VIP Airsoft Arena

Loading the magazine.

One of my sons hates pain, he plays defense in tackle football so he can hit and not get hit so he wasn’t that excited about trying out the @VIPAirSoft arena when he realized he’d be getting hit by airsoft pellets.  I instructed him and my other son on how to dress so the possibility of feeling the airsoft pellets hit them would be minimal.

They were dressed in two layers on the top and bottom.  Hoodies to protect their neck and head, in addition to their rental helmets and chest vests.  Gloves are also an added barrier (you must bring your own) that most didn’t have on, but my boys said they were clutch. 

I registered them online and signed a waiver, so the process was short and simple once we arrived.  The referees take time to explain the rules of the arena to ensure safety while the front of the house staff explained how to use the airsoft rifles properly.  They were all set.

My boys had a 4-hour session that included gear, 1000 pellets, and a rental rifle.  The boys spent an hour in the arena, which equated to two arena games and they were ready to go.  As my husband and I watched we thought it be a great date-night activity even for the adults. Give @VIPAirSoft a visit for kid and adult outings.  The boys said their experience was cool, but they’d prefer if one thing was added.

Airsoft rifles, magazines, and airsoft pellets.

My kids love their cousins.  They said next time they’d want all their cousins to join in on the fun to make the arena teams more competitive.  They both agreed the team vs. team would have been better if you know the people who you are fighting with and against because there would be more talking i.e. trash talking, strategy and the overall experience would be more personal.

Consider going with a squad for a more personable experience!

VIP Airsoft Arena have two locations:

3841 E. Baseline Rd., #K-133
Gilbert, AZ 85234

10870 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85028



Children’s Museum of Phoenix

My daughter is always game without question, so I ran the idea of checking out the Children’s Museum of Phoenix by my 11-year-old son and when he heard the word “museum” he said, Muuuseeeummmmmm!? Where there are statues and pictures hanging on the wall every where and we walk around and just look at them, he asks? I assured him it wasn’t that type of museum.

I knew he may me on the cusp of being too old to really enjoy the museum, but I thought what better way to gauge the proper age group for this outing than to get his opinion.

I gathered my two youngest kids, my sister, nieces, nephew, my best friend, her daughter and our Groupon and arrived at the museum in the early afternoon.

Admission to the museum was $14.95, but the Groupon allowed 2-person admission for the cost of $14.95 (1-year and under are free).

When we first walked in, to the left was an enormous jungle gym and the kids took off running.  The climbed all over the jungle gym and played at the nearby air-shoot. 

In the same area they had soft toys and blocks for the toddler-aged kids to explore.  My nephew was immediately drawn to this area.

They would have stayed in this area the entire time, but I set the timer and told them we had about 15 minutes remaining after being the area for about 20-minutes.

Next, we headed upstairs to the tricycle car wash area and the kids rode the bikes around the area for about 15-minutes.  There were several other exploratory activities along the way.

Headed up to the third and final level of the museum and the kids played on the rockers and nearly got kicked out of the foam maze for running.

The younger kids of the group found the play supermarket and kitchen entertaining and stayed in there while the older kids made friends and played walk tag in the foam maze.

Lastly, we spent time time in the gift shop checking out all the fun toys that were available.

We spent about two hours in the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  As the parents, we felt that was an adequate of amount of time.

Click below to hear the kids give their review of the museum and if they’d go back again.

The kids sharing their favorite part of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Groupon frequently has the Children’s Museum of Phoenix deal going on, but if not, the $14.95 per person cost is still worth a kid-outing for the day.

Check your local area to see if there is a children’s museum in your area.  Don’t forget to check for discounts.  Parents, you’ll love the discounts and the kids will love the museum outing.

Location visited:

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Things-to-Do, Travel

Dolly Steamboat Cruise

Who loves a great day-trip?  If it has the word trip in it, I’m in and if it’s near or on the water I’m all the way in.

The Dolly Steamboat has been in operation for 32 years, in Canyon Lake, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.  It was my sister’s birthday, so my mom, sister and I headed out to experience the timeless Dolly Steamboat Cruise.

Do you live near a lake or ocean or is a body of water accessible where you can hop on the highway for a quick day-trip?  If so, I encourage you to find out what types of activities are available to enjoy the serenity that water brings to one’s soul.

Years ago my mom went on the Dolly Steamboat Cruise (Dolly) with a women’s group and told me about it.  Not too much later, my husband and I went on the Dolly for our anniversary.  I’ve also kept the Dolly Steamboat cruise at the top of the list of things to do when anyone asks for non-typical things-to-do.

The ticket pricing is $25, with a $1.50 on-line convenience charge per ticket.  You can show up to the dock without pre-purchasing a ticket, same cost, but with no convenience charges.  The downside to this is you’re not guaranteed a seat on the boat.  All online pre-purchased tickets are checked-in first, then any remaining seating is sold.  If you’re anything like me, I suggest purchasing your ticket on-line to ensure a seat.

Dolly leaves from Canyon Lake, which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from my home, so we set out at around 11 a.m. for a 2 p.m. cruise departure (there are two daily cruise times noon and 2 p.m.)  It is recommended that you arrive 20-45 minutes ahead of your scheduled cruise time to get your pass for boarding.  We arrived 30 minutes before the window opened and were assigned the boarding positions, 51-53.

We already had our seats picked out, based on the view from the dock.  We scoped out the top deck, in the sun, on the back of the boat.  Whoever got there first had the task of ensuring we had three seats and table.  Mission accomplished.

The Scenic Nature Cruise is 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Five other cruises are available, including a Twilight Cruise that includes dinner.  On the Scenic Nature Cruise, we spotted several big horn sheep and two bald eagles.

The boat has a cash-only concessions bar (beer, wine, popcorn, candy, etc.).  We bought a couple of candy bars, $1.50 and a large bucket of popcorn, $5.50.  They have free water on-board, but you can bring your own.

The cruise is kid-friendly, and we plan to take our crew out for a little fun in the sun.  Tickets are $15 for children ages 5-12, $6 for children 1-4 and children under 1 are free.

There is ample graveled parking and a restroom on board, but if you’re smart, use the bathroom prior to boarding.

I would take the Dolly Steamboat Cruise time and time again.  Let me know if you go out, or if you search out a boating daytrip in your area.

Location visited:
Dolly Steamboat Cruise
16802 AZ-88, Tortilla Flat, AZ 85117


Dining Out, Things-to-Do

Lux Central Coffee Shop

I had a meeting to attend and it was up to me to choose the location, so I chose Lux Central.  The meeting started at 9:30am, and the place was packed.  Line out the door.  I was taken aback by that.  It is just a coffee shop after all, is what I thought.  Naturally, I immediately said this place must be GOOD!

We waited in line about 12 minutes, with a Lux Central staff member walking down the line taking orders.  Since I hadn’t been there before, I needed visuals and some direction.  She allowed us to work our way up to the glass case where the pastries were on display.  I made my order.  Blueberry muffin and the pretty coffee drink in a glass mug.  She asked, a latte?  I said, yes, and what does it take to make it sweet?  She said, caramel.  I said yes, a caramel latte and a blueberry muffin, please.

As we waited in line, we noticed that the seating was limited because everyone in Phoenix was at Lux Central that morning.  There were four of us, so we strategically scoped out where we could squeeze in.  Don’t be opposed to sitting with another person or two, everyone seemed friendly enough and knew this may happen at Lux.  There were many pockets of casually clustered seating all over the building and an outdoor seating area as well.  We luckily discovered a space for four and grabbed it.

I’m all about process and order.  I notice this everywhere I go.  When we ordered in the line, we waited in that same line until you get to the register to pay.  Once you pay, you hang out and wait for your name to be called.  As the drinks came out, they were placed on the counter next to the register where there is constant traffic of payees.  If drinks are not picked up timely, it’s a sea of orders all over the counter while you cautiously and others not so cautiously try to determine which drink is theirs.  This process could be a lot better.  The potential landing area for completed drinks should be relocated to allow for a more seamless process between the payees and the pick-up station, but I’m just a patron.

Lux Central

Anyhow, Lux Central not only has pastries and coffee, they also have a complete breakfast, juice bar and liquor menu.  Everything our group had (coffee, latte, blueberry muffin, croissant, hot chocolate, blueberry loaf) agreed their items were good and it was worth a return for full breakfast and coffee.

Lux Central is great meeting, study, and hang out space in central Phoenix, and I can see why the line is constantly out the door.  The vibe is legit.  I encourage you to visit a local coffee shop in your area and let me know what you ordered.

Live music tucked in the corner (visited on a Sunday).

Location visited:

4402 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Hours: 6AM – 12AM

Dining Out, Food Opinion, Movies, Theater, Things-to-Do

The iPic Theater Experience

We were chosen to try-out the iPic Theater in Scottsdale, AZ.  To be honest, I had researched iPic before and thought, whoa!  That activity is NOT in our family of six budget. As the mom who takes the kids to the movies before noon so that we only pay $5 for matinee tickets, I was ecstatic that iPic graciously extended an invitation and we were able to experience the luxuries of iPic.  Click the *link in bio* to check out what makes iPic theaters so luxurious. 

iPic provided us with a 4-admission ticket pack, so we bought pizza for the two “Littles” and dropped them off with grandma and the older boys, my husband and I headed to the theater. Upon arrival we were greeted by management and shown to our seating.  We were given menus and were told; everything is on the house.

My boys looked and asked, really?  Yes, we frequent our theater with the reclining seats, popcorn, snacks and drinks on-hand but this was different.  New plush reclining pod-seating for two.  Blankets, pillows, unlimited popcorn, a full menu + a Keto option, brought right to our seats.  I asked my husband to please check on me to make sure I didn’t fall asleep during the movie, that’s how comfortable the space was.  Let me tell you, we were there for ALL. OF. IT.

Photo Courtesy of iPic Theater

Seating was $27 per person, so $108 for the four of us. 

Here’s what we ordered from the menu:

Fajita Quesadilla $15 (my husband had a steak quesadilla, because he thought you can’t go wrong with steak, cheese and a flour tortilla shell)

Chicken Strips $15 (I had the chicken strips, because I’m simple)

Angus Burger Sliders $17 (both my sons had the sliders, because kids eat burgers)

Truffle Fries $12 (we shared 2 orders)

Drinks $3.50 (3 drinks, I share with my husband because I don’t drink much soda and it was free re-fills)

Toffee Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich $10 x 2 (we shared 2 between the four of us)

We also had popcorn, but remember, the cost is included in the cost of your ticket.

As you can see, the pricing is like real dining. I can say the menu was nicely done.  A little bit for everyone, from lobster rolls, salad bowls, flatbread pizza to Keto steak skewers.  Menu prices are online to view ahead of time, which is a major plus in my book.  All in all, the food was ok.  It lacked overall seasoning of the meats used. My husband ate all his quesadilla, and said he’d get it again.  I hate half of my chicken strips and took the rest home for lunch the following day. The boys didn’t eat all their food and didn’t care to take the rest with them.  We collectively gave the food a 3 ½ out 5 rating.

So, in total, our iPic theater outing was $246.50.  iPic certainly delivered what it set out to do and is worth all of what they provided, which is a luxurious movie going experience.  I’d visit iPic again, for a special occasion but when the whole family is in tow, we’ll stick to the theater up the street.

Location visited:
15257 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254