Tag Archives: arboretum

Summer festivals & sun safety

This adorable little girl and her mom attended a recent sun safety event at Phoenix Children's Hospital

Arizona is home to all sorts of fall, winter, spring and summer festivals. Before the 4th of July, we’ve got the Flagstaff Folk Festival, the Prescott Bluegrass Festival, the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Festival and more. And plenty of outdoor events — many featuring music and other types of art — happen during the 4th of July weekend.

So I was delighted to attend the June 21 “Sun and Heat Safety Event” at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It was my first experience with the hospital’s rooftop garden, located on the 3rd floor of their majestic new main building. It’s got brightly-colored flower pots taller than most of the patients, and it’s a lovely space for patients and families to enjoy a bit of quiet time away from procedure areas and such.

Dr. Price with two of her patients

The event featured safety displays and demonstrations by the hospital’s injury prevention center, arts & crafts, games and fun refreshments like sun cookies and snow cones.

A doctor from their dermatology team demonstrated how to apply sunscreen and several patients who’ve survived skin cancer shared their experiences. And hospital mascot Dudley was on hand too.

Event volunteers included candy stripers Mia and Joseph

I learned some interesting facts while I was there. That Arizona is second only to Australia in skin cancer rates worldwide. That just one blistering sunburn can double a child’s chance of skin cancer. That melanoma kills one person every hour. That the temperature in a car can rise to 172° with just 15 minutes of direct sunlight. That children’s body temperatures rise five times faster than adult body temperatures.

This cutie got one of the orange sun safety shirts

So as you’re enjoying summertime art walks, festivals and outdoor concerts with your family, please make sun safety a priority. When Kurt and Shonda Schilling lived here in the Valley, Raising Arizona Kids publisher and editor Karen Barr always bought a table for the annual event benefiting the SHADE Foundation they support. We’re all big believers in sun safety.

Here are a few tips from the fine folks at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (who also offer tips on all sorts of health and safety issues online):

  • Never leave children unattended in a vehicle
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes
  • Seek shade whenever possible
  • Remember when planning activities that the sun is strongest from 10am-2pm
  • Wear protective clothing whenever you are outside (UV rays bounce off snow, concrete, water, sand and more)
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that screens out UVB and UVA rays
  • Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 (use liberally and re-apply often, especially after swimming, sweating or drying off)
  • Protect sensitive skin (nose, cheeks, ears, shoulders) using a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide
  • Keep infants (6 months and younger) out of the sun

The teen cancer survivors who shared their stories were quick to say that they’d rather live with being teased about wearing a hat or suncreen than have to go through cancer again.

Dudley must go through a huge amount of sunscreen

But if your child is worried that sun safety isn’t cool, consider some of your options in hip protective clothing — including offerings from UV Skinz, which are available through Suit Up Kids at Desert Ridge Marketplace.

Suit Up Kids was at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital event, and brought along 200 adorable orange UV Skinz for babies — which were donated to the hospital through UV Skinz’s “Save a Baby’s Skin” campaign. Several babies left the event sporting these adorable tops, which will make them the best dressed babies at any summer festivals their families attend.

Get your family’s summer festival supplies — including sun safety items, water bottles and such — together now. That way you’ll be ready to go next time you decide to enjoy an outdoor art fair or concert.

— Lynn

Note: Click here for information on festivals and other events around Arizona — and here to read a feature about Shonda Schilling I wrote many years ago for Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

Coming up: Arizona art walks, Reflections from Ground Zero, Baseball art meets MLB All-Star game, Review of “Cars 2”

Update: The Arboretum at Flagstaff just announced that their “Summer Plant Sale and Penstemon Festival” is scheduled in early July to take advantage of the monsoon rains — visit www.thearb.org for details

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Art meets Audubon

It's the perfect day to try a bit of bird-related art in honor of John James Audubon

John James Audubon, a naturalist and artist known best for his work with birds, was born April 26, 1785.

Hence today’s Google doodle with the beautiful bird theme.

If you’re feeling inspired to honor Audubon’s contributions to the worlds of art and science, consider making a bit of bird art with your children this week.

A few ideas…

  • Build a birdhouse — from scratch or using a kit.
  • Paint a bird at your local pottery painting joint.
  • Write poems about some of your favorite birds.
  • Take a walk to look for birds in your neighborhood.
  • Cut bird pictures out of old magazines, then use them to create a collage on canvas or poster board.
  • Use stencils to create whimsical bird designs along a wall in your child’s bedroom.
  • Plant a bird friendly plant in your garden.
  • Draw birds you see on exhibit at the Phoenix Zoo.
  • Look for birds in art exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum or Heard Museum.
  • Take a sketchpad and pens/pencils along to draw birds you see at the Desert Botanical Garden or Rio Solado Audubon Society.
  • Make bird designs by tracing your child’s spread out palm (a favorite with kids at Thanksgiving time).
  • Sew simple birds using felt and embroidery floss, then use them to create a hanging mobile.
  • Fold paper to make origami birds.
  • Use bird puppets or plush (like those from the Audubon Society or Folkmanis Puppets) to create puppet shows full of birds.
  • Read books about birds, then write your own bird stories.
  • Draw birds that start with thumbprints made using colorful ink pads.
  • Take photos of birds in your neighborhood or natural settings.
  • Observe different birds, then make up dances that mirror their movements.

If you’ve got an idea for a bird-related craft or activity, please comment below to let our readers know. Or send photos of some of your family’s bird-related artwork so I can add them to this post for others to enjoy.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix — which offers summer camps for children, as well as other programs for children and adults. Learn more about John James Audubon from PBS and the National Gallery of Art — and the National Audubon Society.

Coming up: Memphis meets movie theater

Update: The Arboretum at Flagstaff will hold “Saturday Morning Birdwalks” led by bird experts from local chapters of the Audubon Society during May, June and July. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. Learn more at www.thearb.org.

The week’s hidden art treasures

The week’s most heralded events are often splashed across our local newspapers and noted during television newscasts.

This week they include “Cirque Dreams Illumination” at the Mesa Arts Center and the opening of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” produced by Arizona Theatre Company — the first a family-friendly event and the second a “mature themes and language” piece.

World music recording artist Scott Schaefer plays didgeridoo, flute and more this Saturday at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior.

Dozens of kid-friendly activities, arts-related and otherwise, are always available online via the Raising Arizona Kids magazine online calendar (there’s a print calendar in each monthly magazine too).

So what I’ll feature here (and at the beginning of each week) are things you might not have discovered yet — including visual and performing arts presented by Valley schools and other organizations.

Enjoy "The Nutcracker Sweet Tea" event with Ballet Etudes at the Wright House in Mesa this Saturday

Some, like the musical “Urinetown” opening Thursday at Paradise Valley Community College, are best for the mature teen and adult set.

Others, like the Ballet Etudes “Nutcracker Sweet Tea” this weekend, are fun for all ages.

The Phoenix Art Museum presents a children’s event (for ages 5-12 with their adult companions) titled  “Define Your Style!” on Sat, Nov 13, from noon-3pm. After touring the “Extending the Runway” fashion collection on exhibit at the PAM, kids will design their own “artistic attire” and use found objects to create a cigar box purse or secret treasure box.

Three of Arizona’s charter schools specializing in the arts present student performance art this week.

Tonight (Mon, Nov 8 ), you can enjoy the chamber singers and concert choir from Arizona School for the Arts performing a 7pm concert at Central United Methodist Church in Phoenix.

Metropolitan Arts Institute presents an Arizona theater premiere in downtown Phoenix Nov 11-13

Metropolitan Arts Institute presents its fall theater production, the Arizona premiere of “Little Brother,” Nov 11-13 at the Playhouse on the Park in Phoenix.

New School for the Arts and Academics presents a dance performance Nov 12 & 13, and I’ll share more details as I learn them.

Another dance option for Nov 12 & 13 is the “SMCC Dance Concert” at the South Mountain Community College Performance Hall — which features dance performance by SMCC students, local high schools and area dance companies.

Music lovers can head to Superior for the Boyce Thompson Arboretum “Live Music Festival” from 11am-5pm on Sat, Nov 13. The event features frontier ballads, Midwestern humor, world music and “olde-time Americana” by the Close Enough String Band. 

Finally, in conjunction with the Phoenix Symphony’s “Rediscovered Masters” series featuring music of composers stifled or silenced during the Holocaust, you can hear a presentation on “The Jews of Central Europe” either Wed, Nov 10, at Temple Beth Isreal or Thurs, Nov 11, at Symphony Hall in Phoenix.

PVCC presents a musical with a social justice theme and one of my favorite love songs

If I’ve overlooked a hidden treasure being exhibited or performed by your organization or venue this week, feel free to share event details in a brief comment below.

And watch for weekly rundowns in future posts — which will replace my Friday arts roundups.

That way I can share both weekday and weekend events to inspire more arts adventures with family and friends.

— Lynn

ASU remounts "And What She Found There" this Tuesday night only

Update: Just heard from ASU about a one-time only remount of a work titled “And What She Found There” taking place Tues, Nov 9 at 7pm at the ASU Lyceum Theatre in Tempe. Info at www.mainstage.asu.edu or 480-965-6447.

Note: Always call ahead to check event details — including location, date/time, ticketing requirements, age guidelines and such.

Coming up: Recent adventures with the Arizona Opera, Playing for Change, the Heard Museum North Scottsdale and the Arizona Science Center; “Hairspray” meets Childsplay?

Weekend whimsy

There’s a little something for everyone when it comes to family arts and entertainment this weekend. Here’s a roundup by category–featuring everything from concerts and musicals to nature walks and museum exhibits–with a bit of whimsy thrown in just for fun…

From sweeping beauties to singing mermaids

Theater performances include “Cinderella: A Ragtime Musical” at Desert Stages in Scottsdale, “Grease” at Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix, “The Little Mermaid” at Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Mesa, “Two Bad Mice” by Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix, “Into the Woods” at Theater Works in Peoria (featuring a fabulous raffle)

From choral auditions to singing with Elmo

Music events include “Phoenix Boys Choir auditions” at the Phoenix Boys Choir in Phoenix, “Andreas Klein” (piano) and “Rahim Alhaj” (Iraqi oud) at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, “Breakfast with Elmo” (including song and dance) at Family Time in Gilbert

From movies in the park to movies at the museum

Community movie events include “Movie Night at the Park” (“Hoot” plus lessons on burrowing owls) at Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear, “Dinner and a Movie” (“G-Force”) at Eddie’s House in Scottsdale, “Movies in the Ballpark” (“Cars”) at Goodyear Ballpark, “Kid’s Night Out Movie Night” (“Spirited Away”) at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa

From art walks to hands-on art projects

Art activities include “Downtown Chandler Art Walk” (art/entertainment), “Free Art Friday” (art projects/games) in Tempe, “Great Expectations and Dreams: Arizona Teens Speak Up” at ASU Downtown (to benefit PCH cancer/blood disorder patients)

From baseballs to carved dolls

Museum exhibits include “Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear” and “Solarville” at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” and “Jump to Japan: Discovering Culture Through Popular Art” at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa, “Therizinosaur: Mystery of the Sickle-Claw Dinosaur” at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa (adjacent to the Arizona Museum for Youth), “What Moves Us: Art of Transportation from the Permanent Collection” at the ASU Art Museum in Tempe, “Visions: Text Messages” at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, “Hopi Katsina Dolls: 100 Years of Carving” and “More Than Child’s Play: American Indian Dolls” at the Heard Museum in Phoenix

From flashlight tour to wildflower walk

Nature activities include “Wildflower Walk” at The Arboretum at Flagstaff, “Hummingbird Banding” (professionals band, onlookers watch) at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, “Summer Saturday Evenings” at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, “Silent Sunday” at South Mountain Park in Phoenix, “Flashlight Tours” at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix

For additional details–including dates/times, fees/reservations, recommended ages and such–check with hosting venues. Additional information on many of these events/activities is also available through the online calendar for Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

–Lynn

Note: If you’re on the prowl for art-related books, music or movies, try your luck at the free “Bargain Book Sale” from 9am-4pm today at the North Valley Regional Library in Anthem.

Coming up: From lemons to lemonade, Multicultural performance art, Season openers from Valley theaters, ASU Libraries’ Child Drama Collection, All about art walks, More movie reviews

Graphics from Cafe Press. Click here to see their extensive selection of gift items in black, white and beyond.

Update: Thanks to Carley Conder for sharing the news that renowned choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen, freelance choreographer/teacher/dancer originally from Denmark, is in Arizona for a six day residency. To enjoy a free showing of Boye-Christensen’s new work set for CONDER/dance, attend a Sat, Aug 21, performance at ASU FAC122 (11:45am-noon).

From lavender to life lessons

It’s hard to forget Gilroy. 

Gilroy has its garlic festival

You can smell the California city for miles both coming and going, because of pungent crops that have earned it the name “Garlic Capital of the World.” I used to drive through Gilroy every now and then when I lived in the Bay Area as a teen.

I never made it to their annual Gilroy Garlic Festival (celebrating its 33rd season July 23-25) because, like many folks, I too often overlook the most fabulous attractions in my own neck of the woods. (I also suspect it was never a popular dating destination.) 

Don’t make the same mistake this weekend, when you’ll have a much more odoriferous option right here in Arizona. Alas—the sweet onion and strawberry festivals have already passed for this month. But the Lavender Festival in Concho started yesterday. 

Concho has its lavender festival

Think cutting your own lavender, cooking demonstrations and crafts. And cooler weather. Concho is located in the White Mountains in Central Arizona, and the festival runs both this weekend (June 24-27) and next (July 1-3). 

There’s also the Prescott Bluegrass Festival, a free event taking place June 26-27 at Prescott’s historic Courthouse Plaza–which is surrounded by charming antique shops, unique eateries and much more.

Or head to Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in Superior, where you can enjoy a Butterfly Walk (free with admission) on Sat, June 26. Or Tucson, where the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is holding special “Summer Saturday Evenings” through Aug 28. 

If theater is more your style, you have plenty of options suitable for young audiences, including “Charlotte’s Web” at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Mesa, “The Big Bug Circus” at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix, “Princess and the Pea” at Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert and “The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast” at Mesa Arts Center.

Pine has its strawberry festival

Film aficionados have a couple of options for outings with friends or teenage children, including a 1pm showing of “Throw Down Your Heart” at the Phoenix Art Museum on Sun, June 27—plus a 6pm showing of “Food, Inc.” (followed by a discussion with local health/nutrition advocate Bobbi Bennett) at Hoodlums Music & Movies in Tempe on Sat, June 26. 

In the heart-tug category, arguably the most important category of all, there’s “I Matter: Theater Camp Final Performance,” a live theatrical event crafted and performed by Free Arts of Arizona teens examining issues of identity and their own significance. 

Tombstone has its sweet onion festival

It takes place tonight, June 25, at 7pm at Greenway High School in Phoenix. Admission is free but RSVPs are requested at 602-258-8100 or info@freearts.org

Free Arts of Arizona is a non-profit organization that provides “therapeutic, creative arts programming to abused, neglected and at-risk children” ages 3-21.

Tonight’s “I Matter” performance was created by 20 teens from local group homes and shelters based on their own life experiences. The teens worked with professional artists to express their challenges, hopes and dreams through creative drama. 

I’ve got a feeling it’ll be even more unforgettable than Gilroy, in a good way…

 –Lynn

Note: A comprehensive listing of family-friendly events is always available online from Raising Arizona Kids magazine. Please check with event sponsors prior to attending to confirm date, time, location, cost and other details.