March is the magical month, here in Scottsdale. It’s our reward for why we live here during the summer months. The weather perfection (nice & warm in the day but cool at night) making it the perfect month to party! It’s also that special time we call Spring Break! March is jam packed for the mom about town with fun, family friendly events and festivals in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas.
Here are just some of the many local offerings. Check it out!
McDowell Mountain Music Festival – March 3-5 at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. McDowell Mountain Music Festival is a 100% nonprofit music festival that was established in 2004 and quickly became a musical destination for festival goers. This year, the Festival is celebrating its 14th year attracting visitors to the State with previous headliners such as Beck, Porter Robinson, Kid Cudi, The Avett Brothers, and more. All of the proceeds from the Festival benefit two local, family-based, non-profits: Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and UMOM New Day Center. M3F welcomes music fans of all ages and those who are 12 & under are free to the Festival. Visit McDowell Mountain Music Festival website for more information and ticket packages.
Ultimate Play Date – Presented by Scottsdale Public Library, Saturday March 4 9am-2pm at Civic Center Library, outside on the lawn. This really is the ultimate play date. There will be 7 different play zones where kids can play, learn, create, move, and most importantly, have fun! Play Zones include: Language Play, Adventure Play, Music & Dance Play, Physical Play, Science & Technology Play, Construction Play, and Creative Play. This is a free event. Click here for more details. If kiddos are still up for more excitement, stick around Old Town for a spring training game at Giants Stadium, enjoy a free stage coach ride around Old Town, and try to find the Singing Cowboy serenading downtown.
Blue Bell Ice Cream returns to Arizona – March 6, in major grocery stores Valley Wide. This mention is for my friend and fellow SMB Contributor, Rebecca. It’s a really big deal for her. She has a whole thing about it. With it’s cult-like following, I know others do, too. Blue Bell Ice Cream was voluntarily recalled nearly 2 years ago after a listeria contamination and hasn’t made it’s way back to AZ until now. That’s a long time to go without your favorite ice cream. Feeling you, R.H.
Spring Break Camp – March 6-10, City of Scottsdale Parks & Recreation, Mountain View Community Center & Horizon Community Center. Don’t let your kids idle during spring break! Your 1st through 5th graders will have an incredible break by participating in Scottsdale Parks & Recreation’s Spring Break Camps. They are full of fun and exciting recreational activities including crafts, sports, games, and much more. Spring Break Camps are scheduled at the Mountain View and Horizon Community Centers, running from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, March 6-10. For more details, visit the City of Scottsdale website.
Fit Flex Spring Camp – March 6-10, Scottsdale Gymnastics & Trampoline. Keep your kids active and fit on spring break! SGT has all kinds of fun activities planned to keep them busy during the day and exhausted by night. The fun includes trampolines, tumble track, foam pit, zip line, parkour, group games, great music, good friends, & more. Half day & full day, single days or full week options available. Visit SGT website or download the PDF for all the details.
Scottsdale Arts Festival – March 10-12 at Scottsdale Civic Center Park. For the 47th year, join 175 artists from coast to coast for this family friendly annual event. The festival includes events such as an art auction to benefit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, live music on two stages, gourmet food trucks, and a community art studio for kids and families to enjoy fun art activities. Scottsdale Arts Festival will happen rain or shine. One day pass for an adult are $10, two day pass are $15. $5 for students and children 12 and under are free.
Zoo Move & Groove 5K Trail Run/Walk & Festival – Saturday March 11, 5K is from 7am-9am at Papago Park and the festival goes from 9am-4 at the Phoenix Zoo. Join the Phoenix Zoo for a day of moving and grooving for the animals! Events at Papago Park include timed 5K trail run/walk, one mile leisure loop, and kids dash. During the festival, events include a bounce boot camp, dance party, zoo-robics, animal yoga, Zoomba & more. Visit the Phoenix Zoo events page for details on registration and event schedule. Proceeds help the Zoo serve more than 1.4 million people each year, provide educational programs, continue conservation initiatives and care for more than 1,400 animals including endangered and threatened species.
Arizona Aloha Festival – March 11 & 12 10am-5pm both days. A free family event at Tempe Beach Park Ohana means family and this festival has lots of fun family things to explore. Special activities for keikis (that means “kids” in Hawaiian) include making traditional Hawaiian arts like flower leis, tapas (a type of decorated cloth made out of bark), making mini poi-balls (a kind of musical instrument used in traditional dances), games, and more. Traditional, ono (delicious) Island food like kalua pig and teriyaki chicken with rice, fresh tropical fruits, and shaved ice will be available to purchase. Shop artists and vendors in the marketplace, and of course, there will be hula dancing! Visit the AZ Aloha Festival website for more details.
National Pie Day – March 14. Because 3.14 is the value of pi. If you are a mathematician, this is your day. If you just really like pie, then go ahead and take this day for yourself, too. Interesting side note, it’s also Albert Einstein’s birthday. So go grab yourself a Costco apple pie and some Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Absolutely Incredible Kids Day – March 16. Campfire USA created this day as a day in 1997, to show kids they are loved and cared for. Among other things, they suggest you write a letter to your kid today. I’m sure your kiddos are great. But my kids are absolutely incredible and as the author of this guide, I’m going to take this opportunity to brag about them. The good news is that you, too, can celebrate your kids and all their awesomeness and greatness on March 16 and tell all your friends just how incredible your offspring are. And on March 17 they’ll go back to being crazy, wild beasts who leave pretzel crumbs all over the place and fight in the car. My kids will remain perfect. #iwish
St. Patrick’s Day – It will probably be difficult to find an Irish pub that isn’t too wild to take the family to on St. Patrick’s Day. Unless your family brings the wild. There are several restaurants serving traditional corned beef & cabbage, however many feature live music and a cover charge. Or if you want to stay home and celebrate, here’s a great list of St. Patty’s Day recipes from The Pioneer Woman, including Irish Coffee. And here are some super fun St. Pat’s Day crafts to make with the kiddos from Martha Stewart.
National Chip & Dip Day – Thursday, March 23. There’s no presidential proclamation for this day, but according to the National Day Calendar website, this is an actual day to celebrate the perfect combination that is dip and a chip in which to deliver the dip into your mouth. So for tonight, you dinner plans are made; just serve up your favorite dips and assorted chips to feed your crowd. You’re welcome. And be sure to use #NationalChipAndDipDay to post on social media.
33rd Annual Best Salsa Challenge – March 25-26 at Steele Indian School Park, located at 300 E Indian School Road in Phoenix. This fun event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The annual two-day festival is a culinary competition benefiting the Arizona Hemophilia Association and features over 100 freshly made salsas from local Valley chefs, restaurants, businesses and individual competitors. Attendees can enjoy all the chips and salsa they can eat while a panel of judges vote for their favorite recipes. Additional attractions include the Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix-Off, kids zone with inflatables and games, cornhole tournament and live music.
MLB Spring Training – The Cactus League invites you to experience spring training, a beloved Arizona treasure. In Scottsdale, we are proud to have not one, but two world class spring training stadiums. In Old Town, there’s the Scottsdale Stadium (home to the San Francisco Giants) and the Salt River Fields (home to our own AZ Diamondbacks & the CO Rockies). Several other stadiums are easily accessible around the Valley and within close proximity to Scottsdale, including Sloan Park, home of the World Series Champions Chicago Cubs. Check out the Cactus League website to find a complete schedule of games.
Farmer’s Markets – There are a number of Farmer’s Markets all around the valley. The Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market located at Brown & 1st Ave is a great one to check out. It’s open on Saturdays from 8am-1pm and features local growers and specialty food producers. Be ready to find a wide variety of organic, and pesticide free produce, seasonal specialties such as cider and apples, flowers, natural pork, beef, fish, and free range eggs, and local cheeses, freshly baked artisan breads, Amish friendship breads, jams, picadillies, and tamales are just some of the great local foods you’ll find. Family friendly, and well mannered pets welcome! Check out Arizona Community Farmers Markets for more details on locations and dates of operation.
Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace – Every Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm for the month of March, until April 2 (rain or shine). The Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts faire, a Jousting Tournament and a feast, all rolled into one non-stop, day-long, family adventure! Advance discount tickets available at Fry’s Food Stores are $22 for adults, $12 for kids ages 5 –12, and children under 5 are always FREE. Tickets purchased at the Festival Box Office are $2 more. Parking is free. The RenFest is 7 miles east of Apache Junction on US Highway 60. For more information visit renfestinfo.com.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater – The home of the Great Arizona Puppet Theater is an important Phoenix landmark. There are some great puppet shows presented this month at the GAPT. For the full calendar of shows like Goldilocks & the Three Sharks, The Frog Prince, and Peter Rabbit, visit their website. The Great Arizona Puppet Theatre is open year round, performing shows at the theater Wednesday through Sunday. There are also Adult Only puppet shows that sound like a fun thing to do for a GNO or a date night while the kids are home with a babysitter. Tickets are available at the theater for $7 for children and $10 for adults. Reservations can be made by calling 602-262-2050 at any time.