Sepanek house

Holiday lights are up at the Sepanek house in Arcadia.

Following City Council approval, all amenities in Phoenix’s city parks have fully reopened. Community members are encouraged to continue to practice these guidelines: wear a mask or face covering, bring your own wipes and hand sanitizer, maintain a distance of six feet and stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms of illness.

The annual Hopi Holiday Care Drive is ongoing. This year, Hopi will be donating to Children First Leadership Academy (CFLA), a K-8 school formerly known as the Thomas J. Pappas School for the Homeless. From Hopi: “Students at CFLA come from families with income levels well below the poverty line and, in many cases, are classified as homeless.” The school hopes to fully stock their resource room with food, toiletries and clothing. The donation drive will be available until December 4.

Echo Canyon Elementary School would like to introduce its new librarian, Ms. Dawn Treude. Ms. Treude comes to Echo Canyon after a previous career at the Arabian Library in Scottsdale where she worked in various departments and as librarian at Horizon High in the PVUSD school district. From Echo Canyon’s PTO-blast: “I’m working to revamp the library into a lively space for the students to return to!”

Art One Gallery’s PPE Fundraiser exceeded their goal of $4,000 last month. The gallery raised $4,700 to help provide PPE and art supplies to students and schools in need. Congratulations, Art One!

AIR aerial fitness opened its first Arizona location in early November. Located at 28th St. and Indian School near the Sprouts Farmers Market, AIR is designed for all levels of fitness and helps to strengthen your core and tone your physique using elements of conditioning, Pilates and high intensity interval training. AIR offers multiple classes (and a class for beginners) that last 50-55 minutes. Pricing varies, but they offer a new client special: $99 for an unlimited month of classes.

Formerly known as the Fort McDowell Casino, the brand-new We-Ko-Pa Casino and Resort opened its doors in late October. Guests can enjoy 850 slot machines, a 400-seat smoke-free bingo hall, blackjack tables and a variety of dining establishments and event venues. Fort McDowell was Arizona’s first casino and now, We-Ko-Pa is the state’s newest casino.

Adero Scottsdale Hotel made its debut as Scottsdale’s first Dark Sky Zone resort in October. The resort features Sonoran Desert views, outdoor adventure guides, fitness classes and a spa. Guests can also dine at Cielo, a “farm-to-table-to-sky” eatery led by Chef Bryan Dillon (formerly of Starwood Hotels & Resorts). The 177-room luxury boutique resort is spread out over 17 acres, about 20 miles north of Arcadia.

Third Space Athletic Club, located in the Desert Palms Power Center at 3939 E. Thomas Road, recently re-opened its doors to the public. This fitness center holds yoga classes, personal/group strength and conditioning classes and offers standalone workout equipment. There is also a recovery corner with compression boots, massage guns and cupping that is included with membership or training.

Rebel Lounge has pivoted to a new venture called Reap & Sow Coffee Bar. Opened by the same people who run Driftwood Coffee in Peoria, the coffee bar will offer coffee drinks, pastries, burritos, beer and specialty cocktails. They are open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (See story on pg. 36).

A new men’s clothing store has opened at the Biltmore Fashion Park on 24th St. and Camelback. DaVinci Luxe is a designer and retailer of exclusive European Men’s clothing and accessories. The business has locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix and has been operating here since 1994. They specialize in formal and casual wear with collections from Italy, France and England.

Garden Bar PHX is a “garden-to-glass” cocktail lounge, helmed by James Beard-honored mixologist Kim Haasarud, that will open in 2021. Located in the historic Roosevelt South neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, Garden Bar will offer cocktails, wine, beer and simple food offerings “designed to complement” your drink choice. The restaurant is currently available for online orders and will open for dine-in when renovations are complete.

Nik Fields, professionally known as Nik the Chic Chef, will launch her first brick and mortar restaurant in early 2021 in downtown Phoenix called Chic Chef Company Cafe & Marketplace. Fields has been part of the cooking industry for years, with her line of natural olive oils, organic balsamic vinegars, pasta, pasta sauces and simple syrups. The marketplace will offer these products and more, with the cafe offering samples of Fields’ dishes for dine-in or to-go.

Barro’s Pizza is giving away $10,000 to one local resident in the 2020 Arizona Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway. The prize money will be available to help pay college tuition or any related educational expenses. The Barro’s Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway has awarded $75,000 to students in Arizona since 2012. Submissions are open to all Arizona residents 18 years or older. A winner will be selected at random from the online and text-to-win entries. Entries will be accepted until Dec. 14, 2020.


Sepanek House holiday lights

4415 E. Calle Tuberia in Arcadia, just south of Camelback Road and 44th St.

For almost 40 years, Lee and Patricia Sepanek have been decorating their house and yard with thousands of lights and Christmas displays. This year is no exception, and the outstanding light display is up for everyone to see, complete with porta potties and a handwashing station.

McCormick-Stillman Holiday Lights

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale

Available for limited time frames, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park will still hold its annual holiday light event during the month of December. Guests can choose a one-hour block: 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to ride the train. The carousel and general store will also be open. Tickets are $15 per person and masks are required.

Cruise Zoolights

Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix

Throughout December and January, guests can view Zoolights from the comfort of their vehicles and still witness all of the magic. Zoolights includes millions of twinkling lights and animal sculptures. Guests can tour the Africa Trail and see the Wildlife Lantern Safari, featuring 66 animals like polar bears, mammoths, koalas and kangaroos. Kettle corn and hot cocoa will be available for purchase. Tickets are $75 per car for nonmembers, $60 for members.

December events

Holiday Celebration

Saturday, Dec. 5, 5 p.m. at 3925 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix

Kick off the holidays with some local drive-in fun! Dance Theater West presents the Arcadia Neighborhood Nutcracker – guests will enjoy performances by Story Book Ballet and Dance Theater West, as well as the Sunrays Nutcracker Ballet, Nutcracker in the Making and Sleeping Beauty videos. There will also be a world premiere showing of Story Book Ballet and Dance Theater Recital. Snacks from Cookie Brokers will be available for purchase. This event is free.

Art and Objects Studio Sale

Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Patricia Sannit Studio, 2631 E. Cortez St., Phoenix

The annual Art and Objects Sale is back for the holiday season. Attendees can meet and chat with over 20 resident artists and find handmade gifts, paintings, ceramics and more at this outdoor festival. This event is free and masks are required to attend.

Sippin’ Series

Saturday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. at 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents Sippin’ Series, a monthly event where guests can “explore regions, spirits and concepts with professionals from Young’s Market in an intimate, fun, and educational setting.” This month’s event is focused on bubbles – guests will learn about and taste sparkling wines from around the world. Tickets are $40 per person.

Christmas Alpaca Visits

Saturday, Dec. 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 19007 W. Roadrunner Road, Wittmann

Desert Mirage Alpaca Ranch invites one and all to come hang out with alpacas for the holidays! It’s a little bit of a drive, but guests can meet and visit with over 30 alpacas (even a few babies, possibly), take photos and learn about this fluffy animal. There’s also an alpaca-themed gift shop with clothing, jewelry and home décor. Admission is free.

Meteor Shower Viewing & Astrology Cocktails

Sunday, Dec. 13, 8 p.m. at 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley

The Cocktails Under the Cosmos event is back with an event of meteoric proportions that will take place at Mountain Shadows Resort. An expert astronomer will guide guests from 8-10 p.m. as they view the Geminid meteor shower and enjoy a Sagittarius-themed cocktail. Tickets include stargazing and a choice of two drinks. Masks are required and groups are limited to ten.

8K of Hanukkah Virtual Race

Open until Dec. 31

Help support Hunger Task Force, Mid-South Food Bank and others by running an 8K or half-marathon. The best part? It’s at your own pace. Once you receive your running gear, head out to the streets, the canal or the treadmill and rack up a few miles – then report your time to be added to the virtual leader board, and receive a commemorative shirt (and medal, if you choose to purchase). Registration is $50. Make sure to use #8KsofHanukkah when sharing photos from your run.