Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category

Downtown Neighborhood Welcomes DeSoto Central Market

Friday, January 23rd, 2015


The DeSoto Central Market may not be open yet, but the Evans Churchill Community Association and surrounding neighborhoods are celebrating its arrival Saturday, Jan. 24 with a Patio Party from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

patiopartyConstructed in 1928 as the C.P. Stephens DeSoto Six Motorcars dealership, the rebirth of this historic building has received a lot of attention.

Its location in the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District and contemporary design, modeled after big city marketplaces in L.A. and San Francisco, started generating buzz when the project began in spring 2014.

According to Celine Rille, marketing director for DeSoto Central Market, the owner and developers wanted to harness some of the excitement surrounding its opening, while embracing the vibrant local scene.

“We want to support the local community and asked them if they wanted to get involved,” Rille said. “We couldn’t wait to give the public a little taste of what the Desoto Central Market will be.”

On Saturday, residents and visitors will get an exclusive sneak peek at the new patio area, complete with food trucks, a beer and wine garden for those 21 and over, music, ping pong, corn hole and artisan vendors. Admission is free and open to the public.

Inside the revamped DeSoto, which is slated to open mid-February, developers plan to open four new restaurant concepts including Yard Bird and the Larder with Chef Stephen Jones, formerly of Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails. The building will also house a bar, fresh food sales and a variety of fast-casual dining options.

“There will be coffee, fresh produce, bread, a butcher – it’ll be a one-stop shop,” Rille said.

Dog, bike and pedestrian friendly — with light rail access literally across the street — the DeSoto is likely the next hip local hangout and contemporary dining destination.

Come see for yourself Saturday, Jan. 24 from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at 915 N. Central Avenue, on the corner of Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street.

15 Things to Watch For in 2015

Friday, January 16th, 2015

With the launch of Grid Bike Share and new events like Viva PHX, 2014 rounded out to be quite the year for Downtown Phoenix. More people are living and visiting the core, new businesses, restaurants and events are attracting more activity, and there’s a progressive interest in enhancing the walkable, urban and vibrant downtown we want. The downtown story is still being written, with several major projects, developments, openings and events already in the works for 2015. Here are 15 we’re excited about.

Photo courtesy of Super Bowl Host Committee

1. Super Bowl Central

It’s the game everyone’s talking about, and it’s at our doorsteps in just two weeks. Super Bowl Central is coming downtown from Wednesday, Jan. 28 to Sunday, Feb. 1 for several days of game-related activities. Both visitors and residents are invited to partake in the festivities, which include a 30-by-100-foot rock wall with a waterfall in the center as well as musical performances by Walk the Moon and The Roots. Coming downtown? Live downtown? Here’s some tips to get you in and around the core.

Space Between

2. Opening of the Space Between Pocket Park

A vacant piece of land currently sits on First Street near Fillmore Street, in a place that falls between developed and underdeveloped; between public space and private space; and between distinct neighborhoods. To fill in the gaps, Downtown Phoenix Inc. in partnership with Logan Simpson Design and Balfour Beatty Construction, a soon-to-be pocket park will emerge this year in its place, acting as an open space where the community can gather for lunchtime and events or as a quiet corner to study and relax.


3. March Means Music (and more)

Music lovers and festival goers might as well block out the entire month of March as there are numerous events that you don’t want to miss. The month begins with Local First Arizona’s Bartending Competition at Crescent Ballroom, where the finest bartenders from across the Valley compete to concoct “Phoenix’s Best Cocktail of the Valley.” A week later, Artlink Phoenix’s 27th annual Art Detour will celebrate Phoenix arts and culture, from March 7-8, with special gallery and artist-studio openings and exhibits, hands-on activities, food trucks and more.

Kicking off March Means Music, Phoenix Chorale will perform “Desert Song” on Saturday, March 7 at Trinity Cathedral. Join them for a desert-inspired concert that celebrates the rich hues, history and heritage of the southwest. The following weekend, Viva PHX returns to Downtown Phoenix Saturday, March 14 bringing an eclectic, and to-be-announced, line-up of bands and musicians to stages scattered within walking distance in downtown. Just one week later, Phoenix Lights, a new music and arts festival at Civic Space Park, will light up the stage on Sunday, March 22. Later that month, the music festival and fundraiser, McDowell Mountain Music, takes over Margaret T. Hance Park for three days of performances, food trucks, vendors and more from Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29.

4. Downtown West Side Development Planning Process

It’s early in the planning process for a 7.5-acre publicly owned piece of land on Fillmore Street between Fourth and Sixth avenues. Neighborhood leaders and property owners have spent the past six months working with a planning and architectural firm to generate conceptual ideas for some potential uses of the parcel. And in two weeks, Tuesday, Jan. 27, the community is invited to an Open House, where the City of Phoenix will present the ideas and community members can provide feedback and voice their own. Though the parcel of land may not be complete by the end of the year, it will still be interesting to see what comes from the planning process this year.

Desoto Central Market

5. Desoto Central Market opening

After months of anticipation, the Desoto Central Market is close to finishing with plans to open early this year. Final details haven’t been announced, but chef Stephen Jones, formerly of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, is opening his own restaurant there called Yard Bird + The Larder.

Urban Wine Walk

6. Urban Wine Walk

The self-guided tour to some of Phoenix’s finest bars and restaurants returns to the light rail corridor on Saturday, May 16. From downtown to midtown, various wine samples will be available for purchase with complimentary, complementary bar bites to fuel your journey.

7. Finalization of the Roosevelt Streetscape

Roosevelt Street between Central Avenue and Seventh Street is in the process of getting a makeover by the City of Phoenix, making it a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly place. By December of this year, the expected completion date, you’ll see new shade trees, expanded sidewalks and new bike lanes.

containers on grand

8. Containers on Grand

A new housing project is coming to Grand Avenue, which we wrote about in December, that’s recycling shipping containers and transforming them into comfortable places to live. With a wait list already formed, the 20-unit apartment complex, Containers on Grand, will open this year on the corner of 12th and Grand avenues.

Roosevelt Row

9. More Events and Activity Coming to the Roosevelt Row Arts District

Adding to their already popular annual events, the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) is adding more vitality to the area this year with both new and reemerging events.

Along with community favorites like Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, Pie Social on Saturday, Nov. 14, and the second annual New Year’s Eve Flannel Ball on Thursday, Dec. 31, save the date for the return of the Roosevelt Row Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 17! And though the date has yet to be announced, the organization will bring more pie love to the area with the new Roosevelt Row Pie Pairing. Follow Roosevelt Row CDC on Facebook for updates on event details and dates.

10. Renovations to Begin on historic Barrister Place building

Last year, the city issued and awarded a request for proposals (RFP) to renovate without compromising the historic significance of the building, which is located on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Jefferson Street. According to this AZCentral article, renovations of the building and construction of the two new buildings on the surrounding land will begin this year and upon completion will include new apartments and commercial space.

Urban Ale Trail

11. Urban Ale Trail

Last year’s inaugural Urban Ale Trail was a hit and you can keep trekking this year on Saturday, Sept. 19 with more beer specials and bar bites at various restaurants around the core.

12. Near completion of the Hilton Garden Inn in the historic Professional Building

Make sure to look up as you pass this beautiful art-deco building standing on the corner of Central Avenue and Monroe Street as it will be nearing completion by the end of the year. It’s being renovated into a Hilton Garden Inn and will include retail space along Central Ave.

13. Breaking ground on 1,000 housing units all over Downtown

With increasing activity in the housing sector in Downtown Phoenix; the year 2015 will see the breaking ground of 1,000 housing units around the core.

Zombie Walk 6

14. Zombies

Each year, thousands of zombie-loving folk shuffle through downtown, celebrating the undead way of life. Join us this year on Saturday, Oct. 24 for the biggest, baddest and bloodiest gathering west of the Mississippi: Zombie Walk 7.

15. Completion of the University of Arizona Cancer Center

Construction is expected to finish on the five-story, 220,000-square-foot cancer center located on Seventh and Fillmore streets this year, further expanding the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Through a partnership with Dignity Health St. Joseph’s, the center will function as a cancer clinic providing outpatient services. It will, according to this Phoenix Business Journal article, generate 360 permanent jobs.

TrueDTPHX Blends Art, Music, Community

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Discover the true downtown at TrueDTPHX, a weekend of artistic programming, cultural events, shopping, culinary delights and a free local music festival at Civic Space Park. The festivities begin Friday, Jan. 23 and continue Saturday, Jan. 24 as we celebrate everything that makes our community great.

First Street is the perfect pedestrian promenade to experience the weekend’s events and activities — each just a short walk away from the next. The weekend will be packed with things to do, so here’s your guide to navigating them all.

TrueDTPHX Concert at Civic Space Park (Friday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 24, 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

Join us for a two-day, free concert at Civic Space Park complete with local music, food trucks, craft beer and an interactive art installation by Phoenix-based painter Isaac Caruso. For an evening of indie-pop and electronica, check out Friday, Jan. 23 featuring Steve Ayotte, WLFPCK and Luna Aura from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Then on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 3 p.m. to 10:30 pm., join us for a full day of jam-rock, multi-genre music with performances by Captain Squeegee, Decker, The Routine, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and Jared and The Mill.

Roosevelt Row Sidewalk Sale (Friday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 24)

Similar to First Friday art walks, local restaurants and businesses will be open late for the Roosevelt Row Sidewalk Sale Friday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 24. Explore downtown’s vibrant artists’ district as merchants and vendors spill onto the sidewalks and parking lots – creating an art bazaar-like atmosphere. Expect to find great artwork, clothing, collectibles, jewelry and one-of-a-kind merchandise. The Sidewalk Sale extends from Seventh Avenue to 16th Street and from McDowell Road to Fillmore Street, with a concentration of activity along Roosevelt Street.

DTPHX City Sampler (Friday, Jan. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 1)

Get a taste of some of the finest food and drink in downtown — for five bucks. From Friday, Jan. 23 to Sunday, Feb. 1, participating restaurants will offer samples (three to six ounces) of signature food and drinks for just $5. Click here for the full list of participating bars and restaurants.

Phoenix Public Market Open-Air Market featuring Kalliope (Saturday, Jan. 24, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

Saturday’s open-air market at the Phoenix Public Market is a community staple with local vendors, food trucks, live music and more. The market will be open for its normal hours, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but for one day only, Saturday, Jan. 24, the open-air market will extend its hours from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with an electric dance party. Shop and dance the night away as Kalliope, a mobile stage, hosts a music and light show featuring DJs Blake Ascension, Klu and Sean Watson.

Sneak Peek at the new Desoto Building (Saturday, Jan. 24, 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

Come get a sneak peek on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the much-anticipated rebirth of the beautiful DeSoto Central Market – a historic building on Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street, which is slated to open mid-February. The market may not be open yet, but the Evans Churchill Community Association is celebrating its arrival with an outdoor patio party complete with food trucks, beer and wine garden, DJs, live music, games, food and art vendors.

Super Foos 2015 by Kitchen Sink Studios (Friday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 24, Friday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Jan. 31 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Get game-day ready with a life-sized foosball game hosted by local design firm Kitchen Sink Studios on Pro Bowl and Super Bowl weekends. For those who want to take life seriously, swing by Kitchen Sink Studios, 828 N. Third Street, and play in their foosball rink on Fridays Jan. 23 and Jan. 30 as well as Saturdays Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The inaugural tournament will be on Saturday, Jan. 31. and it’s $10 pay to play.

The Scarlet Cord (Jan. 23-Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Check out a new art installation opening Friday, Jan. 23 by artist Pamela Alderman in a 40-foot shipping container at 813 N. First Street. Presented by StreetLightUSA, the poignant exhibit will highlight the issue of sex trafficking from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Feb. 1.

The Space Between

Drop by to see the first phase of the Space Between, a new temporary pop-up park on First Street between the Valley Youth Theatre and Taylor Place Student Housing. Community members and visitors alike will soon be able to enjoy comfortable seating, shady trees and a colorful mural. The park’s transformation is expected to be complete by March 2015.

Squid Ink Sushi Delights With Delicious New Menu

Friday, January 2nd, 2015


Continually pushing the boundaries of flavor, innovation and experience, Squid Ink Sushi inside CityScape just launched a new menu Monday, Dec. 29 with an array of exciting new dishes.

For die-hard Squid Ink fans, you’ll be happy to hear that house favorites like the Flying Phoenix Roll, Kobe Burger and Hawaiian Bread Pudding haven’t gone anywhere. Instead, the menu was expanded to make room for big flavors like a Japanese-inspired Duck Confit, melt-in-your-mouth Beef Short Ribs and 10 different kinds of Yakitori.

lobsterPerhaps the most exciting change is the New Style Sashimi, a brand new section on the sushi menu. Try the sweet and tender Maine lobster, lightly seared and topped with crispy garlic chips, cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of grapeseed oil and micro greens.

Or indulge yourself with the Seared Tuna Tataki, made with a peppercorn-crusted bigeye tuna topped with a tangy jalapeno honey sauce, crème fresh, spicy daikon sprouts and a hint of citrus. Between the beautiful presentation and rich complex flavors, the New Style Sashimi dishes really make a splash.

According to Schuyler Estes, chef and owner of the three Valley-wide Squid Ink locations, many of the new recipes started as daily specials and evolved through customer feedback, staff suggestions and many hours of experimentation in the kitchen.

banana“I try to imagine flavors that would go well together and it’s a process of trial and error,” Estes said. “Using your imagination and manipulating ingredients to come up with flavors of your own is really fulfilling.”

Some of the most exciting changes took place off the sushi menu. With the addition of Yakitori  – skewered meats and veggies served à la carte and perfect for snacking, and the yummy new Banana Katsu dessert – made with breaded baby bananas, fried and served with ice cream and a creamy palm sugar coconut milk sauce.

In addition to great new food, the bar is now offering sake flights, paired by region, flavor points or personal preference.

Even though sushi is still the mainstay, Squid Ink is certainly not your average sushi restaurant. With live music every Wednesday and a new event called Tokyo Bound on the last Saturday of every month – pushing the limits of your palette is just the beginning.

*Top photo features the new Zushi “Box Roll” with yellowtail, spicy crab, tobiko, shisho leaf, kizami wasabi and garlic chips.

Rudolph’s Redemption Wins Most Spirited Holiday Cocktail 2014

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014


For the third year in a row, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar takes home the award for Most Spirited Holiday Cocktail with Rudolph’s Redemption, a spicy whiskey and cider concoction that captures the essence of the season.

“I love the smell of cinnamon, apples and nutmeg and I love sitting around drinking whiskey with my family,” said Cortney Wilson, assistant manager of restaurants and bars at the District. “So why not put the two together?”

IMG_3126For Spirits of the Season, a five-week holiday cocktail competition in Downtown Phoenix, Wilson says she came up with the recipe based on flavors and ingredients she enjoys sharing with loved ones this time of year. With 55 percent of the vote, conducted by Facebook Poll, Rudolph’s Redemption certainly won people’s taste buds, if not their hearts and minds too.

Combining homemade spiked cider with notes of citrus and ginger, served over custom red and green ice cubes made with rosemary and maraschino cherries – the finished drink looks (and smells) just like Christmas.

“They love it – it’s been a top seller,” she said. “We’re excited to serve it and the bartenders love making it.”

As a trained chef, Wilson says she loves utilizing fresh herbs from the hotel’s fourth-floor garden and experimenting with custom bitters and syrups.

Just this week, District unveiled a brand new cocktail menu featuring classics like the Manhattan, made with chanterelle mushroom-infused bourbon and District’s version of a Moscow Mule, made with cranberry compote and ginger beer. There’s even a moonshine cocktail with fruit juices, sage, spice and everything nice. Think sophisticated flavor mixed with District’s signature American roots.

Stop in to try Rudolph’s Redemption or one of the other Spirits of the Season cocktails at participating bars and restaurants, available through Jan. 1, 2015.

Or come by the District to try something completely new from 11 a.m. to close Monday through Sunday at the bar. In addition to a new cocktail menu, the restaurant is  hosting a special dinner on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve with amazing menus for each night. Arizona wine pairings, specialty cocktails and a host of local craft beer is available on draft for an additional price.

Grabbagreen Brings Healthy Options to Downtown, Fast

Thursday, December 18th, 2014


Those looking for fast, healthy food now have more options with the addition of Grabbagreen Downtown, which opened Monday, Dec. 8 inside CityScape.

Started in 2012 by two busy Scottsdale moms, Keely Newman and Kelley Bird, the fast-casual restaurant concept provides nutrient-rich foods perfect for people on the go, according to Bryce Kunkel, assistant manager at Grabbagreen Downtown.

grabba2“I love the habits promoted here,” he said. “I have a juicer at home and am very health-conscious.”

Featuring a completely gluten-free menu of salads, hearty grains, juices and smoothies, the all-natural meats, fruits and veggies are locally sourced whenever possible.

With the exception of some grab-and-go items like bottled juices and packaged protein bars, everything is made to order and customizable.

One of the most sought after items on the menu is the Southwest Grabba Grain bowl with a quinoa base, topped with a Tex-Mex-inspired fusion of chicken, corn, black beans, avocado, cilantro and a creamy yogurt-agave barbecue sauce.

From simple staples like salmon and brown rice to exotic additions like goji berries, chia seeds and açaí – there’s a little something for everyone.

Kunkel, who relocated from Fountain Hills to help Newman and Bird open their third location, said he loves being downtown, and so far, Grabbagreen’s reception has been phenomenal.

“It’s a stellar location,” he said. “There’s such a variety of places to go, things to do and different types of people here, it’s been very welcoming.”

Call in your order for a super fast pick up at 50 W. Jefferson Street, located just behind The Corner. Or stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Phoestivus Market Makes Holiday Shopping Fun, Festive

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014


Sip your Phoestivus Ale, dance around the Phoestivus Pole and peruse 130 local vendors at the Phoestivus Open-Air Market Wednesday, Dec. 10 and Wednesday, Dec. 17 from 4-9 p.m.

Back for its fifth year, the Phoenix Public Market expands the weekly Wednesday night market for two weeks in December featuring more local vendors, more food trucks, lots of live entertainment and enough beer to stay cheerful the whole night through.

For the first time ever, Phoestivus organizers ditched the beer garden concept in favor of enclosing the entire market. You can actually purchase a delicious Phoestivus Ale – made seasonally by Phoenix Ale Brewery - and wander around the entire event, shopping to your heart’s content.

Photo-640x853AiringYou can’t do that in a mall.

In line with the secular, noncommercial theme of “Festivus,” which originated in a 1997 “Seinfeld” episode, Phoestivus creates an alternative to the mass consumerism often associated with the holidays.

Buying something directly from the person who created it is a pretty rare and special experience and Phoestivus really celebrates that relationship.

It not only showcases the amazing things being handcrafted and produced locally, but it creates a platform for small micro-businesses to sell and promote their wares in a truly festive and fun environment.

With a tongue-in-cheek salute to its Seinfeldian origins, you can arm wrestle your friends at Pheats of Strength, complain about your family in front of the whole market at the Airing of Grievances, and of course, visit the unadorned aluminum Phoestivus Pole, supposedly the world’s largest.

Proceeds from the event benefit Community Food Connections, a nonprofit organization supporting local and small businesses.

*Photo courtesy of Brandi Porter

Top Ten Must-See Holiday Performances

Friday, December 5th, 2014


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And sound like Christmas. And feel like Christmas (brrrrr.) So put on your boots and woolen mittens and get into the spirit with an amazing holiday performance in Downtown Phoenix. We sorted through the list, checked it twice and selected the top ten must-see events of the season.

Two Old Broads Do Santa – Lunch Time Theater at the Herberger Theater Center

Dec. 2-18, 2014

Patti Davis Suarez and Judy Rollings serve up a sassy rendition of Christmases past, present and future. Fill your lunch hour with lots of laughs and reminisce over stories that will warm your heart.

Holiday Pops – Phoenix Symphony Hall

December 5-7, 2014

Guest Conductor Stuart Chafetz leads the Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Symphony Chorus in a blend of popular seasonal favorites, mixed with breathtaking classics. With over 200 of the Valley’s most talented artists in one concert, including the Desert Bells Bell Choir and the Phoenix Girls Chorus, “Holiday Pops” is sure to spread cheer to you and yours.

A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail – Valley Youth Theater
December 5-23, 2014

Delighting Valley families since 1995, “A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail” has become a Downtown Phoenix holiday tradition. Meet Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Piglet and all your favorite characters in the Hundred Acre Wood for a musical celebration of silliness, fun and adventure.

Frances Smith Cohen’s Snow Queen – Herberger Theater Center
Dec. 6-21, 2014

Sit back and take in the splendor of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, set to music by Sergei Prokofiev and performed by the unbelievably talented Center Dance Ensemble – resident modern dance company at the Herberger Theater.

Sylvie’s Holiday Dream – Orpheum Theater

Dec. 6-7, 2014

Take a journey back to your childhood, as you get lost in Sylvie’s dream of becoming a famous ballerina. Performed by DanceMotion, one of the Valley’s premiere youth dance companies, this show is an absolute treat for the whole family.

The Nutcracker – Orpheum Theater
Dec. 12-14, 2014
Follow little Clara on Christmas Eve to a fantastical dream world where toys become larger than life. Phoenix Ballet’s traditional choreography mixed with a dynamic and colorful flair is sure to dazzle people of all ages.

The Nutcracker – Phoenix Symphony Hall
Dec. 12-28, 2014

Let the magic of “The Nutcracker” take you to a place of beauty and wonder as more than 150 Ballet Arizona performers dance to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. The costumes, choreography and music make this a must-see holiday classic.

Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding – Comerica Theatre
Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014

Celebrating its 14th season, Christmas Pudding brings together the best rock musicians, dancers and comedians in today’s entertainment world. Benefitting Cooper’s faith-based nonprofit Solid Rock and The Rock Teen Center, this year’s lineup is sure to rock you into the giving spirit.

Spirit of the Season – Herberger Theater Center
Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

Jeffrey Hattrick and Nicole Pesce return for their annual holiday concert that spans from jazz to classical. This performance is bound to touch your soul and warm your heart.

The Piano Guys A Family Christmas – Comerica Theatre

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

The Piano Guys mix classically- influenced instrumentals with stunning visuals. In this Christmas special, four ordinary guys from Utah entertain with sing-along favorites like ”Silent Night,” “We Three Kings,” “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” and more.

*Top photo courtesy of Ballet Arizona.

Watch Holiday Movies Under the Stars at PJs in the Park

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


All aboard!

It’s time to bundle up in your coziest pajamas and take a journey on Downtown’s version of the Polar Express – Valley Metro Light Rail. On Friday, Dec. 5, ride the light rail to Civic Space Park for a holiday double feature with lots of festive fun at the third annual PJs in the Park.

Bring blankets, lawn chairs and some Christmas spirit for a viewing of Disney’s “The Polar Express” at 6 p.m. followed by voter’s choice “Elf” at 8 p.m.

Though the weather outside is hardly frightful, it can be a bit chilly this time of year. So dig out the flannel PJs hiding in the back of your closet and bring plenty of fuzzy things to stay warm like hats, coats, gloves, big socks and an extra blanket.

pjs-flyerFair Trade Cafe’s build-your-own hot chocolate bar is sure to help warm you up along with some delectable holiday treats. Or visit the Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors’ snack bar for a selection of candy and gourmet popcorn by Poppa Maize.

Nothing says Christmas like gathering with loved ones under the stars with a cup of hot cocoa and a great holiday movie. But the night just wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa Claus himself. Bring your camera and a non-perishable food item benefiting St. Mary’s Food Bank for a free photo with Santa (and perhaps some holiday surprises.) Everyone is greatly encouraged to bring donations.

Cost: Free

When: Friday, Dec. 5 from 6-10 p.m.

Where: Civic Space Park

Parking and Transportation: Take the light rail - Downtown’s Polar Express!

*Top photo by Jeremiah Toller.

Shop Local, Shop Downtown for the Holidays

Thursday, November 20th, 2014


Avoid stressful malls and crowded big box stores this season and give yourself the gift of a joyful holiday shopping experience. From native-themed ornaments to sipping mimosas while perusing local arts and crafts – Downtown Phoenix takes gift-giving from chore to cheer.

heardOrnament Marketplace
When: Friday, Nov. 28 and Saturday Nov. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Heard Museum Shops
Admission: Free

Add a beautiful Native-themed ornament to your tree this holiday season, hand-crafted by American Indian artists from the Heard Museum Shops. Choose from hundreds of ornaments in a variety of art forms and styles for a unique gift or addition to your home. Bring out-of-town friends and family to the world famous Heard Museum to learn more about Native cultures while you shop. Ornament prices vary but admission to the Heard Museum Shop is always free with no sales tax.

ABFlogoAlternative Black Friday
When: Friday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: CityScape Phoenix
Admission: Free

Sleep in. Avoid the madness. Still get cool stuff. Seriously, you can sip mimosas, shop and listen to live music all in one place at CityScape’s Alternative Black Friday. Browse unique wares from more than 20 local vendors including Meat Market Vintage, Rare Scarf, Antique Sugar, Zinnias At Melrose Mall, GROWop Boutique and more. Before you hit the market, swing by The Corner or Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails to indulge in a to-die-for brunch. Enjoy half-off price skating at the CitySkate ice rink and get awesome Black Friday deals at Urban Outfitters, Charming Charlie, Jos A. Bank and other nearby retailers.

flea2_400x400Phoenix Flea
When: Saturday, Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Heritage and Science Park
Admission: $5

Arizona’s coolest vintage market showcases amazing local artisans, designers and entrepreneurs while supporting Phoenix-area nonprofits and charities. Located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix at the historic Heritage and Science Park, Phoenix Flea features an eclectic group of local vendors specializing in antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectables, funky jewelry and delicious food items. A portion of all ticket sales and concessions benefit the 100 Club of Arizona.

artsmarketRoosevelt Row A.R.T.S. Market
When: Friday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 19 from 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: 408 E. Roosevelt Street
Admission: Free

Every first and third Friday of the month, the A.R.T.S. Market comes alive with artisan crafts, vintage goods, jewelry and culinary treats. The First Friday Art Walk in the Roosevelt Row Arts District has evolved into one of the largest free monthly art walks in the United States and Third Friday Gallery Night is rapidly catching up. Besides the outdoor A.R.T.S. Market, check out some of the great local shops along Roosevelt Row open late during first and third Fridays like MADE Art Boutique, Black N Blue Rock Star Clothing and Accessories and Revolver Records.

Phoestivus-Poster-cropPhoesitvus 2014
When: Wednesday, Dec. 10 and Wednesday, Dec. 17 from 4-9 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Public Market
Admission: Free

Spread the cheer in Downtown Phoenix by purchasing gifts for your loved ones from more than 100 local vendors and entrepreneurs. By shopping local for the holidays, you are supporting members of your own community who are also vested in the heath and success Arizona. Bring friends and family to enjoy dinner from food trucks and toast the holiday season at the Phoestivus beer garden. Part of the proceeds benefit the Phoenix Public Market, a program of Community Food Connections, which is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

festartsPhoenix Festival of the Arts
When: Friday, Dec. 12 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Margaret T. Hance Park
Admission: Free

While enjoying top-notch performances during this three-day cultural celebration, nosh on tasty treats from your favorite food trucks, relax in the beer and wine garden, visit the family zone for little ones and shop for holiday gifts at more than 80 arts and cultural booths. For the the art lovers on your list, you’re sure to find something amidst the rows of beautiful pottery, glass works, sculptures, and paintings.