We’ve hand selected some of our favorite local products and put together this year’s local Christmas gift guide! Click the links below each photo to shop, and be sure to check for coupon codes below some of the photos! Thank you so much for joining us in our efforts to support local and help the community thrive.
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!
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
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!
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
Latin America Gallery
United States / Canada Gallery
Mechanical Music Gallery
Collier STEM Gallery
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
1 Day Pass
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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!)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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