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Category: Holiday Events

15 Mother’s Day 2013 Gift & Activity Ideas

“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” – Tenneva Jordan

happy mother's day baby and mother hugging

Every year your mom insists that she doesn’t want anything for Mother’s Day, but even if she is telling the truth and not just playing coy, don’t you think she deserves a little something nice?

Mother’s Day 2013 is Sunday, May 12. Check out our tips below for suggestions for what to get for Mother’s Day and what Mother’s Day activities to partake in.

TREAT HER TO A SPA DAY

After 18+ years of taking care of you, don’t you think Mom deserves some relaxation and pampering? Take her to this oft-tried and oft-enjoyed Mother’s Day activity at one of these spas in the Phoenix area:

  • Willow Stream Spa: 22 miles from Downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale’s newly redesigned Fairmont Scottsdale Resort Hotel has been going strong for 25 years. The resort’s Willow Stream Spa promises to relax, rejuvenate, and educate you and your mom with a “medically guided, personalized and full integrated wellness program.”
  • Body Beautiful Med Spa & Day Spa: Has your mom been complaining about getting older? We’d love to guide her to the fountain of youth, but until we find it, Body Beautiful Med Spa & Day Spa will have to do. This spa’s anti-aging experts and aestheticians provide Botox, lip augmentation, derma fillers, and laser procedures in addition to more common spa services like waxing and massages. They also offer a host of Gentlemen’s Spa Services, which is ideal for the sons who might typically feel left out of this Mother’s Day activity.
  • Dolce Salon & Spa: Dolce Salon & Spa is the largest full-service salon and day spa in North America and has three locations in Chandler, Scottsdale, and Peoria. Services include everything from manicures, massages, and waxing to spray tanning and event coordination for private parties.

ART CLASS

If your mom is the artsy type and won’t mind getting a little messy, enjoy this unique Mother’s Day activity with her.

  • The Brush Bar: At The Brush Bar, customers can enjoy a glass or bottle of wine before the class starts. Their Mother’s Day special classes are sold out, but you can call to be placed on the waiting list.
  • VanGo Pottery: VanGo Pottery brings the pottery studio to you. The company travels throughout the Metropolitan Phoenix area and will set up a pottery painting experience whenever and wherever you want them to.
  • As You Wish Pottery: If you’re a mom and would like to do something fun and creative with your toddler, check out As You Wish Poterry’s Mother’s Day Handpring Event. For just $25, you and your preschooler/toddler can work together to paint a Mother’s Day ceramic plate and enjoy some light refreshments.

BRUNCH

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but brunch has to be the most enjoyable. This Mother’s Day, treat your mother to a sweet and savory brunch at one of these local restaurants.

  • Rio Mirage Café: With locations in Surprise, AZ and El Mirage, AZ, this Mexican restaurant aims to provide “high quality, the freshest ingredients, and excellent service” to their customers. Since 1999, Rio Mirage Café has been making good on their promises, and, because of this, it was voted Best Mexican Food Restaurant in the West Valley. They also provide catering services.
  • Cork: This East Valley restaurant is run by husband-wife team Robert and Danielle Morris and Chef Brian Peterson. Cork boasts, a full bar, indoor and outdoor seating, and a 25-foot floor-to-ceiling wine wall. If for some reason that gigantic wine wall doesn’t impress you, maybe Cork’s accolades will: Every year since 2009, Cork has earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and was awarded 4 ½ stars by the Arizona Republic in 2008.
  • Hillside Spot: Hillside Spot offers Ahwatukee residents “high quality food at a reasonable price” and is also dedicated to supporting local farms and producers including Cartel Coffee Labs, MJ’s Bakery, Maya’s Farms, Schreiner’s Sausage, Oak Creek, and Four Peaks Brewery.

GET HER SOMETHING AS SWEET AS SHE IS

If you have a Mother’s Day activity already planned but want to sweeten the pot a bit. Get cupcakes, cakes, chocolates, or other mouth-watering snacks from these bakeries.

  • Barbs Bakery: This family-owned business has been in business for more than 30 years. During its almost four decades in business, Barb’s Bakery has been repeatedly voted “Best of Phoenix.” They make everything from traditional wedding cakes to Barbie-inspired birthday cakes and butterfly-shaped cookies.
  • Essence Bakery: Essence Bakery in Tempe, AZ operates under the motto “Buy Locally. Eat Well. Preserve the Planet.” The environmentally friendly café offers delicious macaroons, croissants, and truffle cookies, among other pastries, and earned a 4 ½ star rating from the Arizona Republic.
  • Something Sweet: This bakery in the Ahwatukee and Chandler area was actually inspired by a mom. On the website, the owner write, “I grew up in a wonderful Italian family of eleven. From the time I was little, I would watch my mom as she would spend hours in the kitchen making dinner to feed her very full table, but always saved time to make dessert. I learned back then that dessert wasn’t just something delicious to fill your tummy, it was like a big kiss from mom!”

FLOWERS

If your mom really isn’t big on Mother’s Day, keep it simple and grab her a bouquet of flowers from these florists.

  • McDonald Floral And Gift, Inc: McDonald Floral And Gifts, Inc. has been serving the Valley since 1917 and has floral arrangement for every occasion and for every budget. Just remember that they’re closed on Sundays, so you’ll have to pick up your Mother’s Day flowers the day before.
  • PJ’s Flowers & Events: This award-winning Phoenix florist will craft the finest floral arrangements and gifts for your mom and deliver it to you as well. If money’s a little tight, check out how you can win free flowers from them here.
  • Road Runner Florist & Basket Express: Pamela Smith founded Roadrunner Florist in Phoenix in 1979. In 2006, she received a plaque from the Society of American Florists to celebrate her 40+ years of service in the floral industry. Check out their suggestions for bouquets for mom here.

Need help getting to and from your Mother’s Day activities? Contact us.

6 Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve in Arizona

If trying to figure out how you’ll be ringing in 2013 in Arizona has you drawing blanks, fear not; we’ve got you covered. Here are 6 big ways to spend New Year’s Eve in the Grand Canyon State.

 1. SCOTTSDALE’S ULTIMATE BLOCK PARTY. Each year Scottdale’s Ultimate Block Party, a collaboration between local venues Dos Gringos, RockBar Inc., and Blitz Sports Grill, throws the state’s only New Year’s Eve block party. For the past 10 years, Scottsdale’s 21+ residents have gathered in Craftsman Court to enjoy what can only be described as the ultimate indoor and outdoor New Year’s Eve block party. Attendees are treated to a street festival featuring live entertainment from local and nationally known musicians and are, of course, encouraged to visit the variety of bars and restaurants in the area.

 2. ZOO YEAR’S EVE. This year the folks at the Phoenix Zoo are putting a very adult spin on a place we’ve all visited a time or twelve during our childhood and are challenging you to let your party animal loose at their Zoo Year’s Eve celebration. The zoo will be spoiling partygoers with a three-hour New Year’s Eve shindig with three complimentary drinks, complimentary appetizers, party favors, live entertainment, a cash bar, and a lightshow! What better way to start of the New Year than with free stuff?

3. PLAYGROUND BAR. Tuscon’s Playground Bar seems eager to continue its rep as the city’s #1 nightlife destination in 2013. For this year’s New Year’s Eve fete, Playground Bar is offering 3 bars on 2 levels, 3 areas for the New Year’s countdown, an all-star DJ lineup, and a tribute to electronic music duo Daft Punk. That alone sounds like amazing time, but Playground Bar is sweetening the pot a little more for those who buy advance tickets: Advance ticket holders will get guaranteed and express entrance to the New Year’s Eve celebration as well as a midnight toast and rooftop access.

4. SAVE THE FAMILY’S HEARTS OF GOLD NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION. If you like to mix in a bit of philanthropy with your partying, then you should consider attending Save the Family’s annual Hearts of Gold New Year’s Eve Celebration. Thrown at the Tempe Center for the Arts, the event promises a night of delicious food, live entertainment from popular cover band TréJa Vu, champagne, casino gaming, and lakeside fireworks. And since all proceeds benefit Save the Family, an organization that has been dedicated to servicing homeless families with children for over two decades, you can feel free to indulge guilt-free.

 5. THE NATIONAL COMEDY THEATER. Laugh in 2013 at the National Comedy Theatre’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza in Mesa, AZ. The theater is known for its unique, interactive, and improvisational comedy shows and was even awarded the title for 2011’s “Best Local Performing Arts Troupe” by the East Valley Tribune. At its New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza, guests of all ages are welcome to participate in 90 minutes of improv and mingle with the cast. Guests will also receive party favors, a countdown to midnight with complimentary champagne or cider toast, and delicious desserts.

6. HOTEL VALLEY HO. Hotel Valley Ho is vowing to “shake (not stir) it up” this New Year’s Eve. Guests who stay at this Scottsdale hotel during New Year’s Eve will have the opportunity to enjoy a four-course dinner paired with Belvedere Vodka, Moët & Chandon, and Veuve Clicquot. Talk about classy! Guests will also enjoy live entertainment all night long and a champagne toast at midnight on top of the hotel’s seven-story tower. And if you think all the fun will be over come New Year’s Day, think again. The good people at Hotel Valley Ho open their Bloody Mary Bar 9 am – 2:30 pm on New Year’s Day.

However you choose to ring in 2013, AZ LIMO can help you do it safely. Rely on our responsible drivers, available in Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and Phoenix, to get you to and from your New Year’s Eve destination safely.

 

Image via village14.com

Santa Trackers

Santa Claus and reindeers

In 1955, a Colorado Springs business advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa Claus. The number instead put children in contact with CONAD, the Continental Air Defense Command. Instead of turning the misled children away, the Director of Operations at the time turned his staff into Santa trackers, asking them to check the radar for indications of Santa making his way from the North Pole and update inquiring children on Santa’s location. For two years CONAD continued to act as a Santa tracker until 1958, when the governments of Canada and the United States created NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Since then, volunteers for the NORAD Santa Tracker have responded to phone calls and emails from children around the world. For those who prefer a more modern approach, the NORAD Santa Tracker now tracks Santa on the interwebs. Noradsanta.org, available in eight languages, provides up-to-the-minute updates on how many gifts Santa has delivered, the cities and countries he’s delivered to, and even gives kids info on where Santa and his reindeers will be going next and how long it’ll take him to get there. So far, we’ve spotted Santa in Hat Yai, Thailand, Alice Springs, Australia, and Magadan, Russia, among hundreds of other cities in the Eastern Hemisphere.

For the child who might get a bit bored of the NORAD Santa Tracker, the site also offers a Santa Cam that captures images and video of Santa Claus as he journeys around the world and interactive holiday games.

Google, who formerly collaborated with NORAD on the Santa Tracker, is now engaging in its own Santa tracking fun. The Google Santa Tracker provides pretty much the same info as the NORAD Santa Tracker, but Google’s Santa seems a bit slower than NORAD’s: as of this morning, Google’s Santa has delivered a mere 594 million gifts while NORAD’s Santa has delivered well over 1 billion. Google’s Santa also seems quite social: about twice every minute, he updates his status, saying things like, “Mmm those cookies were delicious” and “Jingling all the way!”

Try one or both of these Santa tracker sites to add a bit of location-based fun to your holiday season!

 

Image via scienceblogs.com

Arizona Celebration of Lights

Phoenix, AZ may not have the whitest Christmas, but what the city’s residents lack in snow, they make up for in lights. The annual Arizona Celebration of Lights boasts the state’s largest presentation of holiday lights. The high-wattage celebration includes more than 7,000,000 lights and 600 animated and still displays.

Located at the Phoenix Event Complex at 2209 N. 99th Avenue, the Arizona Celebration of Lights is how we imagine the Las Vegas Strip would look if Santa were in charge of decorating. Homes in the one-mile long spectacle are decked out in displays depicting nutcracker men, frolicking reindeer, and other Christmas-inspired scenes.

Now in its 15th year, this family-friendly event promises to be bigger than ever with appearances from and photo ops with jolly ole St. Nick and a projected 140,000 participants. If this sounds like the perfect addition to your holiday plans, get in on the fun and hire a car service to guide you and your loved ones through the display! The Arizona Celebration of Lights opened on November 18 and runs through January 6, 2013. Gates to this drive-through event open 5:30pm-9:00pm Sunday through Thursday and stay open even later, 5:30pm-10:00pm, on Friday, Saturday, and holidays.

Don’t be outshined by the extravagant light displays: make sure you and your family attend the Arizona Celebration of Lights in style in one of AZ LIMO’s luxury chauffeured limousines. We offer a Holiday Light Tour Package that allows participants to choose between several light tours throughout the Phoenix Metro Area, and if you just can’t decide which light tour to attend, we can customize a route for you! Contact AZ LIMO for more details on how we can make your Holiday Light Tours experience that much brighter!

 

Images via phoenixnewtimes.com

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