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Raising Arizona Kids

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Holiday gift experiences for all kinds of kids

Holiday shopping is in full swing. If you’re trying to find the perfect present for older kids or preteens, think outside the box. What are their interests and personalities? Consider these local holiday gift experiences for the kids in your life.

Voices, music studio, Phoenix, Arizona, kids

Voices student participates in an open mike night. Photo:

For the musical kid

Do any of your nieces or nephews love to sing or serenade you at the piano every time you come over? Are they begging you to watch just one more episode of “The Voice” or “Glee?” There are lots of hands-on musical experiences to offer kids who love music.

Voices Music and Arts Studio in Scottsdale offers piano, guitar and ukulele lessons, along with acting and singing lessons. With a variety of choices, you’re sure to find the right fit for the girl or boy you know who loves to sing, act or play an instrument.

Take them to watch a musical at Desert Stages Theater in Scottsdale. Current shows include “Annie Jr.,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” An evening at the theater will create lasting memories.

Ice Den, Phoenix, Arizona, Kids, ice skating, hockey

Young skaters at Ice Den. Photo:

For the sporty kid

Does your preteen or teen son or daughter love to be outdoors or enjoy an active lifestyle? Take them on several easy and moderately challenging hikes around the Valley. Voted one of the best hiking cities in the U.S. by National Geographic, Phoenix has a variety of fun trails for kids to enjoy. Check the Phoenix Parks and Recreation website for a trail near you.

Snow doesn’t usually fall in the Valley, but if you’re looking to share a “cool” cold experience together, try a family skate night at the Ice Den in Scottsdale. And when you get chilly, sneak out of the rink for some warm hot chocolate.

Changing Hands, bookstore, Arizona, Phoenix, Tempe, kids

Everyone is welcome at Changing Hands Bookstore. Photo:

For the book-loving kid

Some kids enjoy curling up with a good book and getting carried away reading adventures of characters they adore. Whether it’s Junie B. Jones or Harry Potter, younger and older kids alike will love exploring these books at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix and Tempe. Changing Hands regularly hosts local authors and offers opportunities for kids to participate in fun projects and costume storytime.

For the artsy kid

Know any kids who love to work with their hands? Carrie Curran Art Studios in Scottsdale offers kids the chance to explore their artistic side and experiment with paint and a canvas. The studio is running two three-day Kids create during SCHOOL BREAK! workshops for ages 6 and up Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 21 through 23 and Dec. 28 through Dec. 30. Weekly after-school classes are also available.

Carrie Curran, art studio, Scottsdale, Arizona, art classes, kids

A young painter is absorbed in her class at Carrie Curran Art Studio in Scottsdale. Photo:

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Rudri Bhatt Patel

Rudri Bhatt Patel, of Phoenix, is a writer, editor, former attorney and the mother of Nandini (11).

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