At the 12k's of Christmas, a peloton of Santas and seasonally-dressed runners race through the Gilbert's Freestone District Park. All participants receive a Santa hat to wear, and are encouraged to dress up further with colorful socks, an elf costume, or felt reindeer horns. Both 6K and 12K races feature a flat, mainly packed-gravel trail with carolers set up at every kilometer. Chronotrack chips track progress, and race organizers issue awards for the top finishers in each age bracket as well as best costumes. The race also offers a 1.2 K Santa "Sled" run, where racers are encouraged to walk a stroller or enter a souped-up wagon pulled by their pets. By partnering with adoption groups and shelters, the event operates Santa's Pet Village, which helps connects stray pets with new families.
Specially extended into November for Groupon customers, Schnepf Farms' popularPumpkin and Chili Party elicits smiles from children and adults with fall-themed activities including a hayride, 4- and 10-acre corn mazes, and bonfires for roasting marshmallows. Energetic animals greet guests in the petting zoo, and prized swine vie for the praises of spectators during pig races, and a roller coaster and flying-farmer ride sling adventure-seekers and hapless scarecrows into the air. After exploring an expanse of gourds in the pumpkin patch and U-pick garden, twosomes and foursomes can dive into chicken and chili dinners (not included with today's Groupon) or rearrange faces into jack-o-lantern–shaped poses.
Dan and Tim Flanigan created Flanigan Entertainment that bears their name in order to quench beer enthusiasts' thirst while supporting worthy causes. Their Beat the Heat WinterFest brings a much-needed frosty edge to summertime in Arizona, and the Spring Swing Beer Bash kicks off baseball season with cold glassfuls of hoppy, wheaty, and malty goodness. The duo's festivals showcase local and internationally renowned breweries, from Phoenix's own Old World Brewery and Phoenix Ale Brewery to Stella Artois and Hoegaarden Brewery. The team's Blue Collar Beer and Music Festival is a collaboration done in conjunction with Trick Entertainment. The event was created to honor and celebrate the beers and music that are the cornerstone's of America.
Their past events, which have benefitted children's charities, have been held at the 30,000-square-foot Arizona Event Center and The Venue Scottsdale, whose stone walls, chandeliers, and retractable roof resemble the medieval football stadiums of yore.
Luminous chandeliers float like paper lanterns above the lobby of Chandler Center for the Arts, welcoming guests entering through the towering glass facade. Inside, they find three halls—one larger auditorium, and two more intimate performance spaces—hosting a variety of musical and theatrical performances. Each theater is designed for optimal acoustics, ensuring audiences can hear every tuneful note, stage-whispered line, and breaking of the fourth wall. And the center showcases non-performing arts as well—the Exhibition Hall displays regularly rotating collections of sculptures and paintings.
Come mid-march, thousands will pounce upon Tumbleweed Park for three rampaging days of long-necked frolicking and a flock of family-oriented thrills. Celebrating nature’s most irascible flightless bird, the Ostrich Festival showcases a smorgasbord of food, music, and events to entertain every abounding lil’ critter and bigfoot.
Named the Best Arts Festival in 2010 by the Phoenix New Times, the Scottsdale Arts Festival has showcased the fine arts since 1971. This year, nearly 200 jury-selected artists from around the United States and Canada contribute vibrant paintings, glass and ceramic sculptures, photography, and connect-the-dots sketches framed with macaroni. Throughout the festival, artists engage guests with interactive projects. Tunes from live bands swirl past attentive eardrums while mouths are occupied at gourmet food trucks serving such great festival eats as hot dogs, barbecue, pastries, and more. Throughout the day, pintsize patrons and kids of all ages can skip over to Imagine Nation to participate in artistic activities, such as walking down Kid’s Way and creating a paper hat.
Nestled within 18,500 square feet and designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's quintet of galleries—formerly a cineplex's five theaters—have hosted changing and permanent exhibitions of art, architecture, and design since 1999. The outdoor sculpture garden features acclaimed pieces such as James Turrell's experiential Knight Rise skyspace and James Carpenter Design Associates' Scrim Wall. After viewing the art outside, visitors can return indoors to explore furnishings and jewelry in the shop or examine work by local youth in the young@art gallery. The museum's Visions Teen Program continues to nurture burgeoning talent, pairing teenagers with visual-art teachers and visiting artists. Adults can also enrich their artistic know-how at lectures and workshops until they are able to draw a perfect circle with a pencil still tucked behind their ear. The museum's lounge fosters artistic communities through events ranging from screenings of international art movies to art-making sessions.