by: Editor on 1/18/2017
Throughout Arizona, national parks are waiving entrance fees on Martin Luther King Jr. Day so you can make the most of the holiday—and see the incredible beauty of the state. The Grand Canyon is by far the most famous destination with waived fees, but don’t forget to check out numerous national monuments, parks and more on a fun-filled weekend trip from Sedona.
Only on Monday, January 17th, fees will be waived as an homage to Dr. King’s life work. Visit Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and more. The National Park Service is boasting over a dozen fee-free celebrations in 2017, but the kickoff weekend is in January. Find out more about fee-free days at the official website.
Traditionally a “day on, not off, of service,” there are numerous options for volunteering in the Sedona area. One-day volunteer efforts are popular and a great way for visitors to connect with their adopted city. Head over to the local Volunteer Match website to connect with an opportunity that works with your schedule, or check out the Sedona Wish List for ways to donate.
However you celebrate, from heading to a park to checking out Dr. King’s works at a local library or volunteering, make the holiday weekend count.
by: Editor on 12/28/2016
Spending New Year’s Eve in Sedona? It’s a magical holiday here, especially for visitors who are used to a chillier start to the New Year! Feel free to wear your strappy shoes, dresses and lighter suits for a celebration in moderate Sedona temperatures. The Naughty Bits New Year’s Eve Party at Oak Creek Brewery isn’t nearly as scandalous as it sounds. Instead, you get just a $5 cover charge, a complimentary champagne toast, and free food after 10 p.m.!
The Creative ReVisioning for Your New Year: Ceremonies and Mystic Insights Retreat is a very Arizona way to begin 2017. An immersive experience, you’ll be treated to a personalized program in this nature-centric experience. The retreat location is on Highway 89A, with ceremonies located throughout the Sedona area. Find out more on the website.
Instead of heading to one of the many parties at bars, clubs and restaurants in the city, many visitors choose to head to a remote destination on the outskirts of town packing champagne and goodies to star gaze. No fireworks display can compete with the open Arizona sky.
A dusk hike, slipping away to a mom-and-pop restaurant for a special New Year’s menu, or simply ordering take out and snuggling up in your spacious guest room are all popular ways to ring in the New Year in Sedona. Whether you want to party, stargaze or keep it casual, you’re in charge of how 2017 rolls in!
by: Editor on 10/22/2016
One of the best parts of celebrating Halloween in Sedona is the weather—there’s no freezing in costumes, and you’re guaranteed to have a ghoulish night of revelry or trick or treating. In the nearby ghost town of Jerome, the city comes alive on Halloween with guided “spirit walks” offering tours of historic buildings along with some of the town’s sordid past. Group tours can accommodate up to 200 people but do sell out, so book your trip early.
Spook Hall has been Sedona’s biggest costume party for years, helping to raise funds for the local fire department. After 30 years of spooktacular fun, the event planners have this haunt down pat. The party rages until 2 a.m., and nearby bars and shops also participate, decking out the entire street in ghastly decorations. A cash bar and costume contest with themes being added each year make this adults-only party a must.
Treats and Tricks
In downtown Sedona, early trick or treating on the big day is offered compliments of local shops and vendors. Bring the little ones to a dusk gathering where many treats, and a sprinkling of tricks, can be found. You can also go door to door in one of the many neighborhoods, checking out decorations and sizing up costumes.
The Cliff Castle Halloween Costume Party on October 31 is another favorite option, where you can showcase your best garb in between playing slots or your favorite table games. Plus, the dining at the Cliff Castle is truly to die for!
by: Editor on 10/5/2016
Mark your calendars! October 8 and 9 is the annual Sedona Arts Festival at Red Rock High School, the “only festival in the world that’s out of this world.” Tickets are $12 at the gate or $10 in advance, and children 12 and under are free. Open 9 – 5 on Saturday and 10 – 4 on Sunday, it’s the major fundraiser for art education in Sedona. To date, over $300,000 in scholarships have been awarded from the event, and over 125 artists from around the nation are expected to gather in 2016 to compete, sell and showcase their artistry.
With the red rocks providing a work-of-art backdrop of their own, it’s the perfect weekend to discover new artists and pick up a keepsake from your Sedona trip. A myriad of mediums are available including ceramics, mixed media, photography, sculpture, drawings, metal, paintings, wood, fiber art, and jewelry.
At the “Art” of It All
For over 25 years, the Sedona Arts Festival has been a hub for artists and art lovers around the country. Many attendees flock from all parts of Arizona to take advantage of the biggest festival in town. Best of show winners are crowned at the culmination of the event, and you’ll have another chance to peruse the winner’s offerings.
Volunteers are the pillar of the festival, and you’re welcome to get involved with set up, gate management, artists’ support, work the info booth, sell raffle tickets on site, help with the KidZone, cleanup, and much more. Don’t miss out on this legendary gathering that’s family-friendly and close to your Sedona hotel.
by: Editor on 9/18/2016
The 8th annual Sedona Winefest kicks off September 24-25 where great food, music and, of course, wineries come together to celebrate the perfect glass of vino—and a weekend of fun! Tickets are available now, and securing them early is wise as this event can sell out. The 2016 Winefest is open from 11a.m. – 5p.m. both days at the Posse Grounds Park in the middle of Sedona. Local Arizona wineries are the headliners, along with food vendors highlighting some of the best and most innovative grub in the region.
Enjoy stunning views of the red rocks as you sip on the best wine of the year (and years past!). Tickets are on sale until September 23 at early bird prices of $25, and admission may be available at the door for $30. Saturday is the busiest of the festival, and door sales do temporarily close when the event is at capacity.
Every admission includes eight tasting tickets as well as a commemorative glass. You can purchase additional tastings, including a special 24-ticket bundle for just $20. Parking is plentiful and free, including a number of handicap accessible spots. This year is slated to be the biggest and best yet, hosted by Sedona Pines Resort, and with Verde Valley and Southern Arizona wineries pouring up specialty wines that you can’t get anywhere else.
Head to the Education Tent for a number of mini seminars from wine experts, and don’t forget to enter the raffle drawings throughout the day.
by: Editor on 9/2/2016
At Yavapai College (OLLI) in the heart of Sedona, September 9-11 marks the first annual Sedona Book and Arts Festival, with authors, actors and artists on site. This year’s theme is “a story runs through it,” and attendees will get the chance to get books signed and photos snapped with their favorite authors and artists. Theatrical energy runs strong at this event, with authors creating the words for actors to play out amidst gorgeous backdrops and with stunning visual images.
It’s a one-of-a-kind festival that blends the literary, artistic and theatrical world with a slew of workshops for attendees of all skill levels. Join a seminar to learn more about creative crafts, or head to an intimate reading with one of your favorite authors. This first year is an experimental one, and attendees are encouraged to share, explore and contribute.
Teaching the Craft
Distinctive teachers in a myriad of fields are coming together to make this year special. Wear flamboyant costumes if you like! Dress up as your favorite character from a book or movie—or simply come as yourself. Costumes aren’t required but are encouraged. This is an “anything goes” type of Sedona event that’s expected to grow and thrive in coming years.
Exhibitors are still welcome to apply, and you might be able to squeeze in last minute by registering online.