arizona attractions, community

Coming Out of Hibernation

Between the desert temperatures of summer and my carrying Baby TicTac, I have been hibernating inside my house for the summer. Recently, we’ve been venturing out of our cave bit by bit over the last few weeks.

At the end of September, we visited the Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater to take in a performance of Ballet Under the Stars by Ballet Arizona. While sitting outdoors by a lake after sunset and watching beautiful ballerinas dance across the stage seemed like a nice idea, it was really too hot to comfortably enjoy the out of doors. Silas didn’t seem to mind the heat as he pranced around on the grass imitating the dancers as best as his little body could.

Our second September attempt at an outdoor activity didn’t fare any better I’m afraid. Saturday, September 29th, was Museum Day sponsored by the Smithsonian magazine. For free admission to a participating museum, we chose the Desert Botanical Gardens of Papago Park. I had heard so much about these gardens that I wanted to be sure we had a chance to visit them since we live so close.

The gardens were full of many different varieties of cacti and desert plants. There were several types of desert flowers I hadn’t noticed before. However, it was hard for me to enjoy the experience in the 90-some degree heat. We did visit the butterfly pavilion where we saw several Monarch butterflies up close. I’m glad for the chance to see the gardens, but perhaps a different time of year would be more ideal.

October made its entrance with triple digit weather, but we were happy to find it had cooled off after we returned from Indiana! Our first Friday back home was especially nice, so we jumped at the chance to take in a high school football game. It was cool enough to warrant hot chocolate, so I made a quick thermos-full, and we watched the Estrella Foothills Wolves play the Wellton Antelopes.

The next day was a trip to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. We discovered this park via the MOMS Club of Goodyear South that I joined this summer. The club had planned a family day during the park’s Railfair, and we joined in the fun. The park boasts a carousel, a mini train that takes families for a ride, several playgrounds, an Old West play area, Snackstop, railroad exhibits, model train exhibits, and a general store.

Silas loved seeing the model train displays and pushing the buttons to make the trains go. (One of his favorite phrases these days is, “Push the button”). We rode both the train and carousel twice, but the train was definitely his favorite. I plan to revisit the park since there’s so much to do. I hear they have a pretty cool light display around Christmas time!

It’s been fun to get to know the other stay-at-home moms in my community through the MOMS Club. Silas and I have done a few activities with them, and our most recent was the mini-pumpkin bedazzling at a nearby park. He covered his pumpkin in glittery stickers and learned to say “pumpkin.” Those stickers got rearranged quite a few times!

These days the sun sets around 6pm, so it’s dark by the time Stephen gets home from work. We’ve taken to walking down the street to collect the mail or letting Silas ride his bike around the block after dinner.

Last Saturday night we went to the Goodyear Ballpark for the annual G.A.I.N. event (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods). All sorts of community services and businesses were represented, including the Goodyear Fire Department. Silas loves to point out fire trucks, and he knows that “fire trucks help people.” So cute to hear him say that! He got a close-up view of a fire truck and even got to sit on the bumper and pretend to spray the hose.

We snagged some goodies and free samples as we visited the many booths. Silas and Daddy visited the petting zoo, but the inflatable bouncer was probably his favorite. Now that Silas can actually get his feet off the ground when he jumps, he loves practicing his new skill.

There’s a lot more outdoor fun headed our way since my cousin Laura and her husband Chuck will be visiting us this week. Can’t wait to show them our little corner of the desert!


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