December 2018 Features

Experience-Based Gift Guide

‘Tis the season to gift, but if you’re on toy overload, consider gifting your family with experience. Here are some ideas both kids (and parents) might enjoy.

Go to Gammage

Fueling my kids with a respect for theatre is really important to me. I feel song, dance and story only enhances an individual’s creativity and imagination. Luckily, the 2019 lineup of Broadway shows coming through ASU Gammage are great for children.

First, Aladdin. The thrilling new production tells the timeless Disney story through a colorful, choreographed and cultural experience. The costumes and set are among the most beautiful on Broadway, and the magic carpet ride scene provokes gasps of delight. This is a must-see for families and a show kids will never forget. It runs January 31st– February 17th.

Next, Wicked. I’m biased because I’ve seen this show and it’s lovely, funny, and meaningful- your kids will learn some life lessons. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, boasting a smart, fiery, misunderstood spirit. You’ll be mesmerized by “the witch’s story,” and leave wanting more. Runs April 3rd– May 5th.

A Quick Getaway:

If you’re able to swing an adults-only escape, do Vegas “parents-style.” Surrender your clubbing days for a romantic dinner and show.

Spaggo at the Bellagio is Wolfgang Puck’s legendary flagship restaurant. Yes, the food is fantastic- the menu has plenty to choose from; however, the best part is the eatery’s location: beautifully situated for al fresco dining in front of the Fountains of Bellagio. Request a window spot to score a first-row seat at the Vegas spectacle; so romantic!

Another dinner pick for culinary parents is Aureole at Mandalay Bay. There’s an awesome tasting menu accompanied by a variety of vino (yes, please!). The kicker: there’s a four-story wine tower accompanied by a bungee-leaping lady who fetches the bottles for you!

After dinner, you gotta see Michael Jackson ONE. Who doesn’t love MJ?! Seriously, this is the most magical show you’ll ever see. It’s as if Michael’s spirit lives, as performers sing and dance to all of your favorite hits. Spoiler: it snows. Another spoiler: MJ’s silhouette makes numerous, touching appearances… it’s as if he’s there. The Cirque de Soliel show will leave your feet tapping and your heart thumping.

Easy Ideas They’ll Love

If you’re looking for an easy go-to, here are 10 simple things you can gift your kids rather than something wrapped.

  • Museum/aquarium/zoo passes (for educational entertainment)
  • Lessons: swim, dance, sports, cooking, art, etc (for those who love learning)
  • Local and national state park passes for a year (for your mini adventure)
  • Sporting tickets (for your football enthusiast)
  • Mommy + me music classes (great for new mamas!)
  • Gift of charity (let the child decide where to donate)
  • College fund donation/year fees for school (hint-hint, grandma)
  • A plane ticket (to visit someone special)
  • Flower/herb seeds to plant a garden (gives ‘em something to care for)
  • Passes to an attraction (water park, amusement park, etc)

Written by: Nadine Bubeck

Nadine Bubeck is a TV Personality, author, lifestyle blogger, and fashion designer, having founded Mama B. Designs: boutique apparel that benefits March of Dimes. The Valley-based parenting contributor is a blessed boy mom times three. (

Interested in Advertising?


Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and stay connected with North Phoenix Family. Our eNewsletter is designed to make your family life easier and a lot more fun! We’ll deliver inspiring stories right into your inbox along with local family resources, product recalls, upcoming events, and more! Sign-up now!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Email Format