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10 Things To Do This Weekend in Phoenix: Family Edition

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altIt’s nearing the end of October, which means it’s the last weekend to enjoy Halloween happenings in the Valley. For the last time this year, get spooked at Fear Farm, graze through a pumpkin patch and finish it off celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Here are our top picks for the weekend of Oct. 24-26.  

 

Harvest Fest at Pioneer Living History Museum

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In the Valley, temps in the 90’s are associated with fall, Halloween and outdoor fun. If you’re like my fam, you’re probably looking at all the fall festivities that are kicking off in Phoenix this month. Since it’s my six month old daughter, Mia Valentina’s, first fall ever, my husband and I are eager to take her to the family friendly events in town. 

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This past weekend, we trekked to the Pioneer Living History Museum for their Harvest Fest. Located in North Phoenix, the museum showcases 90 acres of an old 1800's town. You will see authentic buildings and historically accurate reproductions including the Opera House, look through a rifle port in the actual cabin that survived Arizona's bloodiest range war and browse through an 1890's dress shop. All of this, plus a blacksmith shop, sheriff's office and jail, complete ranch complex, and costumed interpreters including cowboys, lawmen, and lovely Victorian ladies - await you at Pioneer Living History Village, Arizona's most authentic Old West town.

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Harvest Fest

Harvest Fest takes place every weekend, Saturday and Sunday, in October, from 10am – 6pm. Families can expect a farmer’s market, pumpkin patch, horseback riding, hay rides, gold panning, petting zoo and more. 

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 Important Details

The Pioneer Living History Museum is located at 3901 W. Pioneer Road in Phoenix, which is off the I-17 and Pioneer Road. They are opened from Wednesday through Sunday from 9am – 4pm and closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission prices vary. All details can be found at http://www.pioneeraz.org.

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BOO-TIQUE at BabyLux

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Even childless Phoenicians in-the-know can tell you that BabyLux is THE  baby mecca of the Valley; an upscale, one-of-a-kid luxury boutique catering to newborn through five year olds.  Not only does the DC Ranch spot offer the hippest baby gear in town, including celebrity items and a custom BabyLux collection of all-things baby, but they also offer fun events and classes for the entire family, such as educational classes for new parents including nursing (which I attended and loved), daddy boot camp and sibling prep. In addition to the educational tools, they host events like gender reveal parties and baby showers plus children's photography and nursery design services.

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As the change of seasons takes place and Halloween around the corner, BabyLux is hosting one of their biggest sales of the year in conjunction with the DC Ranch tent sale. In true BabyLux spirit, they added a twist by creating "BOO-TIQUE".

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Adults will love “BOO-TIQUE” because BabyLux is offering up to 70% off summer styles and previewing the new fall collections. Kids will love it because two of their favorite characters, Rapunzel and Flynn will be in attendance for meet and greets and photos. Kids are advised to wear their royal best or show off Halloween costumes! Digital images will be provided for guests from Photography from Keri Meyers Photography.

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BOO-TIQUE at BabyLux will be held on Saturday, October 4th from 9:00am-12:00pm. BabyLux is located at Market Street in DC Ranch, 20789 N. Pima Rd. Suite 125, Scottsdale, AZ 85255.  For more information, visit www.babyluxonline.com.

 

10 Things To Do This Weekend in Phoenix: Family Edition

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The last weekend in September calls for cool nights, Halloween festivities and plenty of shows the entire family will love. The kids will be spooked by haunted houses, enjoy their winged friends on National Butterfly Day and put their minds to the test with creative events at the Arizona Science Museum. Here’s our roundup of family fun for the weekend of Sept. 26-28.

 

Friday

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13th Floor Haunted House

The world-renowned 60,000-sq.-ft. haunted house is double the trouble with two horrifying haunted house attractions: the superstitious 13th Floor and Zombieland. But beware—the event is recommended for children 12 and up. Cost is $24.99 to $48.99. The attraction runs now through November. Visit 13thflooraz.com if you dare!

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Ballet Under the Stars

Chassé, step, leap into a calm evening watching Ballet Arizona dancers in a free outdoor performance Sept. 18 to 27 at 7 p.m. Call 602.381.0184 or visit balletaz.org for more info.

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Fit-N-Fun Day Camp

Whether it’s gymnastics, group activities, obstacle courses, team sports or relay races, childrenages three to 12 will find a way to get active at Xtreme Gymnastics day camp. Camp sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $44 for a half day and $56 for a full day. Pre-registration necessary. Call 480.596.3543 or visit xtremegymnastics.com to register.

 

Saturday

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Glass Fusion Family Art Day at the Scottsdale Artists’ School

The whole family (ages six and up with an adult) can learn the art of glass fusing and make either one or two pieces to take home. The event goes from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $40 per person. Call 480.990.1422 or visit scottsdaleartschool.org for more information.

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National Butterfly Day at Butterfly Wonderland

Flutter by the As You Wish table at Butterfly Wonderland to paint your own ceramic pottery to celebrate National Butterfly Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All ages are welcome to attend. Admission is $18.95 for adults; $16.95 for students, military, and seniors; $9.95 for ages three to 11. Ages two and under free. Pottery station costs $5. Call 480.800.3000 or visit butterflywonderland.com for more info.

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They Came from Outer Space at Challenger Space Center

See an out-of-this-world rock collection from the television adventure series "Meteorite Men," including new pieces such as a lunar meteorite and four space suits. The exhibit runs through Oct. 3 and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $8 for adults, $6 ages three to 12 and ages 2 and under are free. Call 623.322.2001 visit or azchallenger.org for more info.

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Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival

Hear classic Disney songs with a hip-hop, pop, swing, reggae, rock and country twist. The show is at US Airways Center Sept. 27 and 28. Show times are at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets range from $22 to $80. Visit http://www.disneylive.com/mickeysmusicfestival or call 800.745.3000 for tickets.

 

 

Sunday

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Kid's Sunday at Chase Field

Chase field is catering to your little ones all day! The first 5,000 kids through the gate will get a fun freebee and ages 15 and under get to run the bases after the game. The game starts at 1:10 p.m. Tickets are $5 and up. Call 602.514.8400 or visit dbacks.com/sunday for more info.

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Wonderland! The Musical Adventures of Alice

Enjoy the original “Alice in Wonderland” adaptation, “Through the Looking Glass,” with a few new surprises. The East Valley Children's Theatre will present the show through Oct. 5 at the Mesa Arts Center at 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $11 to $15. Visit evct.org for more info.

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MAKE IT Weekends at the Arizona Science Center

Let your creativity be unleashed at the Arizona Science Center’s Make IT Weekends. Kids will learn how to think outside of the box by sharing innovative ideas in a group setting. Your kids will no longer wonder what they can create; they’ll make it here! The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event is included with admission. Admission is $16.95 for adults and $11.95 ages three to 17. Visit azscience.org for more info.

 

8 Tips to Stay Calm During Back-to-School Season

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It’s easy to get lost in the mound of backpacks, school supplies and paper slips that go along with back-to-school season. Staying calm, however, can help us better manage our time, stress and clutter. With the help of parenting and education expert Dr. Michele Borba, we’ve put together some tips for parents and children to stay organized and keep anxiety levels down during the back-to-school madness.

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1. Take a breath. As parents, we tend to focus so much on our children that we forget to manage our own health. What you may not know is that your kids mirror your stress levels. “Take a breath and relax and realize you’re a lot more powerful than you realize,” Dr. Michele Borba says. She advises moms to pinpoint one major stressor in their life and find a solution for it. If you’re always losing your car keys, keep an extra set by the door. If you can’t seem to find time to make breakfast in the morning, try preparing it the night before or leaving a basket filled with fruits and healthy bars to grab as you go. Keep your home extra-organized with Home Collection by Post-it Brand, Scotch Brand and Command Brands to plan and display important items and lists. 

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2. Teach one new skill a week. It’s not enough to buy your children their supplies and then send them on their way. “Each week you can sit down and watch your child and you’ll see what skill he or she needs,” Dr. Borba says. Whether it’s time management or organization, the best way to teach your child a new skill is by doing it together through modeling. Teach one new skill a week, and watch your child learn a skill for life. “These are the study skills to maximize performance, achievement and reduce the anxiety,” she says.

3. Remove the clutter. The best way to stay organized and prevent clutter is to prepare beforehand. One easy way to do this is by color coordinating your folders, binders, notebooks and Post-it Notes in fun and vibrant colors. For instance, make English class pink and History class yellow. This way, all papers go in the right place and parents can ask their child to pull out their yellow folder when sitting down for homework. Dr. Borba recommends parents set a time once a week to organize their child’s clutter-magnet backpack. Another tip she recommends is keeping a basket by the door that acts as a note collector right when kids get home from school. “Things that mommy or daddy should be looking at go in the note collector,” she says. The Post-it Study Notebook Kit is a great tool to keep organized as well so that everything stays in one place, she says. 

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4. Same time, same place. The best way to maximize study/homework time is to do it at the same time and the same place every day. Dr. Borba says the little ones prefer to be closer to you during this time. The older kids require a bit more space, but not too far that they get distracted. “[You] want to set up a place that’s organized for your child so it’s clutter free and noise free,” she says.

5. Manage time. Once you’ve found a good study place, your kids should take out their organizer or agenda and decide what needs to get done that day. After a couple weeks of this routine, start asking your child how long they think each task will take and having them write it down. Set out an oven timer for 10 or 30 minutes, and when the timer goes off, see if they finished their assignment on time or not. This will help them understand the concept of time. “Children…because they have so much going, they don’t know how to manage time,” Dr. Borba says. “Time management helps them realize that they can get things done quicker.”

6. Do the hard things first. First, lay out each homework/study task on a separate Post-it Note and easily stick it to the wall or desk. Make sure to not only organize each task by how long it will take, but by difficulty as well. Have your child do the hardest item first, which is most likely causing them the most anxiety. “It will reduce the stress and they can get to the easier things later,” she says. 

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7. Ditch the highlighters. According to new research, highlighters are no longer effective or useful when it comes to retaining information. Dr. Borba recommends staying efficient with Post-it Flags. “Teach your child that as you read, flag the most important thing that’s probably going to be on the test tomorrow,” she says. This will help them focus on the most important items for studying and save the book from wear and tear.

8. Stay connected. In an age where our kids prefer talking over the phone as opposed to in person, it’s important to keep them connected to each other. “When kids these days are over-scheduled and they don’t have time for friends or friendships…one simple little thing you can do is encourage your child at least to get the phone number or email of one friend in each class,” Dr. Borba says. That way, if your kid comes home panicking because they forgot the homework assignment, you can tell them to text their friend and ask. Another study tip she suggests is having your child study with a buddy over Skype or in person. “Usually kids find two different things that they think is important, and now you have two things that are important that are going to be on the test as opposed to one,” Dr. Borba says. Staying connected builds up empathy and performance in children, while keeping their anxiety down.

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