Phoenix AZ Marriage Law Guide Arizona

How to Get Married in Arizona

Congratulations! You had the perfect marriage proposal and now you’re getting married in Arizona. How do you make sure you’re doing it legally and correctly?

It’s not complicated to get married in Arizona, but you will need to make sure your documents are all in order. This guide will answer your questions and walk you through the steps to getting your license and having the ceremony performed.

Getting Married in Arizona: Quick Facts

  • There is no residency requirement in Arizona.
  • There is no waiting period after getting a license. You can get the license and get married the same day.
  • The license fee is $83.

Who Can Get Married in Arizona?

Anyone who is at least 18 years old can get a marriage license in Arizona. Both members of the couple must apply for the license together. It won’t be valid if just one of you shows up for it.

What If You’re Under 18?

If you’re under 18, you can still legally get married, but only in certain circumstances. You will have to provide the following legal documentation.

Parental consent. If you’re under 18, you must get a notarized parental consent form signed by your parents or legal guardian. If you prefer, or are unable to get the form notarized ahead of time, your parents or legal guardian can accompany you to the clerk’s office. They’ll have to sign the paperwork in front of the court clerk.

Birth certificate. A birth certificate is required for any marriage applicant who is 16 or 17. You can bring an original or a certified copy.

Court order. If you’re 15 or younger, you can only get married by court order. To obtain a copy of your court order, you can call the Conciliation Court at 602-506-3296.

Getting Your Marriage License in Arizona

Where Do You Go?

You go to the superior court of any county in Arizona. It does not have to be the one you live in or plan to marry in. Ask for the clerk of the court or marriage licensing office.

What Do You Need to Bring?

Valid, government-issued identification. This must have a photo and be valid. You can use:

  • Driver’s license or state identification card.
  • Passport.
  • Military identification card.

You should also bring social security numbers if you have them.

What Happens at the Marriage License Office?

You’ll present all the necessary identification and paperwork. Then you both sign an affidavit stating your intent to get married and a second affidavit stating that your personal information is correct. You pay the fee and receive your license.

Once you have the license, you need to perform the marriage ceremony in order for your marriage to be legally binding.

Requirements for the Marriage Ceremony

Just getting the license doesn’t mean you’re married. You still have to have a marriage ceremony. Luckily, the license is valid for one year, so you have plenty of time to plan your ceremony.

If you’re in a hurry, you can head over to a qualified minister, court clerk or justice of the peace the same day.

Who Can Perform the Marriage Ceremony?

You can have the ceremony performed by:

  • a member of the clergy;
  • a judge;
  • a magistrate;
  • a justice of the peace;
  • a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town;
  • a clerk of the circuit court.

Do you need a wedding or engagement ring to be married?

Well its not like you have to have a loose diamond mounted into the perfect engagement diamond ring…your going to want to consider what your partner may want to make the ceremony official.

Do You Need Witnesses?

You need two witnesses. They must both be over 18. Once the ceremony has been completed, the witnesses, the officiating minister and the couple must all sign the license.

The officiating minister or clerk must turn the signed license over to the clerk of the Superior Court within 30 days.

Requirements Specific to Arizona

  • You can use the license anywhere in Arizona.
  • There is no blood test requirement.
  • You don’t need a copy of your divorce decree.

Other Forms of Marriage: Covenant Marriage

Arizona recognizes covenant marriages. It is one of only three states that do, along with Arkansas and Louisiana.

If you are entering into a covenant marriage, you will need the same paperwork and will have to pay the same license fee of $83. In addition, you must bring a signed, notarized statement from the minister or counselor who conducted your premarital counseling.

The statement must say that you were told in detail what a covenant marriage involves. It must also state that you were given a copy of the booklet Covenant Marriages in Arizona, which is published by Arizona Office of the Courts.

At the licensing office, you will both sign the marriage license affidavit and the Declaration of Intent to Enter Into a Covenant Marriage.

Other Forms of Marriage: Common Law and Proxy Marriages

Arizona does not recognize common law marriages or proxy marriages.

Are Same-Sex Marriages Legal?

Same-sex marriage is legal in Arizona. A couple must apply for the license in the same way, pay the same fee and meet the same requirements.

What About First Cousins?

Arizona allows first cousins to marry if both parties are over 65. If one or both are under 65, they must provide a notarized affidavit from a doctor showing that one or the other is incapable of having children.

Getting Married in Arizona is Easy

Arizona makes it easy to get married. If you have your identification in order, you can walk into a country courtroom, get your license and perform the ceremony all on the same day. If you have any questions that haven’t been covered here, contact your county court clerk for more information.

AZ Marriage Proposal locations

AZ Marriage Proposal Locations

If you live in Arizona and are looking for the perfect spot for a one-of-a-kind marriage proposal or engagement ring, you are in luck. There are lots of great places in the state to pop the proverbial question. What’s more, in many of these places the people who work there are more than willing help you if you give them some advance notice.

Here are some of the best places in Arizona to propose:

1. Gardens

Gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for a wedding proposal to start the perfect engagement. One of the best gardens for this is also one of the largest gardens in the state: the Desert Botanical Garden. You will find no shortage of beautiful spots there, and if you are looking for something really special, you should check out one of their night tours.

Another great garden spot is the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, where you will find a lot more greenery.

2. Romantic Restaurants

There are a number of romantic restaurants in the state that provide the perfect opportunity for popping the question. One of the best is Different Pointe of View, which offers great food and incredible desert views. Another wonderful choice is Quiessence by South Mountain, which more than once has been named the most romantic restaurant in the Valley of the Sun.

3. Hikes

If you and your loved one enjoy the great outdoors, a hike can be a great place to propose. One of the best locations in the state is the Baldwin Trail in Sedona. This 3.3-mile hike provides amazing views of both Oak Creek and Cathedral Rock.

4. Hot Air Balloons

If you are the adventurous type, you might want to consider proposing in a hot-air balloon. You can book a ride over the desert with Fleur de Tucson, which also offers complimentary champagne brunches along with them.

5. Desert Picnics

If you are looking for an intimate and unique location to propose, a good choice is a desert picnic. One of the best spots to do this is by the Sabino Canyon, which provides views galore. All you have to do is pack the perfect picnic lunch.

6. Sports Stadiums

If you and your loved one are sports fanatics, proposing at your favorite stadium can be a sure winner. Many stadiums in the state will even announce your proposal on the scoreboard for a fee, and Chase Field takes this one step further by recording the event.

7. Ski Lifts

Ski lifts provide a terrific backdrop for popping the question. What’s more, a number of lifts in the state are in service year-round. If you do choose this route, though, just be careful not to drop the ring.

8. The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon provides almost limitless locations for proposing. So, you will be certain to find just the right one that will work for you and you will not have to figure out what she wants by dropping hints because everyone loves the Grand Canyon.

9. Waterfalls

There is nothing more romantic than a waterfall, and there is an abundance of terrific ones in Arizona to choose from. Among the best waterfalls in the state are New Navaho Falls and Fossil Creek.

10. State and County Fairs

Those who enjoy fairs will find them a great place for proposing, and there are many state and county fairs to choose from in Arizona. Once there, the top of a Ferris wheel can be the perfect location for popping the question. It is certainly a lot better than doing it on a Mega Drop.

11. The Scottsdale Love Sign

The Scottsdale Civic Center provides a simple but cool location for proposing to get married. There you will find a giant red Love sign where you can bring your loved one.

12. Open Roads

Arizona has no shortage of romantic open roads to start off on a marriage, honeymoon or get engaged with a proposal. Just get in the car and start driving, and you will know when you have found the perfect spot for a proposal.

Phoenix Air Conditioner Problems Most Common

Phoenix Air Conditioner Issues and Concerns in Summer Months

As the warmer months draw closer, it becomes important to consider the condition of your air conditioner. After sitting unused for months, problems may develop from that lack of use or pre-existing problems may worsen now that you need to rely on the unit. Knowing how to pinpoint problems and how to address them can save you money, while ensuring your unit is in peak operating condition when you do need to rely upon it. Here is a list of the most common problems you’re likely to encounter as you check your air conditioning unit.

 

Identifying Capacitor Problems
The capacitor is located inside your air conditioner’s condenser and it’s job is to keep your air conditioner’s motors operational. Just like any other piece of machinery, the capacitor will burn itself out from time to time. You’ll know it will need to be replaced when your air conditioner won’t kick on or will stop functioning on its own. It’s not uncommon for blown capacitor to result in the unit blowing warm or hot air. When the capacitor is no longer functional, the air conditioner may also produce loud noises when you attempt to use it. The best way to keep your capacitor functioning for a longer period of time is to regularly check the condenser’s filters and clean or replace them as needed.
Spotting the Causes of a Leaking Air Conditioner
In almost all cases, the air conditioner is leaking because the condensate drain is blocked. The normal functioning of the air conditioning unit creates condensation, but the condensate drainage system is in place to draw the moisture out of the system and carry it outside of the house. Flooding or other external conditions may block this system and cause the drain to back up. As a result, the air conditioner will start leaking water. Although the air conditioner may still be operating, it’s important to call for service to repair this leak. Left unresolved, this can cause water damage to the home and may encourage mold growth.
Poor Coolant Levels
Just like your car, your air conditioner relies on a coolant, which is called Freon, to operate efficiently. If your unit develops a leak, the levels of Freon will be reduced and your unit will have difficulty cooling your home. This is another situation that can result in the unit blowing warm or hot air while in use. The best way to resolve a coolant leak is to request a service call from an experienced technician. An A/C technician can pinpoint the source of the leak, so it can be patched or repaired. In some cases, it may be difficult and costly to repair the leak, so you may find it more cost-effective to keep refilling the Freon levels.
Using the Air Conditioner Trips the Breaker
This is more of an electrical problem than a mechanical issue. Typically, there is an exposed wire in the condenser and, as you turn on the air conditioner, that wire makes contact with the metal casing. This, in turn, overloads the circuits. The most common solution to this problem is replacing the condenser entirely. While that may represent a significant cost, it will help you eliminate a potential fire hazard. Continuously tripping the breaker is an electrical danger that can cause a fire to break out unexpectedly.
Are You Experiencing Wacky Climate Controls?
Today, most homes rely on highly sensitive electronics to control the climate in their homes. Like any type of computer, your HVAC system’s controls rely on a sophisticated control board to manage these settings. When that control board becomes faulty, you may experience difficulty in maintaining settings. Your system may seem to have a mind of its own, making changes you didn’t program into the system. If this is the case, you will likely have to consult a technician about replacing the control board.
Pests Create a Bigger Problem
Rodents, birds, and insects may infest your condenser and create larger repair problems. Whether they nest inside the unit or simply urinate on moisture-sensitive components, the damage they cause can be significant. In addition to disrupting the functionality of the system, pest damage can also be identified by foul odors accompanying the air processed by the unit.
Watch for Normal Wear and Tear
Over time, components, such as wires, cables, and connecting ports, can become worn and brittle. As time goes on, they can tear or break apart, which will result in decreased efficiency of the unit or a complete breakdown. To prevent this situation, regular evaluations conducted by an A/C technician can identify problems and repair them, before they cause mechanical failures.

Your Compressor May Be at Fault
The valves in your compressor may begin to fail at some point, especially if you have an older unit. This results in your air conditioner pushing out air that’s not as cool as it should be, which means it will take longer to cool your home. Your technician can test your compressor to ensure the refrigerant is being pushed into the system at the proper rate.

Get Your Condenser Coil Checked
The condenser coil is an essential part of the condenser, which cools the air and delivers it back into the home. If that coil is dirty or damaged, the air won’t be cooled as efficiently and it will be harder to keep your home cool. In this case, you’ll notice a rise in your energy bills, as well. More importantly, failing to have the problem corrected will put an extra burden on your condenser and that will shorten its life.

You Might Have a Faulty Sensor
Another problem that can disrupt the proper functioning of your system is a faulty sensor. A faulty sensor can cause the air conditioner to kick on when it should be off or to remain off as temperatures rise. Since the thermostat relies on a properly functioning sensor, a defunct sensor can be responsible for your inability to program and manage the unit.
The best way to identify problems early is to hire one A/C technician and work with that same company throughout the lifetime of your home. This will familiarize the technician with your home’s needs and with your budget, so he can offer you the best choices for your situation. Together with your A/C technician, you can provide the preventative maintenance your air conditioning system needs to function efficiently over a longer period of time.

We Buy Homes for Cash! Are These Companies That Buy Houses Real?

Are Cash For Home Deals A Good Idea?

‘We Buy Houses’ was a common name to refer to companies that purchase homes with cash before the internet age. These companies are currently referred to as opportunity investors. This new name is probably one that perfectly fits the business model of these companies.

The key word in the equation is opportunity. These companies seek out sellers in distress and who desire to sell a home as quickly as possible. Opportunity investors can usually close on a home in thirty days or less and are often not concerned with inspection contingencies. The process emphasizes speed and convenience.

These transactions are often greatly appreciated by homeowners who are desperate to rid themselves of a property that proves difficult to sell.

The Target Market

Companies that purchase homes with cash often advertise to homeowners experiencing a particular set of circumstances likely to result in a reduced price for the home. Opportunity investors are especially interested in:

  • Sellers with homes they have tried to sell for an extended period of time
  • Sellers involved in the divorce process.
  • Sellers who have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Owners who are planning to evict present tenants.
  • Homes that have been vacant for an extended time.
  • Homes that have been extensively damaged.

The Elimination of Fees And Commissions

Fast-cash buyers usually point out there are no fees and commissions involved with their transactions. However, listing agents often receive as much as 125 percent of the fair market value for a home, so the commission they make is well-earned.

Fast-cash buyers, in most cases, will not attempt to charge a commission for their services. To do so, would constitute a conflict of interest and open the company up to a lawsuit. The goal for these companies is to save every dime possible.

These companies most often process transactions with no aid from an outside agency and purchase title policies themselves. In some cases, they even ignore the need for title insurance.

If any companies ever request fees or a commission before a home is sold, it is a sure sign a scam is in play. Legitimate real estate agents only accept payment after the home his sold.

What Takes Place After You Call

If you make a call to an opportunity investor, you can expect them to immediately make an appointment to meet with you. An agent will likely come out to look at the home and inquire about the amount of the mortgage currently owed on the property. Many time no more money will be offered than is currently owed on the mortgage.

Do Opportunity Investors Pay Well?

The purchasing strategy for opportunity investors is to seek to pay the lowest price possible for a property. A general rule of thumb is for these companies to offer about 65 percent of the market value of the home.

In some cases, companies will temporarily take over the mortgage payments for sellers with the agreement the seller will pay off the balance of the mortgage with the money received from the purchaser. However, if the seller does not pay off the mortgage with the payment received for the home the seller will then become liable for the mortgage balance once more. These types of loans are referred to as ‘subject to’ loans and are considered illegal in many jurisdictions.

Fast-cash buyers make use of lines of credit or seek to raise pools of money to cash out sellers quickly. The less they have to pay the faster the payout can become.

Fast-cash buyers will then list the home to sell by traditional means and make s handsome profit in the process.

Are The Deals Worth It?

It will sometimes be difficult to find the benefit of accepting a fast-cash offer for a home. However, there are times when these deals make sense depending on your needs and motivation for seeking out this type of transaction in the first place.

There will be no waiting period for financing to clear from the purchaser and external repairs will usually not hinder the closing of the sale. Appraisals and inspections are usually taken off the table with these types of home sales.

Due Diligence

The first sign of potential legitimacy for an opportunity buyer is the company sign. The company name should be clearly displayed and a phone number should be present. A sign with only a phone number could be a cause for concern. Any legitimate business owner would be anxious to get their name out to the public every chance they get.

Next, check to see if the company maintains a website. If so, take a look around.

It is also a good idea to trace the phone number provided to a name. Some of these phone numbers will be routed through a third-party service and will not be traceable.

A little research into an opportunity investor may yield some surprising results. There are times when real estate firms will pretend through their signs and other forms of advertisement to be fast-cash companies to gain the attention of home sellers. If possible, they will list a home through conventional means. In some cases, this is a blessing in disguise.

When the name of the company is known, online reviews and the Better Business Bureau can be consulted.

A newly constructed, modern american home.

Conventional Alternatives

A full-service brokerage is probably the best alternative for anyone looking to sell a home. Fast-cash buyers are not concerned with many of the details regarding the transfer of real estate and can many times ignore pertinent procedure. This sets up the potential for significant legal pitfalls if the wrong aspects of a deal go unattended.

The difference between a deal that barely pays off the mortgage owed on a home and one that is lucrative for the seller can be as simple as making a few cosmetic repairs to the property and reaching out to a licensed real estate agent. You will receive cash through both alternatives but with a conventional buyer you will receive more money for your home and the buyer will obtain financing that will pay off the original mortgage.

There are other alternatives to selling a home for owners experiencing a true struggle locating a buyer. It is possible to rent the home for enough money to make monthly mortgage payments. You can also provide a lease to own option for interested parties who are unable to obtain traditional financing. Fast-cash buyers are not the only option for owners of a slow-selling property.

How to Prepare Your HVAC System and Air Conditioner for Spring

Tips For Getting Your HVAC System Ready For The Springtime
After a long, cold winter season the springtime can be a lovely change. Having the warmer weather where you can actually open up the windows in your home and let in that fresh air is something we all tend to look forward to. While you’re airing out and cleaning your home, it’s also a good time to prepare your HVAC system for the hot summer months to come.

It’s important to realize that you need to take proper care of your HVAC system in order to keep the air quality in your home fresh. Otherwise, you will be dealing with airborne allergens that can make those in your home with allergies unhealthy. With a clean HVAC system, you can be assured to keep your air quality high, energy bills low, and air conditioning repair costs to a minimum. To ensure your system gets cleaned appropriate, we encourage you to use the helpful checklist below.

Ventilation Cleaning

The ducting or ventilation system that runs throughout your home can drastically alter the air quality your home receives. It’s highly recommended that you get your ducts cleaned at least every five years by a professional. Most HVAC providers will offer this ventilation cleaning as part of their regular tune-up maintenance program. They can even offer to do an air quality test and an air-tightness test which can alert you of any issues that may currently be present with your home’s HVAC system.

Change The Air Filters

Many homeowners simply don’t realize just how big of an impact an air filter has on the quality of air in their home. We want you to realize that if your system has a dirty air filter, it’s just pushing around dirty air throughout your home. In addition, when the air filter becomes blocked with dirt and another residue, it makes it much more difficult for the air conditioner to do its job. This could lead to higher energy bills and you’ll end up putting more wear and tear on your system than necessary. It’s best to expect to change your filters every one to three months. The specific system that you have will tell you when you should replace your filters.

Seal Your Ductwork

While having your ventilation existent can help with the HVAC needs of your home, it’s only as good as the sealing job of the duct. If there are cracks or gaps in the ductwork, then it’s likely your system is running more than it has too. In most homes with ductwork that hasn’t been properly assessed within the last five years, about 30 percent of the conditioned air leaks through these cracks. This is a big problem that you can easily solve by having your ductwork sealed by a trained professional. This can assure that you’re not letting money slip through your fingers when it doesn’t need to be.

Physically Clean Your Outdoor Unit

We’re not talking about actually tearing apart your outdoor unit. Rather, you should physically clean around it. It’s common for things like twigs, leaves, and brush to get stuck in the grating on your outdoor unit. You can easily clean those intruders up so the debris doesn’t affect your unit. It’s a great idea to ensure there’s at least two foot around the outside of your HVAC unit that is free from foliage and other obstructions. Remember that plants have roots, so be sure to take that into account when planting your shrubbery. While we’re on the topic of cleaning your outdoor unit, it’s also a good idea to make sure your indoor vents are free from obstructions. A stack of clothes or a bookshelf can reduce the air flow throughout your home.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

If you are still dealing with the dial thermostat on the wall, it can do wonders for your electric bill to upgrade. Think of the regular schedule you have with your home. When you’re not home in the day time, the thermostat can allow for the temperature level in your home to drop. With a programmable smart thermostat, you can set the temperature of your system to increase 30 minutes before you’re expected home. This can help to save you a ton of money on electric bills as you’ll only be using the system when you need it most.

Call Your HVAC Provider For Your Spring Tune-Up Inspection

Every spring you should be in contact with your local HVAC provider to schedule your regular tune-up inspection. While there are many things that you can do for your own HVAC, it’s always a great idea to bring in a professional. They’ll be able to identify potential issues that you may have not noticed. This will give you time to save up the money to replace the parts that need fixed and prevent you from having to deal with an HVAC system failure later down the road. So that you better understand what a professional HVAC inspection is, let’s look at some of the tasks that will be performed when a technician comes out to your home.

  • Check voltage and amperage of your blower motor.
  • Test your thermostat to ensure it’s calibrated correctly.
  • Add lubricant to the bearings in your system to ensure they operate smoothly.
  • Flush out your drain and treat it with a anti-algae solution.
  • Check the pressure levels of your refrigerant.
  • Inspect capacitors, coils, fan blades, wiring and connections, disconnect box, contacts, and service valves.
  • Perform a ductwork inspection to see if there’s any energy loss.

Zillow is Buying and Selling Houses In the Metro Phoenix Area

Residents and home owners of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, colloquially known as “The Valley of the Sun”, are familiar with Zillow, a top-ranked website offering online home valuations. Users of the site can view properties, both on and off the market, and see Zestimates — Zillow’s free market valuations.

Zillow has been offering these free home appraisals for over a decade, and the estimated values have proven to be a helpful asset for real estate agents in their quest to connect with buyers and sellers. But now, Zillow is stepping up its game. For the first time ever, the Seattle, Washington company will begin to directly purchase and sell homes in the metro Phoenix area.

In 2018, Zillow expanded its Instant Offer program to include metro Phoenix and Las Vegas. This is welcome news for homeowners interested in selling. Now they can submit their home to the Instant Offer program, recently renamed “Zillow Offers” and receive an offer for their home in just 48 hours! They then have 3 business days to accept or reject the offer.

No Shortage of Buyers

Chief Marketing Officer for Zillow, Jeremy Wacksman, recently explained Zillow Offers stating that even in a robust real estate market, sellers are often stressed and desire a more seamless way to sell.  They even remarked how surprised they were to be saying “we buy houses in Phoenix Arizona now” These sellers often prefer the convenience of a quick sale over the prospect of getting top dollar. In fact, in 2017 several thousand metro Phoenix homeowners opted to sell their homes through Opendoor and OfferPad and enjoyed fast hassle-free sales.

The business model of these firms separates them from traditional home flippers who buy homes cheaply then invest thousands on major renovations before reselling for large profits. Instead, companies like Zillow have been dubbed “iBuyers” by the real estate industry due to the fact that they rely heavily on technology to complete most of the transaction online.

Zillow is new to the iBuyer game in the metro Phoenix area, so it’s still unclear how well the company will fair. The market in the region is already fierce for homes priced under $350,000, and a lot of that competition comes from other iBuyers.

Opendoor, located in San Francisco, first launched in the Valley in 2014. Public records show the company purchased about 1,600 homes in the area in 2017 and sold 1,500.

Nearby Gilbert, Arizona is home to Zillow’s other major competitor, OfferPad. Although it hasn’t been operating as long as Opendoor, OfferPad is a major player. Together, OfferPad and Opendoor purchased about 5 percent of the homes sold in Phoenix in 2017.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because Zillow is not the first “instant offer” company to enter the Phoenix real estate market. Both Opendoor and OfferPad already run similar programs, making it easy for homeowners to sell their homes quickly, without hassle, in just two business days. The companies then make minor repairs to the purchased homes and resell them to earn a profit. Zillow plans to follow this model.

What Do Local Real Estate Agents Think?

Kerry Melcher, General Manager of Opendoor’s Phoenix operation and long-time metro area real estate agent feels that Phoenix has become “ground zero” for this new type of residential real estate transaction. She also feels that Opendoor has a distinct advantage over its competitors stating that the company invented the “direct buying” model and was first in the market.

Other real estate agents in the Valley haven’t been so receptive to these new iBuyers, expressing concerns over loss of business opportunities when competing with large, well-financed companies that eschew the traditional sales model.

So, Zillow is facing some challenges as it enters this competitive market, but it’s well prepared. The company had partnered with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona, a move Berkshire has welcomed, saying it will help their sales executives compete with companies such as Opendoor. For its part, Opendoor has been expanding its relationships with local agents.

So what’s the takeaway from all this? Moving forward, the already competitive metro Phoenix real estate market is going to get even more so. This is fantastic news for homeowners looking to sell, but it’s going to make it even more challenging for first-time real estate buyers to find an affordable home.

10 Memorable Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday

Do you find yourself going crazy trying to plan the perfect birthday for your child, without dealing with the hassle of planning a party in Phoenix? My goal is to take some stress off of your shoulders and present 10 alternatives.

1. Amusement Park. Children love amusement parks! Why? There is so much to do. They can ride roller coasters, win prizes, watch shows, and eat delicious food.

2. Favorite restaurant. You can invite family and friends to have lunch or dinner at your child’s favorite restaurant. They can enjoy their favorite food, meanwhile spending time with their loved ones. Make it more fun by asking that the restaurant sing happy birthday to make your little one feel special.

3. Movie Theater. You cannot go wrong with taking your child to the movie theater. Make an exception and allow your child to eat candy, ice cream, popcorn, and maybe even have a small soda. They are sure to have a fun night!

4. Bowling. Invite a few of your child’s close friends and family to a fun bowling night. Many bowling alleys even have a small arcade inside. Your child will have a blast!

5. Favorite Place. Is there a place that your child absolutely loves going to? Whether it be a park, beach, or museum, pack some snacks and get ready to spend the day there or go play laser tag.

6. Day With Friends. Invite some of your child’s friends to spend a fun day at a place of their choosing. Take them to the zoo, an aquarium, or even just to have a picnic at the park! They will have fun no matter where they go.

7. Vacation. Plan a vacation, small or big. You can fly out to somewhere or even take a road trip. This will be both fun and peaceful and your child will enjoy a change of scenery.

8. Sports Game. Does your child enjoy sports? Take them to see their favorite sports team, if it happens to be in season. They will be psyched!

9. Slumber Party. Invite a couple of your child’s close friends over to your house for a sleepover. They can play games, watch movies, and maybe even bake.

10. Be A Tourist. We get so caught up with life’s responsibilities that we forget to have fun. Take a day to be a tourist and check out cool places in your city or a city nearby. This will be fun for the whole family!

At the end of the day, all that matters is that your child gets to be the center of attention on their special day. You don’t have to host a birthday party to ensure that their birthday is memorable.

Phoenix Graffiti Murals Hint at thriving Street Art Scene

In legal terms, graffiti is still considered an illegal sign of vandalism. It usually happens without permission. A mural is a type of graffiti but normally occurs when the owner of the wall requests it. However, graffiti art is alive and well in Phoenix, Arizona.

Its bustling streets serve as a blank canvas where the city’s artists display their visions of making neighborhoods more colorful. Roosevelt Row houses many of those murals. This creative district is located in downtown’s urban core. Many of the restaurant walls show off their painted murals here, but you can also find them in the local PHX art galleries.

Tato Caraveo is one of the main artists responsible for making vibrantly colored murals with distinctive character designs. One of his creations is displayed on Roosevelt Row. He has been making art since he was a child. In high school, he progressed to graffiti art and mural art. As an adult, his focus remains on the latter because he appreciates its form.

In his words, all art makes communities livelier. Adding color to any city, not just Phoenix, sets it apart from a beige world to which people have become accustomed. Murals make a city exciting and interactive with residents and visitors.

Caraveo usually creates murals simply for artistic value, not as a message canvas. However, some occasions call for message projection. Additionally, this type of art can inspire low-income youths to pursue art, and all communities have a chance to represent their voice even if it does end up getting removed quickly..

Hannah Reim was part of the ASU Graffiti Gang. This journalism sophomore once ran a website that explored graffiti in the valley. While this group no longer exists, it once focused on reclaiming graffiti as a positive expression. The website highlighted prominent signature murals and showcased the city’s graffiti culture.

She thinks that the creative process of graffiti is just as beautiful as the end result. Phoenix has many talented artists who show that graffiti isn’t a crime. Instead, it beautifies the city. She cites Bienvenidos a Arizona as her favored Phoenix mural.

Created by DOSE and Gennaro Garcia, that one does come with an important message because it functions as a response to one of Arizona’s controversial immigration laws. The mural definitely transferred the neighborhood. Visitors can view it to learn about the local art scene and to find out about the support system between the Native American and Latin communities.

Graffiti functions as a form of social art that transmits communication. Artists use it to connect with the public. Every piece of graffiti has an opinion behind it, whether it transmits an obvious message or not. That’s why it’s displayed on train cars or building walls.

Despite the big presence in Phoenix, graffiti is still underappreciated in the rest of the Phoenix Metro Area in Arizona. This applies especially when you compare it to other undervalued art forms, including painting and tattooing. Yet, the graffiti in the city is representative of the state as a whole. It’s about people’s origins, Hispanic culture and what people cherish about their origins.