Escape the Phoenix heat to Mount Ord!

Mount Ord

Escape 105 degrees to 80 degrees in 90 min. Mount Ord is a great destination to not only escape the heat but also to enjoy the beauty nature offers ascending from 1086ft to 7129ft above sea level. With young kids this trip is great because it’s not an entire day in the car and they will easily sleep on the way home.

Facts:

1. MAP –  All wheel drive recommended

This is a fire road that is regularly maintained. This mountain is above 7000ft and the weather/conditions can change very quickly. I have seen AWD mini vans at the summit in dry conditions. I have driven it in heavy rain/snow and the road can get very muddy and a little scary even in our Jeep.

Here’s the  moderate / experienced 4×4 route

2. Hiking is available at the summit and along the fire road. The decommissioned fire tower at the top is about a 1/2 mile hike from the locked gate.

3. Picnic areas do exist. Nothing formal but there is space to set up camping chairs and tables.

4. Camping is also available!

Our experience:

We have been visiting Mount Ord since our son was 3 years old. We usually depart our home here in the Valley around 8am and arrive at the top around 9:30am. When parked at the top, there is a spot just over the gate and to the left with an old tree that gives nice shade and a perfect place to set up a picnic. We usually go up with friends and our German Shepherd so the kids can play and we can enjoy the views at 75-80 degrees. Once noon comes it does heat up and can quickly get to mid to high 90s.

We quickly discovered this was a great spot to snow chase!

One Saturday this past winter, we noticed the weather in this area supported snow fall. We are both from New England and miss the snow at time so we felt drawn to go explore. We piled into the jeep, brought warm clothes and ascended.

It had rained a lot in the area so the ground was soft with lots of mud. It was hairy on a few occasions as the mud was deep and slick at some ridge points.

It was so cool to cross the elevation point where snow was accumulating.  As we continued, so did the accumulated amount. At the top there was 2-3” of fresh snow. Our kiddo loved it. We made a small snow man and threw snow balls but quickly ended up back in the jeep as it was a bit windy, wet and cold.

It was an amazing experience all packed into 4 hours and then, in 90 mins, we were back in the sunshine!

 

Matt Lambert is a local Realtor, super Dad and lover of the great outdoors. Find out more about Matt at EvoAZ.com.

Summer Camps and Programs in the Phoenix AZ area

Summer is coming and the kiddos only have a few days left in the school year. MOMs are scrambling to find an exciting solution for summer child care. Luckily, there are several programs offered by the city and the local school districts but also some specialty programs. Check it out!

City and School Programs 

Avondale Elementary School

City of Chandler

Chandler Public schools

Gilbert Public Schools Kinder Camp

Gilbert Public Schools VIK Summer 

City of Mesa

Mesa Public Schools Athletics Department summer sports program

Paradise Valley Public Schools

City of Peoria

Peoria Public Schools

City of Phoenix

City of Scottsdale

City of Tempe

Local Gifted Program

AZ Smart Minds

Arts and Theatre

Center Stage Academy

Mesa Arts Center

Phoenix Country Day School

Kindergarten Prep 

Tiffany Davies is offering a COUNTDOWN TO KINDERGARTEN summer program. PM her on FB for more details!

Other Awesome Options

ASU Summer Enrichment

Boys and Girls Club

Skateland Summer Kids Camp

Looking to move?  This awesome Gilbert home is FOR SALE! 😍

Awesome Gilbert Home for Sale! Click the photo for details. Or call 480-250-0023.

 

7 Kid-Friendly Ways to Stay Cool in Phoenix, AZ this Summer 🌞

Yes, it’s hot but you don’t have to go into hibernation this summer!  There’s plenty to do in the Valley of the Sun even in the summer months and you don’t have to spend a lot to do it.

Indoors and FREE:

Visit the local public library.  Our MOMs especially like the toddler friendly events at the Apache Junction Public Library , the Dobson Ranch Library and Scottsdale Public Library.

The i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa is offering another free admission day on Sunday, May 20th.  Children of all ages are invited to visit the museum from 12pm to 5pm.  The Sonoran Safari exhibition is being featured this season and they have an awesome toddler friendly section.

The Childrens Museum in Phoenix is offering a free admission day the first Friday of most months from 5pm to 9pm.

Visit video game arcades especially with younger kids.  Stay cool in the AC and let your 2 to 4 year-old loose in the arcade.  They will think they are playing the games with you and will have fun with all the buttons and lights.  Dave and Busters is free to visit with the added bonus of the restaurant and bar. 😉

Also indoors:

Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center in Chandler is extremely reasonable and offers season passes for families.

Harkins has an awesome summer movie program that costs less than $1.00 per movie for 10 weeks.  Tickets are on sale now at participating locations.

Under 6 can jump for $5 at Xtreme Air.

Go ice skating!  We like the Ice Den in Scottsdale.  5 and under skates for $5 ($3 with own skates).   3 and under skates for free at AZ Ice in Gilbert.

Local Beaches:

Looking for a beach?  Yes, we are in the desert but we do have a few beaches around believe it or not!

You might see some wildlife at Butcher Jones.  If you have a 4×4 vehicle you can go back into the coves where there are more beaches that are less crowded.

Apache Lake has a campground, a marina and a jaw-dropping view.

Hit the beach but stay in the city at Waikiki Beach Wave Pool at Big Surf in Tempe.

Get your pool pass: 

There are some great public pools but did you know that you can get a day pass to the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix?

Day passes are also available at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.  Enjoy the rooftop pool!

Old Fashion Ice cream parlors:

1950’s style Sugar Bowl has been serving up cool treats in Scottsdale since 1958.  They also have a gift shop and offer birthday parties in their new arcade parlor.

Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream in Phoenix has been around since 1951.  Get an old fashioned sundae, ice cream soda or the popular authentic banana split!

Homemade Fun:

Get a snow cone maker!   The kids will love making their own snow cones and playing with the different colors and flavors.  You’ll love how easy it is to keep them entertained.

Have an Arizona snowball fight!  Pick your teams, dip these water balls in water and toss!

Make a ‘water piñata’!  Fill a bunch of water balloons, get some string and tie the full balloons to a tree, the covered patio or wherever you have enough room to swing a bat.  The more balloons you hang, the wetter you will be!

Move to a neighborhood with awesome amenities:

Seriously though!  HOA payments are much easier to make when you are enjoying the splash pad and community center at Eastmark, or the sandy beach and clubhouse at Val Vista Lakes or the fishing derby’s and movie in the pool at Dobson Ranch.  Click here to request a list of awesome, family friendly neighborhoods in the greater Phoenix area.

Visit our Calendar for a list of our upcoming summer events!

Photo Credit to Photos by Jessica Nelson

Top 5 Reasons Moms are loving Eastmark in Mesa

What’s all the buzz about Eastmark lately?  Oh nothing…it’s just one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the country consistently recognized as the #1 seller in Arizona.

That’s all great but why are Moms loving it?

1. The variety of homes offered at many different price points suits the needs of a wide range of families.  If you aren’t the new build type and need to move a little more quickly, there are several gorgeous gently used resale homes available. Check with The New Build Ninja for the list of specs available and get the best of both worlds, the brand spanking new home and the quick move-in!

2. The community feel is strong between neighbors.  There are many active Facebook social groups like Eastmark Moms, Eastmark Neighbors  and Eastmark Babysitters Group .  The beer club, gardening club and healthy life group brings those with similar passions even closer together.  The Eastmark Experience info page will keep you up to speed on the First Friday concerts, holiday events and all the other neighborhood happenings.

3. The amenities make life much more enjoyable and ridiculously convenient.  No mom wants to pack everything and everyone up just to drive several miles to the public pool or the park for fear of having to quickly pack up again and come home because someone had a meltdown or an accident.  Some of our favorite amenities are the 12 neighborhood parks, the splash pad, the Handlebar Diner, the Great Park, the Visitors Center with game room and the neighborhood pool.  The upcoming farm, lighted ball park and dog park are sure to be winners once they are complete.

4. The schools are very attractive and very close.  Queen Creek high school is coming to Eastmark in 2019.  Eastmark offers two of the country’s top-ranked charter schools. BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will be serving grades K-12 starting in 2019.  Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark is a STEAM-based elementary school that serves grades K-6.  The Learning Experience, serving the early education needs of children 6 weeks to 6 years, plans to open an Eastmark campus.  The public elementary school, Gateway Polytechnic, serves K-5.  There’s also a new Legacy Traditional School being built nearby that will be opening this year.

5. The commute is super reasonable.  These days anything affordable with the new home smell also comes with a 45 to 60 minute commute to the city depending on traffic. Eastmark is super close to the 202, the 24 and the 60.  It’s 30 mins to Phoenix Sky Harbor and 10 mins to Gateway Airport.  San Tan Village and all the shops and restaurants is 12 minutes away and Downtown Gilbert is only 18 mins away.

Got Eastmark questions?  Ask the New Build Ninja!

Jen Duncan (480) 707-7554

Best Coffee Shops in Arizona

If you’re a MOM you’re most likely also coffee obsessed! Our MOMs are too.  Sure, Starbucks is great (drive-through, hello!) but where can a MOM get away in Arizona to enjoy great coffee, and maybe even a… kid’s play area?  Here are our absolute MOM and pop fave coffee shops around Arizona.

Best Coffee Shops in Arizona

 

Chandler

Peixoto: This shop operates on a supply of Brazilian beans direct from a family-run South American coffee farm.  We love supporting that!

Sozo: Sozo is a huge coffee shop in Chandler that has a stage with open mic nights and live music!  It’s also kid-friendly with a separate toy room for the littles.

Gilbert

Bergies: Aside from the cool downtown Gilbert location, we adore the little rustic cottage and the cute outdoor patio.

Sweetz Cold Brew: Cold brews and vegan-friendly foods here! We also love the layout and high-top bar with plugs for your laptop/phone.

The Coffee Shop: Located in Agritopia in an old, rustic barn… need we say more?

Glendale

Cabin Coffee Cafe: We love the vibe here!! Friendly staff, cozy vibes, great coffee + a kids table.

Rayner’s Chocolate and Coffee Shop: It’s chocolate AND coffee 🙂

Mesa

Jarrod’s Coffee & Tea Gallery: Coffee plus art equals a one of a kind experience in historic downtown Mesa.  

Volstead Public House: Vegan and adult beverage options at this old historic coffee shop located along the light rail.  We LOVE the exposed brick wall and the old wood floors.

Phoenix

The Velo (Roosevelt Row): It’s cyclist-friendly coffee shop! They even boost Sunday social rides and live music on First Fridays. Swoon! 

Where U Bean Coffee (Ahwatukee): Awesome decor and they make an amazing banana pudding!

The Teapot: One of the most family-friendly coffee shops that we’ve ever come across. Inside, there’s a children’s corner with toys and outside, large play structure, bikes, toys, umbrellas for shade. Teapot also has picnic tables and a big community table, making it even more MOM-friendly. We love it!

Scottsdale

Maverick Coffee: Located just south of Shea, Maverick coffee has everything you need to get away and maybe even get some work done: big couches, incredible coffee, yummy pastries, and an ambiance that cannot be beat.

Sip Coffee and Beer House: Get your espresso or coffee infused with a little liquor. Sometimes, when you’re a MOM, there are days for this. 🙂

Tempe

Cartel Coffee Lab: Dedicated to quality and integrity of coffee, this stuff is so good. The beans for every cup of coffee are ground and drip brewed as you order. It’s worth it, but maybe not so kid-friendly.

Gold Bar Espresso:  Great coffee and great pastries.  Sometimes there’s even live jazz!

Got a MOM and pop coffee shop that you love that wasn’t mentioned?  We’d love to know about it.  Please leave your recommendation in the comments!

Pools and Splash Pads! An AZ Summertime MUST 🏊🏻

The triple digits have hit.  Our MOMs are meeting up and cooling down in these area “hot” spots:

CHANDLER

Desert Oasis – We love it for the rain drop and spray whale plus the zero depth entry pool with kiddie slide.  There’s also a splash pad!

Mesquite Groves – We love it for the family area/pool with zero depth entry and the lazy river!

GILBERT

Santan Village Mall – The splash pad is very toddler friendly with a soft surface and nearby family restrooms.  We LOVE that!

GLENDALE

Rose Lane Park – We love the zero depth entry pool and awesome splash pad.

MESA

Eastmark Great Park – We love it for the covered splash pad and shaded picnic ramadas.

Golfland Sunsplash – We love it for entertaining the older kids and, of course, the water cannons!

Mesa Aquatic Complex – This facility just opened days ago and the pool and long and lazy river is why we love it!

Riverview Park – The playground is extraordinary and the splash pad is HUGE!  We love that!

PHOENIX

City Scape – We love the splash pad and its ultra urban feel.  Even better that it’s accessible by light rail.

Desert Ridge Marketplace – We love the splash pad location right by AMC movie theatre!

Mountain Vista Park – The Ahwatukee location and the splash pad put this park at the top of our list!

SCOTTSDALE

Scottsdale Quarter – We love that the splash pad is surrounded by awesome shops and great restaurants!

TEMPE

Beach Park at Tempe Town Lake – This splash pad playground is one of the largest in the Valley.  We love all the “water” play equipment!

Kiwanis Recreation Center – We love it for the wave pool!

 

Brought to you by Team Evolution Real Estate and Stafford Cleaning Services

Lakes, Parks and Picnics! Our Local AZ MOMs Love these Special Spots 🎣

Spring has sprung and the weather here in the Phoenix area is GORGEOUS!  Time to enjoy it while we have it, right?  Our local MOMs love these locations …perrrrfect for picnics and close to home. You’ll be lakeside in minutes!

WE LOVE Veterans Oasis Park!  There is a huge community fishing lake, a tortoise viewing area, waterfalls, a butterfly and hummingbird habitat, a play area and miles of trails to explore.  You won’t believe this is in Chandler!

Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler offers a play area, walking trails, a splash pad, carousel/train rides, covered picnic areas and a Hummingbird Habitat.

Dobson Ranch Park in West Mesa is all new and some sections are toddler friendly.  There is a lake, shaded picnic areas, a play area and basketball courts.

Located near the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden, Papago Park  offers a variety of family fun. Enjoy extensive trails through the sandstone buttes, the archery range, 1.7 mile exercise course and almost 8 acres of fishing lagoons.  It’s also only 10 minutes from downtown Phoenix!

Red Mountain Park in Northeast Mesa is a popular favorite!  The drive in has gorgeous mountain views and the HUGE park (over 1,000 acres) offers sport courts, covered play areas, covered picnic areas, walking trails and a fishing lake.

Discovery Park in Gilbert offers two fishing lakes, sport courts, swings and a climbing rock play area, covered picnic areas, a butterfly garden and a “learning” path.  They even have equestrian trails!

Riverview Park in Northwest Mesa offers a fishing lake, a splash pad and a HUGE playground with a 50 foot tall Genesis climbing tower and a 60 foot long caterpillar mesh rope climbing structure.  There are shaded picnic areas and shaded playground clusters for the little kiddos too starting at age two!

Encanto Park in downtown Phoenix is nestled right up against the golf course and offers a fishing lake, a playground, sport courts, a swimming pool, paddle boat rentals and Enchanted Island Amusement Park!

Surprise Lake in Surprise offers fishing, a playground, sports fields, a dog park and a swimming pool.

*Most locations prohibit feeding the wildlife for their safety and yours.  Please make sure you check the rules of each location before approaching or feeding the wildlife*

Our List of Local Farms that offer lots of Family Fun 🐄

We just recently experienced Schnepf Farms for an awesome birthday party and it was great inspiration to check out a few others.  Here are our kid friendly local favorites!

From weddings to birthday parties to on the spur of the moment family adventures, Schnepf Farms is a great destination for all ages.

The Farm at Agritopia offers free tours of the Farm on the 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 10:00 am rain or shine.  Have lunch at Joe’s Farm Grill or a coffee at the Coffee Shop too!

Peaches N’ Play 2017 sounds like a really good time!  It’s one of many events happening at Vertuccio Farms.

Petting zoo, parties, weddings and farmers markets, Superstition Farms  offers farms tours as well as eggs and dairy products for sale.

Cooking classes, yoga, a cafe and more at the Farm at South Mountain.

Tours are also offered at Crooked Sky Farms!  2-year-old’s and under are free.

Tolmachoff Farms is seasonal and open from November 15 – December, February – May.  Tours include “you pick” areas, train rides, farm animals, pumpkin patch and corn maze.

Caywood Cotton Farms offers tours! Reservations required!

The Queen Creek Olive Mill offers tours and olive oil tastings.  The restaurant on-site is a MUST!  Make sure you save room for lunch!

Feed the critters at the Rooster Coburn Ostrich Ranch!  Be sure to catch the Monster Truck tours that take you through the Ranch.

Brought to you by TeAM evolution real Estate

Our Top Egg Hunt and Easter Festivities for 2017!

Local Easter Egg Hunts:

4/13: MOMnation members only Easter Egg Hunt and Park Play Date hosted by Ashley in South Gilbert!

4/13: Tiny Tots Egg Hunt in Downtown Mesa!  The event takes place on Main Street from Center to Country Club.

4/15: City of Chandler Family Easter Celebration at Snedigar Sportsplex! 

4/15: FREE Easter Spring event at Little Einstein Preschool! Bounce house, cookie decorations, crafts, games and an Easter egg hunts for all ages!!

4/15: Easter Egg-sperience at Vertuccio Farms!  You will enjoy pictures with the Easter Bunny, animals to pet, face painters, a train ride, an egg hunt with over 12,000 eggs and a pancake breakfast!

4/15: Enchanted Island Amusement Park in Phoenix is hosting a FREE Easter Egg hunt ages 1 to 10!

4/15: Easter Egg-Citement at Schnepf Farms!  The Egg hunt begins promptly at 11am.

4/15: Easter EGG-stravaganza @ The Wigwam in Litchfield Park! 

4/15: Dolly Sanchez Memorial Easter Egg Hunt at the Peoria Sports Complex. 

Visit the Great Lawn at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for special hourly Easter egg hunts and “Bunnyland”!  The entire family will have a day filled with games, rides and live entertainment.

 

Awesome Local Easter Brunch Locations:

Grand Easter Brunch in the Palomino Ballroom at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Original Breakfast House in Phoenix – The Easter menu is served from 6:30am to 2pm

The Farm at South Mountain – Must make reservations 

SanTan Brewing Co. in Chandler is hosting a Sunday Brunch Buffet in their private Brewers Reserve 

Rustlers Rooste in Phoenix – Must make reservations

Easter Brunch at the Wigwam in Litchfield Park

 



			
		

We LOVE Farmers Markets! Here are our Faves

The Farmers Market is the perfect place to meet-up with the kiddos, shop the interesting and unique vendors, purchase organic locally grown and locally made foods, admire the art and hear the sounds of some amazing local talent. Here are our favorite Farmers Markets here in the Phoenix area!

#1 FAVE  <3 Chandler Farmers Market  (Thursday) 
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Fountain Hills Farmers Market  (Thursday
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Downtown Phoenix Open Air Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Gilbert Farmers Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Ray’s Farmers Market (Wednesday)
Power Ranch, Gilbert
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Uptown Farmers Market (Wednesday & Saturday)
Phoenix
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Weds) / 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Sat)

Tempe’s (indoor) Farmers Market (everyday)
8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market (Saturday)
7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Goodyear Farmers Market (Saturday)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Roadrunner Park Phoenix Farmers Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Camelback Farmers Market (Saturday)
Phoenix
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Center Point Farmers Market – (Sunday)
Tempe
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Please check the website for each Market for specific schedules and seasonal hours.

VISIT MOMnation and find your LLR “Unicorn” at our MOMnation hosted event at the Chandler Farmers Market next Thursday, February 16th for our GIANT Lularoe fashion show and sale!   The LLR pop-up will feature six different LLR ladies and is on from 3-6pm. Our fashion shows will be happening at 3:30pm and again at 4:30pm!  All ages!

RSVP HERE for the free show!

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