ÔĽŅFavorite Play Spots! Approved by The Real Toddlers of the East Valley ūüĎ∂ÔĽŅ

Here are our current favorite toddler-friendly things to do, indoors and out, for your little little’s in the East Valley <3

Favorite Mall Indoor Play Zone:  Scottsdale Fashion Square 

Favorite Mall Outdoor Play Zone: SanTan Village in Gilbert

Favorite Coffee Shop with Toddler-Friendly Play Area: SoZo Coffeehouse in Chandler

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Trampoline Park: Krazy Air in Mesa

Favorite Indoor Play Place with Cafe: Makutus Island in Chander

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Museum: i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Park: Dobson Ranch Park in Mesa

Favorite Healthy Kids Menu: Pita Jungle

Favorite Restaurant with Toddler-Friendly Play Area: Joe’s Crab Shack in Tempe

Favorite Outdoor Restaurant with Grass Area: Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert

Favorite Splash Pad: Riverview Park in Mesa

Favorite Sound Beginnings Classes: Let’s Play Music with Nicci Lovell in Mesa

Favorite Gymnastics Program: Aspire Kids Sports Center in Chandler

Our FAVE East Valley Neighborhoods

We’re sure there are other neighborhoods that’ll do but our Mom’s are head over heels for this line-up currently.

The top pick of the East Valley is Adora Trails. ¬†Several of our members have shared that there are many¬†little kids and it’s a very family friendly area. ¬†The pool is nice with a kiddie section and beach entry. ¬†There’s a splash pad and toddler friendly parks. ¬†The community organizes Easter egg hunts, weekly food trucks, movie nights, play dates for the toddlers and morning stroller walks. ¬† There is even Sunday¬†morning football. ¬†The¬†fun walking paths, parks and green grassy areas are gorgeous. Most of the neighbors get in the holiday spirit and there are Halloween and Christmas decoration contests. The community has a gym as well as a beautiful club house and a lake for fishing.

Eastmark was a close second!! ¬†Our Moms LOVE the plans for this awesome “city within a city”. ¬†There is a school being built along with a Diner and the retail area and grocery store is right there too. ¬†Eastmark has a great community feel with a splash pad and lots of parks. ¬†The community building with the indoor play center, study center and work center is unbelievable. ¬†It’s a great place to hang out with the neighbors or get a little work done while the kids play in the game room. ¬†The homes are beautiful and there is a wide selection!

Dobson Ranch was recommended for the awesome parks, walking/bike trails and lakes. The community plans tons of very popular family friendly¬†activities and ¬†amenities for reasonable HOA fees. ¬†Can’t beat the location!! ¬†Dobson Ranch is close¬†to Sky Harbor Airport, the zoo, art venues, restaurants, shopping, freeways, etc.

Several say that Agritopia is just beautiful! ¬†In fact, it might even be the “dream” neighborhood of many! ¬† Most love the look of the homes ¬†with garages in the back, white picket fences and large front porches along with the garden, orchards and close proximity ¬†to Joe’s Farm Grill and The Coffee Shop. ¬†Great for bike rides!

Villages of Eastridge was mentioned a few times and noted for the HOA that puts on fall festivals and its close proximity to the 202.  There are larger homes with multiple garages and a school in this area.

We have a few Moms in¬†Lehi Crossing. ¬†It’s so quiet¬†and the view is incredible. ¬†Plus it’s just on the outskirts of everything so it doesn’t feel crowded and there is little traffic, but you’re still only 10-20 min from anywhere in the East Valley and easily accessible to Tempe, Phoenix or Scottsdale.

Power Ranch made the list for all the parks, pools and large pretty trees.  The neighborhood is HUGE with some gated areas, TONS to do and TWO clubhouses.  You can rent the clubhouse as a resident and throw the most epic birthday party right by the little lake.  There are many different floor plans and homes ranging from starter homes to zero lot line to mid-range.

Many like¬†The Gardens because of the tree-lined streets and style of homes. ¬†It doesn’t feel like Arizona at all. ¬† The location is great and it’s¬†in Gilbert off the 202 and Recker. ¬†There are many young families with a few¬†parks and a pool¬†in the community.

Layton Lakes made the list!! ¬†It¬†is full of young families¬†that can’t say enough how great the neighborhood is. ¬†There are so many beautiful homes in this area that are new and full of style…the grey’s we are gaga for!

Historic Downtown Mesa is Mesa’s best kept secret and we love the artistic feel! ¬†Evergreen Historic District and West 2nd Street Historic District are not only FULL of history and cute and eclectic homes, they are also walking distance to 3 museum’s, a world‚Äďrenowned Art Center (Mesa Arts Center), award-winning restaurants and the light rail. ¬†Americans are starting to make the move to smaller homes and walkable communities…our Moms included! ¬†Visit the Official Mesa Historic District Homes FB page for area info and tons of historic photos! ¬†This is where the famous and ever popular MOMnation Market¬†takes place each month. ¬†Our historic Moms always walk to the market!

Ironwood Crossing made the cut because our Moms love the¬†amenities!!! ¬†The pool and splash pad are incredible and there’s nothing like it in the STV/QC area. Our Moms feel that Ironwood Crossing is by far the cleanest and nicest neighborhood around and its location is super convenient!

Indigo Trails was also mentioned.  There are tons of kids and friendly neighbors.  The pool, two parks and splash pad are super close and we love the tree lined streets.  Also very close to shopping and restaurants.

Val Vista Lakes is a fave because of the amazing location and beauty of the lakes. ¬†There are all ranges of homes found in this community from starter homes to move up to gated, luxury lake front. ¬†It’s picture perfect and very established.

Morrison Ranch is SO worth mentioning per our Moms! ¬†It’s HUGE! ¬†There are many phases. ¬†Our Moms love the styles of the houses (there are so many to choose from), all the greenery and the amenities. ¬†The location is perfect as it’s close to the freeway and our local hangout, Downtown Gilbert.

The Bridges in Gilbert is popular community too with fresh new homes and lots of pretty common areas. ¬†It’s such a treat to drive through! ¬†Plus, it’s super close to everything that Power Ranch is close to which is excellent.

There are other neighborhoods besides these in the East Valley area of Phoenix that are beautiful and family friendly.  Need info on them all including all the new build communities?  Team Evolution Real Estate has it.  Call/text 480.250.0023 or visit EvoAZ.com.

Photo Credit to Photos by Jessica Nelson and Nicci Lovell!

From AZ to Disneyland ūüŹį Vacation tips for Moms, by Moms!

Disneyland is so close¬†for us Arizonans! ¬† Many of our Mama’s make it an annual (and sometimes more frequent) road trip. ¬†Here are some tips and tricks from our Disneyland visiting veteran Mama’s!

Where to get tickets: ¬†Our Moms have been lucky with good ticket prices at¬†AAA, Costco,¬†Park Savers¬†and grocery store tickets.¬† Since the parks are pretty close together, Moms of older kids recommend getting the park hopper pass which allows you to “hop” between parks throughout the day. ¬†It tends to be a little much for the little ones so, if you are with children 6 and under, you may be better off sticking to one park for the day.

What to bring with you:¬† Get your pins¬†and lanyards¬†ahead of time to save yourself some time and money. ¬†You’ll need them once you arrive at the park. Make sure you get the official pins as those are the only ones that the cast members will trade.

Get your autograph books and costumes ahead of time as well. ¬†You’ll be glad you did when your little one is joining in on all the fun without you having to brave the lines and squeeze the wallet for these items. ¬†Age 14 and under are permitted to wear costumes to the park!

Head to Walmart, at¬†440 N Euclid St, Anaheim, CA 92801, for the rest of your Disneyland gear for a fraction of the cost and the wait at the park. ¬†You’ll find hats, t-shirts, headbands, water bottles and a small cooler that you can throw in a locker at the park. ¬†It can be expensive to eat all meals at the park so we recommend at least bringing a lunch.

Grab sunscreen, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer. ¬†We HIGHLY recommend grabbing a disposable poncho, for rain and for the water rides, a water proof pouch for your phone and a light toy…one of those toys that light up at night. You’ll see those start to come out at night and there’s nothing worse than getting close to bedtime at the end of a long day and enduring ¬†your toddler’s sudden temper tantrum as he vehemently demands that he have one immediately.

Where to stay within walking distance to the park:  The Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier,  Best Western Anaheim, Howard Johnson Anaheim, Castle Inn and Suites, Candy Cane Inn, Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites and  Grand Legacy at the Park.

Enjoy! ‚̧

Everything We Know About the Snow in Flagstaff, AZ ‚ĚĄÔłŹ

The beauty of living in the¬†Phoenix area is that you can visit¬†the snow, and even go skiing, but you don’t have to live with the cold! ¬†Here are our suggestions for your trip to Flagstaff this season:

Where to go for snow?  Two very cool places to visit in Flagstaff are, of course, Arizona Snowbowl if you are into skiing or snowboarding, and Wing Mountain Snow Play Area.  Other favorites are Thorpe Park, Buffalo Park, Foxglen Park, Mormon Lake Lodge, Happy Jack Lodge, Flagstaff Snow Park, and Fort Tuthill County Park.

For road conditions, dial 511 anywhere in AZ.  Call the snowplay hotline for up-to-date weather / travel info 1-844-256-SNOW.

Where to eat? ¬†We love these family friendly restaurants Wildflower Bread Company, Granny’s Closet¬†¬†and The Crown Railroad Cafe. ¬†Some breweries we love are Flagstaff Brewing Company, Hops on Birch¬†(pet friendly), and Wanderlust Brewing Company. ¬†Higher Grounds Coffee House is amazing for a hot cup of joe. ¬†Ni Marco’s Pizza not only has great pizza, it’s also pet friendly!

Where to get winter gear?  Winter sports gear (and some winter clothing) is available for rent in the Valley at places like Ski Pro or Action Rideshop.

Where to get winter clothes?   Borrow from friends of same age kiddos or pitch in and split the cost of clothing you can share!  For inexpensive options to purchase we like Kid to Kid, Goodwill, and Big 5.   For a rental option, we like Renting Seasons.

Photo Credit: Jenn Duncan

School’s Out, Let’s Play! MOM nation Approved Fun Spots for Holiday Break ūüéÖūüŹĽ

School’s out for the next two weeks! ¬†Here is¬†your MOM nation approved list of fun places to visit around the Valley.

Butterfly Wonderland at¬†9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale — Discover the amazing lives of butterflies! ¬†Children 2 and under are free.

Chandler Farmers Market at 3 S. Arizona Ave, Chandler — A weekly market from 3pm to 7pm each Thursday. ¬†Live music and kid friendly activities!

Children’s Museum of Phoenix at¬†215 N. 7th St, Phoenix — HUGE Museum with exhibits and experiences for all ages. ¬†Children under 1 yr are free!

Dave and Busters at¬†2000 East Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe — An enormous arcade AND you can get dinner at the same time. ¬†Brilliant!

Dobson Ranch Park¬†at 2359 S. Dobson Rd, Mesa — This park is AWESOME, new and great for all ages.

idea Museum at¬†150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa — Great for older kids that love art. There is a room that is specifically designed for toddlers and an area that is safe and fun for babies too!

Krazy Air at¬†4310 E McDowell Rd, Mesa — Trampoline Park that has something for all ages.

LegoLand at Arizona Mills at 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe — It’s an indoor Lego play land! ¬†Children under 3 are free.

Makutus Island at¬†6919 W. Ray Rd, Chandler — It’s an indoor fantasy and adventure play place that will please all ages!

OdySea Aquarium at¬†9500 East V√≠a de Ventura, Scottsdale — The Aquarium! ¬†Great for all ages.

Pump it Up at¬†1325 West Auto Dr. #101, Tempe — Indoor playground with huge inflatables! ¬†Perfect for the older kids.

Sea Life Aquarium at¬†Arizona Mills at 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe —¬†Another aquarium!

Schnepf Farms¬†at¬†24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek — Family fun at the farm and AMAZING food too!

The ZOO!¬†at¬†455 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix — Fun for days at the Zoo!

We LOVE Pogo Pass! Buy one Pogo Pass and get into several fun family venues for free throughout the Valley.  The idea Museum, The Zoo, and Makutus Island are a few that are included on the list!  Use offer code: MOMNATION for 60% off!

MOM nation Serves the Community this Holiday Season ūüéĄ

“I never imagined we’d impact this many.  My heart swells with excitement and gratitude each and every time we come together and even more so when it’s to serve the needs of others in the communities that we raise our children in.” says Katie Lambert, Founder of MOM nation.

Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday the group participated in the 5k Turkey Trot in Gilbert, AZ.  The proceeds from the event were to benefit various children’s charities.

The group coordinates a monthly outdoor movie in downtown Mesa AZ that they call Movies on Main.  In November the donation drive was for dog food donated to local shelters.  In December the donation drive was for baked goods for Veterans in need.  The event is free to get in, open to the public, and provides safe, kid friendly entertainment to the community while benefitting many local small business owners and various local charities with donation drives.

To kick off the spirit of giving, the group participated in Operation Christmas Child 2017.   “20 of our beautiful Mama‚Äôs came together with their families to fill 100 shoe boxes with donated Christmas gifts for children to be delivered throughout the holiday season.” says Lambert. 

This past week MOM nation partnered with sponsors (Banks Craft Company and Team Evolution Real Estate) to provide a free and very festive holiday craft table for kids at the weekly Farmers Market in Downtown Chandler.  Next month at the market in Chandler, the group will be collecting donated items for local pet shelters and will be providing information on pet adoptions.  Roxy and the Loan Dog might even make an appearance!

On December 18th, Santa, Shondi Zwaschka,  Krista Puruhito and Katie Lambert will be delivering the gifts from the Adopt a Family drive.  The group donated gifts and will be providing a Christmas for 5 families.

In February of 2017 the group plans to participate in the Team Bradley Bear 5k.  This charity event is near and dear to one of the groups beloved members.

The Moms of MOM nation are incredibly passionate about uplifting and supporting each other and creating a positive impact to the members of the community.  For more details on our community efforts, click HERE to contact us.

Go Take a Hike, Mama! MOM nation Approved Kid Friendly AZ Hiking Trails

It can really ruin a well planned day when the spot you chose is more difficult than you expected especially with a little one.  Our Moms suggest these local AZ hiking spots:

A Mountain

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Hieroglyphic Trail

Lost Dutchman State Park

McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Mormon Loop Trail

Papago Park

Pima Canyon Trail

Riparian Preserve

Saguaro Lake

San Tan Mountain Regional Park

Silly Mountain Park

Spook Hill Mountain Preserve

Usery Mountain Regional Park

Veterans Oasis Park

Wind Cave Trail

 

Photo Credit to EvoAZ.com

 

 

Our Very First Car Show with DAD nation ‚̧ԳŹ Motors Off Main¬†

What a blast! ¬†And, we got to hang out with the coolest Dads around ūüėćūüėć

Motors off Main held its debut event this morning behind  Queens Pizzeria.  We had a few handfuls of cars, some exotics and some classics.  Volstead Public House was also there with piping hot coffee and yummy pastries.

Catch us again next month on the 11th, same bat time and same bat channel!

#CarsAndCoffee #DiscoverMesa

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Tour of Christmas Lights – MOM nation approved

It’s that magical time of the year again. ¬†Visit these MOM nation approved neighborhoods to crank up the holiday spirit!

Loop of Lights at Pecan Creek South – Pecan Creek Drive and Carolina Ave, San Tan Valley

Christmas on Comstock – Off of Elliot between Recker and Higley, Gilbert

Mesa Temple Garden Lights –¬†525 East Main Street, Mesa

Natal Circle – Country Club and Guadalupe of off Cherry, Mesa

1517 S Arroya Cir – Mesa

8414 E Valley Vista Dr – Scottsdale

3611 E. Kachina Dr – Ahwatukee (Phoenix)

4415 E. Calle Tuberia – Phoenix

6480 W Orchid Lane – Chandler

1075 W Mulberry Dr – Chandler