Nerd Culture

11 Nerdy Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This October

It's safe to say that nerds get more excited for October than any other month in their Pusheen the cat wall calendar. And why not? October is full of costumes, horror and sci-fi movie marathons, and the year’s biggest day for fantasy, Halloween. Here in Phoenix, there are ways to celebrate Frankenstein’s 200th birthday, a live rendition of the Harry Potter soundtrack, and of course, a zombie walk. So swap your ironic T-shirts for ironic hoodies, and check out these 11 nerdy things to do in the Valley this October.

"Frankenstein at 200"
Mary Shelley conceived Frankenstein in 1816 during Lake Geneva, Switzerland’s “year without a summer." Though that concept's tough for Phoenicians to grasp, we can still celebrate the big lug’s 200th birthday with the free "Frankenstein at 200" exhibit, showcasing works by Arizona State University students and faculty on Frankenstein’s “scientific, technological, cultural, and social impacts.” Find "Frankenstein at 200" on the first floor of Hayden Library at ASU’s Tempe campus, open to the public Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight through December 10. Visit the ASU Libraries website for more.

PoeFest 2016
The Ghost Lounge at the Hotel San Carlos will be dressing up October as the Maison de Santé – the fictional insane asylum inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe for the eighth annual PoeFest. Actors costumed as inmates and patients perform Poe tales on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 9:30 p.m. from October 7 to 29. There will be a special Halloween performance of The Raven on Monday, October 31, at the Rosson House, and a PoeFest Séance in the Hotel San Carlos Senator's Room at 10 p.m. on October 22 and 29. Tickets are $22 for student, senior, and military attendees, $26 for general admission, $49.95 for a festival pass to all performances, $34.95 for the PoeFest 2016 Séance, and $79.95 for a festival pass with séance. Visit the PoeFest website for more.

Halloween at Hogwarts
Witches, wizards, and muggles alike are sure to assemble in droves for Halloween at Hogwarts, happening Friday, October 7, through Sunday, October 9, at Phoenix Symphony Hall. The annual Phoenix Symphony event has become an autumn tradition in the Valley, featuring 90 minutes of Harry Potter movie soundtrack and some fall season favorites. Come costumed either as a beloved or hated character from Hogwarts, or use this night as a dress rehearsal for your upcoming Halloween ensemble. Visit the Phoenix Symphony website for more.


Bayeux Book Release Party
Author Tyler Button and illustrator Gerry Kissell are celebrating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings by presenting Bayeux – a graphic novel recounting the prequel-like events leading to the 1066 battle that we don’t have time to explain (and you probably have access to Wikipedia, or better yet, come buy the book). Bayeux is released to the masses with the book release party from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, October 14, at the First Draft Book Bar at Changing Hands Phoenix. The free party is presented by Tapestry Comics, and will include a talk, book signings, and merch, as well as beer, wine, and snacks. Visit the Tapestry Comics website for more.


Trevor Noah
Okay, we’ll say it: No one can really replace Jon Stewart, but damn if we don't like Trevor Noah. And for political junkies who agree, the current Daily Show host will perform stand-up at Comerica Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 14. Tickets range from $35 to $55. Two stand-up specials, African American and You Laugh But It’s True, are currently on Netflix, so check out those two if you want to be extra psyched for the show. Visit the Live Nation website for tickets and more information.


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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano