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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Brings Cheer for the Holidays

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. America’s Friendliest Airport®, has many options for those travelers looking to pick up a holiday gift on their way out of town.

And, if you are shopping at the Airport, why not have your gifts wrapped? With the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) encouraging travelers not to wrap their gifts so that they can be more easily screened, Sky Harbor, for the fourth year in a row, is offering free gift-wrapping past security. On December 19-21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., travelers will be able to have their gifts wrapped at stations beyond Terminal 4 Security Checkpoints B and C. It will also be available December 22-23 near the Terminal 4 Security Checkpoint B from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Gift wrapping will be free, but donations will be accepted. Last year, more than $1,300 was raised for local United Way charities through the city of Phoenix Community Service Fund Drive.

For something with a Southwestern flair, pick up tamales to go. This year, two Airport restaurants will offer holiday tamales.

  • El Bravo, located near Gates B1-14 in Terminal 4, sells holiday tamales by the dozen and half dozen. Three flavors are available – green corn chicken, red beef, or vegetarian. New this year, will be a few additional speciality tamale offerings such as spinach, green chile, mushroom cilantro and a sweet bean. These options will require a 24 hour advance notice by calling 602-244-1388. No preservatives, lard or animal fats are used in the products. Decorative packaging is available and prices run $36.99 for a dozen or $17.99 for a half dozen. Each package comes with reheating and cooling instructions along with a phone number for questions. The packaged tamales are cooked and frozen and will remain frozen for three to four hours, but will last without refrigeration for about six hours, making it an easy gift for travelers.
  • Sir Veza’s Taco Garage, located near Gates C11-20 in Terminal 4, will also be selling holiday tamales. They will offer two options – a red chile beef and a green corn, perfect for vegetarians. Sir Veza’s tamales are gluten free and are made with zero trans fat oils. They are sold by the half dozen ($15.99) and are frozen for safe travel.

Perhaps you are shopping for a coffee lover?

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Terminal 2 has a variety of fun and festive gifts for travelers. These include limited edition coffees and teas such as Gingerbread Cookie Latte, Peppermint Mocha Latte, Winter Dream Tea Latte and Red Velvet Hot Cocoa. Gift sets, which include mugs and bags of coffee or tea, are also available in a variety of flavors.
  • Cartel Coffee Lab, located near Gates C11-C20 in Terminal 4, has several options available for the coffee connoisseurs. Cartel Coffee Lab focuses on fresh, locally craft roasted whole bean coffee. Several holiday specials are available. These include Black Market Express ($13.50 for a 12 oz bag), a single origin coffee from El Salavador, which as a natural velvety sweetness and subtle red fruit. From Guatamela, there is Finca Puerta Verde ($17 for a 12oz bag), with a clean finish and soft citrus notes.

For the techie in your life, why not visit InMotion Entertainment? With three locations in Terminal 4 – Pre-security, near Gates B1-14 and near Gates D1-8, there are many items for the traveler. This holiday season, the myCharge Summit 3000 Rechargeable Power Bank (priced at $79.99) is available. It adds 13 hours of talk time and is able to charge three devices at once. The product features a built-in micro-USB and Spple connectors.

Perhaps you are looking for Arizona-themed gifts. Several shops in the Airport offer unique Arizona items. Scorpion suckers ($3.99 or three for $10), taffy ($8.99), licorice ($8.99) and chocolate bars ($5.99 or two for $10) are sold at CNBC, Phoenix TravelMart and Press Express in Terminal 2; Desert Books and Desert Images (2 locations) in Terminal 3 and Desert News and Gifts, CNBC, and Explore! Arizona in Terminal 4. Beautiful glass cacti are sold at Explore! Arizona in Terminal 4 (pre-security), and hand-painted ornaments are sold at Explore! Arizona in Terminal 4 and Desert Images in Terminal 3. The ornaments are hand-painted by local artist Brenda Scott. They are $19.99 each or buy one, get one half off.

Southwest Pizzazz (pre-security in Terminal 3) offers exquisite Southwestern clothing and accessories. From December 5-31, the store will offer 20% off all women's wear and accessories. And, in order to support the Airport's gift-wrapping efforts to raise money for local charity, for each $100 purchase a traveler makes, the store will donate $5 to the United Way.

Additionally, for those who want to give back in other ways, HMS Host is holding a food drive through December 28 to benefit the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. Items can be dropped off at News Travels Fast and Incredibly Arizona (Both pre-security in Terminal 3).

Travelers will also have the opportunity to see the Coca-Cola Polar Bear on Friday, December 7. The Coca-Cola Polar Bear visit was quite popular last year. Travelers will be able to see him at Desert News and Books in Terminal 4 (near Gates B1-B14 ) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Be sure to continue to visit skyharbor.com or follow us on our Twitter, Facebook or Google + sites for updated information about holiday happenings at America’s Friendliest Airport®

Published: December 3, 2012

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