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

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.¬†ūüėČ

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 pi√Īata’! ¬†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‚Äôs 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

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 РMust 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

 



			
		

What’s up, Doc? Our 2017 #MOMlist of preferred Pediatricians ūüöĎ

We have a few favorites when it comes to Doc’s for our kids!  Comment below if you have any to add to the list of recommendations.

Mesa Pediatrics is our Gilbert, AZ FAVE!  Our Moms had this to share:

We love Mesa Pediatrics on Greenfield and Guadalupe in Gilbert.  We see Dr. Laks.

Love Mesa pediatrics on Greenfield and Guadalupe.  They are awesome.  After my sons 2 month shots he was screaming and we sat in the room for a good 30 mins while he calmed down.  They had no issue and didn’t rush me out.  They are great.  Dr. Wallace is my sons primary doctor but we have seen Dr. Laks a few times and she’s great as well.

Dr. Robin Laks at Mesa Peds!

We live at Sossaman and Guadalupe and we go to Mesa Peds at Guadalupe and Greenfield.  I’ve loved all the PA’s there.  They are usually on time and they take their time with us.  I also love Dr. Kent but she is only there on Wednesdays.

We love Mesa Pediatrics in Gilbert. We see Dr Laks. My Ped at Mesa Pediatrics is great! She referred me to an LC when I mentioned to her I was struggling with nursing and needed help.  She is totally cool if I need to nurse or stay longer in an exam room to nurse.

I always get our vaccines in smaller quantities and spaced out and we’ve been going to Mesa Peds for 7 years!

Gilbert Pediatrics is our Mesa, AZ FAVE!  The votes for this particular office were off the charts.  Here are some reasons why:

We love all of the Docs at Gilbert Pediatrics on Greenfield & Baseline.  They even have an after hours clinic from 6-10pm Monday – Saturday.

Sam is my fave or Dr. Leavitt!

Gilbert Pediatrics!  Dr. Guthrie or his nurse practitioner, Melanie, are my favorite!

I love Gilbert Pediatrics.  We usually see Dr. Guthrie.

We go to Gilbert Peds and see the PA, Sam.

Gilbert Pediatrics has been very breastfeeding friendly to me!  I’ve nursed 6 babies past 13 months (one all the way to 22 months).  They give me extra time in an exam room if needed.

Arizona Pediatrics is our Phoenix, AZ choice! 

We go to Arizona Pediatrics in Phoenix.

We love Arizona Pediatrics.  The Doc is great!

JJ Pediatrics is our go-to in Queen Creek, AZ

We go to JJ pediatrics in Queen creek!

JJ Pediatrics of Queen Creek!  The location is convenient and there is a CVS right there which makes filling a prescription a little easier.

East Valley Children’s Center won our vote in Tempe, AZ! 

We go to East Valley Children’s Center.  We see Dr. Curran but all the doctors are great.

We also go to East Valley Children’s Center and think Dr. Curran is great.  We prefer to only see him.

East Valley Children’s Center, Dr. Curran, won “Top Doc” for 2016.

To Build or Not to Build? ūüŹ†

That is the question on the minds of many of our Mama’s these days!

Here’s our 2 cents…

The benefits of purchasing a resale home in AZ:

  1. The neighborhood is established and complete with mature landscaping.
  2. Location, location, location… resale homes tend to be closer to¬†City center.
  3. Most likely, if there is a backyard, the landscaping is complete.
  4. Resales are typically less expensive.
  5. Most new builds are in an HOA but many resale homes in this area are not.  Unless you build custom (and, in some cases, even customs can be in an HOA community) you will likely be in an HOA community.  An HOA is a neighborhood governing body that establishes and enforces specific community rules.
  6. Approximately 30 days until move in.
  7. You can get a “fixer upper” or a distressed / under market sale.

 

The benefits to purchasing a new build home in AZ:

  1. The choice of lot, elevation, floor plan, upgrades and extras.
  2. The latest technology and energy efficiency.
  3. The opportunity to design your backyard landscaping.
  4. Warranty’s on all the big stuff like A/C units, roof, kitchen appliances, etc.
  5. HOA communities insist that a certain level of property maintenance is consistent throughout the community which is desirable.
  6. Most new build communities have quick move in homes or “specs” available…just ask your real estate agent for a list!
  7. In some cases you can negotiate the price or incentives offered on a new build home. ¬†In most cases, if you use the builder’s preferred lender, there are additional incentives offered.

Follow Jen Duncan as she takes us through every step of her CURRENT new build home purchase. ¬†They have just begun the journey and so far it’s been a wild ride! ¬†Here’s her blog¬†#NewBuildNinja

Contact Jennifer@EvoAZ.com for info on new build communities in your area.

Search all greater Phoenix Area resale Homes

MOMnation…Not your Average Mommy Group

MOMnation isn’t just a Mom’s group. ¬†It’s a community that learns from each other. ¬†We’ve been learning a lot lately. ¬†Here’s what we’ve been up to!

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14 Moms toured Eastmark¬†model homes discussing the latest design trends and how to¬†¬†recreate designer looks on a budget. ¬†Our Moms had so many ideas at the end of the tour!! ¬†One attendee had this to say “…Talked to the hubby after we left and he was on board with doing some simple DIY upgrades I saw in the beautiful homes. My favorite had to be the accented ceilings and air stone wall, so pretty. Thanks for organizing a fun day¬†Jill,¬†Jen¬†&¬†Katie.” ¬†Organized by Jen Duncan, The “New Build” Girl, Katie Lambert and Jill Dench with Team Evolution Real Estate ūüôā

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Our very own Organization Guru, Katy Krupnick with The Tidy Cottage, completely reorganized an entire pantry in less than two hours while several Moms watched in awe (while sipping wine and eating delicious gluten-free brownies). ¬†Attendees went home with many tips and tricks on organizing their own homes…and a new obsession with gluten-free brownies. ¬†Thanks to Annette Johnson for hosting our awesome Moms!!

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In January, Movies on Main and MOMnation welcomed representatives from our charity of the month NCCC-National Cervical Cancer Coalition. ¬† Disney’s Frozen played and Princess Elsa and Princess Anna, with¬†AZ Enchanted Events, were there too hosting activities and taking photos with the kids and¬†MacPea Photography.

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74 Moms met “speed date” style at Boulders on Southern last Saturday and had two minutes to connect with each other before moving on to the next. ¬†Friendships were made and fun was had! ¬†Thanks so much to Ted for the great experience at Boulders on Southern!

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Shondi¬†Zwaschka¬†was the perfect hostess for ¬†our “GYST” class featuring: Money! ¬†After only one hour our Moms walked away with a better understanding of¬†basics on budgeting, saving on insurances, how much debt really costs and how to get rid of it, and how to start big E-funds for life’s curve balls. ¬†Priceless! ¬†(ha ha…get it?)

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MOMnation Day is every third Thursday at the Chandlers Farmers Market and Erika Lenz with Team Evolution Real Estate and #DogstoDoorknobs joined Katie Lambert (pictured) in January with some cute pups to adopt.  Special thank you to Angels for Paws Animal Rescue.  Please contact Erika if you are thinking of adopting a pup.  There are so many sweet friends that need great homes!

 

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!

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.