Nerd Culture

11 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, December 19 to 25

Happy Chrismukkah to all — and to all a good week of going out and doing stuff. What stuff, you ask? Well, in metro Phoenix you'll find visual art exhibitions, ice skating, and not one but two screenings of pop-culture gems. Think of them as things to do while your fam is in town — or the perfect way to escape them when you need a quick and cultured break. Need more options? See New Times' curated calendar.

"Breath B4 Brush"
Using only his breath and thinned oil paints, Ryan J. Carey creates abstract works meant to signal a return to the human element in art. Each mark on the canvas is from his lungs, created during a singular moment of existence. Carey holds a BFA in painting from California State University, Sonoma State.

Carey’s work has been exhibited at monOrchid, Arizona Opera, the Nash, and Emerson Art Gallery in Fountain Hills. See 18 of his paintings at the ASU Polytechnic Campus library, 5988 South Backus Mall in Mesa, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, December 19. Visit Lynn Trimble

Holiday Flicks at the Farm
Outdoor movies aren’t just for summer anymore. Spend a night under the pecan trees at the Farm at South Mountain, 6106 South 32nd Street, enjoying How The Grinch Stole Christmas! during this year’s Holiday Flicks at the Farm. Hot cocoa and snacks will be available for purchase from the Farm’s food truck, and no outside food or drink are allowed. Snuggle up with your own blankets and pillows for maximum coziness.
Holiday Flicks at the Farm runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20. The movie starts at 6. Admission is free, with a suggested donation to Arizona Animal Welfare League. For more information and a full list of recommended donation items, visit Katrina Montgomery

Then It Got Weird: Bloody Good Holiday Ball
Though we may not have snow for the winter holidays in Arizona, the flurry of seasonal chaos, sans storms, is always in full effect. Decorating, traveling, shopping, and festive parties up the potential for situational weirdness. Add eggnog, and anything goes. You probably have a doozy of a story or two to tell. The folks at the Then It Got Weird: Bloody Good Holiday Ball do. Hosts Marnee Burrus and Dan Hull are among the storytellers featured at this comedy show that wants to explore and reclaim awkward holiday happenings. Jessie Balli, Sean David Christensen, Megan Finnerty, Tania Katan, and Anwar Newton complete the lineup. Laugh along starting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Street. Admission is $8. Call 602-716-2222 or visit Amy Young

Winter Solstice Celebration
Last time you grabbed coffee with your neo-pagan druid buds, you probably said, “Okay, we’ll get together again soon.” But have you? No. So you might as well touch base at the Irish Cultural Center’s Winter Solstice Celebration on Wednesday, December 21.

The Grove of the Rising Phoenix, a modern incarnation of ancient Indo-European cultures that include some people’s British Iron Age forebears, will present rituals and entertainment as the sky darkens for the longest night of the year. By the way, in the southern hemisphere, December 21 is the summer solstice. Mind. Blown.

Bundle up for outdoor fun at 1106 North Central Avenue from 4 p.m. until the “wee hours.” Admission is $5 and food is available for purchase. Visit or call 602-258-0109. Julie Peterson

Star Wars Holiday Special
When The Phantom Menace, one of the movies in the Star Wars saga, opened in 1999, it debuted character Jar Jar Binks. Meant to provide comic relief, the universally frowned-upon Binks caused more eyerolls than chuckles. Turns out, that’s not the biggest blunder in Star Wars history.

The Star Wars Holiday Special aired just once, in 1978, long before the annoying Binks came to life. It featured the first movie’s main cast and presented a first look at character Boba Fett. The movie’s plot focuses on a trip Han Solo and Chewbacca take to Kashyyyk, Chewie’s home world, to celebrate Life Day, a Wookiee holiday that involves gift-giving. While there, the pair is chased by agents of the Galactic Empire.

Watch the television abomination that probably still makes George Lucas weep at 7:30 p.m. or 9:40 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $5. Call 602-595-9187 or visit Amy Young

Read on for more things to do this week.
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter
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.
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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble