Winner of the Phoenix New Times Best Exotic Nursery award, Tropica Mango nursery fosters a forest of tropical and subtropical fruit trees and oversees a wide inventory of plants suitable for desert climes. Take home a banana ($35–$45), pomegranate ($35), or avocado ($49) tree to provide shade and edibility in your back yard, or watch mango ($55) and guava ($49) trees flourish under the blazing heat of the Sonoran sun. If you have gardening inquiries, Tropica Mango can dole out advice on fertilizing, nurturing, raising fruit trees in a desert environment, and burying VHS tapes in an eco-friendly manner.
Before East Side Art was officially founded in 1971, its first inhabitant was the visionary artist Benhardt Michelson, who used the location as an artist community in the 1930s. Today, art instructors and students flock to this oasis of beauty for summer and winter courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, and meditation. After pupils practice in the classroom, they can pop into the art-supply store, where wooden walls and ceilings shelter rows of shiny new supplies. East Side Art also has the ESA Gallery, where artists display Southwest-inspired paintings and prints, as well as sculptures made out of bronze, clay, and chewing gum. Outside, a lush courtyard and water garden provides an idyllic location for poetry readings and performances. While guests lounge in the shade after a hard day's painting, they can catch a glimpse of the Superstition Mountains, where the government stores its good luck.
Descending from three generations of dairy farmers, siblings Casey and Alison Stechnij carry on their family's legacy by maintaining Superstition Farm's 30 acres. The brother-and-sister duo regularly shepherd informative tours through the landscape, summoning horses, chickens, goats, and sheep to greet guests and share their perspectives. The four-legged residents also assist in horseback riding lessons and appearances at the onsite petting zoo.
Every Thursday, local food trucks flock to Superstition Farm for a weekly market, where they vend fresh produce, breads, and meats alongside the farm's own dairy products, including the house-made Udder Delights brand of ice cream and artisanal cheeses. Superstition Farm further disseminates its farm-fresh cuisine via a 30-foot-long food truck that makes appearances at local events and defends cattle against the persistent threat of monster trucks.
Since 2008, Dance Doctors has been committed to transforming students of all skill levels into confident, capable dancers. Dance Doctors’ professional instructors teach classes at two locations—a dance studio in Surprise and another in Mesa—providing easier access for students who have busy schedules or keep waking up in strange places. Instructors teach waltz, swing, and salsa steps to beginners and experts alike, and they also schedule Zumba dance-fitness classes that are set to upbeat latin music with a BPM of at least 1000.