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10:33 am 10:33 am

Get to Know a Heart Guide: Alison

By |February 16th, 2018|Categories: Meet Our Heart Guides|Tags: , |Comments Off on Get to Know a Heart Guide: Alison

Alison-1-768x1024 Get to Know a Heart Guide: Alison

It’s time once again to get to know one of the wonderful employees of the Halle Heart Children’s Museum! This week we’re shining the spotlight on Alison, an energetic Heart Guide who never fails to get kids excited about heart health. Here’s what she had to say!

How long have you been a Heart Guide?

Two and half years.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I have a background in public health and health education. I enjoy teaching both kids and adults. One of my first jobs was organizing and running health fairs for staff and inmates in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

What’s your favorite thing about working at the HHCM?

I love when I see the light bulb go on! Nothing is as rewarding as seeing a child make a connection between ideas and a real-life association.

Tell us something you think is really interesting about the human heart.

Teaching CPR is something I’m passionate about. I tell my younger students to use Star Wars’ Imperial March to get to 100 beats per minute for chest compressions. Stayin’ Alive definitely works, too!

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?


What about your favorite way to be active?

Hiking–but golf is a close second!

A fun fact about you:

I love to travel and explore! In my spare time I’m always dreaming of my next adventure. I just went to China and am planning out my future train journey across Canada. I also want to visit every Disney park around the world!

Anything else you want to tell us?

Lub Dub rocks!

12:28 pm 12:28 pm

Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM

By |January 25th, 2018|Categories: Volunteers|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM

There’s a lot to be said for volunteering. People who volunteer build social connection, promote goodwill in their community, and tend to have better mental health. And you know what else they do (at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, anyway)? They have FUN! After all, where else can you blow up balloons for a dance party and call it community service?

Volunteers2 Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM

The HHCM is always looking for folks to join us in our mission to educate Americans about heart-healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to be a heart expert to help out. (Though if you ARE a heart expert, we’re a perfect fit for your talents–come on down!) We offer numerous volunteer opportunities anyone with a willing spirit can do.

Our volunteers give their time to a wide variety of projects and responsibilities on a group or individual basis. Recently, some of our volunteer projects for groups have included preparing snacks and supplies for Heart Walk,

Volunteers4-1024x768 Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM
packing hats to be delivered to babies through our Little Hats, Big Hearts program,

Volunteers5-1024x768 Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM

and helping out with administrative tasks.

Volunteers3 Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM

We’re a great option for workplace groups, service clubs, families, or other groups looking for an enjoyable, meaningful way to give back.

As for volunteer opportunities for individuals, we welcome assistance with our programs (give a healthy cooking demo on a Saturday, for example, or referee Video Game Olympics on a Thursday afternoon). Leading tours or facilitating education during public hours as a museum docent are other ways to spread the message of heart-healthy living at the HHCM. And don’t worry–we’ll provide you all the training you need. Visit our Volunteer Match page for a list of current options.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to create your own Halle Heart adventure, we can make that happen, too! Check out the Get Involved page on our website to get some more ideas of how your time and talents could align with our mission. Then feel free to get in touch with Volunteer Coordinator Lori Selles at hhcm@heart.org. She would love to work with you to determine what type of activity works best for you.

Lori-1024x768 Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM

When you volunteer at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, you can rest assured you’re giving your time to improve the health of our community. Every day children and their families pass through our doors to experience the magic of learning heart-healthy behaviors in the museum environment. Any amount of time you can donate to help this cause is welcome.

3cf1c17f7a07af0b13192493079270691 Volunteer Opportunities at the HHCM



11:00 am 11:00 am

Get to Know a Heart Guide: Michelle

By |January 17th, 2018|Categories: Meet Our Heart Guides|Tags: , |Comments Off on Get to Know a Heart Guide: Michelle

Michelle-pic-1-768x1024 Get to Know a Heart Guide: Michelle

It’s time to get to know some of the wonderful staff members that make the Halle Heart Children’s Museum tick! Today we’re talking with Michelle, who started out as a Heart Guide and ended up as our Business Development Coordinator. Here’s a little bit about her:

What’s your favorite thing about working at the HHCM?

I’m really into education, so I like the opportunity to teach kids how live a heart-healthy lifestyle in a hands-on environment. That way, when they grow up, they don’t have to learn these things on their own.

Tell us something you think is really interesting about the human heart!

I think my favorite fact that I learned here at the museum is related to non-smoking. You always think about how smoking affects the lungs, but it was interesting to learn that it also negatively impacts the heart.

Tell us about yourself!

I have a degree in anthropology. I took advantage of study abroad and field school opportunities in college. I did archaeology work all over Phoenix and around Flagstaff.

I started here at the museum in Jun 2016 and instantly fell in love with the museum and its mission. I quickly became development coordinator, which allowed me to help create the programs that we provide to the public and give more information overall. Education in a non-formal setting is a passion of mine and something I hope to continue throughout my career. I’m relocating to Washington, D.C. because it provides a lot of opportunities for museum education. I’m hoping to continue what I’ve started here, and will always have a special place in my heart for the HHCM.

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?

I love asparagus!

How about your favorite way to be active?

I really enjoy hiking–living here in Arizona has been great because of the hiking culture. It’s a fun, easy way to get outdoors and take advantage of all the beautiful scenery here.

A fun fact about you:

I’m a vegan and a minimalist. Minimalism to me means to be very conscious about all aspects of your life, from what you’re purchasing to anything you have in your life. If it doesn’t add positive value to your life, don’t indulge in it.

Where’s your dream vacation destination?

I don’t think I have one destination, but I have a goal to see as much of our country as possible. So as much as I would love to travel abroad, I’d rather take a couple weeks in the car and see as many states as possible.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I would just say overall that my experience here at the museum and interacting with our guests has been really rewarding. Our guests are really why we do this. I appreciate everyone who comes through our doors and hope they get the most out of their time here.

12:06 pm 12:06 pm

3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Health & Nutrition, Recipes|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

Citrus 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

If you grew up in Arizona, you probably remember memorizing our great state’s “5 C’s” somewhere in your elementary school career. If you never learned the 5 C’s, they are five main products or elements of Arizona’s environment critical to the state’s economy, namely:

– Copper

– Cattle

– Climate

– Cotton

– Citrus

While each of these five alliterative elements bring great value to the 48th state, here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, we happen to have a favorite. Can you guess which ‘C’ we love best?


Citrus fruits, as you may know, are an excellent source of vitamin C, the piece of our dietary puzzle that maintains healthy skin and gums and even helps prevent cardiovascular disease. But there are far more benefits to eating grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes than just a dose of one vitamin. These fruits also boast an impressive amount of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. Plus, they score low on the Glycemic Index scale, meaning that eating them won’t spike your blood sugar.

Here in the Phoenix area, we’re fortunate to enjoy the sunny goodness of citrus season all winter long. The balmy climate of Maricopa County allows for the cultivation of numerous types of citrus–sometimes even several varieties grafted onto one tree. And we have good reason to be proud of our citrus production. Arizona is one of only four citrus-producing states in the nation. (California, Florida, and Texas are the other three.)

So while we can get it fresh and local, why not use our abundant citrus in some heart-healthy recipes? Here are three options to get you started:

1. Pomegranate Grapefruit Avocado Toast

Pomegranate-Grapefruit-Avocado-Toast-1024x576 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

Can’t get on the avocado-toast-for-breakfast train? Maybe all your taste buds need is the addition of a bit of sweetness! Pomegranate nibs and grapefruit slices put a unique, sweeter twist on this healthy breakfast.

2. Slow Cooker Pulled Orange Chicken Tacos with Pickled Vegetables

Crockpot-Orange-Chicken-Tacos-with-Pickled-Vegetables-1024x727 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

Orange + pickled vegetables + chicken. Taco Tuesday will never be the same.

3. Broiled Asparagus Spears with Lemon

Broiled-Asparagus-Spears-with-Lemon-sized 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

Before we know it, asparagus will be in season at the same time as citrus. These ruddy green stalks are traditionally harvested in springtime and make an excellent counterpart to the tangy lightness of lemon.

Do you have a citrus tree near you? Know someone who does? How do you like to take advantage of this gem of a winter crop?


9:52 am 9:52 am

Get to Know a Heart Guide: Amber

By |December 12th, 2017|Categories: Meet Our Heart Guides|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Get to Know a Heart Guide: Amber

Amber Get to Know a Heart Guide: Amber

At the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, we love our Heart Guides! These awesome employees guide groups on tours of the museum, sharing how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle and educating kids about the cardiovascular system and heart. We caught up with Heart Guide Amber Andrade for a little chat about who she is and what she likes to do. Here’s what she had to say…

What’s your favorite thing about working at the HHCM?

Being around the kids, and everyone on the Heart Guide team is amazing! It’s a really fun environment to work in.

Tell us something you think is really interesting about the human heart!

In your lifetime, the heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood–enough to fill three super tankers. I find that so interesting!

Tell us about yourself!

I go to ASU, where I’m studying Science of Healthcare Delivery. I’m on a pre-med track, deciding between medical school and PA school. I’m involved with community service through a club called Devils Pitching In. We do local service projects around Tempe and are going to the Dominican Republic in March to teach kids English.

What interests you about science and healthcare?

I’ve been interested in science and healthcare since I was a little kid. I wanted to be a veterinarian–I think that’s everyone’s dream when they’re a kid. I’ve just been on that path ever since. I still love animals, but I don’t think I could take care of them when they’re sick.

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Strawberries and avocados.

How about your favorite way to be active?

I would probably say hiking or playing volleyball. I played volleyball in high school, and I play recreationally now.

A fun fact about you:

I’ve never broken a bone.

Where’s your dream vacation destination?

Dubai! I’ve always wanted to go there. The luxury environment sounds so interesting. I want to go shopping there, and the tallest building in the world is there–I’d love to go to the top of it! And they have super nice cars. I’m a huge car person.

Anything else you want to tell us?

Go Devils!!





10:39 am 10:39 am

6 Reasons Membership Makes a Great Holiday Gift

By |November 29th, 2017|Categories: Holiday, Membership|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on 6 Reasons Membership Makes a Great Holiday Gift

The countdown to Christmas and Hannukah has begun as we slide into this first week of December. Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Fretting that you’ll find yourself slogging through the aisles of the mall on Christmas Eve trying to nail down those last presents for the impossible-to-buy-for folks on your list? The hurry! The stress! The irresistible lure of the Cinnabon! Can it be avoided?

giphy6 6 Reasons Membership Makes a Great Holiday Gift

Never fear, the Halle Heart Children’s Museum has you covered. We may be a little biased, but we happen to think that membership to the HHCM makes a pretty stellar holiday gift. There’s so much a year-long membership has to offer your friends or loved ones–and there’s no better time to purchase! During the month of December, we’re offering deep discounts on membership. A 2-person membership (regularly $55) is only $35, a 3-person membership (regularly $70) is only $40, and a 4-person membership (regularly $85) is only $55! Don’t miss out on these biggest price reductions of the year. Purchase in person or head over to our Membership page to snag this deal. At checkout, enter the following codes:

2-person membership: HOLIDAYHEARTS2

3-person membership: HOLIDAYHEARTS3

4-person membership: HOLIDAYHEARTS4

Need more convincing?

6 Reasons Why HHCM Membership Makes an Excellent Holiday Gift:

1. Experiences are better than material goods.

Research shows that experiences, rather than things, bring people more lasting happiness. The museum experience at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum is one-of-a-kind, and each new visit can teach fresh lessons of heart-healthy lifestyle choices and the function of the cardiovascular system. Plus, the museum is an excellent spot to spend quality time as a family.

2. The gift keeps giving all year.

Long after the Hickory Farms gift baskets have been plundered and the Lego sets have been assembled, a museum membership continues to provide entertainment and education all year round.

3. It can serve as a gift for a whole family.

How many gifts can you think of that everyone, from parents down to the youngest child, can all enjoy? Dad’s craft beer and the toddler’s Disney Princess dolls certainly aren’t for everyone. If there’s a family or other group in your life, a museum membership is an excellent one-size-fits-all gift solution.

4. It’s more than museum admission.

Members receive discounts on the HHCM’s many programs, classes, and birthday parties. We also offer appreciation events exclusively for members, like extended hours or paint nights. What fun!

5. You can’t put a price on education.

For kids and adults alike, learning how to keep hearts healthy is an endlessly important pursuit. Who knows what critical health information your friends and loved ones might glean from visiting the museum?

6. It’s unique!

A museum membership is anything but generic; you can’t buy it at any big box store. Choosing this gift shows you’re thinking creatively to get something truly special for the people in your life.

Become-a-Member-300x138 6 Reasons Membership Makes a Great Holiday Gift

11:55 am 11:55 am

How Giving Thanks is Good for Your Heart

By |November 16th, 2017|Categories: Holiday|Tags: , , |Comments Off on How Giving Thanks is Good for Your Heart

Thankful_-_Heartbeat-4fb9acaa-8537-47ba-9555-d52dc41803e7-523706441_p-300x300 How Giving Thanks is Good for Your Heart

You’ve probably experienced the ways practicing gratitude is good for your heart in the figurative sense. Thanking someone for their kindness or offering gratitude to a higher power brings peace to our spirits, when done mindfully. Numerous studies have shown the positive effects of gratitude on mental health. The more we express it, the more likely we are to make friends and bounce back from challenges, and the less likely to experience depression. Even our self-esteem gets a boost!

But did you know that giving thanks is actually good for your physical, beating, blood-pumping heart as well?

A 2015 study conducted at the University of California, San Diego found that when people who had heart failure and heart disease kept a gratitude journal for eight weeks, they experienced reduced inflammation and increased heart rate variability (a sign of better heart health). They also had better mood, better sleep, and lower levels of fatigue–all factors that could help them prevent or bounce back from heart attack. A follow-up study confirmed these findings.

The benefits of gratitude on the physical heart are closely related to–or even stem from–the benefits to the emotional “heart.” Because stress is such a critical factor in the development of heart disease, observing a stress-relieving practice like keeping a gratitude journal can make a major difference in our risk. What a simple exercise to make such a meaningful impact on heart health! Giving thanks may be the easiest, do-anywhere tool you have at your disposal for well-being, both physical and mental.

So don’t let your thanksgiving end after Thanksgiving. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to start a gratitude journal or other thankfulness practice. Perhaps you make a commitment to count your blessings rather than check your phone at a red light. Or jot down one thing a day you’re thankful for in a visible place in your home. Or try a quick gratitude meditation from Youtube. Whatever little practice suits your style, you can be sure that giving heartfelt thanks will result in heart healthy benefits.

thanks How Giving Thanks is Good for Your Heart


4:54 pm 4:54 pm

The Good News About Americans and Smoking

By |October 31st, 2017|Categories: No Smoking|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on The Good News About Americans and Smoking

One of the principles the Halle Heart Children’s Museum educates visitors about is the importance of never, ever smoking. Our Stay on Course exhibit is devoted exclusively to informing kids about this vital component of heart health, showing kids some of the many detrimental effects tobacco can have on the entire body. In this exhibit, visitors can spin the “Wheel of Misfortune” to see examples of unfortunate health problems that come with tobacco use. Increased blood pressure, damaged lungs, and stained teeth are just a few of the consequences featured, in addition to–of course–the harmful effects of smoking on the heart.

Stay-on-Course-1-1024x768 The Good News About Americans and Smoking

Once kids have had a chance to spin the wheel, they can also apply what they’ve learned in a fun game: artery mini golf! This magnified blood vessel is partially blocked by a screen to demonstrate how smoking blocks blood flow. When visitors try to golf “blood cells” (red golf balls) through the artery of a smoker, they see how difficult it is.

Stay-on-Course-2-1024x768 The Good News About Americans and Smoking

Elementary age children who come to the museum are at a critical age for no-smoking education, because in all likelihood, they will at some point in their near future be offered a cigarette. After all, 90% of smokers begin this unhealthy habit before the age of 18.

But despite this unfortunate statistic, there’s good news, too!

Partly thanks to the efforts of public health organizations like the American Heart Association, fewer Americans are smoking now than ever before. Since the introduction of the Surgeon General’s warning in the mid-1960s, smoking rates have fallen dramatically. While 42% of Americans reported smoking in 1965, only 18% claimed to smoke in 2012 and only 15% in 2015. Even people who do smoke are doing so less frequently. Just since 2005, the percent of smokers who said they smoked daily decreased from 80.8% to 76.9% in 2013. Four years later in 2017, that percentage continues to drop.

ycbbba1vwucbcqwktodt0g.0 The Good News About Americans and Smoking

Another point of pride for Americans and our efforts to reduce tobacco consumption is that among developed countries, the U.S. has one of the lowest rates of smoking. Of 84 countries with smoking data available in 2015, the United States ranked 74th, ahead of all European countries except Denmark and Iceland. This is a huge public health success!

But our work isn’t done. Smoking continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in this country. The Halle Heart Children’s Museum exists to help the next generation of Americans say no to tobacco in every form, putting them at an advantage for their heart health.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Join the American Heart Association and the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in our mission to eliminate smoking to promote heart health!

2:07 pm 2:07 pm

Healthy Halloween at HHCM

By |October 18th, 2017|Categories: Events|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Healthy Halloween at HHCM

Facebook-Peak-Interest-Post-300x251 Healthy Halloween at HHCM

It’s every kid’s favorite question this time of year: what are you going to be for Halloween?

Here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, we know our answer: we’re going to be heart-healthy! (Though some of us might also be pirates, princesses, or Pikachus…and one of us will definitely be Lub Dub.)  On Saturday, October 28th, the whole museum will be celebrating an entire day of good-for-you Halloween fun. We’re ready to turn this holiday’s reputation for being less than healthy upside down with an array of wholesome activities, games, and even food.

If you join us on this special day, you can look forward to:

  • Halloween crafts all throughout the museum, starting at 9:00 when doors open.
  • A cooking demo in our Kitchen Cafe at 10:30 featuring DIY pumpkin-shaped tortilla chips and a tasty pumpkin hummus. Don’t miss the free samples and take-home recipe!
  • An appearance by everyone’s favorite larger-than-life heart–our mascot, Lub Dub–at 11:00.

IMG_1057-225x300 Healthy Halloween at HHCM

  • A costume dance party and balloon drop at 12:00 (so make sure your costume is dance-able)!
  • Halloween-themed games starting at 1:00.

If you have an HHCM membership, the fun continues even later, as the museum will stay open an additional two hours just for members! We’ll have a healthy trick-or-treating path through our eight exhibits, a Halloween movie playing in the Goldman Legacy Theater, a costume contest, and extra time to get down on the dance floor to music so good it’s spooky. Not a member yet? There’s no better time to join online or stop by the Guest Services counter to register. You’ll get free admission to the museum every day of the year, reduced rates on classes, programs, and birthday parties, and access to exclusive events and activities like this one!

IMG_0954-263x300 Healthy Halloween at HHCM

So…what are YOU going to be for Halloween? Whatever your answer, we hope you’ll come and share it with us Saturday, October 28th, at this one-of-a-kind family event.


12:23 pm 12:23 pm

Recipe: Korean Vegetable Pancakes

By |September 29th, 2017|Categories: Events, Health & Nutrition, Recipes|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Recipe: Korean Vegetable Pancakes

KOREAN-VEGETABLE-PANCAKES-min-300x158 Recipe: Korean Vegetable Pancakes

September is Better Breakfast Month at the American Heart Association. When you think of eating a better breakfast, what comes to mind? Eating whole grains instead of refined, perhaps, cutting back on sugar, or topping your morning cereal with some fresh fruit? All fantastic options. What about adding vegetables? Many Americans struggle to get enough vegetables in our diet in general, let alone at breakfast. But it can be done–and it doesn’t have to mean gnawing on a stalk of broccoli next to your toast and coffee.

These Korean Vegetable Pancakes are a tasty, unique way to make vegetables appealing at breakfast time (for kids and adults alike). After all, who doesn’t like pancakes? Finely grating carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower and adding them to an egg and flour-based pancake batter creates a pleasing texture and taste with a hefty dose of health! Some of the nutritional benefits of the veggies in this recipe include:

  • Broccoli has plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. New research shows certain compounds in broccoli may be cancer-fighting.
  • Cauliflower is rich in fiber, potassium (good for your heart) and vitamin B6 (for energy & brain function).
  • Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A—great for your vision.
  • Zucchini is high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin A.

In addition to being an excellent choice for health, these pancakes also:

  • Have a super-quick cooking time of only 2 minutes per side.
  • Could be made for lunch or dinner, served with toppings like ketchup, cream cheese, or teriyaki sauce.
  • Could serve as a craveable appetizer, cut into quarters and served on skewers or toothpicks.
  • Contain no Korean spices (despite their name) but are extremely flexible as to what herbs or spices could be added for extra flavor.

We’re happy to share that we’ll be demonstrating this Korean Vegetable Pancakes recipe Saturday, September 30th here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum’s Simple Cooking with Heart program. Join us at 10:30 in the museum’s Kitchen Café for a how-to, recipe card, and free samples.

Here’s to better breakfasts for you and your family!

Korean Vegetable Pancakes

(An American Heart Association Recipe.)

Makes 4 Servings



1 Add enough ice cubes into 2 1/2 cups water to make water ice-cold.

2 In the bowl of a food processor, add carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and scallions. Pulse to puree vegetables until finely chopped-but be careful not to turn the vegetables into liquid.

3 Into a large bowl, add flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour in 2 cups of cold water (without ice cubes). Use a fork to whisk mixture together until combined. Stir in the pureed vegetables. Aim for a pancake-like batter consistency, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons more water if needed.

4 Coat an 8-inch nonstick pan with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup batter into the center of the pan. Cook until edges begin to get golden-about 2 to 3 minutes-and then use a spatula to carefully flip. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes until the side is golden. Transfer pancake to a plate. Spray pan with cooking spray and repeat continually until all 8 pancakes are made.