7 Places to Take Out-of-Town Guests

Written by Kasia Michalik Category: Lifestyle Issue: November 2011
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The West Select, Phoenix Art Museum
October 23-November 20

When East Coasters visit Arizona, they crave cowboys and American Indians, hardscrabble settlers and desert vistas. The Phoenix Art Museum’s latest exhibit provides all this, sans dust and danger. Experience old and new West with nearly 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings from more than 30 of the country’s best Western artists.

Info: 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-257-1880, phxart.org

Admission: $10 for adults

Chiles and Chocolate Festival,Desert Botanical Garden
November 11-13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

As temperatures drop in the Valley, the action heats up at the DBG’s Chile and Chocolate Festival, where you can simultaneously introduce out-of-towners to two Arizona institutions: saguaros and salsa. Meander through the desert flora, then sample Southwestern favorites from local vendors, including salsas, tacos and, of course, chocolate. Bonus: Cool temps means it melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

Info: 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, 480-481-8188, dbg.org/events-exhibitions/chiles-chocolate

Admission: $15 plus food

Bluegrass Festival, Wickenburg
November 11-13

It’s east meets Old West at the Bluegrass Festival in Wickenburg, where your guests can stomp their feet at the fiddle championship. Check out local arts and crafts, and chow down on a pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget lawn chairs and blankets for when you want to kick off your cowboy boots and enjoy the tunes.

Info: 216 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg, 928-684-5479, wickenburgchamber.com/event_listing/bluegrass-in-the-desert/

Admission: $18

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Heard Museum Spanish Market
November 13-14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shop for Hispanic jewelry, paintings, pottery and more while enjoying performances from mariachis and folklorico dancers. Chat with more than 75 artists from Arizona, New Mexico and South America, including this year’s signature artists, Veronica and Gabriel Sandoval, who specialize in ancient metalwork art of repoussé.

Info: 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-8848, heard.org

Admission: $15

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15th Annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour & Sale
November 18-20, November 25-27

Cruise through Carefree, Cave Creek and Scottsdale to peek inside 45 art studios featuring 150 artists. The free self-guided tour is a great way to see the Sonoran Desert, speak with local artists and discover the creative talent sprinkled throughout the Valley.

Info: hiddeninthehills.org

Admission: Free

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Glendale Glitters
November 25-26, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

After the Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten, grab your family and friends and spend the evening surrounded by lights, snow and Santa. Feel like a kid again at the spectacular show featuring more than one million lights, along with music and carriage rides.

Info: Downtown Glendale, Murphy Park, 58th & Glendale Avenues, 623-930-2299, glendaleaz.com

Admission: Free

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MACFest, Mesa Arts Center
November 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The arts and crafts event that hits downtown Mesa on select Saturdays from September through April coincides with Old West Days on November 12. Local artists sell and show off their “Made by Me” crafts, artwork and food, while gunslingers shoot it out and Western bands perform.

Info: Downtown Mesa, Main Street starting at Macdonald Street going east, mesaartscenter.com, mesaoldwestdays.com

Admission: Free