We get it. Moving to a new city can be tough. Here’s some information that we hope you’ll find helpful in your move to the Valley!


The different school districts start at different times. So, for example, in SE Chandler, schools started the third week in July, Gilbert started about a week later, the Christian schools started the first or second week of August, and up in Scottsdale, the Christian academy started late August. For a family with multiple children, getting them all in the same district so they are on the same vacation and break schedule is helpful.

Arizona is an “open enrollment” school choice state. This means you have options:

1) You can find out what your “assigned” school is. Your assigned school is the one that has to allow you to attend and you don’t need a formal process of application. It can be tough to find out what your assigned school is so you can try and plug in your address at www.azcharters.org and click the bottom left blue link, or you can call the school district and ask them.

2). If you want to attend a public or charter school that is not your assigned school, you can apply for any school you like but it’s a two-fold process. One, you have to fill out an “open enrollment” form at the District, and also a second application at the school you want. Some schools have a waiting list so it can take a few weeks to get this all done. It’s a lot of paperwork but opens a wide range of good school options.

When it comes to schools, there are a lot of options. Traditional academies often have uniforms and run a more classic program with a focus on reading and writing. Charter schools tend to also have uniforms and higher academic expectations. The larger public schools have to compete for students and so they often have great programming and options that the smaller academies and charter schools cannot provide. Lots of families will apply to more than one district to keep their options open and hold spots until right around the time school starts. The key seems to be to apply early, such as in February, for the following school year. Otherwise, waitlists develop.

For private Christian schools, there are also some nice incentives. There are tax benefits for paying tuition. Also, Arizona has a plan where people can designate the first $2000 of their tax money to a Christian school to cover the child from another family, but you cannot do this for your own family.


We would, of course, love to invite you to Trinity Church any weekend of the year for services as well as throughout the week during the school year for life groups for all ages. Our church is a combination of courageous Bible teaching, passionate worship, and a focus on healthy relationships, families, and marriages.

Join us on Saturdays or Sundays at our beautiful church home on McDonald right off the 101. We’d love if you filled out the “Plan Your Visit” form by clicking here before your first visit so we can be ready to welcome you, give you a gift, and show you around when you arrive!

The Weather 

When you told your family and friends you were packing up to move to Arizona, did you or anyone else say the four most common words in the desert: “It’s a dry heat”? For those of you that came from humid climates, the dry heat definitely helps make it bearable but as Pastor Mark says, we still call June, July, and August in Arizona “the beast, the false prophet, and the antichrist”. We would highly encourage you to find a pool to live in in the summer and make frequent trips up north to cool off. If you can make it to about December-April, you’ll remember why you moved here and the weather is truly one of God’s gifts to humanity. Oh, and don’t be too concerned about those big clouds of dust or giant rain clouds you see coming your way in the summer. It helps cool things down which you’ll come to realize is a blessing when it’s 120 degrees…yes, you read that right…1-2-0.

Vacation Spots & Fun Activities

  • Flagstaff – Snow in the winter, ski resort (2 hours away)
  • Show Low & Pinetop – In the White Mountains (2 hours away with a ski resort 1 more hour up the mountain)
  • Prescott – Cooler temperatures any time of the year, which, believe us, you’ll want, especially in the summer (1.5-2 hours away)
  • Grand Canyon (4 hours away)
  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend (4-5 hours away)
  • San Diego, Orange County, and Disneyland (6 hours away)
  • Several lakes are within about 1-hour driving distance (or less) of the Valley such as Lake Pleasant, Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, and Bartlett Lake. You can boat on these lakes and the water is cold from snowmelt.
  • MLB Spring Training brings teams from states all over the country to Arizona’s Cactus League in February and March each year and this can be a great way to get an up-close view of Major League teams while enjoying the Arizona spring sunshine.

Recommendations from our Pastors & Staff

We asked our pastors and staff to give some of their best recommendations in many different areas and we wanted to share those with you. We hope this is helpful in getting you started with recommendations for family fun, date nights, contractors, and more!

Fox Restaurant Group
Babbo Italian Eatery
Breakfast Club
Salad and Go
Pizzeria Bianco
Humble Bistro/Humble Pie
Buck and Rider
North Italia
La Grande Orange
Floridino’s Pizza
Chelsea’s Kitchen

Date Night Restaurants
Top of the Rock
Compass Arizona Grill 
El Gato Azul (Prescott)
Ocean Prime
The Henry
The Clever Koi
Durant’s Steakhouse
House of Tricks
The Arrogant Butcher
Lon’s at the Hermosa
The White Chocolate Grill

Crumbl Cookies
Joe’s Italian Ice
La Grande Orange Bakery
Gluten Free Creations
The Yard Milkshake Bar
The Screamery

Best Tacos/Mexican Food
Tacos Tijuana
Taco Guild
Diego Pops
El Encanto
The Fry Bread House
Barrio Queen
El Jefe Tacos

Family Fun
Great Wolf Lodge
Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain
Odysea Aquarium
Wildlife Zoo
Hurricane Harbor
Anthem Community Park (Splash pad/train ride)
Scottsdale Quarter
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Snakes and Lattes
Papago Park
Scottsdale airport (Volanti restaurant to watch planes)
Ben Avery Shooting Facility
Phoenix Zoo
Desert Botanical Garden

Local Hotels
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Great Wolf Lodge
Hermosa Inn

Barbershop Jack
V’s Barbershop

Reddi Services
Kukkola Co

House painting
Rhino House Painting

Melody Garland
Jake Crawford
Carpenter Team
Mike Ashley

Other Various Local Businesses
Twigs and Twine (Mid-century inspired furniture)
Daily Drip
My Speech Pals (Speech Therapy)
AquaTots (Swim lessons)
Prepped AZ (Healthy pre-made meal delivery)
Flourish Roses
Press Coffee
Phoenix Custom Lasering
Mayer Workshop (Architectural plans and minor remodels)
Stile and Rail (Cabinets/countertops)
Sweet Salvage (Flea market)
Parada del Sol Rodeo/Rodeo Scottsdale
Barrett Jackson Scottsdale (Car Show/Auction)
GoodGuys (Car show)
Schnepf Farms (Christmas & Fall Fest)