10 Nerdy Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This April
This First Friday, make sure to stop by the Arizona Science Center for a free night of fun.
Fellow nerds, let us begin by saying: We know your pain. We know you must be going through a lot right now. The release of Batman v Superman has been hard on all of us. We can only accept the fate we've been given and move on. Should you need an equally nerdy shoulder to cry on or a night of entertainment to distract you from your sorrows, here are 10 great nerdy events in April to keep us going until Captain America: Civil War.
Adults' Night Out
On Friday, April 1, the Arizona Science Center will celebrate First Friday by reserving the entire museum for adults. This 18-and-over event offers free admission to the museum, as well as discounted tickets to the new "POPnology" exhibit (which made our list of the best nerdy things to do back in February). In addition, the Center will host artist and filmmaker David Bossert from The Walt Disney Co. to discuss his work on classic films such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. The lecture and Q&A is also free, but seating is limited. To reserve your tickets now, visit the museum's website.
Cons aren't just for comic or video game enthusiasts. This convention celebrates reptiles, amphibians, and other exotic creatures of all kinds. On Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3, visit the Arizona State Fairgrounds to see a huge variety of snakes, lizards, toads, turtles, frogs, and more. If you pick out a new pet, you can find all the supplies and food you need in the same place. The con also features a number of panels and presentations both educational and entertaining. You can purchase VIP two-day tickets now for $12 online; otherwise, it's $10 per day or $15 for a two-day pass at the door. Learn more and buy tickets at Repticon's website.
"Morris From America" staring Craig Robinson will open this year's Phoenix Film Festival.
Phoenix Film Festival
Every year, the Phoenix Film Festival provides a great opportunity for Phoenicians to see hot new indie movies before they make their national debut, and appreciate the work of local Arizona filmmakers. This year looks as promising as ever, with a loaded film schedule spanning a full week. The festival will take over the Harkins Scottsdale 101 theater from Thursday, April 7, to Thursday, April 14. Individual film tickets typically cost $13 per person; you can also purchase various package deals, such as a "Flex Pass," which accounts for admission for four films for $40, or a "Festival Pass," which allows full access to all the festival's films for $120. See the list of movies and purchase tickets at www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.
Two great things — skating and the '80s — get even greater when you put them together.
I Love The '80s Party at Skateland
Strap on your skates and get ready for a blast from the past. On Friday, April 8, from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., Skateland Mesa will host a night of retro-themed fun. The event features an '80s costume contest, a DJ mixing hits of both the '80s and today, and more. Tickets cost $10.50 per person including skates if you text the promotional number listed on the event. This event is 18 and over. To find out more, visit the Facebook event page.
Epic Cosplay Party Photoshoot
If you take cosplaying seriously, you know the importance of hiring a good photographer. This event not only provides plenty of options in one place, but makes for a great opportunity to connect to other cosplayers and celebrate each other's work. CourteX Studios, Speed Force Photography, and Mort Productions will all provide their photography services for $50 per person, so you should get plenty of bang for your buck. This event will take place Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 4408 North Miller Road, Scottsdale. To learn more and purchase tickets, check out the Facebook event.
Zapcon is a video gamer's paradise, where you can play thousands of arcade cabinets, pinball machines, and console games to your heart's content. The event also features such attractions as demonstrations from the Donkey Kong world-record champion, pinball and arcade tournaments, and a chiptune concert. ZapCon will take place at the Mesa Convention Center on Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17. Passes cost $30 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday, or $40 for the full weekend. Kids get discounted passes, and anyone who volunteers or brings a game to display will receive free admission. Learn more and buy your tickets now at zapcon.com.
Haunted Phoenix Tour
Phoenix is a beautiful city, but its history has a dark and sinister side as well. Learn all about it with Marshall Shore, the "Hip Historian," on this bus tour through downtown Phoenix. Shore will tell the stories of hauntings at the Orpheum Hotel, the First Baptist Church, the San Carlos Hotel, and more. There will be two tours on Saturday, April 23; both tours cost $30 per person and leave from the Clarendon Hotel. The earlier one leaves at 11 a.m. and still has tickets available here. The 1 p.m. showing is currently sold out, but you can join a waitlist in case tickets become available.
You've seen TED Talks already on your computer - now see them in person. ASU students from the Origins Project Club have organized a half-day TED event featuring both visiting speakers and ASU professors. Each presenter will discuss the theme "Outliers: Embracing Your Vision," exploring how our differences can help us thrive. The event will take place Saturday, April 23, on ASU's campus. Tickets will be available soon at tedxasu.com.
Grady Gammage Jr.: The Future of the Suburban City
If you live in Phoenix, you almost definitely know the name of Grady Gammage, the former ASU president and namesake of Gammage Auditorium. His son, Grady Gammage Jr., continues the work his father began as Senior Sustainability Scholar at ASU. His new book, The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons from Sustaining Phoenix, will hit shelves later this month, and on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m., he and Sarah Porter will discuss the book and the future of the city at Changing Hands Bookstore. Tickets will soon be available at $25 for a copy of the book and admission for two people. If you can't make the event, you can also choose to have your signed copy shipped to you. Find out more at the Changing Hands website.
Humorist David Sedaris will bring his iconic wit to the Orpheum Theatre this month.
David Sedaris at Orpheum Theatre
As an author, essayist, frequent This American Life contributor, and Grammy-nominated comedian, David Sedaris has distinguished himself as one of the smartest and most creative storytellers in America. On Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre, Sedaris returns to the Valley for a live performance. The humorist will read some of his latest works, answer questions from the audience, and sign books. Tickets range from $29 to $69. Find out more and purchase tickets on the Phoenix Convention Center website.
7000 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85054
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.