Loading...
Are you looking for Summer Activities on a Budget? We have the deals listed here for you! You will also want to check out our Summer Camps, Indoor List of Places to Play and Free Activities. Our Free Activities  post has information on how you can get into your favorite museums for FREE this summer! AMC $5 Tuesdays-Locations Vary
  • Must sign up for the AMC program.
Jumper’s Jungle Peoria-Text Discounts (Test Jumpers2 to 51660 for 50% admission),2 for Tuesdays (2 for 1 Admission), Thrifty Thursdays all ages $5 Uptown Alley Surprise

Great Skate Glendale-10054 N 43rd Ave (also available at Skateland Chandler and Skateland Mesa)
  • Dollar nights on Mondays, Excluding Holidays (6-8:30pm)

Harkins Movie Theaters-Locations Vary
  • 10 Movies, 10 weeks. Each movie is a dollar, availability is limited. Adults must accompany children 13 and younger. Children 13 and over and solo adults not allowed.
Main Event Locations
  • Monday Night Madness-Choose from three super specials for just $10.95 each, all you can play activities, unlimited video game play, or $20 FUNcard good for food and fun. Mondays 4pm-close

Michael’s Stores Craft Classes-Locations and schedules vary
  • Some classes are free, most are $2-$6 dollars each
Hobby Lobby Craft Classes-Locations and Schedules vary As You Wish Pottery-Locations Vary
  • Lots of coupons on their site!

The post Summer Activities on a Budget appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Check out Uptown Jungle in Peoria to Get out some toddler through teen energy!

Uptown Jungle does have a location in Mesa as well, so if you are thinking it is a familiar name, you are right! It was formerly known as “Urban Jungle” but is now “Uptown Jungle”. Now that you have all that information, let’s show you what they have and where they are.

Located at 76th Ave and Cactus Road in Peoria, Uptown Jungle in Peoria is easily accessible from Grande and the 101. We were able to get to their grand opening (just opened for public) and were prepared with waivers already filled out online. The waiver needs to be filled out for different locations, so it is not transferable.  I really, highly suggest filling it out before you get inside the location. Kids get super excited when they see everything, so you will really save yourself frustration if you do it before hand. You can fill it out at their kiosks by the front desk, but it is easy to do either on a computer or phone. The staff members will look it up by phone number or by name. If you are like me and have multiple phone numbers, you can luckily look it up by name. Even non participating parents must sign a waiver.

There is a lot of parking space, but beware on busy days it will probably fill up!

After filling out the waiver, you will proceed to the desk to pay and get socks. You can bring your own grippy socks, or purchase them as well. There is also a small area to get drinks and snacks right behind the entry desk.

When you enter, to the right and left will also be seating and eventually some area to store shoes and other items.

There were quite a few benches in the front, which is where I like to be. There is also a huge parent lounge to the back of Uptown Jungle, and it is near the bathrooms.

Uptown Jungle thought of parents too! Huge area for parents to hang out and even, gasp, do work! Wifi is available for free!

Bathrooms are right next to the parent lounge and are single room “stalls”.

At the front of Uptown Jungle Peoria  will be the huge climber that is easily crawlable by adults and the “climbing walls” to your right.

I didn’t personally go through the tubes or down the slides, but they are fine for adults. The slide can be super fast and fun. The tower at the bottom right is a spiderweb that people need to crawl through to get to the second level. There are other ways of getting up there, but this is the closest access to the slide! The set up is very similar to Uptown Jungle in Mesa.

The second floor had lots of gymnastic feats (ninja course) to try to overcome. I could stand up on the second floor with just a teeny bit of bending (I’m 5′ 8″ on a good day). There were lots of tubes and slides throughout. This area may not be that great for the toddler set, so if you have one that wants to explore, you will probably want to go with them. It can be hard to find them if they get lost, and they do!

However, if you have a young toddler or preschooler, the Toddler area is just right for you-and it is gated so it at least will slow down the kiddos from exploring the big kid area!

There are lots of manipulatives, things to ride, a roller slide to slide down and a small trampoline as well. Dimples, almost 5, liked going in and out of the Toddler zone.

This Toddler area is about half the size of the one in Mesa, but it is still a good size. I actually like the size of this one a bit better because it was a little more manageable to keep an eye on little ones.

Two trampoline courts are behind the toddler area. Both courts are used for open jump or dodgeball tournaments.

The kids were bouncing like crazy all over these.

If you are looking for birthday party rooms, they also have three of them available. How it is shown is one big room that divides into three.

Cutely decorated rooms, of course.

There are four different walls to climb (other than my own at home! HA).

climb girl climb - YouTube

Munchie Climbing - YouTube

And the Ball Zone, which Dimples absolutely loves. He was vacuuming the balls for about 25 minutes!

Ball Pit at Uptown Jungle Peoria - YouTube

There are also ball guns to shoot from the second floor, and a big ball dropper as well as air poppers as well. A slide comes into the ball area as well.

All three of my kids did the climbing and really loved it. We are raising some monkey children, let me tell you.

If you are wondering about how the pricing/time works at Uptown Jungle in Peoria-
  • Sign up for a 60, 90 or 120 minute time slot. Prices go up as time increases, and there is a higher price on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.
  • Look on their Facebook Page for deals! 
  • Uptown Jungle in Mesa has toddler times-so I’m hoping that they will incorporate that and homeschool days in the future! I’ll keep you posted!
  • Sign your waiver beforehand. It doesn’t give you any discount, but will save you frustration when you get to Uptown Jungle Peoria. Make sure you sign the one for Peoria if you are going to Peoria, and Mesa if you are going to Mesa!

We had an amazing time at Uptown Jungle in Peoria and even saw some friends. Our friends with older kids (teenagers 16 +) had a blast too!

The Basics

Uptown Jungle Peoria

76th and Cactus Rds

The post Uptown Jungle in Peoria appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Have you ever driven by Babbo Italian Eatery (they have 8 locations) and wondered if you should stop in and grab a bite?

Well, let me tell you, you absolutely should!

Babbo just renovated in Surprise (2017) and moved more towards the 303 and Bell Road. They also just opened a restaurant in Scottsdale at Talking Stick, and have other locations around the valley. They have pizza, pasta, kids meals and decadent desserts. They also have a full bar, but at the same time, are really kid friendly. The Surprise restaurant has lovely seating areas that are great for adults and kids alike.

There is a lovely outdoor waiting area that shades you for the sun, and a small indoor waiting area as well. A full bar with bar seating and dining with two separated locations is also available in the Surprise, AZ location.

The decor inside was lovely and welcoming and calming. No harsh colors or music here!

There is a full bar menu with beers on tap, bottles, wine and mixed drinks as well as the standard soft drinks and Italian Sodas as well.  I had a glass of wine and my husband had a beer (we got to have a date night out too!).

We were greeted by our server and were given a plate with bread as well as some amazing balsamic vinagarette with olive oil. Yum! My husband and I picked the Bruschetta to split for an appetizer, and it was a LOADED bruschetta. The Fig spread was just amazing. Sweet and creamy.

For our dinner, my husband picked a calzone and I picked the Chicken Limon. I added the asparagus onto it, because I just love my greens. I love capers too, so it was the perfect dish for me (even if I did bite the lemon thinking it was a squash. That even tasted delicious!)

For dessert, I continued our lemon theme and got the Lemon Cookie without Ice cream, which was easily shareable!

The Menu is full of amazing things, including Meatball and Spaghetti Monday and Tuesdays for 6.99 (Please inquire to make sure the deal is still going on-May 2018). The full menu, other than alcohol, is available for take out/pick up as well. So, if you don’t feel like dining out, you can still get an amazing meal at home! Ordering online is easy to do, right on their website.

There are a wide variety of meals that you can choose from- Protein Bowls (meat, rice, quinoa and vegetables), Pizzas, Pastas, Salads, Sandwiches and yes-Kids’ Meals that are all inclusive. Your kiddos will love the variety of pizzas and pastas and even the desserts!

For my mom friends with little ones, there are four bathrooms-2 men, 2 ladies. The ladies each have a diaper changing station and the bathrooms are ample in size to bring the whole party of kids in with you. As a mom, you know you usually have a tribe coming with you to the bathroom!

The restaurant was amazing and the food and service was even better. I loved my food and the wine. This is a restaurant that is perfect for a large family gathering or a romantic date night as well. If you haven’t checked out Babbo Italian Eatery yet, there are many opportunities to do so around the valley!

Locations of Babbo Italian Eatery

Arrowhead-67th & 101

Cave Creek-Tatum & Cave Creek

Mesa-Southern & Signal Butte

Phoenix 16th Street &Glendale

Power Ranch- Power & Queen Creek

Tempe- Rural & Ray

Scottsdale- Pima & Talking Stick Way

Surprise- 165th & Bell

We received a complimentary meal. All opinions are 100% my own. 

The post Babbo Italian Eatery appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Technology is an ever-changing area in our world today, and I’m happy to be able to tell you all about CenturyLink’s Teachers and Technology Program! As professionals and parents educate their children, there is an increasing demand for computer technology to be incorporated into schoolwork, and that can be hard on school budgets.

T&TExternalVideoFINAL - YouTube

Luckily, CenturyLink is going above and beyond to help out communities. Not only do they provide the CenturyLink Campaign to Fight Hunger, but CenturyLink is also working with both private and public schools to give out Teachers and Technology Grants. This May, CenturyLink will be providing more than $124,000 to 27 teachers across Arizona in support of enhancing the innovative use of technology in their classrooms.

For our household, although we are homeschoolers, so much of what we do is technology based. Our kids explore our world and find new places to visit using computers. Another fun thing we just received was a Google Home. The kids LOVE asking “Hey Google, what is your favorite dinosaur?” Google tries to be helpful and let the kids know she doesn’t have a favorite!

We also use Google Chrome to access the internet to get onto our favorite websites. We use our computers at the libraries too! Our public school friends rely on computers to find out their next assignments, do research on their favorite subjects and come up with their next science projects. We are huge science fair fans ourselves! In order to connect with our world, we need to have internet access. When we go to the library I often jump online to work on the blog and answer reader questions.

Our oldest, Munchie, also loves coding. Since my husband Scott owns his own web development business, Munchie also has his own website.

You can find more information about what CenturyLink is doing in the community and their foundations here. CenturyLink is also on Twitter and Facebook!

Surprise AZ Mom was paid for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

The post CenturyLink Teachers and Technology appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Did you like to go skating when you were a kid? Great Skate in Glendale will make you feel like an 8 year old again. Perhaps a sore 8 year old after you are done skating!

I had been wanting to go skating for years, but with having three kids back to back, I really didn’t have much of an opportunity to do it. Plus, when they kids were little, skating was pretty much out of the question. One of my good friends and I were talking about skating and she said she had been going with her friends to Great Skate and with her kids. So, for Mother’s Day, I told my husband it was the only thing I wanted to do.

And, sometimes when there is just one thing mom wants to do, the trip can get a bit crazy! It took us about an hour plus to get ready and get on the road, and then we had bathroom stops. I was worried we were never going to get there.

Great Skate in Glendale has certain blocks of time for skating, which was why I was getting quite impatient. I wanted to go to the Mother’s Day skate on the Sunday afternoon time that I saw advertised. There are also two other locations that look like they are owned by the same parent company in Mesa and Chandler, and each has their own Facebook page and email list. I highly suggest getting on both their email list and their Facebook page because they have some amazing discounts. I usually do a screenshot of the coupon for later!

Great Skate is located at 10054 N 43rd Avenue in Glendale, which is really close to the Phoenix boarder. You can’t see it from the street, but there is a sign. It is behind Target if you are coming from Peoria Avenue.

Make sure you don’t park in the lot for Nana’s Preschool. They will tow your car. The spaces in front of the skate rink were very narrow, so we parked against the side of the building.

Adults need to fill a waiver. It is a blue paper card and the table was set up outside. Customers also pay outside for your skate time and your skates (if you are renting). If you need coins for a locker, you will also need to purchase them outside. Each time you open the locker it costs .75 and you get a key. Don’t lose the key!

The counter where you pay. You can also get coins for games as well. If you are renting skates or inline skates, you will get a ticket to bring to the counter. If you have little ones that need the skate assists (will show a video of that later), also purchase that outside. We needed three of those!

I took the picture of the skates at the end when we were returning them, so that is why it looks crazy. It is otherwise extremely neat! Wrist guards are required in order to skate and are provided at no extra charge.

Wristguards exhibit!

This is the prize counter. There are video games and assorted prize games outside of the rink that you can play.

I didn’t take a picture of the bathrooms, but they are sort of near this area. The bathroom is a bit narrow and has a cement floor, so be careful.

There is a cafe near the prize area that has a variety of treats. We got a pitcher of lemonade and my Husband skated with it over the carpet without spilling a drop! Amazing!

There were games surrounding the floor and lots of picnic style benches throughout the venue. The picnic tables kind of reminded me of the type of table used in elementary school lunch rooms!

Lockers are located in many locations around the facility. This was at the far wall and there was also another set by the cafe area. They easily fit our families shoes, my pocketbook and camera inside. Each time you open it, it costs 0.75, so make sure you have some quarters or grab them from the outside before you skate. It was nice to have this so we could all be on the skate floor. It wasn’t terribly busy on Mother’s Day, but I can see it being very busy on other days.

You aren’t supposed to have your phone on you when skating, which I didn’t see until after I shot this video. But, you can see the area of the skate floor and the “Skatemates”.

Skating - YouTube

Staff was amazingly friendly and every time my kiddos fell down (it was a lot!), they checked in on them. Other skaters often also helped them out, which was amazing since we were outnumbered. The “referee” was also the DJ and there were a few games that were played, time for speedier skaters only, backwards skaters, skate dancing and four corners. The skate rental clerk also came around with glow sticks, candy and a pop the balloon game (all had an extra cost). The staff was super busy and friendly and really made Great Skate more fun.

After a few times around with the skatemate, Munchie ditched it. He clomped around like a champ!

munchie and mom - YouTube

There are different music and skating sessions, and Great Skate in Glendale also offers Stem Classes, camps, skating classes, group skates and more. You will want to check out their schedule before heading over to see what is available. The music on Sunday was a mix of Raggaetone, Rap (kid appropriate) and pop.

The empty skating floor. They use lots of fun lights to light it up, make it glow or just have the regular lights on. In the corner is the DJ booth, but there is a sign that says “no requests”.

If you are looking for an indoor place to exercise with your kids, this is an amazing place to get back to your youth. They also offer birthday parties and lots of teen nights as well!

The Basics

GreatSkate Glendale

10054 N 43rd Avenue
Glendale, AZ

The post Great Skate Glendale appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Have you or your children ever wondered how your item from Amazon gets from your computer screen to your door step? Well, luckily Amazon Fulfillment Centers have public tours. You do need to register online before hand, and we will put that information at the bottom of the post.

Amazon started out as an online bookseller and then transformed into the behemoth of selling millions of items that they do now. Amazon has 5 fulfillment centers in the Phoenix valley.Not all of them have the same types of items. The center we went to in West Central Phoenix has smaller items (i.e. no lawnmowers or kayaks).

A few things to note before scheduling an Amazon Fulfillment (there are over 75 in the USA and Canada) Center tour:

  1. Tours of the Amazon Fulfillment Centers are generally at 10am or 2pm. (You can find tours in Chattanooga TN, Chester, VA, Jeffersonville, IN, Phoenix, San Bernardino, CA, Robbinsville, NJ, Dallas, TX and Brampton, Ontario, Canada.). If you are not on time, they will not let you in.
  2. No one under six is permitted, even babies in carriers. Since the facility is huge and there are so many working parts-conveyors, a lot of walking, machinery, etc) little ones are not allowed. My 8 year old and 6 year old went with me (she is actually 2 weeks shy of her 6th birthday but they allowed it). My kids did find the tour tiring. The Tour is about an hour and is made up of a lot of talking, walking and listening. I honestly would recommend the tour for 10 and up, especially if they have ordered or done purchasing online. My kids don’t really do that yet so I think they were a bit confused
  3. It is LOUD! There are lots of machines. The tour guides have microphones and each visitor gets a headset to listen to the guide. If you have been to the Musical Instrument Museum  or other museums or tours, you may be familiar with this type of listening set. It kind of looks like a cassette walkman! If we didn’t have the devices, it would be impossible to hear!
  4. You must wear your hair up and closed toe shoes. You cannot bring in anything other than a cell phone and keys. No pocketbooks or bags are allowed. Cellphones cannot be used to take photos, videos or audio and must stay in your pocket.
  5. They will give you a water bottle and you can take it on the tour. Since we are a set of clumsy people, we didn’t take it with us!
  6. The tour is pretty informative but moves along quickly. The building is 28 footfall fields large. The tour won’t walk all the way around the facility, but you do get to check it out from some amazing spots to see how big it is.
  7. The fulfillment building is all about logistics. If you have ever worked in a store before, you may have dealt with storing items, moving items, and having items come in and out on a truck. This is all of that with the ease of technology.
  8. It is climate controlled. Yes, there is AC! The fulfillment center is also operated 24 hours a day
  9. Yes, they are hiring certain positions. The staff looked happy and busy!! Available positions can be found through this link.
  10. The tour attracts lots of different people. There were a few other homeschoolers with us, but the majority of the group was senior citizens.
  11. While this is a walking tour, wheelchairs are allowed and accommodated.
  12. Bringing Kids? Here are a few points to consider
    1. Do loud noises bother your children?
    2. Are they good listeners and can they follow directions and not wander?
    3. Are they able to walk and stand for an hour and be patient?
  13. In case there are any issues on the tour, the tour guide had 2-3 assistants to help answer questions and make sure no one fell behind.
Tours at the Amazon Fulfillment Center are free. Obviously, they do not hold them all year (can you imagine it during the holiday season??). You can apply for a tour online but they do book up quickly.

The Basics

Amazon Fulfillment Center Tours

-Locations vary depending on demand. Check out their website for more information!

The post Amazon Fulfillment Center Tours appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I’ll admit, some days I just don’t feel like cooking. Friday was one of those days, and when hubby suggested going to a new place (For us) in town, I was sold. Jim’s Burgers & Eggs was a place we had passed literally hundreds of times but never stopped in. Friday was that night to finally check it out!

Located near in the Fry’s Plaza at Greenway and Cotton (303), Jim’s Burgers and Eggs feels like diners back east. There are also two restaurants in California that are part of this small chain, but this is the only one in Arizona. They serve breakfast all day, burgers, sandwiches and waffle desserts.

The counter is a busy, fast paced place to be. Customers order here and are given numbers of their order, and items are brought to you. I highly suggest being prepared with your order before you get in line as it will make the process a lot smoother. If you are looking for their menu so you can have it ahead of time, you can find it here.

There was lots of seating if you decided to dine in, but there is a huge pickup and take out demand for Jim’s Burgers & Eggs too!

Lots of different seating including tables and booths. Bathrooms were one men’s and one women’s bathroom (no stalls inside).

It’s been a long time since I saw advertising on a tabletop! Reminded me of the diners I ate at in high school!!

The servings were large and yummy! There is no designated kids menu, so we got the children each a burger and then got two sides of fries. Burgers are more of the thin type (like freddy’s) not large mouth burgers. I got a salad but stole a few yummy fries from my kids. There was enough to bring home for leftovers. My husband left no fry behind haha!

We really enjoyed Jim’s Burgers & Eggs. It was a lively atmosphere and totally kid friendly and easy to get to! With all type of sandwiches, specialty burgers (my husband had an avocado burger), breakfast sandwiches and even salads.

The Basics

Jim’s Burgers and Eggs

17019 W Greenway Rd

Surprise, AZ 85388

The post Jim’s Burgers & Eggs appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
School work, kids schedules, work schedules, large class sizes and personalized education are just some of the reasons that people are thinking about homeschooling in Arizona. If you have contemplated it and are wondering more about it, I’m here to help!

Some basics of homeschooling in Arizona

There are online schools that are actually public schools but aren’t considered traditional homeschooling, however the child will “school at home”. These programs use public funds (taxes) to pay for the materials to educate the child and must follow a curriculum similar to a traditional school.  Some people really love them, and some people really dislike them. As a parent, there is no need to sign an affidavit of intent to  homeschool for these online schools because they are still considered public schools

  • K12
  • Primavera
  • AZVA

Homeschooling in Arizona is identified as “ARS §15-802 G 2. Homeschool means a nonpublic school conducted primarily by the parent, guardian or other person who has custody of the child or nonpublic instruction provided in the child’s home.”

Tax monies are not used for homeschool, nor can you get a credit for your taxes. However, there are Homeschool Education Savings Accounts that some homeschoolers may qualify for. I am not well versed in this, so I suggest going to the linked site for more information

What is a Co-Op?

A “Co-Op” or Cooperative, is many different parents who trade teaching of each others children. Some Co-Ops will happen at a person’s home, or perhaps at a public places like a library. There may be many families involved of just a few. There may be a cost associated with it, or possibly no cost at all. Many large Homeschool Groups will have smaller co-ops, but not all members of a homeschool group need to be involved in a Co-op (Our family is not involved with a Co-op at this time).

Hybrid Homeschool Models

A hybrid Homeschool Model (and is also known in other terms) may be a classroom setting for part of the week and parent led lessons for the remainder of the week. Churches and grops often offer this to families for pay, but may have parent volunteers as well. Some of the hybrid homeschool options in the valley are

Options with Homeschooling

In Arizona, you must fill out paperwork around the time the child turns 6 years of age, and this does not necessarily correspond to the time they enter Kindergarten. Within 30 days of a child turning 6, the affidavit of intent to homeschool must be filled out if they are not attending school. You can put off teaching until they are 8 ( but you must fill that out on the affidavit of intent to homeschool form). In Maricopa County, you can either mail in the affidavit with the birth certificate or take it to the offices in Downtown Phoenix. The building actually has very little information on it, other than saying it is an IRS building on the window! It takes just a few minutes to have everything recorded and then you are on your way!

Things to know:

  • There is no checking in or explaining your curricula choices. You can really pick whatever you choose
  • There is no mandatory times required to school your child
  • There is no mandatory state testing
  • There is no mandatory umbrella school
  • There ARE a lot of groups, support and fun things to do with schools. AFHE (Arizona Families for Home Education) has a wide variety of groups listed, resources, a great convention for homeschoolers and a Facebook group for support. They are a Christian Organization, but accept secular families as well (know that praying and God First, Christian Values will be at each event).
  • There are a lot of homeschoolers in Arizona. Homeschoolers are not one type of person. There are lots of different types of families, ages, beliefs and education styles. You will find that there are very few people who do homeschooling the same way!
  • There are online homeschooling options. You do have to pay for these out of pocket, but there are all in one programs or you can pick and choose your curricula!
  • There are lots of businesses, museums and libraries that offer classes at low or no cost!
  • You can dual enroll your children in high school and college classes
Need more info? See our other posts!

Myths of Homeschooling

Year Round Homeschooling

Why We Homeschool

The post Are you thinking about Homeschooling in Arizona? appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I have wanted to check out Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg for quite a while now, but I was afraid that we wouldn’t before the hot weather hit. Luckily, we were surprised with a very cool May Day, and had to shoot up to Wickenburg. It is off of Rt 60 (Grand Avenue out of Surprise) and is on the Southeast bound side. A little nerve wracking crossing traffic, but there is a little area to scoot in and wait for traffic to pass. At 65 Plus miles and hour.

We had actually passed the Hassayampa River Preserve so many times our our way to Wickenburg, but until lately, I hadn’t really checked out what it was. I saw on the side of road the “binocular” sign, so I thought it was just a look-out place.

The Hassayampa River mostly is underground through its 100 mile trek, but it comes to the surface here in Wickenburg. Now, the Hassayampa River Preserve is also part of the Vulture Mountains Recreation Area.

Lately, the Hassayampa River Preserve has been posting different classes, tours and walks that they are providing, so it really piqued my interest.

We took a drive up and it still looks pretty desert-y. Just 30 minutes from Surprise, there is still a ton of desert around us, but the River Preserve is kind of a cool hidden away spot with green areas! Tall trees, bushes, brush and SHADE! Even better, Running water. Well, slowly trickling water.

Flowing Water at Hassayampa - YouTube

It isn’t a ton of water, but it is cool, running and clear!

But lets back track a bit to the entrance area. I just wanted to get you excited about water!

The bathrooms are two stalls (for women) and area away from the visitors center. There is a nice shady area for picnics and relaxing, and parking. The restrooms were fully functional (not port o potties) and were extremely clean. No changing areas in the bathrooms.

The beautiful Visitor’s Center looks like a gorgeous house. It had very welcoming things to do for young hands. But speaking of young hands, you may be wondering about strollers!

My thoughts on strollers for this park-If you have a jogger stroller, you are good to go on the Palm Lake Loop at least. Other strollers may struggle with the ground as it is sand (almost beach like!) or rocky sand. You may find yourself very frustrated with any other type of stroller. I don’t recommend side by side strollers as getting through the visitors center and down the ramp out of the visitors center may be too tight.

Outside of the visitors center was a beautiful desert garden and sitting area.

Inside the Visitors center was a wonderful Nature center as well-Pretty much everything was touchable! It was a $5 admission (as of 2018/May) per adult. Since I was the only adult, and sometimes that’s debatable, it only cost us $5 to go in!

There were bones to touch, things to read and items to guess and feel (what Giggles and Munchie are doing). Super cool set up and totally kid friendly. You can also see dried bugs (all in cases). Some were huge. I wish we could have read more of what was there, but we had anxious kiddos who wanted to get walking! Also available was water and a few drinks in case you forgot to bring your own.

I like including the map if I can on our side, and we have it! The one we got was black and white, but the online version is in color.

The Palm Lake Loop is the most accessible loop. If you have a stroller or a little one, this one will be the easiest for you. The Lake is manmade and has water, but very little fish and wildlife. There are places the little ones can get into the water, so of course you will want to be wary. The water at this point is not very clear either. However, much of the trail is very wide and flat!

Of course, Munchie wanted to play with my emotions and climb this wall. Eeh. But, it was a cute place to sit and watch the Cattails!

Giggles did some reading.

Giggles reads - YouTube

We went on the Lion Trail and Lion Trail. The Lion Trail requires you to go across the little bridge over the water. There are also stairs down to both the River Ramble and Lion Trail which are not easily done with a stroller. I would skip these if you don’t have a partner. The sand can also be pretty deep as well. We didn’t do Lykes Lookout as we were having a potty emergency (It wasn’t me for once!). We will have to check that out next time we go to Hassayampa River Preserve.

The trails also have overhanging logs and branches all over, which may make it difficult to get around. You also will meander on the riverbeds as well.

The Lions trail also gets you RIDICULOUSLY close to the RailRoad! We actually watched a train go by, but we weren’t right next to it. Honestly, I think I would be a bit terrified.

You can kind of see a line of rocks, although depth perception its kind of hard to tell. Well, the trail goes along a cliff, that is right next to the park. Munchie asked me “What if the train falls off the tracks?” I looked wide eyed back at him and said “We won’t be that close when we hear a train!”. We did get to see it go by from about 200 feet away. That was close enough!

Riverbeds and walkways.

And really, really tall trees! Which is amazing to see. The trees were also creaking as they swayed, which completely scared Mr. Munchie. He forgot the sounds of the state park that was behind our house in Connecticut. The trees would creak a lot, especially on windy days of course.

The dry riverbeds were really cool to look at. You could tell where the water has been shaping its course. There were also some areas that were very shady and there was algae. Different plant species from just 30 minutes away were abundant. We were also instructed to watch out for snakes, but we didn’t see any. We also saw some squirrels, which for some odd reason is very exciting to me! They were puffy grey squirrels just like back east!

We also spoke a lot about the river and riverbeds. Since we homeschool, we make every single place we go a learning experience. Yes, I am that mom! I don’t know Hassayampa’s closing procedures for bad weather, but I can’t imagine that they would open during a rain storm as there can be pretty destructive flash flooding in this area. If you are newer to Arizona, you will want to heed flash flooding alerts, as they do come and can be pretty terrifying. But, this is an amazing park when it is DRY!

The Center’s Hours (Summer 5/7-10/8 ) Wed-Sun 7am-4pm, trails close at 3:30pm and Winter (10/9-5/6) Wed-Sun-8am-5pm trails close at 4:30pm, Monday and Tuesdays are closed. No Dogs allowed.

The Hassayampa River Preserve also has a ton of different classes and events for kids and adults! You’ll want to check out their site and Facebook page! And While you are near downtown Wickenburg, you may want to check out the Desert Caballeros Museum or Sunset Park in Wickenburg

The Basics

49614 US Hwy 60 89

Wickenburg, AZ

The post Hassayampa River Preserve-Wickenburg appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
  Have you heard of International Pay it Forward Day?

Dunkin’ Donuts Locations in Phoenix are celebrating International Pay it Forward Day by “Sip a Cup, Share a Cup”. From April 28-May 27th (while Supplies last) all guests who purchase any size coffee at Participating Dunkin’ Donuts Restaurants will receive a special Free Coffee Card. Guests are encouraged to pass the card along to “Pay it Forward, covering the cost of someone elses’ Coffee.

Also, Saturday April 28th, Dunkin’ Donuts will be paying it forward with free parking in select downtown Tempe locations for commuters, tourists and students and also passing out free donuts and flowers at the Tempe Mill Light Rail Station that morning.

Dunkin’ Donuts sells more than 1.9 billion cups of hot and iced coffee globally every year, and started in New England (I’m from New England and Grew up with Dunkin’ Donuts! My personal favorite is a chocolate glazed donut with a french vanilla Iced Coffee with Almondmilk)

Pay It Forward Suggestions:

  1. Pay for someone’s coffee
  2. Get the next person in line’s food, groceries, gas, etc.
  3. Give flowers or thank you card
  4. Help someone in need
  5. Give time/money to local charity

For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com

This ad has been sponsored. All opinions are 100% my own!

The post Dunkin Donuts Celebrate International Pay it Forward Day! appeared first on Surprise AZ Mom.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview