Nerd Culture

11 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, August 12, through Sunday, August 14. For more events, see our curated online calendar.

Tattoo Pool Party
Hell City is getting a little wet and wild with its Tattoo Pool Party — and the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Arizona Biltmore Waldorf Astoria Resort will play host.

With the festival on hiatus, its former after-party spot is now the main attraction, featuring swim-up bars, specialty drinks, and good ol’ fashion fun in the sun. Pool-goers may want to put finishing touches on their art though, as ink competitions have been known to happen on land or in the water.

Things start cooling off (or is it heating up?) at noon on Friday, August 12, at 2400 East Missouri Avenue. Only patrons renting rooms or cabanas are allowed in the resort’s nine pools and hot tubs; tatt-friendly attendees can use promo code “HCity” for a discounted $119 per night rate. Bookings can be made through or by calling 602-955-6600. Info on the tattoo expo, returning in 2017, is at Janessa Hilliard

Meteor Madness
If you’ve got a lawn chair and an interest in beer and the heavens, then get excited for Meteor Madness with Dr. Sky during the Perseids meteor shower on Friday, August 12, at Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 North Apache Trail in Apache Junction.

Put on by the Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park, the evening starts with a free beer grotto sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company from 8 to 9 p.m., followed by a meteor shower and asteroids presentation and live radio broadcast on Coast to Coast with Dr. Sky till 10 p.m. Shower viewing and tips on how to photograph meteors runs from 11 p.m. to sunrise.

Tent space rentals and tickets for $20 are available through Call 480-982-4485 or visit Lauren Cusimano

Forty whacks is a lot. But Lizzie Borden didn’t (even allegedly) take an axe to her dad and stepmom the legendary 81 total times — that’s a jumprope song. (Allegedly.) The murderer expended a mere 11 to 19 whacks each. It was still unusual, though, for a young woman to be charged with murdering both of her parents so violently, and so the story went the 1892 equivalent of viral.

The unsolved or badly prosecuted crime (pick your camp) has inspired, among a ton of other things, two separate modern stage musical versions of the story, as well as a 1965 opera. A/C Theatre Company introduces audiences to Lizzie, the small-cast rock setting by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt, through Saturday, August 27, at the Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Friday, August 12’s showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 at or 602-254-2151. Julie Peterson

"The Fearless Individual"
With all the crazy shit going on in the world at any given time, it’s often easier to react than act. “The Fearless Individual” is an art exhibition that aims to remind guests of the important results that can occur when your approach is love-based, rather than rooted in fear. The show features painter Xandriss, whose work features a single-line style where one continuous line moves to create an object or subject, without crossing itself. Other local participating artists include Sam Itza, Jr., Tara Kosciukiewicz, Melissa McGhee, Able Ochoa, and Ronalyn Torres. Celebrate the power in courage via their artworks from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 12, at The Millet House, 440 West First Street in Mesa. Admission is free. Visit Amy Young

Phoenix Tonight
If you dig the talk-show format but need a break from the televised kind, with its same old hosts night after night, venture out into the dark and try something new.

Phoenix Tonight is a live, late-night, locally focused talk show hosted by Russ Kazmierczak Jr. that offers you all the goodies you get from traditional after-hours chat-oriented programs, like a monologue, comedic bits, and a lineup of interesting guests. This month is the show’s sixth episode, and it boasts an all-women roster of visitors, including mixologist Morgan Vinson, who will demo some summer cocktails, and sports card collector Cindy Dick. Marnee Burrus, who hosts the storytelling event, Then It Got Weird, also stops by to blab with the host. Find out more about these neighborhood folks at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, at Space 55, 636 East Pierce Street. Admission is $5. Call 602-663-4032 or visit Amy Young

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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Katrina Montgomery
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young

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