North Central News

‘Tis the season to celebrate, give back

The winter holiday season is here and many local businesses and organizations are planning festive events to spread cheer and raise money for those in need.

Below you’ll find information for  some of the upcoming holiday events in North Central Phoenix.

Santa and his elves visit Christown Mall
Bring your kids to meet Santa’s elves and share their wishes with Santa at Christown Cringle’s Workshop and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen at the Christown Spectrum Shopping Center from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 1, 7-8 and 14-15.

Kids can create ornaments, write a letter to Santa Claus, listen to stories and music, have their faces painted and participate in holiday kitchen crafts.

Santa Claus also will be at Christown Spectrum Shopping Center through Dec. 24. The shopping center is located at West Bethany Home Road and North 19th Avenue.

Enjoy a play, family activities at church
Enjoy snow, train rides, “Frozen” characters and other family-oriented activities during Winter Wonderland on Sunday, Dec. 15, at North Phoenix Baptist Church.

The event takes place following the church’s Christmas production of “Peace on Earth,” a musical that shares the story of Jesus. “Peach on Earth” begins at 10:30 a.m. with the activities immediately after.

If you are having a hard time providing gifts for your children this Christmas season, the church will help you offer them presents.

North Phoenix Baptist Church is located at 5757 N. Central Ave. For more information, visit forphoenix.org/Christmas.

Esperança seeks Christmas Angels
Esperança, a nonprofit organization hoping to brighten the winter holidays for 80 senior citizens who live in HUD housing centers around the Valley, is asking the public to donate blankets, shawls, slippers and lotion for its Christmas Angels program. The items are need as gifts for seniors, which will be wrapped and exchanged later this month.

Gifts and financial contributions for the program are needed by Dec. 6. To donate financially, text “Xmas” to 91999. To donate supplies for the program, visit www.esperanca.org/christmas-angels-2019. If you have questions, email Tiffany@Esperanca.org. Esperança is located at 1911 W. Earll Drive.

Have fun and give back at Uptown Plaza
Dec. 8 and Dec. 7, 14 and 21
Celebrate the holidays and help support a good cause at Uptown Plaza’s Uptown Local Market on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be local makers, food, live music and Santa Claus. The event will raise money to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Uptown Plaza also will host holiday events from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 7, 14 and 21, including hot chocolate and apple cider, giant yard games, photos with Santa Claus and Dickens Carolers and other entertainment. Donations will be taken for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angels program. Visit uptownplazaphx.com for a schedule of events.
Uptown Plaza is located at 100 E. Camelback Road.

Have breakfast with Santa
Indulge in a luxurious holiday breakfast buffet and enjoy a visit from Santa Claus at Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. The cost is $40 per person; it is free for children ages 3 years and younger.

Reservations are required. To reserve seats, call 602-954-2572.

Shop, eat and drink at Phoestivus 2019
Phoenix Public Market and Get Your PHX will host Phoestivus 2019 from 5 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 19 at the market, 721 N. Central Ave.

The 10th annual market features locally made items that make good holiday gifts from more than 200 vendors. Find hand-crafted jewelry, artisan wares, prepared foods and holiday decorations. Enjoy PHX Beer Co.’s Phoestivus Ale, buy food from food trucks and listen to live entertainment.

For more information, visit phoestivus.com.

North Phoenix Kiwanis shares holiday spirit, gifts
The North Phoenix Kiwanis, a group of 28 community-support-minded people, will provide Christmas gifts for 150 children in need. The children are identified by elementary school officials. The Kiwanis team provides about $100 worth of gifts to each child, consisting of clothes, educational materials and toys.

The event will take place at Alta Vista Elementary School on Dec. 20. To learn how to support this effort or to join North Phoenix Kiwanis, contact Christopher Boyda at 480-585-2177 or visit north-phoenix-az.kiwanisone.org.

Visit Santa at Paradise Valley Mall
Bring your little ones to visit Santa Claus for photos at his holiday home at Paradise Valley Mall 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 8; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, Dec. 2-12; Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 6-14; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 16 and 23 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
Pets can have their photo taken if they are on a leash or in a pet carrier, from 5:15 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11.

Bring the kids to the mall on Saturday, Dec. 14, for a “Passport to Holiday Fun” event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At this free event, kids can create festive crafts, write letters to Santa Claus and bring them to the man himself, as well as decorate cookies and have a chance to win door prizes. The event takes place next to Santa’s holiday home in the mall’s Dillard’s Court.

Paradise Valley Mall is located at 4568 E. Cactus Road. For details, visit https://www.theparadisevalleymall.com/Events.

Todd LaPorte, CEO of HonorHealth, his wife, Kelly LaPorte, and Crystal Princess Emily Gates pose at a previous HonorHealth Holiday Tree Lighting. This year’s tree lighting will be Dec. 4 (submitted photo).

HonorHealth hosts Holiday Tree Lighting
Bring the family as HonorHealth celebrates the 29 anniversary of its Holiday Tree Lighting on Wednesday, Dec. 4., from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center campus at 250 E. Dunlap Ave. Have your photo taken with the Crystal Princess and enjoy cookie decorating, games and crafts, cookies, and hot chocolate and cider. Parking is in the lot on Third Street and Dunlap Avenue. For more information, call 602-870-6060, ext. 1345.

Winter break camps offer learning and fun
Keep your kids occupied over the winter vacation during the Winter Break Camps at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The camps run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 23, 26 and 27 and Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2-3. Kids will engage in hands-on learning and games including making winter wonderland dioramas, popsicle stick ornaments, snowman bookmarks and fluffy penguins.

The cost for the four-day week camp Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2-3 is $160 for museum members and $205 for non-members. The three-day camp Dec. 23, 26 and 27 is $120 for members and $155 for non-members. Day camps cost $45 per day for museum members and $55 per day for non-members.

To register, visit childrensmuseumofphoenix.org. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St.

Be a Santa to a Senior this holiday season
The holiday season can be difficult for senior citizens who live alone but there is a way you can help make it brighter for them.

Home Instead Senior Care is allowing the public to give seniors holiday gifts through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. You can visit one of the participating locations, look for the “Be a Santa to a Senior” tree displayed and check out the ornaments with seniors’ first names and gift recommendations. Shoppers can pick an ornament, buy a gift and bring it back to the store with the ornament attached. You do not need to wrap the gifts as volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the presents to area seniors in time for the holidays.

Since the Be a Santa to a Senior program began in 2003, more than 2 million gifts have been delivered to more than 700,000 seniors around the country.

To find a tree with the ornaments near you visit beasantatoasenior.com.

Harper Lewis (left), Zeffrey Ferman, Reece Lewis and Kinsley Attarpour skate on a full-size rink with a slick plastic floor at Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Sock skating will be open Tuesdays through Sundays through Jan. 5 at the museum (photo by Ricky Zhou).

Children’s Museum hosts Winter Festival
Keep your kids busy during the holidays with sweet treats and activities at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix Winter Festival.

Kids can slip, slide and get into the winter holiday spirit with Sock Skating at the museum, where “skaters” move around a full-size rink with a slick plastic floor, similar to ice. They take their shoes off and slide around in their socks. It gives kids the chance to experience a winter activity they might not otherwise have. The activity is open to the public during regular museum hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, through Jan. 5. Skating is free when you pay for museum admission of $14.95 and only socks are allowed on the rink.

A Gingerbread House Workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, with session beginning at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Children and their families can make gingerbread houses using pre-constructed materials, royal icing and candy. The cost for museum members, for up to four people, is $34.95; for non-members it is $39.95. Museum admission is required but not included in the price for the workshop. Space is limited. To register, visit childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the museum will bring in 40 tons of snow for Snow Much Fun Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can play in the snow, build snowmen and have snowball fights. There also will be an opportunity to meet and take photos with the official Santa Claus of Arizona.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. For more information, visit childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.

Snow Week at Arizona Science Center
More than 100 tons of real snow will cover the grassy hill in front of the Arizona Science Center Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Enjoy snow play, snow-related science demonstrations and kid-friendly activities. Warm up inside and explore the center’s new “Victoria The T. rex” exhibition for a glimpse of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton touring the world. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $13-$19.95 ($9.95-$11.95 additional for Victoria T. rex); free for ages 2 and younger. 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-716-2000 or azscience.org.

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