February 14th is not just for romancing – it’s also the birthday of the state of Arizona! Just imagine a statewide birthday celebration. Where would you go and what would you do? Like any birthday party, you need all the right elements: cake, ice cream, presents, guests, games, and more. Here they are!
What’s a birthday without a cake? The word is out, for some of the best cakes in Arizona, head for Nadine’s Bakery and Card Shoppe in Tucson. Try their Chocolate Raspberry Cake, Red Velvet Cake or Rum Custard Cake. Mmmmm! And like the name says, you can pick out a birthday card while you are there having your cake and eating it too!
Solano’s Homemade Ice Cream Factory in Yuma. Party on with a great range if creative flavor sensations like Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut, Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel, Organic Guava, and Balsamic Strawberry. Or go way over the top with their amazing Maple Bacon Ice Cream.
You have to have presents, so head to Sibley’s West to unwrap an all-Arizona made unique selection of hand crafted and distinctive gifts. The store is the brainchild of John and Michelle Wolfe. This destination gift store in Chandler offers such only-in-Arizona items as Cowboy Cactus Salsa, State Forty Eight tee shirts, handmade in Arizona sandstone pens, as well as many spectacular Arizona books.
Fun and games are always part of a memorable birthday party. Try a bit of Hide and Seek at Antelope Canyon. Pin the Tail on the Donkey, as you descend the into the Grand Canyon. Want a more grown up game? How about bridge, as in the gorgeous Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at must-see Hoover Dam.
There are so many wonderful resorts that welcome guests to Arizona. Perhaps the most architecturally significant is the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, a Prairie Style masterpiece, whose long low wings are accented a lively and elegant textile block design by Albert Chase McArthur, with a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright.
Yes every birthday ought to have the surprise factor. So why not visit Surprise, Arizona! If you go in March you can really have a ball, at the Surprise Stadium for the spring training of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.
What’s a birthday party without balloons? In the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, you can go big with Arizona Balloon Safaris. Talk about adventure. Glide along over the wonders of the Sonoran Desert. It will make you feel lighter than air.
Music and Singing
These enliven every birthday party. In Apache Junction, head to the Arizona Opry, it seats about 500 of your closest friends, and before the music starts you can enjoy a delicious dinner you’ll long remember.
From Apache Junction, drive the historic Apache Trail, 48 miles of scenic beauty, alongside the Salt River’s “stream” of man-made lakes: Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake. AZ 88 passes through Tonto National Forest, Lost Dutchman State Park, Tortilla Flat and Roosevelt Lake. Your drive will end in Globe.
Make a wish in Sedona, at a darling candle shop called Sedona Candle Gallery. The handmade and hand-carved candles’ colors are almost as amazing as Sedona’s famous red rocks.