Love stinks. Yeah, yeah. Whether your status is single, complicated, or in a relationship, there are plenty of ways to get your kicks this Valentine's Day weekend without the candy hearts and the candle-lit dinners. From comedy shows and cultural celebrations to half-naked men and half-priced books, here are our 10 top picks for avoiding the cliché customs of Cupid's big day.
Amazing Arizona Comic Convention
The Amazing Arizona Comic Convention is bringing costume contests, autograph signings, video game tournaments, and expert panels to the Phoenix Convention Center. Special guests include Marvel's Steve McNiven, Adam Kubert, Mark Bagley, Herb Trimpe, and Steve Epting; DC's George Perez, Greg Capullo, and Chad Hardin; plus a good number of the Power Rangers (but no, not the pink one). Tickets range from $25 to $35 for a single-day pass and are $60 for a three-day pass. Convention hours are 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 15. For more information, visit www.amazingarizonacomiccon.com.
VNSA Book Fair
The 59th Annual VNSA Book Fair is coming to the Arizona State Fairgrounds. This two-day event is a book-lover's dream with a greatly discounted selection of more than a half-million gently, used books, CDs, DVDs, and games. Shopping hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 15. Prices will be cut in half on Sunday. Details can be found at www.vnsabooksale.org
MTV Girl Code's Carly Aquilino is taking her comedy to Stand Up Live. The rising funny girl who can be found online and on TV giving her opinions on sexting, cheating, all the other fun shenanigans that accompany dating, will perform shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, February 13, and 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 14. Tickets are $20 with a two drink minimum for this 21-and-over show. For details, visit standuplive.com.
Margaret T. Hance Park is being taken over the 2015 Chinese Week Culture and Cuisine Festival on Valentine's Day weekend. The exploration of Eastern culture will offer events for all ages and interests including table tennis, mahjong, dragon boats, koi fish, food pavilions, taiji, art exhibits, and a giant golden panda. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, February 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 15, Admission is free. Visit www.phoenixchineseweek.org.
Body Art Expo
Nothing says forever like your special someone's name inked on your body. The Body Art Expo at the Arizona State Fairgrounds will feature more than 200 tattoo artists and 30 craft beers (because alcohol and tattoos always make for good decisions). Single-day tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door for $25. Expo hours are 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday, February 13, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 15. For more information, visit /www.bodyartexpo.com/showsPhoenix.php.
Cult Classics Presents The Princess Bride
Rather than sit at home drinking a box of wine and binge watching Friends on Netflix, head out to Pollack Tempe Cinemas for a special screening of the cinematic favorite, The Princess Bride. Popcorn will be had, prizes will be handed out, and memories will be made. The screening starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets start at $11. Visit www.cultclassicsaz.com/screenings.
S&M Comedy Presents The Storrs Objection!
Prepare for both brouhahas and brawls as things get hilariously heated during S&M Comedy's The Storrs Objection! at Space 55 Theatre. The romance-themed stand-up showcase will feature local comic Matt Storrs and Torch Theatre's Bill Binder heckling and fact-checking other comedians as they do their sets. Other entertainers include Amy Blackwell, Anthony Desamito, Charlie Speez, Daniel Amaro, and Gordon Mckay. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 14. General admission is $5. Visit the event on Facebook for details.
The Vagina Monologues
In honor of V-Day, the activist movement to stop violence against women, The Pressroom will be hosting a special one-night-only performance of Eve Ensler's award-winning show, The Vagina Monologues. General admission is $25, student admission is $10, and VIP tickets, which include chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, and couch seating for two, is $250. Proceeds will benefit the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. For details, visit www.vdayphx.com.
I Love Science Day
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The Arizona Museum of Natural History is encouraging you to favor your head over your heart with I Love Science Day. Observe and participate in science experiments, socialize with like-minded left-brainers, and meet professional scientists in the fields of archaeology, astronomy, geology, and paleontology. The chemistry happens from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday February 14. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Visit azmnh.org.
Chippendales Get Lucky Tour
The notoriously naked men of Las Vegas, the Chippendales, are coming to Celebrity Theatre for an evening of tasteful strip tease. Complete with singing, dancing, and a whole lot of six-packs, the Get Lucky Tour aims to highlight the many, er, talents of these male performers, including how good they look in (and out) of a uniform: firefighter, police officer, you-name-it. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 15. Tickets rage between $20 and $35. For more information, visit www.celebritytheatre.com.