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10:51 am 10:51 am

Get to Know a Heart Guide: Sarah

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

My-pic-768x1024 Get to Know a Heart Guide: Sarah

How long have you been a Heart Guide?

I started in January 2017, so about 16 months.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a licensed nutritionist, which is what drew me to the heart-healthy mission of the HHCM! I have three grade school-aged kids and have been married for almost 14 years. I also maintain a food and nutrition blog called A Love Letter to Food.

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

I enjoy many things about my role at the museum, but I especially like managing our social media.

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

I think it’s fascinating that the heart keeps oxygenated blood separate from de-oxygenated blood–it’s such an efficient system.

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?


What about your favorite way to be active?

Running and yoga are two of my favorites.

A fun fact about you:

I used to teach German at ASU and my family spent last summer in Germany.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I love being a part of the mission of the American Heart Association to help Americans live heart-healthy lives!

10:42 am 10:42 am

Arizona Gives Day 2018

By |March 26th, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Arizona Gives Day 2018

11_AZGives_WebsiteLogos_AZGives_URL Arizona Gives Day 2018

If you’re reading this, you probably care about making a difference in your community. How do we know? Well, as someone interested in the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, we imagine you understand the importance of educating kids about how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. The museum does this through school field trips and public hours, during which over 40,000 visitors a year learn not only about the heart and cardiovascular system, but how to keep them healthy through diet, exercise, and not smoking.

Beyond visiting the HHCM, did you know there’s even more you can do to support the American Heart Association’s mission? To help us create a better future for Arizona’s kids, we’d love your participation in a unique statewide giving campaign: Arizona Gives Day.

We’ve been posting quite a bit about Arizona Gives Day on social media, but perhaps you’ve been asking yourself, “What exactly is it? And what does it matter to me?”

Arizona Gives Day is a collaboration between the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum. A one-day push for charitable giving to Arizona nonprofits, it has garnered over $10.1 million in donations since its inception in 2013. Nonprofits account for over 8% of our gross state product and provide 325,000 jobs, making them a major source of economic impact throughout Arizona. Helping the public focus on these organizations for a single day raises awareness about their wonderful impact in our community.

Though Arizona Gives Day takes place for just 24 hours, you can donate any time. Visit https://www.azgives.org/hhcm to make your donation to the Halle Heart Children’s Museum on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018–or whenever you like, year-round! We thank you in advance for partnering with us. Your generosity truly is the lifeblood of our museum.

Give1 Arizona Gives Day 2018

10:18 am 10:18 am

5 Best Valley Hikes for Kids

By |March 12th, 2018|Categories: News, Physical Activity|Tags: , , |Comments Off on 5 Best Valley Hikes for Kids

DC10SouthMountainParkPD1 5 Best Valley Hikes for Kids

With beautiful weather in the air and spring break upon us, now is the time for Valley dwellers to get outside. Working physical activity into your day is a no-brainer in the beautiful Phoenix-area spring. Looking for a way to get your heart rate up in the great outdoors? Why not take advantage of the natural feature that makes our part of the world so appealing: mountains! Hiking is an excellent choice for an aerobic activity that torches calories, fills your lungs with fresh air, and even strengthens your bones.

If you’re a parent, you don’t have to leave kids behind when you hit the trail. The Valley boasts several kid-friendly hikes. Here are five options for kids of various ages.

Silly Mountain

With a name like Silly Mountain, it’s got to be a fun hike for kids. This moderate 2.4 mile loop sits just past Apache Junction, technically a part of the Tonto National Forest. If you go, you’ll have to tell us: just what makes it so silly?

South Mountain Preserve

Dozens of trails criss-cross the heights of South Mountain Preserve, the nation’s largest city park. (Fun fact, right?) It’s not hard to find one that’s kid-friendly, such as the Hidden Valley trail. The moderate climb of this hike makes for a fun outing for older kids. If they’re really adventurous, they might make it through the entire 3.5 miles! No matter how far you get, you’ll enjoy the desert landscape and beautiful vistas of the city below.

Papago Park

The Papago Mountain range is one of Phoenix’s most unmistakable landmarks. With holes dotting its sides, this small range looks a bit like hunks of round red Swiss cheese rising up from the ground. Kids can easily hit the trails here, as their smoothness and small elevation gains make them more of a walk than a hike.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is an excellent place to take kids on a walk through wildlife without the steep inclines of a more traditional hike. Get lost in the miles of stroller-friendly trails that offer attractive desert landscape and bird sightings around several small lakes. You may be amazed at all you can see without ever leaving the heart of the East Valley.

Hayden Butte

If you’re new to Phoenix, you might find it odd when you hear locals refer to “A” Mountain. Wait, which mountain is that? Hayden Butte has long been referred to with a single letter that stands for Arizona, as it sits just north of Arizona State University (and is adorned with a giant yellow A). This hike may be rather steep, making it more of a challenge for young walkers, but the ascent is quick. The trail logs in at just under a mile from the mountain’s base to its peak. From your vantage point perched on top, stunning views of the Valley stretch in every direction.



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



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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!!





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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

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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