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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top January events for families in metro Phoenix, Arizona

January is a month for balloon festivals and fairs, from Glendale to Lake Havasu and Goodyear.

Welcome new beginnings. Welcome resolutions. January is filled with ways you and your family can meet goals and try new things. Whether you’ve been training for a marathon that rocks, or want to spend more time appreciating the arts, the Valley has some amazing events that will leave you and your family feeling refreshed and glowing to start off 2018!

Find more extensive day-by-day event listings at

First Day Hikes.

Jan. 1
First Day Hikes. Looking to start the New Year off in good health? Take a hike! “First Day Hikes” are part of a nationwide initiative by America’s state parks to encourage people to get outdoors. On New Year’s Day, hundreds of free, guided hikes are offered around the country.

Jan. 6
Glitter and Glow Block Party. Enjoy more than a million dazzling holiday lights and two dozen hot-air balloons glowing throughout historic downtown Glendale. This block party includes musical performances and food and is the last opportunity to see Glendale’s holiday light display.

Jan. 6 and 20
Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts. Formerly known as the Mesa Arts and Crafts Festival, this Saturday event features unique creations, music and fun for the whole family.

Jan. 7
Resolution Run 5K. Make your New Year health resolution count and enjoy the scenic views of Papago Park behind the Phoenix Zoo and the canal path behind the Desert Botanical Garden while getting exercise. Families and strollers welcome.

Jan. 7
ASU Women’s Basketball Annual Snow Day. Enjoy playing in the snow and complimentary hot chocolate starting at 12:30 p.m. in the ASU Arboretum before the Sun Devils take on Stanford at 2 p.m. Kids in eighth grade and younger get free admission; get $5 discounted tickets with the code RAK.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon.

Jan. 12-14
Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon. This year marks the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon’s 15th anniversary. Enjoy a Health and Fitness Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center Friday and Saturday, a new 1-mile fun run Friday night, a 5K and Kids Run on Saturday and the marathon, half marathon and 10K on Sunday. Live bands, cheerleaders and thousands of spectators help motivate runners, who can relax at the finish line and enjoy a post-race Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series featuring headliner band Everclear.

Jan. 12-27
Arizona Bach Festival. Four concerts over three weekends celebrate the works of Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, including world-renowned organist Dexter Kennedy and duo pianists Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia. Concert times and locations vary.

Jan. 13
Itty Bitty Open. The Junior Golf Association of Arizona hosts this event at 16 Valley locations. Free and open to ages 3-5, the event features clinics where juniors and their parents learn the basics of golf taught by qualified PGA and LPGA professionals.

Jan. 13-15
ACE Comic Con Arizona. Fans can experience everything the superhero world has to offer. ACE Universe brings the best of film, gaming, virtual reality, guest speakers, collectibles and comics and more all under one roof. Appearances by Stan Lee, Chris Evans (Captain America) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man).

Jan. 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day March and Festival. Celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. The 9 a.m. march begins at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 E. Jefferson St. in Phoenix, and concludes at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1200 N. Third St., with a festival that offers food, entertainment and speakers.

Jan. 18
National Winnie-the-Pooh Day. Happy Birthday A.A. Milne! Today is the perfect day to snuggle up with your favorite Pooh Bear (and a pot of honey) and read the adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Disney Follow Your Heart.

Jan. 18-21
Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart. This new ice-skating extravaganza features favorite Disney characters. Keep swimming with Dory, venture to a wintery world with Olaf, celebrate friendship with Buzz and Woody, cheer along with the Inside Out emotions, and see Cinderella, Rapunzel and Ariel make dreams come true.

Jan. 19
National Popcorn Day.
Why not celebrate it at a movie theater or by popping a healthy snack.

Jan. 19-21
Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair. Hot-air balloon mass ascension, night glow, sky divers, arts and crafts, antique and classic cars, carnival rides, dog shows, kids events, kite balloon rides (tethered and untethered), live entertainment and more.

Jan. 20
Doggie Street Festival. A festive adopt-a-thon and pet celebration that brings joy to deserving animals. Friendly pets and owners can discover favorite pet products and services. Enjoy yummy treats, a kids area and entertainment.

Jan. 23
National Pie Day.

Jan. 26-28
Arizona Balloon Classic. This is Arizona’s premier hot-air balloon race and festival. The morning sky will be filled with more than 30 colorful hot-air balloons, and during evenings, tethered hot-air balloons glow in time to music. This event also features a family-fun zone, tethered rides, entertainment, festival food and shopping.

Connect 2STEM.

Jan. 27
Connect2Stem. This free event aims to inspire kids, ages 4 to 16, to think about careers in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. Kids can try more than 100 hands-on activities, including the Wildcat Play Hospital, the Wildcat Water Lab and the Da Vinci surgery robot.

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Liz Petroff

Calendar Editor Liz Petroff is the mother of Jack (10) and Lucy (8). Send information about your upcoming events to [email protected]

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