Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Spotlight Fara Illich July 2, 2012

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Ask An Ambassador, our take on the traditional advice column.  The Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors are roving troves of knowledge whose sole mission is to make your day better.

chuck-beads-edit1. I somehow self-nominated myself to watch eight preteen girls for a week. Help?!? No, but seriously, I want to keep them entertained, so I figured I’d take them downtown for a day. Their parents leave me a limited daily budget – no more than $20 per kid – and I need to do something with them. What can I do?
Sometimes the word “no” is not a bad thing. Short of a clown costume (haha), your best bet is to head for air conditioning.
Given your budget, I’d recommend you head for the Arizona Science Center where admission is $11 for those under 17 years old. It may seem a bit, uh, educational, but it’s really fun and a good place to let the girls burn off steam.
Right next to the Science Center is the Rosson House Museum, which is perfect for your gaggle of preteens to imagine what their lives would be like if they lived in the late 1900s. Hint: there’d be a lot of work involved. The Doll and Toy Museum is also right next door and filled with some real, well, gems.
If science and history isn’t their thing then pick a movie – I hear Brave is very good – and chill out at AMC Arizona Center. Movie tickets are $5 before 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. With the extra cash, treat the girls to a large popcorn and soda.
If mutiny is imminent, herd them over to CityScape and let them spend their own $20 at any of the fun shops there. Added bonus, they can cool off in the splash pad – which isn’t just for little kids. Added, added bonus, there’s a Starbucks right there, which is a perfect place for you to reward yourself.
2. I heard there’s a bowling alley underneath the ASU Downtown campus, is this true?
It isn’t exactly under ASU, but just one block north of ASU’s Cronkite building under the surface parking lot. Although the bowling alley has been closed for years, you used to be able to catch a glimpse from the skylights embedded in the sidewalk. Currently, the skylights are under repair and it isn’t certain if you’ll be able to see they alley after the construction is finished. If you’re looking to bowl – and not underground – head over to Lucky Strike Lanes were $9.95 gets you lunch, shoes and a game.
Fun fact: Rumor has it that the bowling alley access was off  a secret tunnel between the Westward Ho and Hotel San Carlos. While I can’t tell you much about the tunnel except that access to the bowling alley wasn’t there, I can tell you that Marilyn Monroe was a regular guest at San Carlos while JFK stayed at the Westward Ho. I’m not drawing any conclusions, but you’re more than welcome to.
3. I’m traveling to Phoenix for a work thing July 9 – 11. I’ll be stuck in meetings all day, but want to explore a little at night. What is there to do and where should I eat?
First of all, welcome! Second, to find out what’s happening while you’ll be here, head to our website, and check out the events calendar.  You can plug in your exact dates and see what sparks your interest. For July 9th to 11th there’s a handful of free yoga opportunities, two shows at the fantastic music venue Crescent Ballroom and, if you can sneak out for a lunch break, there’s a Lunch Time Theatre show on at the Herberger Theater Center.
In terms of food, it’s a bit hard to recommend a restaurant without knowing what you like to eat, but I can say that Pizzeria Bianco is world famous for a reason. To better help you decide, stop by the Ambassador Info Center on 1st Avenue and Adams Street where an Ambassador can help you find the perfect restaurant for you. We also have a big stack on menus on hand so you can order without the wait. Enjoy our city!
Chuck the Ambassador is one of several Downtown Ambassadors roving the streets armed with knowledge. Have a question for the Ambassadors? You can find them throughout Downtown from morning to night, just look for the orange shirts that say, “Ask Me,” call them at 602-495-1500, or email them at: