6. $35. 26 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe.

Sandbar Desert Ridge: Shuttles depart at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon Saturday, Feb. 6. $15-$25. 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix.

The Montauk: Shuttle departs at noon Saturday, Feb. 6. (The 10:30 a.m. shuttle is sold out.) $35. 4360 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

Gringo-Star Street Bar: Shuttles depart at 10:30 a.m. and noon Saturday, Feb. 6. $35. 501 S. Mill Ave., Tempe.

K O’Donnell’s Sports Bar and GrillThe sports bar in north Scottsdale has run tournament shuttles for years. This year the shuttles run all week, starting at 9 a.m. and departing every half hour until 30 minutes after the tournament is finished. For $5, get a Red Bull and a $5 food voucher to use at the bar. A special brunch menu will be served until noon Wednesday through Sunday.Details: Starts at 9 a.m. each morning and runs every half hour. Feb. 1-7. 14850 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale. $5 for a round-trip ride. 480-922-7200

Boondocks Patio & GrillThe Scottsdale bar with a massive patio and laid-back vibe will open early for Phoenix Open fans and offer shuttles at two times. Participants are encouraged to wear golf attireDetails: 9 a.m. bar opens, 10:30 a.m. and noon shuttle departures. 4341 N. 75th St., Scottsdale. $27. 480-949-8454

Zipps Sports GrillWith the purchase of a $10 food and drink voucher, Phoenix Open goers can get a ride from the Frank Lloyd Wright and Kierland locations of the popular sports bar. The voucher can be redeemed at any Zipps location.Details: Feb. 4-7. Shuttles will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Frank Lloyd Wright, 14148 N. 100th St., Scottsdale, 480-314-4600. Kierland, 6501 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, 480-948-5544.

El Hefe ScottsdaleThe Scottsdale party bar will have three bus trips to and from the Open on Saturday. Stick around El Hefe after the tournament for DJs, Mexican fare and fun cocktails such as the popular Bulldog-arita. The last bus from the tournament leaves at 4 p.m.Details: Buses leaving at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and noon. Saturday, Feb. 6. 4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale. $25. 480-945-6200

Temple Bar Sports Grill  The Chicago-style Irish pub is offering continuous shuttles Thursday through Saturday. Buy a $5 gift card to the restaurant and the shuttle ride is free. Stick around after the tournament and enjoy a Hangover Dip or Galway Fish and Chips, or one of the bar’s daily specials.Details: Shuttles start at 10 a.m. on Feb. 5 and 9 a.m. on Feb. 6 and 17050 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale. Included with purchase of $5 gift card. 480-429-4520

….thanks AZ central for great info….

The Temple is one of my favourites as it is a bit out of the way but not far away and it hasn’t been as busy in past years.  Last year I gave away a gift certificate to one of  my entries, so let me know if you want to be included this year simply fill out the form:

Waste Management Giveaway

Day Trips up North

One of the benefits of living in Arizona is that getting away from it all is very easy to do.  Consider heading north of Phoenix and Scottsdale, to a few popular attractions.

Saguaro photoFirst stop, Bearizona Wildlife Park is located off Historic Route 66 in Williams, Arizona.  This park is absolutely a destination, and you can make a day of exploring the 160 acres of Bearizona.  Start your exploration by driving the three-mile road through the pine forest, where dozens of North American animals such as bears, wolves and bison roam freely around.  Many of the animals will approach your vehicle, so there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.  If you prefer to be a passenger, you can jump on a windowless bus for a tour of the park.  Next, check out Fort Bearizona which is a 20-acre walkable area where you can get closer to the animals.  Bearizona also has daily shows put on by the High Country Raptors where you can see hawks, falcons, owls and other raptors native to Arizona.  This show runs from May through December.  There is a designated picnic area, as well as an on-site counter service restaurant.

Just down the road from Bearizona is the Grand Canyon Deer Farm, also in Williams, Arizona.  This is essentially a large petting zoo, but with animals you’d generally not be able to pet, such as an albino wallaby, reindeer and miniature cattle.  Most of the animals have been raised on site from babies, and include deer, goats, llamas, coatimundis, marmosets, baby bison, camel and talking birds.  Be sure to check out the fantastic gift shop!

Another fun attraction north of Phoenix and Scottsdale is the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Park.  Located in Fort Tuthill County Park, just outside of Flagstaff, this outdoor adventure destination offers a treetop obstacle course as well as ziplines for children and adults.  There are five different adult courses, and one children’s course.  The minimum age is 7 years old, and the minimum height requirement for both children and adults is explained here.  Reservations are recommended.

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