A monthly tourism news update from the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
FIRST GLOBAL MUSEUM OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OPENS IN THE DESERT
Take a melodic journey through the world at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), the first global museum of instruments. The Museum opened April 24, 2010 and showcases cultures from around the globe with more than 12,000 instruments from nearly every country in the world. Transport to another land with wireless headsets and LCD video displays depicting the sounds and sights of the instruments and the people who use them. See the recreation of a gong workshop, listen to the sounds of the traditional Beijing Opera or experience a contemporary Ukrainian wedding procession. If pop culture is more your thing, head to MIM’s Artist Gallery, which houses instruments from famous musicians throughout time including John Lennon, Paul Simon, the Black Eyed Peas and the Jonas Brothers. After enjoying a worldly concert, try out your own musical abilities in MIM’s Experience Gallery, where you can play instruments such as guitars, gongs and drums. The Museum also will host concerts in its 299-seat performance hall. May concerts include guitarist William Eaton and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai.
$3.5 MILLION PAOLO SOLERI-DESIGNED BRIDGE SET FOR COMPLETION THIS FALL
Construction is underway on the Soleri Bridge and Plaza in downtown and is expected to be complete in the fall. This will be the second pedestrian bridge connecting the Scottsdale Waterfront and SouthBridge across the north and south banks of the Arizona Canal. Designed by famed Italian designer Paolo Soleri, the bridge will demonstrate the importance of solar movement and feature two, steel-clad 64-foot-high pylons, creating a shaft of light across the bridge that spans onto the south side of the canal. The light will mark five important solar events – the equinox, solstice and cross-quarter dates.
A 22,000-square-foot plaza will frame the bridge and create connections for pedestrians, bicyclists and horse riders from Scottsdale Road into the downtown area. Shallow pools of water, shade, seating and a bell tower housing the largest bell assemblage ever created by Soleri will be a part of the plaza. The park-like setting will feature informational tidbits on astronomical events provided as educational elements in the structural forms. The space also will serve as a gathering place for ceremonies and performances, as well as accommodate the historic Sun Circle Trail, which was designated as part of the Arizona State Trails System in 1976. Soleri has designed more than 60 bridges in his lifetime but the Soleri Bridge will be the first to be erected.
FAMILY FUN IN THE SCOTTSDALE SUN: RESORT ACTIVITIES TOO GOOD TO PASS UP
Families will treasure a unique keepsake from their Scottsdale vacation at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. The Digital Kids Zone five-day summer camp allows youngsters to create their very own music videos by capturing footage, taking digital photos, using special effects and building their own songs. Starting at $35, kids ages 7 to 12 can choose from four fantastic programs: Movie Making, Video Game Design, Produce Your Own Morning Show and Media Madness. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Enjoy 9,000 square feet of water excitement with a lazy river ride and a 110-foot-long waterslide at the resort’s Adventure Water Park. Poolside activities include hula hoop, limbo and relay races as well as scuba lessons with The Westin Kierland’s FUN Team. The fun continues into the night with pajama parties and Kierland Kampfires ’round the fire pit.
On Memorial Day Weekend, the Fairmont Scottsdale will re-open its interactive National Geographic Explorers Camp for kids but it won’t be just a summer fling! The experience will be offered year-round with special appearances from National Geographic explorers on the weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. This year’s program includes wildlife biologist and National Geographic Wild Host Casey Anderson and filmmaker and journalist Michael Davie. These real-life adventurers add authenticity to the program filled with activities like photo safaris and using GPS to discover desert creatures. Prices start at $20 per child for half-day sessions.
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North’s Kids for All Seasons program gives young travelers the royal treatment with a stuffed animal upon arrival as well as juice and a personalized cookie plate in their room. Guests 5 to 12 years old won’t want to leave the fun-filled children’s center featuring a movie theatre, pool, ping pong and foosball tables, and a video game entertainment room. In addition, families can pick from an array of weekly events such as stargazing, family hikes and Pajama Jam, where children enjoy pizza and a movie while parents have an evening to themselves. And on most Saturday evenings, kids can catch a flick poolside (or even in the pool) at the resort’s summer Dive-In Movie night.
THE PHOENICIAN’S NEW RETAIL STORE A MECCA FOR IMBIBERS
Shop Arizona’s largest inventory of wines, spirits and beers at Grape & Grain located at The Phoenician. The new retail shop showcases vintage wines from around the world, premium vodka, tequila and indigenous craft ales. Find the perfect accoutrements for your beverages with the shop’s selection of light bites, including cheeses, honeycombs, fig cakes and almonds. New to the art of wine? Visit the sommelier who will help select the perfect bottle to fit your taste or occasion. The shop also features samplings of the resort’s international selections.
COOL INDOOR MUSEUM EXHIBITS FOR HOT SUMMER DAYS
* Now through June 6, Ansel Adams: Discoveries at Phoenix Art Museum celebrates Adams for more than his stunning black-and-white photographs of the American wilderness. Discoveries delves deeper into the lesser known aspects of his career including his early images, relatively unknown color photography and teaching career. Photography buffs won’t be disappointed. This never-before-seen exhibition features 140 of Adams’s iconic images while offering viewers an understanding of the legendary photographer’s life.
* For those who dig archaeology, Pueblo Grande Museum’s Landscape Legacies: The Art and Archaeology of Perry Mesa is the perfect exhibit to explore between now and Feb. 28, 2011. Science and art become one as you learn about the interaction of the environment and people of Perry Mesa – an area north of Phoenix – through the lens of Pat Gorraiz. Plus, see the scientific examination of a changing archaeological landscape through the recent research of Arizona State University doctoral candidate Hoske Schaafsma on prehistoric agricultural practices on Perry Mesa.
* Both book worms and art lovers will want to visit Illustrious: American Indian Artists’ Books and Illustrations at Heard Museum North Scottsdale before it ends on Aug. 1. The exhibit showcases established and emerging artists who create unique books using art – a practice American Indians have utilized for more than a century. Each imaginative narrative transcends the boundaries of traditional printed and bound books by combining American Indian picture and word based on personal experience and cultural heritage.
The Scott Resort & Spa AWARDED ARIZONA’S FIRST GREEN SEAL CERTIFICATION
The Scott Resort & Spa received the Green Seal Certification in March 2010, making it the first Arizona hotel to achieve this designation and one of 85 in the country. Do your part while partaking in your favorite indulgences with the resort’s all-organic spa and environmentally friendly wines offered at the nightly tasting. In addition to selecting eco-conscious wines, empty bottles are cut and reshaped to make the hotel’s water glasses. The hotel also places recycling bins in every guest room, recycles paper, and collects unused soaps and gently used bedding to donate to local shelters. In order to achieve the Green Seal Certification, hotels must demonstrate sustainable practices in a variety of ways including waste minimization, recycling, energy efficiency and waste water management.
TAKE YOUR TRIP TO NEW HEIGHTS WITH EXPERTS OF THE VACATION TRADE
Geology lovers will want to leave some exploration time in their travel itinerary at The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa. Local expert Rico Riley offers the Walk the Rock adventure, highlighting the famous boulders lining the property. The 60-minute experience takes you on a guided walk with Riley through the prehistoric Sonoran Desert and provides background on the area’s topography, flora, fauna, and the 12-million-year-old boulders that serve as the resort’s namesake.
For a history lesson of a different nature, head over to the Hotel Valley for an Architectural Walking Tour. The twice-weekly experience explores the classic design elements of the hotel while sharing the history and legends associated with its famous Hollywood guests. Led by architectural expert Ace Bailey from Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours, the walks give a historical perspective to the mid-century modern design of the Hotel Valley Ho, which first opened in 1956. Project Architect Edward L. Varney, a protoge of Frank Lloyd Wright, incorporated intelligent, minimalist design with some of Wright’s signature elements in creating this Arizona landmark.
Scottsdale is not just for learning – lovebirds can make a romantic escape with the help of the Royal Palms Resort and Spa’s Director of Romance Robert Vickrey. Dedicated to orchestrating magical evenings and memories to last a lifetime, romance guru Vickrey has all the insider tips if you’re in the mood for love. From creative activities to imaginative details – the ultimate proposal, a never-to-be-forgotten anniversary dinner or just a nice getaway to celebrate life – Vickrey can help with it all.
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