Lake Havasu City; Willcox; Flagstaff


41st annual Polar Bear Day

So it’s a little chilly. The folks in Lake Havasu don’t let that stop them from plunging into this 41-year-old wintertime tradition — and you can try it, too.

The Lake Havasu Boat & Ski Club awards a Polar Bear patch to those who leap into the lake — or ski, tube, wakeboard or air chair behind a boat. The club provides the boat, and skis and other equipment, if you need them. Just be sure to come in your swim suit, because wet suits aren’t allowed.

When you emerge from the frigid water, you can warm up by a bonfire and grab a serving of hot soup to thaw your insides.

DETAILS >> Noon on Saturday, Jan. 4. Nautical Beachfront Resort, 1000 McCulloch Blvd. $8 for adults, $5 for swimmers only and kids younger than 12. (928) 486-0106 or


Wings Over Willcox

Between the rugged peaks of the Dos Cabezas Mountains and the Dragoon Mountains in southeastern Arizona lies Sulphur Springs Valley, home to nearly 500 species of birds. Each winter, that population swells as about 30,000 sandhill cranes swoop in for a seasonal visit.

The human population also gets bigger: Thousands of nature enthusiasts and tourists flock to the town of Willcox to catch sight of the winged wonders.

The Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival offers a chance to see and learn more about the cranes, as well as dozens of other species, during a weekend of tours, seminars and a Nature Expo with activities for kids.

Tours should be reserved ahead of time online. A schedule of events is available there, too.

DETAILS >> Jan. 15-19. Willcox Community Center, 312 W. Stewart St. (800) 200-2272 or



This fourth annual fete, held at High Country Conference Center on the Northern Arizona University campus, features more than 25 local, regional and western breweries and more than 40 different craft beers, plus live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and wine tastings. And it all benefits Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona.

DETAILS >> 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. High Country Conference Center, 201 W. Butler Ave. $37 in advance, $40 at the gate includes admission, 16 samples of beer and wine and food tasting. VIP tickets are $80-$85 and include a VIP Luncheon with a chance to meet the brewers at 1 p.m. and early admission to the tasting. (928) 853-4292 or

Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

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