Spring Break Ideas — 2016

Desert Blooms
The Gila River Valley, Photo courtesy of Jodi Strava, Peoria, AZ

Still looking for 2016 Spring Break ideas? Try Arizona. Spring is one of the best times to visit. Weather in mid March is often perfect.

Phoenix is a good central location to consider. Approximately half the local school districts are on Spring Break in mid March, which means less traffic around town, but perhaps more traffic at tourist attractions.
However, since the valley thrives on tourism, you’ll be a welcome guest.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Strava, Peoria, Arizona

Spring Training – Games will be going daily at 7 different stadiums. Lawn seats (general admission in the outfield) typically run $7.00 -10.00 and stadium seating runs about $15.00 – $35.00 depending on the team and stadium location, etc. Check your favorite team’s website for their current schedule.

Desert in Bloom – Check this website for the most current updates regarding best locations and dates for desert wildflowers: http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html

Butterflies – The Butterfly Wonderland’s calendar lists a special photo session called, Waking up with the Butterflies on March 19, 2016. Check their website for more details: http://butterflywonderland.com/event-calendar/

Museums – Musical Instrument Museum, Pioneer Museum; and the Phoenix Art Museum has Michelangelo drawings on exhibit through March 27th.

Want More Outdoor Activities? Consider these ideas:
• Desert Botanical Gardens (gorgeous as of this writing)
• Hiking Trails – Maricopa County boasts at least 8 mountains within city limits
• Three Lakes – within an hour of city limits
• Zoo

Travel Tips – Economy Suggestions:
Free Culture Passes can be obtained from the local library for the Phoenix Art Museum and the Desert Botanical Gardens.

Light Rail System provides travel across much of the valley, through three cities. It’s only $4.00 for a one-day pass.

Additional Travel Ideas – Festivals  (Please note, these festivals are NOT all in the Phoenix area.)
Of Course! – Music, Art, Spanish, and Western activities are what you’d expect to find in Arizona. Here are a few listed by date to assist you in your planning:
• March 11-13 Roots ‘N Boots Queen Creek event includes rodeo, rodeo dance, carnival, petting zoo, vendors, Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association competition. Admission charged. Details: http://queencreek.org.
• March 11-13 Scottsdale Arts Festival One of the country’s top arts fairs, 175 jury-selected artists and artisans, continuous live music and entertainment on two stages, local gourmet food trucks, creative activities for kids and more. Adult admission charged. Children under 13 free. Details: http://scottsdaleartsfestival.org.
• March 11-13 Arizona Wild West Fest features family-friendly activities, including a country-rock band battle, gunfighter-performance competition, living-history characters, western play zone for children, stuntmen arena, rodeo professionals and much more. Free. Details: 6245 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek. 602-400-3330.
• March 19-20 Glendale Folk & Heritage Festival More than 150 performers take the stage to celebrate folk and bluegrass music, along with cowboy poetry and storytelling. Hands-on workshop, vendors and a cultural program will be part of the day as well. Free. Details: http://glendaleaz.com.
• March 19-20 Festival de Espana Live performances, Spanish food, art, and Flamenco workshops during this third annual festival. Details of performances and food: http://phoenixcenterforthearts.org.
• March 19 Salsa Festival Chefs showcase their skills in highly competitive salsa competition. Attendees can enjoy food, spirits, and entertainment. Parking Fee $5.00. Also, $5.00 charge for ages 3 or older unlimited playtime in Little Pepper Zone. Free shuttles from local elementary schools. Details: http://maricopa-az.gov/web/salsa-festival.
• March 26 Falcon Field Open House Family-friendly event includes: aircraft flyovers, food, music, military display, public-safety, recreational, and restored vintage aircraft. Children’s activities, educational programs, and exhibits. Free. Details: http://falconfieldairport.com.

Travel Light Humor – Surprise is often a key ingredient in humor. Somehow, I didn’t expect to find Ostrich Races, a Ukulele Workshop, a St. Patrick’s Day Festival/Faire, Scottish Highland Games or a Bass Fishing competition in Arizona. Who knew? Each of these made me smile.
• March 11-13 Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival Parade and Festival Live ostrich races and ostrich-themed activities. Admission charged. Details: http://ostrichfestival.com.
• March 12-13 Aloha Festival, annual free celebration of Polynesian culture. Ukulele workshops, food, crafts, live music performances. Details: http://azalohafest.org.
• March 12 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire 3 stages of Irish music and much more. The parade goes from Third Street from Sheridan south to McDowell Road at 10 a.m. Admission charged for the faire. Details: http://stpatricksdayphoenix.org.
• March 12 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sedona Main Street District, 295-735 Jordan Road, Sedona. Free. Details: http://sedonamainstreet.com.
• March 18-20 Bill Luke Bass Days largest family fishing tournament and festival in the Southwest. Fishermen and women from throughout the region compete for over $50,000 in cash prizes. Also includes: live music, cornhole tournament, carnival rides, military displays, classic car show, vendors and more located at Pleasant Harbor Marina, Peoria. Details: Call for prices. 800-475-3272, http://billlukebassdays.com.
• March 19-20 Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games Watch athletes throw a 75-pound pole for accuracy or toss a hay bail 30 feet in the air with a pitchfork. All the athletic events in the games involve throwing some sort of weighted object for height, distance or accuracy. Admission and parking charges apply. Details: http://arizonascots.com/05games.

Wherever you spend your spring break I hope it makes you smile.

Until next time…Travel Light,
©2016 SuZan Klassen

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