Arizona is getting ready for spring training season.
Fifteen Major League Baseball teams play around the Phoenix metropolitan area as part of what's called the Cactus League. Spring training in Arizona has been a tradition since the 1940s when the Cleveland Indians and the New York Giants were the only teams that practiced there.
The games run March 1 to April 2 in advance of MLB's opening day, April 3.
The Cactus League teams are the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Stadiums are located in Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise and Tempe.
In 2015, gate attendance totaled 1,875,878, with more than half of the fans visiting from out of state or out of country.
Scottsdale hosts a spring training festival March 5, offering meet-and-greets with players along with batting cages, pitching machines, sports memorabilia, music and food. Scottsdale's Cactus League Legacy Trail offers self-guided tours of the city's spring training baseball history going back to the 1950s, with stops at hangouts like The Coach House, Don & Charlie's and Pink Pony.
Many area hotels also offer themed packages.
Details at http://cactusleague.com/ .
OUTSIDER ART MUSEUM IN THE NETHERLANDS
A museum of outsider art is opening March 17 as part of the Hermitage Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Outsider art is art created by self-taught artists, unknowns and others outside the art establishment. It is also variously referred to as folk art, art brut and raw art.
The new venture is a project of the Het Dolhuys in Haarlem, a museum of psychiatry, in partnership with the Hermitage Amsterdam and the health care organization Cordaan. Cordaan hopes the program will attract recognition for artists with disabilities. Work by several Cordaan clients is expected to be shown in the collection.
In addition to work by Dutch artists, the collection will also display work by artists in Britain, France, Iran and Japan, including ceramic figures sculpted by Shinichi Sawada, a Japanese artist known for his animal-like clay creatures. Sawada exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2013, which had a focus on outsider art.
Planning an old-school road trip in a camper? Consider a set of old-school wheels.
A Seattle-based company, Peace Vans Rentals, has fully restored Volkswagen camper vans, all Westfalia models built between 1987 and 1991 They sleep up to four adults and come with a built-in stove, sink and storage space. Included with the rental are cookware, utensils and headlamps, as well as a French press coffeemaker with local coffee beans. Washington wine, spirits and other gourmet treats can be added upon request.
Reservations are available beginning May 1 for six-night minimums with Sunday pick-up after 1 p.m. Rates begin at $1,425 for one week (six nights) with each additional night at $205 per night. Rates include 100 miles per day and 15 cents per mile thereafter. Details at www.peacevansrentals.com.