The PHiX

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Baby, it’s cold outside! For Phoenix, that is. Parkas and puffers are overkill, but a long, cozy cardigan is perfect for winter insulation in the Valley of the Sun. Bunky Boutique (multiple locations, bunkyboutique.com) has a slew of cute cardis, but these are our favorites. Plaid Stripe Pocket Cardigan Cost: $68 Wear it: to chill at home; on a morning walk on the Scottsdale Greenbelt; to the Gilbert Farmers Market Polka Dot Knit Cardigan Cost:...

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On December 14, resident shock rocker Alice Cooper hosts his 18th Christmas Pudding show at Celebrity Theatre with guests including Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Mark Slaughter, proving once again that yüle is the heaviest holiday ever. Get primed for Cooper’s annual audio anvil with these horrifyingly heavy Christmas songs. “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” – Korn Korn’s cover of this song from Danny Elfman’s The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack gets an extra dose of...

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Who says you can’t travel with kids? Mingle + Graze cheese bar and kitchen owners Mahfam Moeeni-Alarcon and Cristobal Alarcon recently took their two young children and Cristobal’s parents on a three-week tour of Berlin, Leipzig and Prague. “Of the three beautiful cities we visited, Prague was by far my most favorite. It was magical!” Moeeni-Alarcon says. “Castles! Gargoyles! And beer!” She shares her favorite spots.  Prague Castle “The detailed work on the frescoes was...

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Still Cookin’: The recent implosion of UK-based travel firm Thomas Cook has evidently not affected the operations of subsidiary Condor Airlines, the German budget carrier that started hauling Phoenicians nonstop to Frankfurt two summers ago. Euro-curious Valley residents can book travel out of Phoenix starting in April for about $700 round trip. condor.com Up the Junction: One of our favorite airfare deals this winter is the $97 nonstop round-trip fare to Grand Junction, Colorado, in...

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The storefront of Amazon Books — Amazon’s first physical store in the state — looks a lot like that of a Barnes & Noble. The flashiest titles, such as Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Elton John’s Me, are displayed prominently in the window. What you can see on the inside looks inviting, in the aspirational way only a bookstore can make you feel. Look a little closer and see that, in addition to books, the window...

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The Thanksgiving table may barely be cleared, but Christmas lights season is already in full swing. Whether your family goes to the same exhibits year after year or you’re looking for something new to try, there are plenty of places to see spectacular lights displays that will make the holiday season the highlight of your year. Here are some awe-inducing attractions to check out in the Valley:  Zoolights Zoolights: “Glow Wild” at the Phoenix Zoo...

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Knives Out—Remember those facetious mysteries of the ‘70s, like Murder by Death or Sleuth; the sort of thing that unfolds mostly in one old-dark-house setting, with scherzo strings or tinkling harpsichord on the soundtrack? If so, you may feel a special nostalgic pull from this goofball all-star ensemble whodunit from writer-director Rian Johnson. The story concerns Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) a rich mystery writer living in a cluttered rattletrap Massachusetts manse with a bunch of...

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When Wisconsin native Brenda J. Schodt flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport before she started college at Arizona State University in 1980, she was captivated by the sunset out the window. That glimpse led to her career as an ornament maker – many of her creations feature Southwest landscapes and skylines.

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You might not be able to afford a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, but you can buy a throw blanket or Christmas tree ornament emblazoned with the legendary architect’s designs. “Earlier this year, the [Frank Lloyd Wright] Foundation expanded its offering of high-quality, timeless lifestyle and home décor products in an effort to preserve and protect Wright’s legacy and bring his work into today’s contemporary homes,” says public relations coordinator Savannah Haas. Frank Lloyd Wright Store...

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Millions of LED lights shine throughout the zoo grounds as this grand holiday event glows with a three-story-tall Christmas tree, lakeside music-in-motion shows, 3D light sculptures and new life-size animal lanterns. Live reindeer and a 200-foot-long polar slide add to the fun. 5:30-10:30 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix phoenixzoo.org, 602-286-3800

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Pack your skis and winter jacket for a getaway in Aspen – the ritziest of Colorado’s fabled Rocky Mountain resort towns. Shredding fresh mountain powder, trying new restaurants and wine tasting are all on the menu. Mini Jimmy’s ’Tis the season to warm up with wine and spirit tastings at Mini Jimmy’s, a new intimate speakeasy within Jimmy’s restaurant. Choose from a delicious selection of spirits like mezcal, Scotch or Japanese whiskey, or your choice...

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When John F. Kennedy convalesced at Castle Hot Springs following his World War II duty, he didn’t have Instagram to distract him. Founded in 1896, the health and wellness resort catered to prominent clans like the Kennedys, Roosevelts and Wrigleys before falling into disrepair and closing in the 1970s. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, it reopened to the public last year, and launched its current season in October (it’ll be open through May then close for...

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Scottsdale-based HomeSmart International CEO Matt Widdows saw rampant check fraud in his industry and others. His solution: ValidCheck, an eCheck product that eliminates third-party verification (and therefore the sharing of bank information) and does not require payees to download an app or register. Everything is done online. Packages start at 50 eChecks for $30.

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In October, Gilbert real estate/restaurant maestro Joe Johnston announced his latest project, Epicenter at Agritopia, was pre-leasing retail space. The mixed-use endeavor is in the heart of Johnston’s idyllic Agritopia community and boasts a number of cool tenants in its 49,000 square feet of retail space. Look for: Phoenix favorites Matt’s Big Breakfast and Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup have locations in Epicenter. Wylde Salon, Hooligan’s Barbershop and Bunky Boutique have all set up shop in...

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