After weeks of playoff matchups and a harrowing few days of frigid, travel-delaying weather, Super Bowl Sunday has arrived. But for some among us, the storied showdown really only means one thing: Find an escape hatch, pronto. If watching the game and grazing on tailgate-style food isn't your idea of fun, here are some alternatives that go beyond the fall-back strategy of shopping while the stores are empty.
After a brutally cold start that delayed tee times most mornings due to frozen turf, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is in full swing, with PGA heavyweights vying for their share of $6.1 million in prize money. Nevermind if you don't like golf; the tournament is among the best attended events on the circuit because fans enjoy coming out to soak up the Arizona sunshine and drink cold beer. Thanks to the frost delays, there's a good chance golfers will play extra holes today. TPC Scottsdale, 17020 N. Hayden Road. General admission is $25, and free for kids 17 and younger with a paid adult. (480) 784-4444 or wastemanagementphoenixopen.com.
Running Of The Gourds
You've got hours to kill, so a drive to Casa Grande might just be worthwhile for Wuertz Farm's "Running of the Gourds." It's a festival featuring thousands of dried gourds for sale, more than 100 gourd artists and vendors, a sailing "regourda," a live "gourder" horse and gourd musicians. If that's not enough to drive you out of your gourd, there are also "gourdster" races, gourd games and a visit from Flash "Gourdon." Food booths and live entertainment round out the quirky fun. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Pinal County Fairgrounds, 512 S. Eleven Mile Corner Road, Casa Grande. $6 admission; free for kids 12 and younger. (520) 723-4432 or wuertzfarm.com.
Glendale Chocolate Affaire
The face-painted men bumping chests and making macho nachos in your kitchen at home will be but a distant memory once you get whiff of the decadent chocolates offered up at the 16th annual Glendale Chocolate Affaire. You'll find 30 chocolatiers, wine-tasting, horse-drawn carriage rides and autograph sessions with nationally known romance novelists at the event. You can also hop a shuttle for a factory tour of hometown chocolate maker, the Cerreta Candy Company. Noon to 5 p.m. today. 58th and Glendale avenues in downtown Glendale. Free admission. Preferred parking is $10; all other parking is free. (623) 930-2299 or glendaleaz.com/events.
Hoop Dance Contest
Here's something you don't see every day: Top American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers from the United States and Canada showing off dazzling artistry and sheer athleticism as they compete for the prestigious title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. About 70 men and women will compete in the 21st annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. During performances, they incorporate speed and agility and can manipulate their bodies through more than 50 hoops. Bring a lawn chair or seat cushion for outdoor seating, and plan on spending some of your time exploring the museum's impressive galleries. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave. Phoenix. $3-$12 per person, and free for children 3 and younger. (602) 252-8848 or heard.org.