Events · Recommendations

AZ Small Business Market

Come shop local with us!

local boutique information flyer

Come out to Westwood High School on Saturday, August 7th from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm to shop over 50 local vendors. Check out our amazing list of vendors below, plus all the information you need for the market!

Our last market had over 2,000 people attend to support local businesses, and we’re so grateful for the incredible turnout we received.

We hope we can bring even more people this time as we continue to share some of our favorite local businesses with the community!

We hope to see you there!

Vendor List

anatosha.ipson
azgiftco
azsoapbar
babysfirstcandle
behold.baby
brazenboards
brokenarrowdesignsaz
cactuscudlz
chubbycheeks_cookies
clae.az
creationsbyjah
desert_lily_flowers
desert.ave
desertbathcompany
desertstrandz
dtgtacos
ease_aesthetics
emilys.macarons
frostedbyt
hamptonpress

hawsbeeshoney
hd_apothecary
hunterjaymesmeat
kearnsleather
kidsbookswithheart
kozyknitdesigns
littlebittydream
living.albright
malisaydesigns
merileeimagines
mudpiesandhighfives_
prettygirlbows_
pyrkia
radish_builds
remisrainbows
rocoswim
rosie.luv
saltysocks
shophellohoney

shopblacksheepco
shopraeclothing
shopwhirlygirl
shopwildknot
simplydesertco
sodarushaz
sogood.homemade
sonny.threads
sonoranheadwear
sweet_to_the_core
sweettreats_bykenzi
thecraftypickler
thedesertstickercompany
thejarvishome
thesouthwesterngriller
timbospicellc
waffle.luv
wildgiraffeaz
wrenbag

Market Map & Layout

local boutique map of Westwood High School gymnasium
Market Layout @ Westwood Gymnasium
local boutique vendor list
Market Vendor Booth Assignments

Frequently Asked Questions

How will childcare work?

There will be signs at the market to direct you to the childcare entrance. Childcare will be supervised by several of the cheerleaders as well as 1-2 cheer coaches at all times. Children can be dropped off in the attached small gym for a maximum of 2 hours (time may be extended if space is available) while you shop.

Each child and parent will receive a matching wristband with your phone number, the child’s name, and the drop off time. Only the parent wearing the wristband may pick up the child.

There will be snacks and drinks available for the children, as well as plenty of space for getting their energy out, watching movies, and more. They will be well taken care of while you enjoy some time to shop in peace!

How many vendors will there be?

We have a total of 57 vendors inside, as well as 3 food trucks outside. There will be things to buy for everyone in the family!

How does checkout work?

A lot of markets have a centralized checkout at the end of all of the booths. Please note that you will be checking out at each individual booth for this market, so don’t walk away from a booth without paying the owner for the product!

Can I bring my stroller?

Yes! While we do have childcare available, we also welcome children to come shop with you. Our aisles will be large enough for your to bring your stroller if necessary.

Are dogs allowed?

Due to Mesa Public Schools policy, no pets will be allowed inside the gymnasium. Thank you for understanding!

How can I become a vendor at future markets?

If you are interested in participating in future markets, please fill out the form on this page to be added to our list of vendors. We would love to work with you in the future!

Westwood High School Map

Aerial map of Westwood High School for AZ Mom Squad local boutique
Westwood High School Aerial Map

We’re so excited to support so many local vendors with you! Be sure to come say hi if you see us shopping around the market. We love meeting you!

Family Fun · Things To Do

Free Things to do in AZ with Kids this Summer

Bookmark this page because we will be updating it again shortly to include links, pricing, times, and more so you have everything you need right at your fingertips!

If you want to have a summer of fun at a HUGE discount, grab your family some POGO Passes and use code AZMOMSQUAD to get them for only $40!

Family Fun · Recommendations · Things To Do

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Musical Instrument Museum® (“MIM”)  in Phoenix, and our kids cannot stop talking about it! With a variety of galleries, special exhibits, and an incredible museum store, MIM has something for people of all ages!

If you aren’t quite ready to head to the museum in person, they also offer a wide variety of virtual events that you can participate in from home. Keep reading to learn all about their incredibly fun Online Musical Adventures classes for children!

Getting Started at the Musical Instrument Museum

Once you arrive at MIM and check in at the front desk, they’ll provide each person with their own headset. These headsets are used in various galleries throughout the museum, and act as your “guide” for each section. As you stand in front of specific displays, the headphones automatically play whatever sound goes with that display. They even had kids sizes, and our children loved walking around with their very own headset!

With so many galleries and exhibits offered at MIM, it’s helpful to have an idea of what to expect in each of them prior to visiting. Here’s a virtual map of the museum layout for your reference. Now, let’s go over the various galleries and exhibits!

Exhibits and Galleries

Here’s a list of exhibits and galleries you can visit at MIM. We’ll be covering each of the exhibits in more detail below!

  • Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa
  • Geographic Galleries Including:
    • Africa and Middle East Gallery
    • Asia and Oceania Gallery
    • Europe Gallery
    • Latin America Gallery
    • United States / Canada Gallery
  • Artist Gallery
  • Experience Gallery
  • Mechanical Music Gallery
  • Collier STEM Gallery
  • Conservation Lab

Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa

As you start your self-guided tour of the museum, you’ll come to one of their special exhibits. These exhibits are temporary additions to the museum, and feature masterpieces from all over the world! Currently they are hosting  “Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa”. This exhibit will run through September 2021, and features lively traditions from all over Central Africa. Walk through the exhibit to learn about the masks, instruments, and costumes that make up some of the traditions of Central Africa.

Geographic Galleries

Speaking of visiting other countries, the Geographic Galleries give guests an opportunity to travel the entire world through music! These galleries include instruments and artifacts from around the world. Galleries include the Africa and Middle East Gallery, Asia and Oceania Gallery, Europe Gallery, Latin America Gallery, and the United States / Canada Gallery.

Artist Gallery

For music lovers of all ages, the Artist Gallery celebrates the most influential artists and musicians from around the world. Featuring dozens of artists and instruments, this gallery gives you a chance to hear from some of the greatest musical icons including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and more. As you stand in front of each artist’s display, you’ll be able to learn more about the artist and even hear them play their instruments all through your personal headsets. 

Experience Gallery

Another gallery that is sure to be a hit with the children is the Experience Gallery. Here, you get to experience a variety of instruments from around the world firsthand. Kids can explore the gallery as they discover their inner musician, playing instruments like a harp, a theremin, a gong, and more! This hands on gallery is fun for guests of all ages.

Mechanical Music Gallery

The Mechanical Music Gallery features a wide variety of mechanical instruments that play themselves. All of our kids were fascinated by the displays of self-playing instruments throughout this gallery. Perhaps the most intriguing instrument was the Orchestrion. This self-playing instrument is the largest instrument in the Museum. Standing at just over 25 feet long and almost 10 feet tall, the “Apollonia” Orchestrion can be heard live daily at 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM in the Mechanical Music Gallery. 

Collier STEM Gallery

Diving deeper into the science and technology of music, the Collier STEM Gallery explores how science brings music to life. In this gallery, guests of all ages will be able to learn more about how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play a key role in music appreciation and education. Learning about how humans experience music and how an instrument produces certain sounds through interactive technology displays is captivating for the whole family!

Conservation Lab

With so many instruments and artifacts to care for, MIM’s Conservation Lab gives guests an inside look at how these items are preserved for generations and generations. Conservation is such an important part of making MIM what it is today! Instruments go through a very distinct process of cleaning, restoration, repair, and documentation as they are housed at MIM. The Conservation Lab allows us all to enjoy musical instruments and artifacts from around the world here in Phoenix!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I bring?

MIM does not allow backpacks, food, or beverages in the galleries, so plan accordingly. You may check your backpack at the front desk during your visit if you need to. Cameras are allowed, and we definitely recommend some comfortable shoes because you’ll be on your feet quite a bit!

One of the nicest things about bringing kids to MIM is that they offer stroller rentals for free! So no need to pack up your stroller for those young ones. Simply request a stroller from the front desk and enjoy your visit!

Does MIM offer discounted tickets?

The only discounts offered at MIM are for members. Being a member provides you with free admission to the museum for the entire year, along with several other benefits.

How much time should I plan for visiting the museum?

While you could easily spend all day at MIM and never run out of things to explore, a good estimate is about 3 hours long for your visit. If you’ve got young kids, then be sure to let them get their wiggles out playing instruments at the Experience Gallery!

Will my kids enjoy MIM?

Between the two of us, we have three children under the age of six. I was initially a little bit nervous about bringing my three year old to MIM, because museums don’t usually capture her interest enough to keep her entertained for very long. However, we spent about three hours at MIM and my toddler was still going strong when we left! There’s just so much to look at, so much to do, and so many different galleries to visit. She was fascinated by the different videos throughout the Artist Gallery, and absolutely loved playing the instruments in the Experience Gallery. Kids of all ages will absolutely enjoy visiting MIM!

What types of items will I find in the Museum Store?

The Museum Store is filled with items that will interest music lovers of all ages! Available for in person and online shopping, the Museum Store offers books & journals, apparel, instruments, puzzles & games, kids items, music gifts & technology, stationery, jewelry, ornaments, miniature instruments, magnets, gift cards and so much more! Our kids spent a great deal of time exploring all that the museum store has to offer. Be sure to stop by the store during your visit, or shop online here anytime!

The Museum Store can be contacted at 480.478.6002 or via email at museumstore@mim.org.

Musical Instrument Museum Circle of Friends Memberships

MIM offers a variety of options for those who want the exclusive benefits of being a member

With membership donation options starting at very little, there’s something that fits everyone’s budget!

The family membership gives incredible benefits and discounts for only $119/year or $9.90/month.

Benefits of the 1-year family membership include:

  • Unlimited museum admission for 2
  • Free admission for your accompanied children 19 years & under
  • 10% discount at the Museum Store
  • Subscription to Quarter Notes, MIM’s quarterly publication
  • Recognition at MIM and on MIM.org
  • Free admission to MIM Musical Interludes concerts

Check out their various membership options and other ways you can support the museum here. You’re sure to find something that fits your family’s budget!

Musical Adventures Class

MIM now offers online Musical Adventures classes for kids ages 6-10 years. 

Musical Adventures is an educational program designed for children to actively participate in music making, crafting musical instruments, and virtually exploring MIM’s exhibits with designated tour guides. 

Each registered child is given an instrument-building kit, which can either be mailed or picked up at MIM prior to the class date. These Zoom classes are incredibly engaging and entertaining for everyone involved! 

2 of our kids participated in the most recent Musical Adventures class, and they can’t stop talking about the fun they had!

They learned about an instrument called the “Silly Stick”, and they were provided with all the materials needed to make their own. There were countless laughs and smiles as they learned about the different sounds these instruments can make! 

Even though the class was virtual, the teacher did a fantastic job at keeping their attention with various visuals, videos, songs, and much more. 

Musical Adventures classes take place on the second Saturday of every month from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, and cost only $15 per student. The $15 registration fee covers your child’s instrument-building kit, which includes everything they’ll need to build their instrument with the class. 

We cannot recommend these classes enough! The next Musical Adventures class will be held April 10th, and can be registered for here.

Important Information About The Musical Instrument Museum

Location & Parking

4725 E Mayo Blvd

Phoenix, AZ 85050

Parking is free

Hours of Operation

MIM is open daily from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Timed entry tickets will continue through April 30, 2021. We recommend purchasing your tickets in advance to reserve your entry. You can purchase timed entry tickets online HERE or at the guest service desk in the museum lobby.

The Museum Store is open daily in person and online

Cafe Allegro is temporarily closed, but grab-and-go refreshments are available for purchase during regular museum hours.

Admission

1 Day Pass

Members: Free

General Admission: $20

Teens (13-19): $15

Children (4-12): $10

Children (3 and under): Free

2 Day Pass

2 day passes are available for purchase at the Guest Service desk.

Special Exhibition Admission

General (w/ Museum Admission): $7

General (without Museum Admission): $10

Children/Teens (4-19): $4

Children (3 and under): Free

Family Fun · Seasonal · Things To Do

The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not

Growing up, we used to watch the TV show – Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It was creepy and cool all at the same time. We were fascinated by the abnormal and freaky. When we heard they were opening a Ripley’s exhibit at the Arizona Boardwalk, we were instantly excited!

The Arizona Boardwalk is full of incredible exhibits and museums that will entertain children for hours. It’s located just off of Via De Ventura in Scottsdale. They have cute shops, yummy food, endless treat options and a wide variety of entertainment that is all family friendly.

The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit will only be here for a limited time. It is not a permanent exhibit. That being said, we definitely recommend you take your kids before it leaves! 

It is full of the weird and abnormal and our children were fascinated at every turn. We saw a giant T-Rex, made from tire rubber, a two-headed calf, a life-size autobot made from actual carparts, an animatronic of the world’s tallest man, the jaw casting of the megaladon and so much more. There were things for science fanatics and animal lovers, shark enthusiasts and even dancers. There were exhibits you could touch and endless cool photo opportunities. 

Our kids loved crawling through the plastic mold of a hollowed out python, figuring out several optical illusions and looking at the deformed animals. Ash and I enjoyed the interesting artwork, some made from toast, some from human hair. We also loved the educational videos that kept our kids entertained throughout the exhibit like discovering how much energy is in a gummy bear!

Your children will not be bored. They will be thoroughly entertained, sometimes grossed out (sword swallowing and bugs), and always fascinated.

Ticket Info

Guests can save 20% when you purchase tickets online at ripleysaz.com You can save even more if you combine Ripley’s Believe It or Not tickets with other attractions at AZ Boardwalk. Tickets are $21.95 in person and $16.95 for ages 2-12. Under 2 are free. This exhibit is open 9am to 7pm and parking is free. Arizona Boardwalk is located at 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not

How much do tickets cost?

In person, tickets are $21.95 for adults and $16.95 for ages 2-12. Under 2 years old are free.

Guests can save 20% when you purchase tickets online at ripleysaz.com. You can save even more if you combine Ripley’s Believe It or Not tickets with other attractions at AZ Boardwalk

What are the hours for the attraction?

The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit is open from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM. The last entry time is 45 minutes before closing time.

How do I purchase tickets?

Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE

What are their mask requirements?

Masks are required for children over the age of 6.

Where is the exhibit located?

The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit is located inside of the Arizona Boardwalk, which is located in Scottsdale. The address is listed below:

Arizona Boardwalk

9500 East Via De Ventura Drive

Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Do I have to pay for parking?

Arizona Boardwalk provides free parking on site for all of their attractions and exhibits.

We hope you and your family enjoy The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit for a limited time at the Arizona Boardwalk in Scottsdale! Have you been to the exhibit? Let us know in the comments!

Recommendations

Favorite Things Local Gift Ideas

Every year around Valentine’s Day, women get together for their annual Galentine’s parties. Galentine’s Day is an actual holiday on February 13th, and I’m pretty sure it originated from Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec (at least that’s where it originated for us). Either way, it turned February into a month of girls’ nights and galentine’s celebrations, where ladies give each other gifts and eat treats.

bouquet of pink roses
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

One popular galentine’s day theme is a “favorite things” party. This is where you bring one of your favorites for an allotted amount of money and exchange with a friend.

So obviously, as we were getting ready for our favorite things parties this season, we turned to shopping small and local. We came up with an amazing list in a wide range of values for you to shop small and local as well!

One of the benefits of shopping local is that you are very unlikely to come with the same Target favorite thing as anyone else. You are also helping out a fellow mom / woman. Lastly, you will probably have the cutest, most unique thing at the party and probably the most coveted.

So check out our list, and support local this Galentine’s Day!

COZYS

Cozy’s blankets are by far the softest, cutest blankets in the valley. I know it might seem weird to bring a blanket to a party, but I promise everyone will want it. You’ll want one for yourself as well. I have one for my couch, my bed, my kids’ beds and in my car.

You can get a large blanket for only $48

Love Ya Loads Studio

Home decor is always a hit at Favorite Things parties and wood beaded garlands are all the rage right now. It would make for the perfect galentine’s gift! Check out the Etsy shop at Love Ya Loads Studio. They make beaded garlands, macrame wall hangings and so much more!

You can get a cute wall hanging or garland for $28

Mulberry House

Speaking of home decor, the wood working from Mulberry House is amazing! We are in love with their wooden signs and they would make an amazing addition to any farm house style. My favorite is their wooden engraved saguaro cactus sign in their Etsy shop.

You can get that for $55

The Desert Kiwi

T-shirts are kind of tricky for favorite things parties, but a shop credit would be perfect. These shirts are so adorable and any woman would be so excited to get one. We have brought a large or medium shirt to parties and been totally fine and people have loved them!

This cute cactus hearts one goes for about $25

Rosie Luv Apparel

Speaking of shirts, Rosie Luv has the cutest, most comfortable t-shirts and sweaters and they are always supporting good causes with their business. 


Grab an Arizona tee for just $15

Tangle & Tease Co.

Nothing gives a hairstyle more personality than a cute hair accessory! Tangle and Tease has the most beautiful, in-style hair clips and scrunchies. Put a cute scrunchie around a Chick-Fil-A gift card and it’ll be the best gift at the party!

You can get most of their accessories for $5-15

Tani Ties

Tani Ties also has cute hair accessories, but their hair accessory box is what we love! It keeps not only your hair accessories in one place, but there is also a place for a brush and spray bottle. It’d be perfect for any girl mom on the go! (Which is all of us girl moms!)

You can get the hair box fully loaded for $50

Honey Oh Darling

If you want to instantly dress up any outfit, add statement earrings. These handmade clay polymer earrings are not only great quality, but super unique and beautiful. I own a couple of pairs and I forget that I have dangly earrings because they are so lightweight. The cactus hoops are my personal favorite. Every AZ girl needs a pair!

You can get the cactus mini hoops for $25

Lima Hana Studio

You might be thinking, “why am I getting a grown woman a puzzle?” Lima Hana makes more than just puzzles. They make home decor in the form of puzzles. If you have a coffee table, you need one to display on there. They make for the most gorgeous addition to any home and they should be displayed in homes even without children. Their Tic Tac Toe Arizona piece sits proudly on my coffee table and is the most asked about thing in my home.

You can get the AZ Tic Tac Toe for $20

Ava Soaps

Every woman likes to smell good and make sure their home smells good. These soaps and potpourri mixes are heavenly. They’re made with clean ingredients so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals on your body or in your home. These would be so cute in a guest bathroom because they’re gorgeous soaps. Pair it with a cute Trader Joe’s goodie for the perfect favorite things gift.

You can grab most soaps for $8-10

Desert Strandz

Beaded bracelet stacks are my favorite trend right now. They’re simple, elegant and you can express yourself without even trying. These handmade, customizable bracelet stacks are gorgeous and simple and give any outfit an instant boost.

You can grab a starter stack for $25

Jaxn BLVD 

Wooden signs are cute in any home, in any style, but Jaxn Blvd does something different. They make these adorable wooden holders for things like utensils, toothbrushes, art supplies and our personal favorite, candles. These wooden containers are well-made and stained beautifully. 

You can grab a wood candle holder for $65

Made It Ate It Loved It

Cooking is something every woman in the world does at some point. A good recipe book is priceless. We’ve been making Scarlett’s recipes for a while now and we absolutely love her cookbook. Plus, it’s gorgeous! We have it on display all the time in our kitchen and we know any woman would love to have it.

You can grab the Making Messes With Scarlett Cookbook for $40

Prickly Pear Lane

Maybe we’re the only ones obsessed with saguaro cacti, but if you’re from AZ, you better embrace them. They’re what makes us unique! We love how local shops make them look cute and the unique take they have on them. One in particular is this gorgeous throw pillow from Prickly Pear Lane. How cute would this be in a living room? I have one on display in my piano room and it makes me happy every time I see it.

You can grab this cute cactus pillow for $48

Creme & Chocolats

One of our favorite treat places is Creme & Chocolats. But one thing we love about it, is they make for the cutest gifts. They package up their crepe mix and fondue chocolate in the cutest containers. Give your girlfriends a chocolate fondue and a gift card to grab some crepes or delicious ice cream. 

You can grab a fondue container for only $8

Events · Family Fun · Recommendations · Things To Do

Gift Experiences in Arizona

No toys please! We have a better idea!

Gift giving can be stressful and superficial. It’s difficult to find the perfect toy or item for birthdays and Christmas. Take the stress out of gift giving and give people what they really want – time and memories!

We’ve made it our goal to give experiences more than tangible gifts and we’ve received amazing feedback! We try to give our children an experience each year for their birthday or Christmas.

One year we gifted them a zoo pass. We went to the Phoenix Zoo nearly 50 times that year and they still ask to go almost every day.

Another year we gave them Disney On Ice tickets. They got to go with their grandparents and have not stopped talking about it since.

Myself and my two children all have April birthdays so one year we gifted Disneyland tickets and went to celebrate all three birthdays. That was an experience they will not soon forget.

I have always given my husband experiences. Some of them included snowboarding tickets, racecar driving experiences, paintball sessions, axe throwing, escape rooms, hotel stays, golf trips, etc. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Any time our parents ask what to get the kids, we always ask them for experiences. We want them to spend time with the kids. That’s the greatest gift you can give someone – your time and attention.

Every year we give our parents experiences to do with each other or with our kids – zoo lights, concerts, musicals, Disney On Ice tickets, etc.

We have compiled a list of experiences in Arizona that you can gift for your children, spouse, parents, friends, siblings, etc. Experiences are priceless and we are excited to share some of our favorite expe riences in Arizona!

  • Top Golf – Gilbert
  • 1689 S. Santan Village Pkwy,
  • Gilbert, AZ 85295
  • 10am-11pm
  • $47/hr per bay (6 people per bay)
  • Phoenix Zoo Pass
  • 455 North Galvin Parkway
    Phoenix, AZ 85008
  • 9am – 3pm (during zoo lights)
  • Annual memberships as low as $69

  • POGO Pass
  • Annual pass includes hundreds of FREE entries to the best entertainment spots in Arizona
  • Use code AZMOMSQUAD to get the pass for only $39.98!

Rooms for 8 people cost about $100

Great for group or family gifts!

Movie tickets are always great stocking stuffers!

AMC – Stapley has completely remodeled their theaters so if you haven’t been recently, you’ve gotta check it out!

Dine-in available!

Cooking classes for kids

Gift card and family fun passes available

Workshops and parties available for adults and children

Ride along starting at $69

Flights as low as $60!

A great gift for the hubby!

$125/hour for private coaching

On sale for $145/person as of Dec 2020

9 am – 8 pm

$120 for private lessons

$23/person or annual passes starting at $36

9 am – 4 pm

$15/child, $25/adult

$23/person or annual passes starting at $36

  • Build-A-Bear
  • 2180 E Williams Field Road
  • Gilbert, Arizona 85295

Costco regularly sells discounted gift cards

This is the gift that keeps on giving! Even if they already have a bear, they can go pick out countless outfits and accessories.

We will continue to add to this list as we discover more of our favorite experiences and activities throughout Arizona!

Make sure to check places like Groupon for discounts and deals before you purchase!

We hope you enjoy a season full of experiences and memories!

Events · Family Fun · Seasonal · Things To Do

Santa Claus in Arizona

One of our favorite holiday traditions is taking the kids to see Santa! Unfortunately, among other things, this year brings lots of changes to this timeless tradition.

We did some research on not only where, but how you can visit St. Nick this season.

Here are some of the best places in the valley where you’ll be able to get that timeless Santa picture with the kids!

While you’re in the holiday spirit, be sure to check out our latest post of the holiday boutiques going on around the Valley!

Bass Pro Shops – Santa’s Wonderland

  • Where: 1113 N Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ
  • When: November 7th – December 24th
  • Cost: Free
  • Details: Must make reservations within a 7-day period. Santa will be behind a partition and children can sit on a bench in front of it for photos. Face coverings are required and they will submit you to a temperature screening.

Superstition Springs Center – Photos with Santa

  • Where: 6555 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ
  • When: December 4th – December 24th
  • Cost: Free visit, photos purchased from professional photographer
  • Details: Reservations recommended, masks required, contactless visit

Doughnuttery of Chandler – Socially Distanced Santa and Doughnuts

  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Multiple visits around the valley – some are still being announced.
  • Cost: Pre-order donuts to purchase and say hello to Santa
  • Details: Drive thru event. 12/5 @ Finley Farms from 9-11 am, and 12/12 @ Autumn Park from 9-11 am. Other locations TBA.

San Tan Village – Photos with Santa

  • Where: 2218 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ
  • When: December 4th – 24th
  • Cost: Free to visit, photos only taken by professional photographer that must be purchased
  • Details: Contactless visit, masks required, reservations recommended
man in santa claus costume

Mesa Convention Center – Breakfast with Santa

  • Where: 263 N Center St, Mesa, AZ
  • When: December 12th, 8-11 am
  • Cost: $3 per person – includes a to-go breakfast and goodie bag
  • Details: Drive thru event, participants must pre-register

Merry Main Street – Visits with Santa Claus

  • Where: 1 North MacDonald, Mesa, AZ
  • When: December 4-5; 11-12; 18-19
  • Cost: Free visits, cell phone pictures allowed
  • Details: Contactless visit, face coverings required

East Valley Santa Claus – For Hire!

  • Where: Anywhere! He will do virtual visits, home visits, and parties
  • When: Anytime
  • Cost: Go to www.eastvalleysantaclaus.com to get a quote for your specific needs
  • Details: Serving Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Mesa, and San Tan Valley

Westgate – Santa Saturdays

  • Where: Westgate Entertainment District
  • When: November 28, December 5, 12, 19
  • Cost: Free
  • Details: Catch Santa cruising by on a fire truck and snap a socially distanced picture at designated “Santa stops”. You can also sign up to receive a call from Santa November 27 – December 24.

Chandler Fashion Center – Photos with Santa

  • Where: 3111 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ
  • When: November 20 – December 24
  • Cost: Free visit, purchased professional photography
  • Details: Contactless visit, masks required, reservations recommended. Visit is free, photos only allowed from professional photographers and must be purchased.

Tempe Marketplace – Virtual Photos with Santa

  • Where: 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ
  • When: Everyday through December 24
  • Cost: Free visit
  • Details: Virtual Santa photos only

Merchant Square – Noel Night

  • Where: 1509 N Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ
  • When: December 4th, 6-8 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Details: Guest appearances from Santa and the Grinch! Storewide sale going on December 3rd – 6th.

Christmas at the Princess

  • Where: 7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ
  • When: November 20 – December 31
  • Cost: Various packages
  • Details: One digital photo included, personal photos allowed. Must make reservations. Various Christmas festivities to take part in so be sure to check their website to see what they offer.

Christmas at Schnepf Farms

  • Where: 24810 S Rittenhouse Rd, Queen Creek, AZ
  • When: November 24 – December 31
  • Cost: $15/person
  • Details: Admission includes meet & greet with Santa, Christmas movies, hayride, cookie decorating, carousel, bonfires, and more!

Christmas Photo Sessions

  • Where: Phoenix, AZ
  • When: November 28th
  • Cost: $60 for all digital photos from your session
  • Details: Limited space available to pose with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Call or text for additional details or to book your session.

We hope you have an amazing, safe holiday and get to continue the tradition of visiting Santa. If you end up going, please leave a comment with your review of that specific location or tag us on Instagram so we can share!

Happy Santa visit!

Events · Recommendations · Things To Do

Boutiques in Phoenix

It’s that time of year when local shops come together in hundreds of boutiques around the Phoenix Valley. We absolutely LOVE holiday boutique shopping so we decided to compile a list of our favorite markets and boutiques to make it easy for you to plan and shop in Phoenix!

We’ve included all of the Instagram handles for each Arizona boutique, so be sure to check their Instagram page for the most up to date information!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog if you want to stay in the loop with local events and activities.

Click the images below for more information on each boutique.

Berry Merry Christmas Boutique
November 9th-14th
1501 E Woolford Rd
Show Low, AZ  85901
Highland Yard Vintage Market
@highlandyardvintagemarket
November11-15; 18-22; 27; 28
1509 N Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225
Kandy Kane Castle Holiday Boutique
November 12-14
2159 E Riverdale
Mesa, AZ 85213
Wildflower Beauty Bar Holiday Event
@wildflowerbeautybar
November 14
861 N Higley Road, Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert Backyard Boutique
@gilbertbackyardboutique
November 14
Online Only this year
Mesa Bazaar Artisan Market
@mesabazaar
November 21
Main & McDonald – Downtown Mesa
So Sassy Holiday Boutique
@sosassyboutiques
December 10-12
3891 E Latham Way, Gilbert, AZ 85297
Pinners Conference AZ
@pinnersconf
November 13-14
Westworld of Scottsdale

Sugarplums Holiday Market
@sugarplumsmarket
November 12-14
2851 E Morrison Ranch, Gilbert, AZ 85296
Holiday Sip & Shop
@vintageandvinoaz
Every Fri-Sun, November 13 – December 20 2180 E Williams Field, Gilbert, AZ 85295
Holiday Bliss Boutique
@powerranchcommunity
November 21
4546 E Haven Crest Dr, Gilbert, AZ 85297
Boutique at Eastmark
@eastmarkboutique
November 14
5100 S Eastmark Parkway, Mesa, AZ 85212
Vintage Charm Holiday Boutique
@vintagecharmboutique
November 19-21
2600 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85204
Peppermint Lane Holiday Boutique
@peppermintlaneboutique
December 3-5
2668 E Pegasus St, Gilbert, AZ
Backyard Christmas Boutique
@backyardfallboutique
December 13-14
1105 E Sorenson, Mesa, AZ

Family Fun · Recommendations · Recreation · Things To Do

Uptown Jungle Mesa

Looking for a fun, inexpensive way to get your kids’ wiggles out? Head to Uptown Jungle Fun Park!

Previously known as Urban Jungle Mesa, Uptown Jungle in North Mesa is open and thriving! They are an indoor fun park for the entire family!

We know there are several trampoline parks in the valley, but Uptown Jungle (UTJ) is not your average trampoline park. It is an adventure park with countless activities for kids of all ages! There’s countless reasons we love Uptown Jungle (UTJ) in Mesa, but we’ll name a few below.

Reasons We Love Uptown Jungle

INEXPENSIVE
We love how inexpensive UTJ is! You can jump for only $11 per hour and $15 for two hours. Save even MORE money by using your Pogo Pass! Learn more about the Pogo Pass here.

Or, if you really want to get a deal, check out UTJ’s awesome membership plans and become a part of the UTJ family!

TODDLER AREA
They have an enclosed toddler area! Our littles love the trampolines, but when there are too many big kids, it’s easy to get hurt. We love that UTJ has an enclosed toddler area with soft, safe spaces for kids 5 and under.

SNACKS
They have a full snack bar available! Part of our experience is the kids get to pick a snack out after our jump time is up. That’s one of their favorite parts!

ONE EXIT
There is only one entrance/exit! That sounds like a weird thing to love, but when your children are running around like crazy, it’s very stressful to have to watch two exits to make sure they don’t escape or get taken.

ENCLOSED AREAS
There are separate spaces for everything! There is an enclosed trampoline park, an enclosed basketball trampoline area, an enclosed toddler space, an enclosed rock wall, and an obstacle course that does not connect to any of those. We love that because it’s safer, but also because kids get bored with something so when they go to a new section it’s almost as if they’ve gone to a new park!

ONLINE WAIVERS
The waivers are all online! Not only is that better for health reasons, but it saves time when you get there. The lines have never been longer than 5 minutes because everyone had their waivers already done!

BYO GRIP SOCKS
You can wear any grip socks. It does not have to be their specific socks. But if you do need socks there, it’s only $2.75 a pair!

CLEAN
Their facility is super clean. I’ve never gone in there and left feeling gross. Some trampoline parks are sticky and you can just tell it’s germy. Not UTJ. Their facility is very clean and well kept.

PARENT’S LOUNGE
They have a parent’s lounge! It’s not something we have been able to enjoy yet because our kids are young and still need supervision, but we are definitely looking forward to the days when our kids are old enough to hold their own and we can sit and relax in the lounge. Our husbands definitely enjoy watching sports in there.

Attractions

BALL BLASTER ARENA

The kids have a blast filling up the giant scoop with balls and having them get dumped right on them! Kids playing on the upper level can also play along by using the air-powered blasters on each side.


NINJA COURSE

Let your kids complete their own version of “American Ninja Warrior” as they climb on various levels of towers and rock walls, all while safely strapped into a harness.


MEGA PLAY STRUCTURES

The fun never ends with hundreds of square feet of ladders, slides, bars, tunnels, and more.


SUPER SLIDES

With several different slides throughout the park, your child is sure to find one they want to ride over and over again. Heck, you may even find yourself wanting to take a few turns!


SPIDER TOWER

If your kid loves climbing, then they may spend a lot of time going up and down this spider tower. We especially love it because it provides a “safety net” in case of falling, which is sometimes just as much fun for the kids on this attraction!


TRAMPOLINES

What would a fun park be without endless trampolines? UTJ features trampolines for all ages. With 2 trampolines in the enclosed toddler area, and dozens of trampolines around the park, everyone is sure to find plenty of space for their jump tricks! There’s a dodgeball arena covered in trampolines, as well as a dunk section and freestyle jump section.


OBSTACLE COURSE

Our kids tired themselves out just making their way through the obstacle courses! There’s an inflatable obstacle course that is super fun for the kids to run through, as well as a built-in obstacle course in the mega play structure.


TODDLER AREA

We love this area because it makes our kids feel like they’re not missing out on anything. There is a tiny obstacle course, slides, all the things to jump off of and climb on, and a tiny enclosed trampoline area just for toddlers. Sometimes when things get a little crowded and bigger kids don’t really pay attention to the little ones, Scotti and Beckham enjoy the toddler area and get a lot more space to themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

Uptown Jungle charges a flat admission fee to access ALL the park attractions listed above. Below are the various prices. NOTE: Parents get in free if they are not jumping, or for ½ price if they want to jump. If you need to purchase Grip Socks, they’re only $2.75 + Tax per pair.

  • 60 Minutes
    • Monday – Friday – $11
    • Saturday – Sunday & Holidays – $14
  • 90 Minutes
    • Monday – Friday – $13
    • Saturday – Sunday & Holidays – $17
  • 120 Minutes
    • Monday – Friday – $15
    • Saturday – Sunday & Holidays – $20

What do I need to bring?

If you have grip socks, you can bring your own or purchase a pair at the front desk. It’s always a good idea to bring water, as you and your kids are sure to be thirsty after all the fun! They also have snacks and drinks for purchase.

Do I have to purchase jump socks?

You can use grip socks from ANY jump park when visiting Uptown Jungle! If you don’t have any or forgot yours at home, you can purchase them at the front desk for only $2.75 a pair.

Do they offer discounted tickets?

Follow Uptown Jungle on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with their latest offers. They always have specials going on, so keep an eye out! 

If your family loves to frequent Uptown Jungle like we do, then purchasing a membership pass may be the best option for you! Ranging from $30/month to $70/month, there’s options for the whole family.

If you want to really save some money, be sure to get a Pogo Pass and get 2 FREE admissions to Uptown Jungle. You can’t beat that!

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Family Fun · Recommendations · Things To Do

Creme & Chocolats Review

Our love language is TREATS!! 

With everything that has gone on this year, it’s so nice to know that our favorite treat places are still open and thriving. One in particular, Creme & Chocolats!

Creme & Chocolats is located in the heart of Mesa, just down the street from where we grew up. We have been enjoying the shops and treats in Dana Park for decades and it’s the perfect place for the yummy “crepe place” to call home.

We take our kids out to treats frequently, but some treat places are so confined and small that it’s hard with little kids. Not C & C! They have a beautiful, large patio where the kids can run around and drip their ice cream on concrete without any concerns.

The ambiance is perfect. It takes you out of hot, dusty AZ for a bit and brings you into a beautiful French Café. The décor, the food and even the owners, The Godin’s and their gorgeous accents, all add to the French atmosphere.

Meet the owners

Bonjour, we are the Godin’s, a french family of five from Quebec Canada. Being parents of 3 boys and married for more than 10 years, we always strive to find new places to go on date nights or to take the kids out for family time.  We came to Arizona with the dream to share our favorite treat for anyone who seeks a great product, and a unique french experience. Everything we created at Creme & Chocolats is focused on providing a place for friends and family to come together to enjoy a special treat, create memories, and share a chocolate moment together. 

Treat Options

We have enjoyed almost their entire menu because it’s one of our favorite places to visit.

Our kids love the ice cream cones! They offer 10 different soft (and I mean SOFT) ice cream flavors that are beautifully swirled with delicious flavoring. Then you can top it off with sprinkles (Peyton’s favorite) or  your choice of premium chocolate options. The thick chocolate over the ice cream is the perfect summer treat.

For a quick on-the-go treat, Megan loves the Butter Pecan MilkShake. It’s the creamiest, most flavorful shake I’ve ever had, topped off with loads of whipped cream. (Excuse me while I wipe off my drool).

We went there for lunch this past week and were blown away by their options of savory crepes. You haven’t had a wrap yet until you’ve tried it in crepe form. They take their delicious dessert crepe and fill it with 4 different savory options. Megan’s husband recommends the Southwest with BBQ chicken while Ashlyn enjoys the Parisienne with eggs, ham and cheese (just don’t ask her to pronounce it correctly 😂).

Their raspberry lemonade is so refreshing, but they also offer lemonades in 7 different flavors. I can’t imagine choosing a favorite, but I’ll be trying them all for sure, because the raspberry one was to die for!

 One of our favorite family options is the fondue! They let you select two of their chocolates and offer a large variety of dippers including pretzels, marshmallows, strawberries and bananas. They also offer all of their food to go, so it’d make for the cutest date night picnic!

 They also offer dipped  ice cream sandwiches, French Macaroons, Sorbet, hot chocolate – the absolute creamiest we’ve ever had. We drink the hot chocolate by the gallons around Christmas time!

But… the real reason we go to Creme & Chocolats is… THE CREPES! We don’t know if it’s the batter, the chocolate, the fresh fruit, or the ice cream on the side, but the dessert crepes are our absolute favorite treat in Mesa! Megan will suggest crepes on date night without fail. Their combination of crepe, chocolate, fruit and ice cream makes for the most perfect dessert you could want.

Tip: if it’s your first time, get the milk hazelnut chocolate crepe and add a side of black cherry ice cream. You will not be disappointed.

Catering

Did you know they offer catering? I’m seriously so sad they weren’t around for our wedding dinners because it would have been a no brainer, but now I’m planning ahead for all of the future parties we could have catered with their delicious crepes!

Baby showers, wedding showers, receptions, work parties, random girl’s night out?? Don’t be surprised if Ashlyn and Megan throw a random party for no reason and have it catered by C&C. You’ll definitely want to be there!

Gifts

We both give treat gifts to our adult friends and family for birthdays. C&C offers the cutest gift options!

You can send someone a box of delicious macaroons (also offered in themed flavors and colors).

We frequently send our friends their chocolate fondue cans and almost always have them stocked in our own home.

They also offer packages of their crepe mix! Sending this with a jar of chocolate is undoubtedly sure to win you title of “BFF”!

Enjoy!

We hope you get to go enjoy all that Creme & Chocolats has to offer, whether it’s for date night, girl’s night out, family outing or for no reason at all. We want to hear how you like it so make sure to tag @cremechocolats and @azmomsquad in your social media!

Now excuse me while I run to grab another swig of my Butter Pecan Milk Shake! 🤤