When store aisles jam-packed with plastic trees and faux cinnamon-scented candles have you wishing you could throw the brakes on Christmastime consumption, there's one sure solution: Escape.
The Thanksgiving Weekend Fall Foliage Festival, going on Saturday and Sunday at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, offers just that.
Each November, Chinese pistachios, sycamores and other trees and plants at the mountainous park about 50 miles from the East Valley put on an autumn leaves show some say rivals New England's red maples. A two-day festival makes the most of nature's colorful display, with live music from Scott Schaefer and Jim Pipkin, arts and crafts vendors set up beneath the trees, and hot spiced cider to keep you warm as you stroll the grounds, taking in the scenery.
With quiet trails and scenic vistas - instead of long lines and crazed shoppers - it's just the place to get away from it all.
DETAILS >> 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, 37615 U.S. Highway 60, Superior. $9 adults, $4.50 kids ages 5 to 12, free for kids 4 and younger. (520) 689-2811 or http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/.