Tag Archives: family fun

Josh Welp

Josh Welp Joins Kitchell as Safety Director

Josh Welp has been appointed Kitchell’s new Safety Director.

Welp has more than 15 years of safety engineering experience, including six years as Safety Manager and then Site Safety and Health Officer at Sundt Construction.

Recent projects include safety oversight of a new $21M hangar and aircraft wash facility for B-52 aircraft at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and construction of a $20M dormitory renovation project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lackland AFB in Texas.

Welp received a B.S. in Safety Engineering from Kennedy Western University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Business from the University of Iowa.

Currently working on a M.S. in Safety and Environmental Management at Columbia Southern University, Welp holds various safety and risk certifications. He has received numerous awards including Projects of the Year from the American Public Works Association APWA (safety in the environmental category (Gilbert Water Treatment Plant), safety in the transportation category and safety in structures, among others).

In addition he was given the Project Safety Manager award of the year by Valley Metro Rail in Phoenix.

Welp will oversee safety programs for all Kitchell construction projects, bringing his extensive experience refined working on safety initiatives for highly regimented Federal projects to Kitchell’s diverse portfolio of projects.

 

Top 5: Family Fun Spots - Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

Top 5: Family Fun Spots (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Family Fun Spots — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Amazing Jakes

1830 E. Baseline Rd.,
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 926-PIZZA (7499)
amazingjakes.com
All-you-can eat pizza, pasta and salad, train riding, carousel, go-karts, laser tag, rock wall, bumper cars and 12 lanes of galaxy bowling.


Out of Africa Wildlife Park

3505 Camp Verde Bridgeport Hwy.,
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
(928) 567-2840
outofafricapark.com
At Out of Africa, you get a different view of wildlife. Exotic animals roam in spacious habitats, so you can see their natural behavior up-close. And, with exciting shows like the Tiger Splash and the Predator Feed, Out of Africa is like nothing you’ve ever seen.


Castles ~n~ Coasters

9445 N. Metro Parkway East,
Phoenix, AZ 85051
(602) 997-7575
castlesncoasters.com
More than 18,000 square feet of arcades, 300 games, roller coasters, water rides, a miniature golf course and an old-fashioned carousel.


Rawhide Western Town At Wild Horse Pass

3505 W. Highway 260,
5700 W. North Loop Rd.,
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 502-5600
rawhide.com
Arizona’s largest Western-themed attraction, with desert stagecoach and train rides, rock climbing, mechanical bull and more. Theatrical performances include shootouts, gun twirling and musical performances.


Challenger Space Center

21170 N. 83rd Ave.,
Peoria, AZ 85382
(623) 322-2001
azchallenger.org
An exciting space-themed learning environment where students, families and others fly simulated space flight missions and more.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

Out of Africa Entrance

An Out-Of-Africa Arizona Safari

Ever dream about a safari vacation in the Serengeti? Have your kids been begging you for a day where they can play with impalas and jaguars? (And I’m not talking about cars, you American junkie.)

Well, look no further than our own Southwestern jewel of Sedona for an African experience that’s Out of Africa … and this world.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park sits on 104 acres of land atop Mingus Mountain, overlooking the spectacular red rocks and San Francisco Peaks.arizona safari out of africa

In its 23 years, Out of Africa has held no boundaries. Founders Dean and Prayeri Harrison dreamt of a land where species could interact with one another as naturally as they do in Africa, and as their homepage suggests, “the concept of oneness is illustrated with unsurpassed majesty.”

Although I visited the park two years ago, my mother still talks about how she came to understand the expression, “you’re laughing like a hyena!” She saw them in action, laughing, well, like hyenas. My most memorable experience from the park? A giraffe steering his neck to lick pellets out of my hand; I really did feel at one with nature at that point.

Your standard jeep safari is a double-decker trolley that’s usually filled to capacity, but don’t let that turn you off; the tour-guide-slash-walking encyclopedia that knows everything you’d ever want to know about animals makes up for the crowded space. An ostrich egg, the world’s biggest egg, is even passed around to be admired — and boy, let me tell you, that thing is HEAVY. To be precise, they weigh 3 lbs on the average; that’s over 20 times the weight of a chicken egg!

arizona safari out of africa

Hope to see you soon!

If you’d like to keep it personal with your family, there are also more authentic, private tours that come equipped with a park guide and your dream jeep.

The park also has three once-daily shows. Unfortunately my family did not get there on time to watch these seemingly awe-inspiring shows. The Tiger Splash, everyday at 1:15 p.m., has Bengal and Siberian tigers playing fetch and swimming together all the while the MC teaches the audience about how various instinctual, animalistic behaviors become habits.

With the help of a stick and the fence between you, you can also feed a tiger for just $5 (daily at 2 p.m.). If you’d rather watch trainers do the feeding, every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 – 3:45 p.m., you can see just how much lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) eat as their caretakers lunge up to 800 pounds of raw meat their way in the Predator Feed.

Reptiles more your thing? The interactive snake show occurs daily at 2:15 p.m., where guests are able to touch, pet and hold the serpents as they wish. If you want to paint a big picture of the beauty of wildlife and each animals’ way of life, the best show to see is the Wonders of Wildlife, occurring Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. No matter what route you take, a day at the park is sure to be fun for the whole family, at any age.

The Arizona Safari park is open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving and Christmas day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission closes at 4 p.m. Children 3 to 12 are $20, adults are $36. Seniors and veterans/active military get discounted. Annual membership is also available.

Photo Credit: Sweet Evie

Glendale Glitters and Glow Block Party

During the holiday season, one area of Arizona outshines all others. The small, historic town of Glendale is lit up by more than one million Christmas lights that are strung throughout the trees and shine brightly on the small, antique homes and shops that compose the 12-blocks from Old Towne and Catlin Court Districts.



Photo Credit: Sweet Evie



However, one of the more popular events of the Glendale Glitter festivities takes place on Jan. 8, when the city hosts their traditional Glendale Glitters and Glow Block Party to finish their annual celebrations. From 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. friends and families will make up an attendance of more than 75,000 people who stroll the sidewalks of the district for one last chance to witness the twinkling, colorful lights.

Adults have the chance to enjoy looking through each of the antique shops, which are decorated for the holidays, for fine crafts and historic relics. The kids will be entertained by large, tethered hot air balloons as they are blown up to reveal fantastic designs and patterns from the glow of their flame. Together, families can feel the festive spirit from the multiple live bands and performers throughout the evening. Other kid-friendly and family-fun activities will be available, as well as an assortment of food vendors.



Photo Credit: Sweet Evie



Parking for the event is limited but if you can find a spot in the neighborhood, it is free. Otherwise, you can use the Glendale Community College parking lot where a free shuttle, which runs all night from 3:30 until 11:30 p.m., will take you to-and-from the night’s event. This event, like all of Glendale Glitters festivities, has no admission charge.

Ryan O’Meara Opens Outdoor Ice Skating Rink In Scottsdale

Olympian Ryan O’Meara Opens Outdoor Ice Skating Rink In Scottsdale

If you’re from Arizona, chances are you haven’t experienced Jack Frost nipping at your nose while skating around an outdoor rink.

Bust out your mittens, hats and scarves, Arizonans, because that’s about to change.

Olympic ice dancer Ryan O’Meara is bringing winter fun to downtown Scottsdale. The rink will sit outside of Palavela Home, the interior design store he owns with his mother Sue O’Meara, for the month of December, and is open to the public.

“For me it’s so different skating outside,” O’Meara says. “[I’ve] spent pretty much my whole life on a skating rink. … [But] it’s completely different feel.”

The rink isn’t just about family fun, it’s also about bringing attention to downtown Scottsdale retail stores in a rough economy, O’Meara says. With an outdoor rink, customers get a chance to explore the shopping opportunities while having fun, he says.

The rink is “a way to boost the downtown Scottsdale area, as well as giving back to the community,” O’Meara says.

O’Meara teamed the rink up with four local charities, giving each charity a week in December to call their own. Each week 15 percent of store and ice rink sales will be donated to the designated charity. The charities, in order, are Homeward Bound, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, the Arizona Chapter of The ALS Association and Ryan House.

O’Meara will be out on the ice with his partner, Emily Nussear, and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. a local amateur skaters will put on a free show.

But if you’re looking to stake out a piece of the ice to practice your triple salchow or quadruple lutz, you should call ahead. The rink can hold only 40 skaters at a time, and O’Meara strongly suggests you reserve a spot.

This is a unique opportunity to skate outdoors in winter weather that doesn’t give you instant frostbite, O’Meara says.

Wondering how the ice is going to stay frozen? The rink will be made of synthetic ice, which allows skaters to glide around as if on real ice, but without the added cost of refrigeration.

On a side note, Palavela Home is named for the arena O’Meara skated in during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. After retiring from skating, O’Meara transitioned to a career as an interior designer.

If You Go:
Palavela Home
4222 N. Marshall Way
Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251
Hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, except Dec. 23–25
Cost: $15 per 45-minute session–skates included
Reservations: 480-946-1006 or palavelahome@aol.com
www.palavelahome.com