Although many people visit the Phoenix/Scottsdale area to attend sports events, go shopping, eat in great restaurants, and tour the area, many of them don’t realize the area has much more to offer. You’ll never run out of fun things to do in this area.
With a variety of weekly, monthly, and yearly events happening all over the state, there’s sure to be something going on near your vacation rental in Scottsdale or Phoenix. Read on to learn more and check out the Phoenix or Scottsdale events going on during your vacation!
This will be a very cultured day in the heart of Sedona’s cultural center and you will surely not want to miss it. Even if there was no event occurring, you can always count on Sedona providing a memorable time for you and your friends.
The event is taking place in an area of Sedona called the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. This area is designed and modeled after a traditional Mexican village, so the mood for the event is already set by the venue in which it is being held. This event will have a very traditionally Mexican vibe with a Sedona twist thrown in. Underneath the shade of the towering sycamore trees there will be a parade as well as traditional Mexican festivities, including folklorico dancers, many Mariachi bands, and of course, a whole lot of clapping and cheering. And what Mexican fiesta would be complete without the most important ingredient: traditional Mexican food. There will be countless vendors serving everything Mexican that you can imagine.
Saturday will be a very eventful day and evening in the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. You will not want to miss this historic event. Just make sure you come ready to eat, dance and sing the night away. You can bet that the people of Sedona sure will.
The annual Peach Festival is held once a year by the people at Schnepf Farms in South East Phoenix. The festival is a celebration of over 50 years of Schnepf Farms growing peaches in Arizona. What started as a humble farm with only a couple of peach trees has turned into a thriving orchard where some of the best peaches in the United States are grown. That sounds like a reason to celebrate! Peach vendors come in from all over the state and there is a festival for everything peach!
Celebrate the Peach
This event promises to be unlike anything you have ever experienced. Firstly, you have never seen so many fresh peaches in your life. Whether they are ripe off of the tree or cooked into pies, pancakes, and just about anything you can imagine, these are some of the most delicious peaches and recipes you are soon to find. If that were not enticing enough, there will be multitudes of events throughout the entire week. These events include train rides, carnival rides, water activities and of course live music. All of this and much, much more takes place in a fun and friendly environment.
The festival dates have yet to be announced for 2018. On festival days, the festivities begin bright and early at 7:30am and continue on until 4:00pm. The festivities occur in Queen Creek at 24810 South Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142. Come hungry and most of all ready for an amazing time of family friendly fun!
Annual Snowball Slide in Flagstaff
Every year near the center of downtown Flagstaff, the Snowball Slide and Hullabaloo takes the city by storm. This event is an epic occurrence where everyone is welcome. It is a single Saturday of fun, which donates proceeds towards 10 local philanthropic entities. It is a celebration of everything Flagstaff, so if you love the small ski town energy of the town, you will not want to miss this great event!
Festival Fun for Charity
The idea of the festival is that everyone pays admission by buying at least one plastic snowball at $10 a piece. All of these snowballs are entered into raffle by being fed into a cement mixer. 21 Snowballs are drawn from the mixer randomly and prizes will be awarded to the individuals who purchased those snowballs. There is a grand prize of $2015 but there are many other great prizes up for grabs. This is the main proceeding of the event, but it is hardly the main event. This festival is a day absolutely chock-full of live music, games for children, great food, local artists, a bike parade and so much more!
The variety of events is such that people of all ages and walks of life will have an amazing time. And everyone can get behind a great cause like this!
Festivities for the Annual Snowball Slide will occur in the parking lot of City Hall or Wheeler Park. It takes place from 10:00am to 6:00pm, but 2018’s date has yet to be announced.
The Scottsdale Beer Palooza is very simply a festival of beer created by beer drinkers, for beer drinkers. Even if you are not a big beer drinker, this great atmosphere and full schedule of festivities is something that you do not want to miss out on. This is an event with all the makings of an unforgettable day.
Beer, Beer, and More Beer
The festival is really all about the beer. There is a specific emphasis on craft beer, local craft beer in particular. So you will see different beers from local producers like Four Peaks, Dragoon, SanTan and many more. But don’t worry, there will also be countless tapped beers from some phenomenal breweries like Lagunitas, Sam Adams, Nimbus and Seadog. With this great selection of beer all in one place, this truly is a beer drinker’s paradise. This is the focus of the festival, but that is not to say that you cannot enjoy this beautiful day in Scottsdale without drinking a beer. Along with the beer vendors, there will be a large selection of food trucks featuring delicious meals from local and chain restaurants alike. And of course, what would a festival be without some great live music. The live music at this festival will not be in short supply!
All of the proceedings for the Scottsdale Beer Palooza take place in the heart of Scottsdale near Pima and Bell Road at 16601 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260.
Ales on Rails
Whether you are a local celebrating the end of the heat, a tourist traveling to the Prescott area, or a native German celebrating Arizona’s version of Oktoberfest, Ales on Rails is the event for you! Held in October—2017’s event is scheduled to be held Thursdays through Sunday, starting October 5th and ending October 29th—the party begins with a tasty German lunch and ends with a beer tasting tour on the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarksdale.
Serving German sausage, sauerkraut, pretzels, potato salad, and strudel, the polka music that accompanies your German feast will have you merrily tapping your feet to the beat as you fill your belly. Starting at 11AM every Thursday through Sunday, you’ll know when it’s time to move on to phase two of the party; the train whistle blows at 1PM, signifying the start of your scenic tour through the cool pines.
Once the whistle blows, it’s time to hop on board the train for your beer tasting voyage through the colorful Verde Canyon. Local breweries, including the Phoenix Brewery, will be providing some of their best beers for purchase, meant to be enjoyed as you travel through the canyon. German ales will also be available, of course!
Book My Vacay Offers a Soft Place to Land During Your Unforgettable Arizona Vacation
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Oktoberfest, in Arizona!
You don’t have to fly to Germany this October to get a quality Oktoberfest this year. Thanks to the gentlemen at Four Peaks, Tempe is bringing the festival to us. If you crave good beer, comradery, and celebration, read on!
Starting October 13th is Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake. This free three day party runs through October 15th, ensuring you can shout “my cup runneth over! [with beer]”. It will be a roaring good time of live music, artistry and of course, alcohol. Tempe Beach Park is the perfect venue as it is spacious and central, just a short walk to popular strip Mill avenue and Tempe Town Lake.
The Very Best Beer
Four Peaks is a staple brewery of Tempe, offering popular brews Kilt Lifter, Hop Knot IPA, and Sunbru. Even if you have never visited this brewery you may know the name, as these beers are so good they make their way outside of the immediate Phoenix area. But at Oktoberfest you aren’t limited to just Four Peaks brew.
The food and drink menu of Tempe Oktober fest details nearly a dozen beer and wine gardens throughout Tempe Beach Park, ensuring you get your fill of the finest German imports, accessible macro brews, and fruity wines. The food, to no surprise, offers the best of German bratwurst as well as unique foreign nibble, with meat provided by local Von Hanson’s Meats & Spirits.
Gutes Bier Ist Reich An Book My Vacay
That means “good beer abound with Book My Vacay” and this article nearly wrote itself in anticipation of such a grand time. This is an event that every beer connoisseur must attend. If you’re in Phoenix, you’ll be hard pressed to find a good reason to skip this party!
It’s That Time of Year
In Arizona, there’s a tradition this time of years where an eccentric lady appears with cotton candy hair. This lady is the Arizona State Fair mascot and she brings in the joy of another fun fill carnival season!
Fair Life in Full
Starting October 6th and running all the way through October 29th is a fun filled activity for all. General admission is only around $10 and lets you explore all the park has to offer. Showcases of animals, art, and food abound in the exhibits halls. There are vendor sections where you can pick up the latest toy, appliance, or fashion accessory. Throughout the day there are live show offering family friendly laughs and skillful music. At the state fair there’s always something to do, and that’s not even mentioning the evening concerts and rides.
No fair is complete without rides and the Arizona State Fair provides the best. Roller coasters, elevator falls, and gravitons are just some of the big attractions. Rides provide the perfect amount of excitement to balance out the leisure of walking the fair grounds.
Concerts of Note
The year of 2017 brings great artists to Arizona for tons of Fair fun. Show admission is free to all of these acts, you just might have to arrive early to save a seat.
Two Days of Tacos!
The joy of Taco Tuesdays has expanded this year thanks to the Arizona Taco Festival. The name of this festival alone is enough to interesting people in attending, because tacos are always a good time. Couple this classic food with festival atmosphere and it’s hard to beat.
The party runs October 14h and 15th at the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale Arizona, from 11am to 7pm. Base tickets start at $12 and increase to $20 with the bonus of tequila expo admission (we’ll get to that). The event site boasts the festival is the largest gathering of taco-makers, ever! Come sample the smorgasbord of taco cuisine as chefs compete for a $10,000 cash prize. With money like that on the line, you know the tacos will be good. As of now, there are 40 teams booked for the taco completion, so there will be plenty of taco variety.
Tequila, Chinchillas, and More!
In addition, to the tacos (as if there needs to be more reason) attendees will find a tequila tent, live music, a chinchilla pageant, and art. The tequila tent is an open competition as well, exclusive to Saturday, where over 100 types of tequila will be poured. The main stage at the festival will host some energetic bands, yet to be announced. And the same stage will put the best of the best chinchilla dogs against each other for the title of prize pup. Last but not least, there will be some artful talent on the scene as local artists show off barrel art.
Celebrate Halloween Right with Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Spooktacular Halloween Bash!
The Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill in Phoenix is hosting a new Halloween party for you and your family. The Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Spooktacular Halloween Bash will entertain your family and benefit others with proceeds to benefit Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock foundation. Come listen to great music, watch some sports, and enjoy Halloween with a good cause.
This event will include live music from Solid Rock’s local bands, a make-up station that will paint your face like Alice Cooper or your favorite Halloween character, a silent auction filled with sports and entertainment memorabilia, a raffle with prizes that include concert and event tickets, restaurant gift cards, and more, trick-or-treat goodies bags for the first 50 kids 12 and under that are registered, and food and drink specials all night. Fifteen percent of the proceeds for the sales for the whole day are being donated to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock, as well as the tips the servers collect during the event.
Tickets are required for entry into Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Spooktacular Halloween Bash and can be purchased in advance to the event. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 per child 12 and under, but this money will be given back as a food credit to guests. If you would like more info on this event or other like it in the Phoenix area, please feel free to call our friendly staff; we would be happy to make this experience one that you will remember for years to come!
Enjoy all the Christmas Tidings at Christmas at the Princess
Make sure that you get the most out of the most wonderful time of the year and visit the Princess! Come enjoy the critically acclaimed Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and witness the entire resort transform into a winter wonderland. The Eighth Annual Christmas at the Princess festival runs from November through January and is the perfect place to celebrate or create new holiday traditions. Bring the whole family and make some lasting memories with all of our attractions.
Holiday Character Appearances
New this year is a cast of delightful characters that will be visiting from the North Pole. This event will include a meet and greet with famous holiday characters like Shivers the Yeti, Princess Angelica, Peppermint the Penguin, and even Santa.
Enchanted Plaza Shows
This sparkling spectacular will be sure to leave you speechless. This five minute, high definition show features a telling of the infamous Christmas story “The Night Before Christmas” in a whole new light. The story is projected against the resort, while the resort’s tree is lit with over seventy thousand LED Christmas lights that will dance along with the story. Enjoy 16 classic songs all told through the dancing lights on the tree.
Breakfast with Santa and Friends
Santa will be visiting our breakfast buffet with a few of his friends this year. The breakfast is a pajama party with a surprise for every child. This is a limited seated event, so make sure you book in advance.
If you would like more information, please feel free to give us a call today!
Ice Skate Outside in the Desert with Downtown Phoenix’s CitySkate
Generally, Phoenix is not known for replicating the stereotypical winter wonderland. It doesn’t snow, pine trees are imported, and the weather doesn’t normally dip below a cool 60 degrees in the winter. However, Downtown Phoenix, in a combined effort with local energy company APS, has created a winter experience in the desert. CitySkate is an outdoor ice rink that allows guests to enjoy a familiar winter entertainment option even though we are in the desert.
CitySkate is the valley’s largest real outdoor ice rink that sits on Downtown’s Central Avenue. The city closes the street for one block outside CityScape shopping and diner area and creates a 7,000 square foot ice rink. The ice rink generally runs from the end of November through the holiday season and allows guests to skate around in 60-degree weather. The event is upgraded every year, including the addition of a 36 foot Christmas tree that shows hourly Christmas light shows at night.
The rink is made of real ice and is cooled using a salt chilling system. The system is top of the line and makes sure that no temperature fluctuation will affect the ice conditions throughout the day.
Tickets are not required to view the rink, but there is a nominal fee to skate on the rink. If you would like more info on this event, please feel free to call our office. We would be happy to make this experience one that you will remember for years to come!
If you would like more information, please feel free to give us a call today!
Every year, the Desert Botanical Gardens features a myriad of different holiday exhibits. They have shown Christmas lights, crystal sculptures, and many other events to show off their impressive assortment of desert plants and flowers. Year after year, their most popular show is still the lighting event Las Noches De Las Luminarias. As you may have gathered from the name, this event involves the lighting of luminarias down the various pathways of the gardens. The already beautiful desert scenery comes to life with this iconic event.
Every day of the event includes the lighting of the luminarias down the garden trails and various pathways. Bring your family and friends to see the lighting and then stay to enjoy their ambiance, listen to live music, and enjoy delicious food. This event runs weekends starting in the end of November and continues through the New Year. Starting November 25, the lighting event will run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through the holiday season. Make sure you don’t miss this iconic event!
Tickets are required for entry into the Botanical Gardens and can be purchased on their website or in person at the ticket window. If you would like more info on this event or others like it in the Phoenix area, please call Book My Vacay today! We would be happy to make this experience one that you will remember for years to come.
Kick Off the Holiday Season Right with Tempe’s Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade
Every year, Tempe likes to kick off the new holiday season with the lighting of their Fantasy of Lights in Downtown Tempe. Local residents come out, businesses open their doors, and the city comes to life with more than just lights. The sight is a unique one that all local residents and visitors should experience during this holiday season.
The City of Tempe Hosts their Fantasy of Lights every year, and it all starts with the Opening Night Parade. This parade will slow down the streets of Downtown Tempe and light the path on its way to its conclusion on Maple. During the parade, over 35,000 spectators will watch as the downtown streets light up as the parade travels down the iconic Mill Avenue district.
Following the parade, local hospital St. Luke’s sponsors the annual tree lighting ceremony, where the lights on the three-story tall Christmas tree will be lit for the first time of the season. CenterPoint plaza will light up and start the holiday season off right. Santa will also be in attendance after the conclusion of the parade and will be available for all the children to visit. He will be posing for photos and other requests.
Tickets are not required for this event, but if you would like more information on this iconic event, please feel free to call our office. We would be happy to make this experience one that you will remember for years to come.
Kick Off This Holiday Season with the City of Glendale’s Premiere Holiday Event
The City of Glendale has an award-winning holiday light event that has become a family tradition to many locals and visitors alike. The city lights up with a display of over 1.5 million lights that are spread over sixteen blocks of Downtown Glendale’s Historic District. The magnitude of this event makes it the largest free holiday light display in all of Arizona. This event has been put on by the city completely free for 23 years!
This extremely popular event has become a must see for many families and has even been named the azcentral.com’s Critics’ Choice for the best kid friendly event in the state in 2012. Although the event is great for kids, families of all ages can enjoy the holiday entertainment, delectable food, hand crafted gift options, and children’s snow playground. The city also makes sure that Santa pops in for a visit for all the kids to enjoy and tell about their favorite toys.
The event also attracts many special guests, including retired Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda, to help light up the city during the Countdown to Glendale Glitters Show.
Tickets are not required for this event, but if you would like more information on this iconic event, please feel free to call our office. We would be happy to make this experience one that you will remember for years to come.
Do you love the holidays and animals?
Well then Zoolights is the thing for you! Imagine a desert wonderland filled with exotic creatures from around the globe, illuminated by fantastic neon lights. Unlock your inner child this holiday season when you explore the wonderment that is Zoolights, brought to you by SRP and powered by EarthWise Energy, so you know you’re doing Mother Nature a real solid. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, keep reading to get the details.
Zoolights starts in November
Just in time for Thanksgiving! The festivities continue through the new year until January. You can experience Zoolights in the evenings from 5:30-10:30 pm whenever the zoo is open. Attendance costs vary depending on the day and season. For any night tickets, costs are $18 for general public and $16 for members. For value tickets (not valid during certain peak nights), those prices drop to $12 and $10 respectively. Buy online to save $2!
Zoolights is friendly to all.
If you get hungry, you will find a wide variety of cuisine options available at several open-air eateries. Remember, you will be walking around, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes. The desert nights can get chilly, so dress appropriately! Please note, not all animals will be available for viewing due to the low light nature of the event. Flashlights and laser pointers are not allowed, but feel free to photograph or take video of the spectacle. If you have young ones or disabled family members, fret not. Strollers, wheelchairs and other mobility devices are available for rent in the park; rest assured, Phoenix Zoo is entirely handicap accessible.
Enjoy a Christmas Classic in the Hundred Acre Woods
The Valley Youth Theatre is putting on a new Christmas show this year, and it has Disney classic characters in it. The Winnie the Pooh Christmas Story is a new show being put on through a special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing, so make sure you see this amazing show before its gone for good.
This production tells the story of a Christmas Eve a long time ago, when Eeyore, the old grey donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner of the woods, believes he has lost his tail and it puts him an even more miserable mood. Watch as Winne the Pooh, Tigger, and the whole gang organize a search party to find the missing tail. Follow the gang’s journey through delightful songs and dance. The show really exhibits the excitement of the winter wonderland and teaches the audience the importance of sharing, caring, friendship and joy; it’s a great performance for the whole family to enjoy.
This limited showing will be a family memory for years to come. Make sure that you see this iconic show presented by the Valley Youth Theatre. Single tickets are available to purchase on the Valley Theatre Website; they also offer school and group trips as well.
If you would like more information on this iconic performance, please feel free to call our office or visit our website. We would be happy to make this trip one that you will remember for years to come!
As a special engagement and limited run event, the Phoenix Symphony is presenting Handel’s Messiah, a musical event celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This special five-night performance will be held at multiple venues throughout the Phoenix Area and will allow all who wish to see this magnificent performance by the world-renowned Phoenix Symphony. Make sure you catch one of their performances before this symphonic ends for the season.
Handel’s Messiah tells the story of Jesus Christ through the majesty that is orchestral performance. The accompaniment sounds spectacular and recants the well-known story in a whole new light. The acclaimed and popular “Hallelujah” chorus highlights the symphonic performance in this spiritual event. Music Director and conductor Tito Munoz leads one of the Valley’s most exciting Christmas events with the Phoenix Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony Choir and soloists perform Handel’s Messiah in churches and venues throughout the Valley. Here is the list of days and venues:
• Wed 12/7/16 7:30PM – Scottsdale Center for the Arts
• Thu 12/8/16 7:30PM – Camelback Bible Church
• Fri 12/9/16 7:30PM – Mesa Arts Center-Ikeda Theater
• Sat 12/10/16 7:30PM – Camelback SDA Church
• Sun 12/11/16 3:00PM – Pinnacle Presbyterian Church
Tickets are available online, or if you would like more information on this iconic performance, please feel free to call our office. We would be happy to make this trip one that you will remember for years to come.
Ballet Arizona will be performing the Christmas Classic “The Nutcracker” this year at Symphony Hall in Downtown Phoenix. Come watch as the talented ballet dancers of Ballet Arizona perform this Christmas classic.
Classic Ballet at Its Finest
Watch as Ballet Arizona brings the magic of the holidays to life with their rendition of the classic Christmas story “The Nutcracker.” The dancers will dawn the personas of Clara and her Nutcracker prince as they embark on a most thrilling adventure full of dancing toys, waltzing flowers, mischievous mice, and snowflakes glistening in the winter air. The performers of Ballet Arizona are sure to bring a show worthy of Ib Andersen’s “The Nutcracker” and give you and the family a memory to last forever.
This show will be running in December on a limited basis. Dates currently scheduled are 12/9 to 12/11, 12/14 to 12/18, and 12/20 to 12/21. Show times are generally 7 pm during the week and the weekends have two shows at 2 pm and 7 pm daily. All performances will take place at Symphony Hall and will be performed to recorded music. The show is choregraphed by Ib Andersen, with music by Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Make sure you catch this masterpiece during their short performance window.
Tickets are available online, or if you would like more information on this iconic performance, please feel free to call our office. We would be happy to make this trip one that you will remember for years to come!
Aye Yai Yai! The Fiesta Bowl is coming!
This time around it’s the 47th Anniversary of the fun, sporty event. People gather from all around to spectate the intense football game that ensues as two teams compete against each other. Yet to be announced, the best teams of College Football will be selected by the College Football Playoff committee and will ensure a good show.
Blasting Off in the New Year
The excitement begins on December 30, 2017. Hosted at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, it will be a packed house of high intensity cheering. Last year delivered Ohio State vs. Clemson, with the former year presenting a neck and neck game between Boise State and Arizona – with teams like these it’s hard to not get excited.
A Brief History
This championship game trend began in Arizona when football champions in the West weren’t being recognized. Instead of being passed up and participating in lesser brackets, the Fiesta Bowl began to provide a name for the football heroes of the west. With time, the Fiesta Bowl has grown and accommodates all of College Football.
Visit the Pinnacle of College Football with Book My Vacay!
Secure your tickets now! There are plenty of quality hotels and resort in the area to hold visitors, but budget priced stadium seat generally sell out. For football fans, the city of Phoenix is one of the best places to visit. The Fiesta Bowl offers heated football games to remember, fought out by the best teams. Football fans shouldn’t miss this thrilling opportunity.
The Pinecone Drop
As much as Flagstaff-dwellers might advertise the Grand Canyon or Northern Arizona University’s Skydome as their city’s icons, perhaps the symbol that best ignites their feelings of city patriotism is a giant, seventy-pound brilliant aluminum pinecone.
Don’t mock them until you’ve seen it yourself! The annual Pinecone Drop is a terrific thrill, and there’s a reason thousands of people gather to watch it in the late hours of a chilly winter night!
A New Year’s Tradition
The Pine Cone Drop is how Flagstaff rings in a new year. With so many conifer trees in Northern Arizona, a pine cone is a great fit for the city. Each year it is adorned with holiday lights, capturing the festive spirit of New Year’s Eve.
As thousands of miles and several time zones away, uncountable New Yorkers watch a giant glitzy ball descend in Times Square, the revelers in Flagstaff are watching the six-foot pine cone descend. While one drop happens at 10 p.m. sharp to match up with New York’s widely-watched festival, a second drop happens two hours later to celebrate the new year arriving in Arizona. Lifted three stories high, the fantastically lit pinecone descends to a united countdown, punctuated with shouts of “Happy New Year,”, toasts, kisses, hugs, and singing. It’s exciting every year, and great to be a part of.
If you want to see this for yourself, just book with us during the New Year season! Free parking is available just a few blocks away at City Hall, as well as on Phoenix Avenue, south of the tracks that run through the city. Or, if you want to stay in our opulent Downtown Historic Retreat, you can walk there!
Ready. Set. Go!
Beginning January 14th and 15th is Arizona’s Rock N Roll Race. This is a run designed to bring people of all skills together while raising money for charity. It’s a high energy event with a variety of different races with pumpin’ music and a fun track.
A Run Friendly to All
Participants can pick between a 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, kid track, or even get a full pass to try them all! Runners receive a medal for their race completion, an acknowledgment of a job well done. Many people make a game out of collecting as many medals as possible and strive to achieve the glory of the “groupie medal” for completing all four races.
The course begins on Mill Avenue, meaning there’s a nice crowd for a kick-start. The 5k variant stays relatively flat as it goes across around Tempe Town Lake in a loop that returns to near the starting point at Tempe Beach Park. The marathon goes a good distance further taking a large circle which cuts through Scottsdale.
The weekend as a whole takes a focus on fitness, so there’s more to do than just run. Offered at the Phoenix Convention Center is a fitness expo that all should check out. This event offers not only great information but lots of samples and goody bag fillers.
The Greatest Show on Grass is calling your name.
Welcome the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, a gold event that benefits charity. Here you can spectate the precision game of ball driving well the warmth of heart that you are aiding a good cause.
This event holds a long title, but its easy to interpret. The event is sponsored by Phoenix Waste Management at the local Scottsdale venue of TPC Scottsdale. This Arizona course will host one of the early stops on the ongoing PGA gold tour, planning to set a new bar for attendance and crowd spirit. The charity focus of this year is the Phoenix Thunderbirds who oversee the distribution of funds to individual worthy charities.
There’s plenty of time to check out the tournament.
Running from January 29th to February 4th, it’s easy to grab a ticket to take part in the landmark event. General admission starts at $30 and will allow you in the gates at 7am.
Spectator tips include planning ahead for the weather; although it should be clear skies, you never know what might pop up on the tail end of winter. Sunscreen, hats, comfortable shoes, and binoculars are a must. Also, be sure to arrive earlier to accommodate for parking and any lines in the stadium. These tips are provided courtesy of Waste Management Phoenix Open to ensure that you have the best experience possible.
23rd Annual Chocolate Affaire
Once the holidays are over, you may start to feel as if you have nothing to look forward to until summer, but we beg to differ. The 23rd Annual Chocolate Affaire, held in Glendale in February, is our favorite Arizona winter event. Smart planners scheduled this celebration of the sweet we hold most dear the weekend before Valentine’s Day, allowing your special someone to pick up a treat for you—but of course you don’t need an excuse. Chocolate is meant to be enjoyed any time of the year!
Let’s Hear More About the Chocolate!
Sponsored by Cerreta’s Candy Company, this heavenly weekend features combinations of chocolate you had heretofore only imagined existed; don’t worry, they have the basics as well. Offering something special for everyone, you will find your own sweet treat here!
Kettle corn is always a favorite, but once drizzled in chocolate, it becomes the perfect dessert! Chocolate dipped strawberries are a romantic, tasty, and healthy treat, while chocolate covered cheesecake is both rich and decadent. Purists will insist that only a chocolate bar will do. Finally, the fudgsicle is a special treat for children of all ages.
This is just a start to the many ways the Chocolate Affaire pays homage to chocolate. You’ll just have to visit to discover all the marvels of this sweet—and free—event!
It Only Gets Better from Here!
Make your Arizona vacation even sweeter when you stay in one of our luxurious Book My Vacay vacation homes. Book yours today and start planning your strategy to make the most out of your Chocolate Affaire expedition!
The Renaissance Festival in Arizona is one of the most unique events of the entire year. It is so renowned that it draws in thousands of visitors to the Southeast of Phoenix every single year. The multitudes and authenticity of the things to see and do make this a one of a kind event that is sure to please everyone.
Family Fun at the Festival
One of the most amazing things you might see at the festival is the reenactment of joisting tournaments. The performances are great and the production value of costumes and medieval sets are truly spectacular. And this is only one of the countless performances that you are able to witness throughout the day here. This makes for an exceptionally fun and friendly environment.
Throughout the vast festival grounds, there are countless vendors and artisans where you can play medieval fair games, buy historic trinkets, watch plays, listen to music and so much more. Perhaps the best thing about the festival, though, is the food. Imagine all the great foods you get at fairs with a medieval twist. The massive turkey legs are a big hit! The Renaissance Festival is sure to be the event of the year, and nobody should miss it.
The Renaissance Festival is open for great times from February 10th through April 1st in 2018. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout that time span from 10 am to 6 pm whether it is raining or shining. You can find the festival a few miles South East of Phoenix at 12601 US-60, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118.
Ride to Excitement
If one is new to Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show may be a new concept. Although this show is a classic dating back to 1955, it still deserves its notoriety. Horse fans or not, both children and adults can find enjoyment at this friendly family event.
Some Horse History
Originally hosted at the Arizona Biltmore with 50 horses, creator Ann McCormick wanted to bring horse appreciation to the public. And she has done so successfully, as the show has endured for 60 years now and has expanded to 2,400 horses (that’s 120 times the original amount!).
Horse Around and Have Fun
Show goers can visit Westworld in between February 15th and 25th to see a horse show to remember. The 2018 schedule is still pending, but one can expect to be able to view a variety of horse activities, including races, hurdles, and show cases of all possible horse skills. Skilled riders are welcome to apply to the show to compete and or showcase their prized beast in the competition that will take place.
Horse rides and petting are a must for young children, there may even be dwarf ponies. Fun crafts, yummy food, and interesting characters will checker the venue ensuring an exciting time.
Annual Boogie, Brews, and Blues Festival
Music, dancing, and beer? Sign us up—it officially doesn’t get any better than this! The annual Boogie, Brews, and Blue Festival, held in Yuma, AZ is our way of celebrating another glorious winter in one of the best states in all the US. This year, it will take place on February 18, with gates opening at 11:00 AM sharp. Yuma is generally a sleepy little village town, located about 2+ hours outside of Phoenix, but during this fun fest, it comes alive!
Spend the day dancing to music of performers like Phillip Sayce, Jonathan “Boogie” Long and the Blues Revolution, The Boscoe France Band, and so many more; we don’t have the room available to list them all! Bring your own lawn chair or blanket: This party is held on the green grass of Gateway Park and they believe in casual, no assigned seating here.
Delicious freshly prepared food will be available for purchase (you MUST try the burritos…they are world famous!), and the beer flows freely. Inexpensive and plentiful, you may want to bring along a designated driver to help get you back to your Book My Vacay vacation home; this is one party where you won’t want to hold back!
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online at http://www.robb-bowerpresents.com/ for $30 a person, or at the gate for $35.
Book My Vacay Knows How to Make Your Arizona Vacation Even Better
Events like this one are commonplace in our fair state, and when you stay in one of our luxurious Book My Vacay vacation homes, we will share all the party information with you! Book yours today; this musical event is just around the corner!
Corks and Cactus
Desert foliage is beautiful in a stark and striking way, and when viewed with a glass of wine in hand, it can seem even more stunning! Our annual Corks and Cactus event, held at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix on February 18th and 19th, offers a unique opportunity to explore the desert while sampling 80 different wines (40 new ones each day of the festival) with accompanying musical entertainment. This event is one of our personal favorites here at Book My Vacay and is something we try never to miss. We have a feeling it will soon be topping your list of fun things to do in the desert as well!
Costing $40 for the public and $35 for members of the Desert Botanical Gardens, the wines you sample will be available for purchase, with the proceeds going towards our education, research, and conservation programs. No bottle of wine will cost more than $35, and trust us: the quality of these wines will make you think you are drinking bottles that are worth far more.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the incredibly talented Sydney Sprague on day one and the equally talented Obadiah Parker on day two. In addition to music, wine, and beautiful botanicals, cooking exhibits and demonstrations are also included in the price of admission. Two days of wine, music, and food—who could ask for more?
Book My Vacay is Your Ticket to Fun!
The only thing that can make your Arizona vacation better is staying in one of our luxurious and comfortable Book My Vacay vacation homes. Book yours today and discover all the fun that can be had in our glorious state!
An Irish Festival Means a Good Time
You don’t have to feel lucky to enjoy this festival: Presenting the Fountain Hills 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Festival! This is an event set up to benefit charity while offering a great time for all attendees.
A Plethora of Activities
“Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Fountain Hills. Enjoy our beer garden, corned beef and cabbage, music, and our iconic Fountain turning green at noon” spouts the festival bio and it doesn’t get more Irish than that.
To new comers to Arizona, Fountain Hills is an area labeled for its iconic fountain which shoots up blasts of water high into the air every minute. Seeing this landmark turn green is a unique opportunity!
2016, a Year of Fun and Charity
The event is still in development, but with such a success it was in 2016 , it’s sure to only get better. If this sounds like fun, mark your calendars for March and wait to hear the exact date and time announcements.
Oh, and remember, it’s for charity. Last year saw the benefits to Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warrior and Veterans. We’ll have to wait to see if this charity continues for 2017 or if a new one is selected.
53rd Annual Phoenix Scottish Games
Pull out your kilts, dust off your bagpipes, and get out your Scotch glasses; the 53rd annual Phoenix Scottish Games are coming to town the 3rd and 4th of March, and if you have even a drop of Scottish blood, this is one event you won’t want to miss! Formerly known as the Arizona Scottish Gathering & Highland Games and hosted by the Caledonian Society, you don’t even have to be Scottish to attend, just interested in good times, good food, and good music with a twist of Gaelic for extra spice!
Held at Steele Indian School Park in downtown Phoenix, lads and lasses will be happy with the wee entry prices: $17 for adults, $12.50 for Seniors 60 and over, and $4 for children 6-12 when purchased in advance. Add a few dollars to each if you wait to purchase your tickets at the gate.
Featuring a genealogy tent where you can shake your family tree to discover if any Scots fall out, Gaelic music performed live by some of the most talented musicians you will ever have the pleasure of seeing perform, and a children’s area so even your wee ones will have a fun time, the Phoenix Scottish Games have something for everyone!
A free shuttle is offered to and from the games from the designated area at 4041 North Central, so you can save all your energy for exploring and playing at the games.
Book My Vacay Has the Perfect Landing Spot After a Long Day of Fun & Excitement
Sleep deeply and peacefully in one of our luxurious vacation homes away from home as you dream about all the fun you had at the 53rd Annual Phoenix Scottish Games. Book yours today—March will be here before you know it!
Maricopa County Home and Garden Shows
One of our favorite ways to spend a lazy weekend day is by exploring the wares offered at one of our Maricopa County Home and Garden Shows held periodically throughout the year. Featuring everything you could possibly need for your home and garden, they are a good way to get some ideas to take back with you and a fun way to sample the local flavor!
Our next show is coming up the weekend of March 3rd through 5th and will be displaying a local artisan’s marketplace, a chance to meet a celebrity chef from Food Network, and include the opportunity to check out the new tiny house craze; they will have a 344-square foot tiny home set up on the premises! Also offering DYI workshops, advice on raising beautiful orchids at home, AND a free energy star lightbulb for the first 700 people who visit the APS booth each day, this home show promises to be the best one ever—until the next show takes place, of course!
Held at the University of Phoenix Stadium at 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale (near your luxury Book My Vacay vacation home!), tickets cost $8 dollars for adults, $3 dollars for children, and there is always special pricing for seniors and active military. Discount tickets are available online at the following website: http://maricopacountyhomeshows.com/discount-tickets/.
Reserve Your Glendale Vacation Home Today
Always located near the heart of everything special in our beautiful state, your days can be spent exploring the Maricopa Home and Garden Show, while you spent your nights recuperating from all that walking in your exquisitely decorated home away from home!
Heard Museum Guild 59th Annual Indian Fair and Market
For nearly 60 years, the Heard Museum has been the site of one of one of our favorite cultural events: The Annual Indian Fair and Market. This world-famous event draws nearly 15,000 visitors from all over the world every year, and if you schedule your unforgettable Arizona vacation for the weekend of March 3rd and 4th, you will be able to see what all the excitement is about! Ticket prices vary, but we think the best deal is the two-day deluxe pass, offering two general admission tickets and one best of show ticket for $125 for non-members. You can visit the Heard Museum website more detailed ticket information.
Arts, Exhibitions, Food, and Fun
This is your chance to meet world-acclaimed artists and some up-and-coming ones that the Heard Museum thinks show promise while you view their works, watch their performances, and sample the foods that have been a part of native culture for centuries.
The Best of Show reception signifies the “opening bell” of this fair and features the best of the best art works, a silent auction, and light foods and drink. The excitement of this night is electrifying!
In addition to the art works available to be viewed and purchased, there will be musical entertainment, cultural shows, and even a Children’s Storytelling and Crafts event for the younger members of your family; this event has something for everyone!
Book My Vacay Holds the Key to Your Unforgettable Arizona Vacation
Our luxurious vacation homes will be the highlight of your trip, even if they do run a close second to this fabulous festival! Book yours today and discover the cultural side of the great Southwest!
29th Annual Ostrich Festival
Arizonans are a sturdy and unique bunch. Years of surviving scorching summers may have warped us—just a bit—and as such, some of our festivals may appear to be a tad unusual. This brings us to today’s topic, the 29th Annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Arizona. Yes, we celebrate that majestic flightless bird with a big party every March. This year’s festival dates haven’t been announced yet.
Ostriches used to be a big deal in Chandler. In the early 1900s, ostrich feathers garnered a large sum, being popular for use in women’s hats, and Dr. A.J. Chandler owned the biggest ostrich ranch in the state. The fad soon ended and the price of ostrich feathers dropped drastically, but the ranch and the bird were still synonymous with Chandler, and in the 1980s, when the Chamber of Commerce began to look for fundraiser ideas, the Ostrich Festival was born!
Today, the Ostrich Festival is Chandler’s biggest party and actually takes two weekends to fulfill all the activities. Kick-off weekend begins March 4th and features a parade, a 5K, a safety fair, and a classic car show. The following weekend, however is when the real games begin, and visitors can expect everything from ostrich races, cool rides, and tasty treats to zip lines, camel rides, and rock climbing walls. This festival is a big one that grows larger every year!
Book My Vacay Knows the Secret to a Fun-Filled Arizona Vacation
And it starts with one of our luxurious and elegant vacation homes. Book yours today and discover the idiosyncratic side of our desert towns when you visit the 30th Annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler.
While Chandler, Arizona is primarily known for its annual Ostrich Festival, that’s not the only game in town—not by a long shot. March is a busy month in this section of the valley, and our St. Patrick’s Day celebration, coincidentally held on St. Patrick’s Day, promises to be a great addition to the list of fun March activities! Held in AJ Chandler Park and lasting from 4:00 PM till midnight, you don’t have to be Irish to join in the festivities; it just adds to the enjoyment if you are!
Ticket prices start at $8 for presale general admission ($10 at the gate) or you can purchase VIP tickets for $80 and be assured of having an even better time. This party is for the 21 and over crowd only, and the alcohol will be flowing—if not freely, the prices will at least be reasonable!
Spend your St. Patrick’s Day playing Irish themed games, including cabbage bowling and eating contests, enjoying live Irish entertainment, eating shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash in the 4 Clover Food Court, or enjoying some of your favorite craft beers as you listen to the bagpipes playing. VIP guests will have six free alcoholic beverages included in their ticket price, catered meals, private seating, and front stage access for the live entertainment.
Book My Vacay Has a Bit of the Irish in Them
That’s our story and we’re sticking with it! Book your luxurious vacation home today and start planning for the party of the century. Kiss Me I’m Irish buttons are not included with purchase, but we still promise a great time while you’re here!
15th Annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
It may seem a little odd to you that the Phoenix area could sponsor ANY sort of boating festival in the middle of the desert, but there are actually quite a few bodies of water here as well, both man-made and natural. The 15th annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival is held on Tempe Town Lake, a relatively new lake—it was constructed in 1999—and this festival became an annual tradition soon after. This year’s festival is yet to be announced, but promises to show a good time to all that visit!
What is a Dragon Boat?
Traditionally, a dragon boat is a type of man-powered vessel originating from China, made from teak wood, and designed to carry many people. Today’s dragon boats are created from colorful fiberglass and are much lighter, faster, and far easier to maneuver than the heavy wooden ones used to be. Each boat features a fiberglass dragon head and tail as a nod to its ancient ancestors and is about 40 to 45 feet long.
What is the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival About?
This colorful event is a race. Each boat holds about 18 paddlers, one helmsman, and a drummer that helps keep the pace by beating on a drum. There are different events and age groups, with each boat team being sponsored by a local business. In addition to the excitement of the races, spectators can explore the wares being sold by vendors, enjoy Asian inspired entertainment, and sample foods being sold by local food trucks.
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Our vacation homes are the best in the state, and our staff is on call to help you find fun and interesting things to do on your unforgettable Arizona vacation. Book yours today!
41st Annual Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts
The end of winter and the beginning of spring signifies the start of many of our best festivals and events here in Arizona. The weather is perfect, the sun is shining, and we want to be outside enjoying the beauty of our state as much as possible. The Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts is our favorite way to while away the last weekend of March.
For over 40 years, the streets of downtown Tempe have been blocked off for the entire weekend as artists and craftsmen from all over the nation peddle their wares for our enjoyment. If you plan your vacation to coincide with the weekend of March 31st this year, you will have the opportunity to discover what we have known for decades: THIS is the perfect way to enjoy a weekend!
Food, Entertainment, Arts, and Fun!
Providing a perfect hunting grounds for unique presents for the picky people in your life, the Festival of the Arts features exhibits from every artistic medium. Paintings, photography, and pottery created by the best artists in the world can range in price from really reasonable to prices only collectors can afford. Jams, jellies, salsas, and other savory food items make perfect gifts, and the huge array of vendor tents and trucks offer an international selection of meals when you need to take a break. Live musicians provide entertainment throughout the festival. Be sure and purchase a CD; these folks are talented!
Book My Vacay Provides a Place to Rest Your Aching Feet
After all the walking is done, you can rest comfortably in one of our luxurious vacation homes right there in Tempe! Book yours today and discover the arts and culture of this quirky college town!
Flagstaff is near the border of several northern Arizonan Native American reservations. To pay tribute to the cultures that flourished long ago and survive today, Flagstaff holds several festivals each year, each paying celebrating a different tribe. The Hopi Festival has been held around the Fourth of July and dates as far back as the 1930s. Each year it brings renowned artists to the city to show their works, and presenters from Hopi villages come to share their traditions.
Arts and Merchandise
The artistry on display makes the festival worth a visit for any fans of history, archaeology, mythology, sculpture, weaving, or painting—or anyone who just wants an awesome souvenir! Made by Hopi artisans, special traditional crafts will be available for display. These include intricately woven baskets, carefully carved jewelry, etched and painted pottery, southwestern paintings, hand-woven textiles, and the iconic katsina (also spelled “kachina”) dolls that are so widely recognized as symbols of southwestern native tribes.
Plus, like any great festival, there will be food and live music. Many may try to imitate these crafts, but here you can try traditional dishes and listen to traditional music completely assured that it’s the real thing.
There’s plenty to see and hear, even beyond the art and music. There are usually some presentations regarding the Hopi tribes, including lectures on history and geography and their importance to the tribes and to the rest of the southwest. Hopi performers also demonstrate trademarks of their culture, such as hoop dances.
The Hopi Festival is a rare treat, especially for those from out of the southwest, and it’s worth timing your visit to Flagstaff around this event. This year’s admission cost $18 for a weekend pass or $12 for a daily pass, with discounts for youths, students, and American Indians.
If you’re sold on visiting, check out our Flagstaff listings for great places to stay, including lodgings with great downtown access that will guarantee you front-row access to some of these performances!
Tour de Scottsdale Bike Ride
One of the many benefits to living in Arizona is the ability to participate in outdoor events year-round. We don’t have to put the pause button on our favorite sports due to extreme cold, sleet, or snow; we just need to get up a little earlier during the hottest months of summer!
The Tour de Scottsdale, while not as famous or as strenuous as its counterpart, the Tour de France, is held in October, so worrying about the heat is not necessary! Offering a 30-mile ride and a 70-mile ride, the opportunity to view the desert landscape from the tiny seat of your touring bike is one that you won’t want to miss!
Our 2017 ride dates haven’t been released yet, so be sure to check back frequently for more information. You’ll know the date in plenty of time to reserve your Book My Vacay vacation home.
Benefitting the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, the ride begins at Market Street in DC Ranch at Pima Road and Thompson Peak Parkway. All bikers are welcome, but the ride caps out at 2000 riders. Virtual “swag bags” ensure we stay green, but allows the participants to enjoy coupons and gifts as our thank you for signing up! Prices vary, ranging from $50 to $150 in 2016 (this could change in 2017). Sign up early to receive the lower entry fee!
Many of Our Book My Vacay Vacation Homes Come with Attached Garages
So you need not worry about leaving your expensive bike out in the elements. Reserve your Scottsdale vacation home today and the ride to the starting pistol will be a short one!
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
The Phoenix metropolitan area is a rich, multi-cultural region that celebrates the very things that makes everyone different from each other, and the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Moon festival is a shining example of Arizona doing what it does best! This harvest festival, held October 4th this year in Glendale, celebrates children as the participants give thanks for their happy marriages, their beautiful babies, and ask for a blessed future.
Your children will love to attend this event that recognizes the importance and wonder of the younger set and will thrill at the sight of colorful dragons that want to dance with them! Tradition dictates that the child should give the dragon lucky money, while the dragon returns the favor by blessing them with good luck. Lord Earth dressed in yellow is another symbol of this unique festival, representing the “fullness of the earth” and adding another element of whimsy for your family to enjoy.
There’s no need for your children to be afraid of the dark during this nighttime festival, because the bright lanterns held by the participants are a key part in the traditions behind the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival.
Book My Vacay Has the Perfect Vacation Home for You!
Prepare to celebrate the future of the children during this unique annual event that is a combined effort of the City of Glendale and the Vietnamese Community of Arizona. Our Glendale homes are near all that is popular in this thriving community. Reserve yours today, and remember: It’s BYOL—bring your own lantern!
Arizona International Auto Festival
If you’re considering the purchase of a new car and planning on an Arizona vacation, the Arizona International Auto Festival at the Phoenix Convention Center may be just what the new car salesman ordered! Held in November, 2017 dates haven’t been released yet, so there’s plenty of time to plan your visit.
This high-speed festival features all the hottest cars: luxury brands we dream about, such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Lamborghini; the basic cars we can actually afford, such as Chevrolet, Ford, and Hyundai; and finally, the muscle cars that are in our price range, but can’t exactly be considered family cars—Ford Mustang, anyone?
Offering celebrity meet and greets, prizes, and a free subscription to Motor Trends magazine, the auto festival is the perfect event for the shade tree auto mechanic in your family! Family day, held on the last day of the event, offers free tickets for kids 12 and under and an opportunity to hang out with their favorite cartoon superheroes. Last year it was Spiderman and Captain America; we can’t wait to discover who will be the star in 2017!
If the females in your life are dragging their feet, be sure and tell them about Mustang Mani’s. Last year, a local cosmetology school teamed up with Ford and offered free manicures—all colors were Mustang approved, of course!
Get Your Motor Running with a Book My Vacay Vacation Home
Because many of our homes are located in the heart of the city, you will have no difficulty finding one within driving distance of the auto show. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Fantasy of Lights
In many parts of the country, the holidays are a time when the houses are decorated beautifully, parades feature our favorite Christmas characters, and no one leaves the house to enjoy the beauty of the season, because it is just too cold! In Arizona, however, this is not a problem, and Tempe’s Fantasy of Lights is one of the more popular holiday events, with tens of thousands of people participating each year!
The event begins with the Opening Night Parade, featuring decorative floats, dancing beauties wearing twinkle lights, and the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, followed by a tree lighting ceremony that never fails to delight. The Christmas tree is giant and is decorated so very beautifully!
As if all this was not enough, Tempe Town Lake’s APS Fantasy of Light Boat Parade is the sprinkles on your ice cream cone. Who would think of a boat parade in the desert? Tempe’s Town Lake is a man-made creation that has rapidly become the center of popular events, and Christmas is no exception. The festivities include real snow for the kids to play in, fireworks, entertainment, and of course, a parade of nearly 50 beautifully decorated boats gliding along the lake. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year! And did we mention we decorate the bridge as well?
Light Up Your Christmas with a Book My Vacay Festive Holiday Rental
It’s never too early to start planning your Christmas vacation. Reserve your own Book My Vacay vacation home today and we will throw in some Christmas cheer at no additional cost!
Nautical Parade of Lights at Canyon Lake
Christmas truly is our favorite time of year. It’s a time filled with happy people, festive music, delicious cookies, and the Nautical Parade of Lights at Canyon Lake! Arizona is full of wonderful surprises; many first-time visitors don’t realize that we have lakes in the desert—but we do—and Canyon Lake is one of our favorites! Home to Dolly, steamboat extraordinaire, this desert water feature hosts the Parade of Lights the first Saturday in December. 2017’s schedule of events will be announced soon, so keep checking back for more details!
Last year’s festivities started with a Christmas Carol Cruise, cookies, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and the opportunity to spend some quality time with our favorite elf, the one and only Santa Claus! The light parade starts after the sun has set behind the mountains surrounding the lake—generally around 6:30—and the show they present is nothing short of spectacular. Approximately 30 festively decorate boats float around the lake, proudly flaunting their twinkle lights as you enjoy a special dinner aboard Dolly. Prime rib, grilled chicken, and all the fixings (don’t forget the cookies!) are enjoyed by all, and singing along with to your favorite Christmas carols adds the cherry to the top of this fantastic sundae; your Christmas will be just that much better when enjoying the Nautical Parade of Lights at Canyon Lake! You can also watch from the shore for free; it’s just as special!
Celebrate the Holidays in a Spectacular Book My Vacay Vacation Home
Your dreams will be about more than dancing sugar plans when you participate in this holiday spectacular! Contact us today and start planning your holiday trip to sunny Arizona!
Arizona National Livestock Show
Dating back to the late 40s, the Arizona National Livestock Show has been a Phoenix staple for longer than most of us have been alive. While city life is rapidly encroaching on the country, our city will always retain a little bit of the untamed, and this show is a shining example of how little some things have changed.
Originally titled the Phoenix Stock Show, the name was changed in 1952 as donations and contributions from all over the state made the show into a success. Today, the show’s mission is entitled “Growing the Future,” and it reaches out to the youth who will one day be in charge. Featuring livestock shows, rodeo extravaganzas, and farm experiences, the show is held the end of December/beginning of January at our state fairgrounds in Phoenix.
A chuck wagon and Dutch oven cook-off is held during the show, guaranteeing there will be PLENTY of tasty vittles to be enjoyed by you and your family; nothing beats some good old fashioned cowboy food when your stomach is rumbling!
If Western art is a favorite of yours, you might want to make sure you pack light for your Arizona vacation (no worries, your Book My Vacay vacation rental comes with a washer and dryer in the unit!) because the Cowboy Classics Western Art and Gear Show runs concurrently with the livestock festivals and they have lots of goodies just dying to come home with you! This show is jam packed with things to do. You could spend your entire vacation at the fairgrounds!
Reserve Your Book My Vacay Phoenix Vacation Home Today
Start planning your Western-style winter vacation today and recapture a bit of country magic on your next trip to beautiful Arizona!
Year Round and Seasonal Events:
Arizona is Fun!
Welcome to Arizona, home to the Grand Canyon, breathtaking deserts, and Native American culture. If you’re new to Arizona you may want a few tips on what to do, and this guide by Book My Vacay will do just that. This short read will inform you of some of the best Phoenix and Scottsdale events.
Keep in Natural
City life isn’t hard to come-by, so let’s start with some of Arizona’s unique natural attraction. Hiking, mountain biking, and sightseeing are staples easily done with the abundance of mountains in the area. A big mountain attraction in Scottsdale is Camelback Mountain. Sporting hills that resemble a camel, this site is not only fun to see, but offers several hiking trails and mountain bike paths. Other notable mountains in the area include McDowell Sonoran Preserve and of course, the Grand Canyon.
Returning to town to cool off, there are plenty of fun things to do in Scottsdale. Each Saturday brings about a food truck caravan, offering the unique slants on food that everyone loves. Do the names 2 Fat Guys Grilled Cheese or The Maine Lobster Lady sound tasty? This scrumptious event takes place between 6:30 and 10:30 on 5th and Goldwater.
After a meal go gab a drink at Sip, right off Goldwater and Scottsdale road. This classic coffee shop and bar offers a special menu item which pairs pastries and beers to perfection. Or for some music, run to Desert Ridge Marketplace in north Scottsdale for the live jams which occurs each Friday and Saturday night.
If you are an aesthete, then check out First Fridays the first Friday of each month in downtown Phoenix. Starting at 6pm on Jefferson and 3rd, you can see the best that local Phoenix artist have to offer. Pick up a painting, listen to some live music, or try and catch some poetry – there’s plenty to do at this well-loved event.
That isn’t all, there are more things to do in Phoenix, including seeing a game at Chase Field (provided it’s in season) or checking out the historic Heard Museum which is devoted to Native American culture, a significant make-up of Arizona residents.
Enjoy the Sounds Like Summer Series in Phoenix Park
Celebrate the rebirth of the Phoenix Park area by taking part in some fun summer activities, concerts, and a farmer’s market.
The park was originally a steel mill, but the city of Phoenix made a smart environmental move and transformed the area into a park.
Appropriately named Phoenix Park, the old Phoenix Steel grounds now hosts the Sounds like Summer Series, and the venue now draws about 39 different acts every Thursday in July, July, and August.
Listen to sounds of well-known artists like Justin Vernon and Mike Perry. A popular local band called the Jaggernauts has been playing music in the park for over ten years, and hopes to continue playing for another decade.
Aside from the concert itself, sections of the park are split off to allow for a variety of venues, including sponsors, food vendors, art projects, and activities for kids.
Located in downtown Eau Claire, local Phoenix bands and out-of-towners draw crowds of over 100 people along the Chippewa River. If you time it right, you can catch a performance of the Torch Sisters, a local troupe of fire spinners who perform their act on the Labyrinth in Phoenix Park.
Listen to popular local artists like Paul Tweed, Dingo Factory, and the Bent Corsicles. The names might sound factory, but each band offers a diversity of music that you won’t hear anywhere else.
The concerts are sponsored by local merchants and non-profit groups. Alcohol is also available in the labyrinth area of the park.
Enjoy a wine and food pairing in collaboration with several different food truck catering services in the Scottsdale area. The food truck chef prepares four different pairings and a wine tour. The chefs and menus vary from week to week. Taste some of the finest cuisine and wine from popular restaurants like United Steaks of Cheese and Gourmet Burgers.
Lawrence Durham Vineyards (LDV) collaborates with Food Truck Catering to offer Flight and Bites every Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Wine Gallery, located at 6951 E. 1st Street in Scottsdale. The Wine Gallery is open five days a week and you can enjoy a glass of wine of the gallery or walk across the Main Street to stroll through some of the galleries across the street.
Since the chefs and menus change from week to week, it’s a perfect way to taste some different food and wine pairings in downtown Scottsdale. The LDV wines hold taste great by themselves, but they also act as a great compliment to food as well. Whether you like red or white wine, LDV varietal wines offer a wide range of tastes to suit nearly everyone’s taste pallet.
As the main sponsor of the Flight and Bites event, LDV Wine Gallery is now open in Downtown Scottsdale specializes in wine tasting, sales, and award-winning wines grown in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills. The cost of the event is $25.
The summer food series for the Flight and Bites event starts during the end of June, and the service is open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Run to the Art Walk
One of the top trending towns host an especially trending event. Enter the Scottsdale Art Walk. Along Marshall Way and Main Street in downtown Scottsdale, this artistic group meets each Thursday evening to showcase galleries and creative art projects. One just needs to hop in between 7pm and 9pm to view all the walk has to offer.
A Brief History
This Art Walk began 40 years ago and is promoted by the Scottsdale Gallery Association. This group is made up of professional art dealers who wish to see the arts spread and appreciated by all. Be prepared to appreciate a large variety of styles, “from western traditional to cutting-edge contemporary, from Southwest landscapes and Native American subjects to Russian impressionism and more” heralds the art walk website.
Diversity of Activities
The little hub of town offers a nice culture. The grounds alone are beautiful enough to deserve appreciation. Participants can easily appreciate the statues that grace Scottsdale land amongst all the artist fare. It’s easy to grab a bite to eat in between exhibits from one of the many unique food trucks offering a special spin on classic cuisine. There is even a horse-drawn carriage making the rounds from time to time. One doesn’t need a passion for art to participate; this event is a lot of fun in and of itself.
Experience Art in the Open Air of Phoenix.
Every first Friday of the month, you can take part in a self-guided tour through downtown Phoenix of art galleries, studios, and art spaces. Organized by a non-profit organization called Artlink, First Friday brings artists, businesses, and the public together in order enjoy art at its finest.
First Friday in Phoenix began as early as 1980, when the community fostered a growing interest in the arts. The 1988 Bond election gave rise to the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Museum of History. The annual Art Detour was formed in the spring of 1988, and the event attracted hundreds of art lovers to downtown Phoenix area every year. As galleries, outside studios, and musicians gathered in one place, Artlink decided to form this Phoenix event.
In 1998, a total of 13 spaces were opened every Friday. Today, the event hosts over 100 artistic participants in the First Friday art walk located between 12th Street and 17th Avenue. The venue offers a free trolley service for the commute.
There is no cost for the event, and you can enjoy a full evening of art and entertainment the first Friday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Enjoy the spirit of the art community in Phoenix, as you mingle with visitors and locals alike. The venue also offers easy parking, as well as the Valley Metro Rail within walking distance. Maps are also available at Phoenix Art Museum.
Summer Nights at Heritage Square
While the cities in the Valley of the Sun languish under summer heat, Flagstaff enjoys gorgeous summers. With light breezes, scattered clouds, and highs of around 80 degrees, it’s no wonder hiking and other outdoor activities are so popular in this city! Taking advantage of their splendid weather, the city hosts a series of events collectively called “Summer Nights on the Square,” or simply, “Downtown Friday Nights.”
When to Go
If you’re booking a weekend stay in Flagstaff, aim for the first weekend of the month, and try to get there before evening when the fun starts. Throughout Flagstaff’s summer months—which in this case extend from May through October—the first Friday of every month will feature some performance in historic down town. The acts usually start around 6 p.m. and last about two hours, so it’s a great excuse to try out some downtown grub before going—some restaurants, such as Diablo Burger, are even close enough that you can watch and listen from your table!
The performances are many and varied, but one trait they all share in common is that they are wonderful entertainment and always fun for the whole family. So far, 2016 has featured a jazz duet and circus acts, and has more to come with a ballet troupe in August, a singer/songwriter combo in September, and Taiko drumming in October. To learn more about these events, check out the page on Flagstaff Art Council’s websites.
Live entertainment in beautiful weather in a historic site that has never lost its charm—that’s Downtown Friday Nights!
In the Old Days…
Back in the old days people caravanned. Luckily, we don’t have the same needs as we used to, so what happens when you apply the concept of group travel and abundance? Food truck Caravan!
Exciting New Food!
These gourmet grub mobiles bring the food to the streets each Saturday from 6:30pm to 10:30pm for Street Food Saturday. It’s rare that food trucks provide a dining location as well, but Street Food Saturday has you covered! Hop on down to 5th and Goldwater to check out the fine dining provided by these meals on wheels.
On the street you will find a caravan tent with comfortable seating as well as plenty of picnic seating. If you have a big group, no problem, reservations are available. Refreshing misters ensure that this environment is always comfortable, there are even heaters provided in winter.
This location can house up to 15 quality food trucks, all with a unique slant on food. Favorites include, Queso Good, Po Boyz BBQ, and the Gogo Gaga Boutique; names which make your crave their delicious food. These truck line-up are subject to change each week, meaning there will be plenty of variety!
McDonald’s Rock and Roll Car Show at the Pavilions
The McDonald’s Rock and Roll Car Show is an ongoing weekly event held at the Pavilions at the Talking Stick Shopping Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The car show at the Pavilions is the longest running show of its kind, showcasing as many as 500 cars that were built in the 1950s. Listen to the sounds of the 50’s while you browse through the cars and motorcycles of yester-year. The event runs from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. every Saturday.
Celebrating over 20 years at the Pavilions, the McDonalds Rock and Roll Car Show is the longest running event of its kind. Located in the heart of Scottsdale, the Rock and Roll Car Show boasts the best destination in the county to see the cars and motorcycles of the 50’s.
Music is provided by the Party Time D.J.’s, and interested parties can take part in the event 52 weeks out of the year. You’ll marvel at the original bat mobile. Your kids will get a big kick out of the original Dukes of Hazard car—the old red Dodge Charger that still looks as good as new. You’ll love the original Red Thunderbird built in the 1950’s as well. Take a trip back in time to enjoy the unique cars of the 50’s, they just don’t build them like they use to.
Join the locals and classic car enthusiasts at the Scottsdale McDonald’s where you enjoy D.J.’s, classic cars, celebrities, and more. The party starts at 4 and usually runs until 9 p.m. Stop into McDonald’s or the Mongolian barbeque grill for a quick bite to eat.
Take part in a car show that you and your family will remember for years to come.
Step aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad for a one-of-a-kind tequila tasting event where you can enjoy the unique flavors of Tequila Don Julio. Enjoy the smooth flavors of premium tequila while traveling through the striking red rock formations of Sedona.
Try out three complex flavors of tequila paired with some tasty Mexican appetizers.
The event is available one Saturday from every month on the following dates:
- May 30
- June 27
- July 25
- August 29
- September 12
Try a selection of three wonderfully smooth flavors from Tequila Don Julio, a unique agave-distilled liquor.
This tequila tasting event on the Verde County Railroad offers a great way to tour the beautiful canyons of Sedona while sipping your favorite tequila. It’s a great way to spend a warm and comfortable afternoon.
You’ll enjoy the retro look of the fully restored train as you step back in time to take part in luxurious travel coupled with Mexico’s favorite spirit and great appetizers. It’s an excellent way to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon on a four-hour journey that takes you through 100 years of Arizona history.
Departing from depot at Clarkdale, Arizona, the train takes you through a 20-mile journey. The cost of the tour is $129, and you must be 21 in order to participate.
Experience Sedona’s Grape Train Escape
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to experience a wine tasting adventure while taking a ride on a train? It’s a great way to taste some of your favorite wines while rolling along on a train track.
Some of the best wineries in the area purvey their wines paired with some great appetizers and food. Relax in comfortable first-class seating while enjoying the beautiful desert landscapes of Phoenix. The cost of the trip is $129 per person, and you must be 21 years old to participate.
The Verde County Railroad of Sedona will take you on a scenic train ride while you sip some of your favorite wines. This wine tasting adventure on the train offers a unique adventure for food and wine.
Sample five different varieties of wines provided by Alcantara Wineries, along with a nice selection of different food courses to match the wines. Try a Mesa Blanco wine, Alcantra’s white blend. The grapes for the wine are grown in the Verde Valley vineyard. Or, sample the 2014 Merlot Rose, made from the best Merlot grapes in Verde Valley. The Confluence VI wine offers aromas of cherries, black olives, and cloves.
Enjoy a wine tasting adventure from select wineries in the Arizona area. You’ll enjoy the cool air of the late afternoon during a beautiful sunset journey while tasting some amazing vintage wines. The train ride takes place once a month on Saturday evenings from May through September.
High Country Holidays
From wreaths on streetlights to Christmas lights on radio towers, Flagstaff embraces the holiday spirit, creating a warm and welcoming environment in the chilly air. If you’re going to be in Flagstaff anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you should check out if any attraction on your itinerary has something special going on for the season. Note that traditions are often a matter of trial and error, so check the location’s websites to make sure they’re doing the same thing as previous years.
The Little America Hotel gets more excited about the holidays than perhaps any business in Flagstaff. Starting in late November, they’ll have a dazzling display of literally millions of lights illuminating their grounds and visitors’ spirits—certainly worth a look. The Hotel also features a champagne brunch on Christmas morning!
The Riordan Mansion decks its halls for the season, decorating the grounds with the sort of ornamentation that would have been used around the time of its construction circa 1900. Christmas traditions play a special role in the tours during December, as guides bring history to life with stories of holidays long past.
The Lowell Observatory is another Flagstaff icon that gets serious about Christmas. Unlike many museums and similar institutions, Lowell actually extends its hours around Christmas and offers special tours. Throughout the month the Observatory also features special exhibits and explanations on the astronomical interpretation of the Star of Bethlehem—a mingling of Christmas tradition and modern science.
These are just a few of Flagstaff’s more recognized businesses and institutions filling the world with holiday cheer—rest assured that everything from art walks to restaurants will have some holiday flair about them, a holiday spirit that will make you feel right at home. Browse our Northern Arizona offerings to find the best place for you to go enjoy your holidays.
Fore more information about events in Phoenix and Scottsdale, contact BookMyVacay today! We’re here to help make your vacation a fun one, so let us do all we can to set you up with the most enjoyable activities and events in Scottsdale and Phoenix. We can’t wait to see you soon!