Round up the kids and hop in the car: it’s time to hit the road and embark on a holiday lights tour through the city.
And the North Phoenix Moms and Scottsdale Moms groups have compiled the list of homes to drive to, five of which are located in Scottsdale.
“We know the winter holidays look different this time around. We are excited to help families celebrate with this self-guided tour all season long!” said Kate Eschbach, co-owner of both North Phoenix Moms and Scottsdale Moms blogs and author of the holiday lights tour.
Eschbach’s teams asked their contributors for their favorite places to look at neighborhood lights “and they had outstanding input,” she said.
After spending about a week compiling the list of the most festive homes, they created the tour on the Built Story smartphone app and launched it just after Thanksgiving.
And it’s been a hit.
“We’ve had about 100 people tour so far,” Eschbach said.
“There are so many fantastic neighborhoods that work hard to make the night lights special, so we wanted to be sure that all visitors and new families knew about the neighborhood lights in our area,” she added.
Available on Built Story, an app that allows locals to create their own self-guided tours in their area, the “Holiday Light Favorites Tour” features 10 stops stretching nearly 53 miles, starting in Moon Valley and ending in Tempe.
Half the homes are in Scottsdale and include a home on Voltaire Avenue, the Cox Family’s home on Via Del Palacio and Winter Wonder on Valley Vista Drive – Chris Birkett’s home, also known for its annual, beyond-spooky haunted house on Halloween.
“My family loved stops four and five!” Eschbach said referring to two homes in Phoenix – one on Michelle Drive and another on Grovers Avenue. “The neighborhood was so friendly, and everyone was out waving to the kids and wishing them happy holidays.”
Tours typically cost $10 each and Tour Creators earn revenue each time their tour is sold.
But Eschbach wanted to offer the holiday lights tour for free for a limited time, allowing users full access to the tour for 30 days.
Users can start, stop, pause and retake the tour as many times as they’d like in that window.
“We wanted to give everyone a chance to download the app and give us feedback on the tour,” Eschbach said of their decision to offer it free of cost.
The holiday lights tour is their first published tour on Built Story but it won’t be their last.
Eschbach said they have other tours in the works, including ones in Scottsdale.
“We are brainstorming all sorts of ideas to highlight the special events and features of Scottsdale,” she added.
Built Story allows locals everywhere to open a map, and immediately find self-guided tours in their area.
The app also allows creators such as Eschbach, local bloggers, parents, storytellers, history buffs, tour guides and others to share their knowledge of history, holiday cheer, family activities, architecture and more by creating tours from home.
Once created, the tours are available 24/7 on the Built Story marketplace, where Tour Takers can access them via the app available on iOS and Android.
To take the tour, download the Built Story app at builtstory.com, and search for “Scottsdale Moms and North Phoenix Moms Holiday Light Favorites Tour.”