This part of the world is finally starting to cool off and with these safe temperatures come exciting outdoor events. Although August’s total solar eclipse wasn’t visible from our state, there are some observatories in our area where the family can get close and personal with our solar system this fall. Also on the list for October: family-owned seasonal farm, DIY events for all ages, and a sweet taste of locally-made chocolate.
Planetarium at Mesa Community College
During the spring and fall semesters, the observatory at MCC is open to the public on the first Friday of the month. Introduce the kids to a college campus experience as you get a closer look into space. The college provides a free show that runs every thirty minutes from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., and tickets are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.
Location: 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202
Small families with brand new kiddos will love this adorable pumpkin patch in Glendale. Coupons for $2 off the Pumpkin Days and the Corn Maze events at this family-owned farm are available on their website (http://www.tolmachoff-farms.com). The price can climb quickly for families with older children and toddlers; however, children two and under qualify for free admission! The farm opens at noon, and for daily closing times check out the website mentioned above.
Location: 5726 N 75th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85303
Price: $12 each (without coupon).
Cerreta Candy Company
Go behind the scenes of this chocolate company and watch these artists at work! Following a free 30 minute guided tour of this local chocolate factory, families can pay to build their very own tiny chocolate pizza. Tours run Monday through Friday, no reservation needed, with a morning tour (10 a.m.) and an afternoon tour (1 p.m.).
Location: 5345 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301
Price: Free! $12.50 for the chocolate pizza.
Home Depot Workshops
All those living in the Valley can use the store locator on Home Depot’s website (see location) to find specific DIY workshops and activities in nearby stores. For example, the store located at 6880 W Bell Rd in Glendale offers decorative wooden ladder workshops for moms and DIY pencil box workshops for kids.
Location: Find the Home Depot nearest to you: http://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#change_store
Gilbert Riparian Preserve Nature Events
This Riparian Preserve is equipped with a free observatory and special events depending on the month. On the second Friday of the month the observatory hosts a special astronomical presentation in the evenings. On the 22nd of October there is a morning Butterflies and Dragonflies Walk. These events are open to families and are free; however, donations are welcomed. The park opens at 5:30 in the morning and closes at 10 in the evening.
Location: 2757 E. Guadalupe Road Gilbert, AZ 85234
Price: Free! Donations suggested.
Compiled by Heather Kidder, The Arizona Beehive