Nerd Culture

11 Nerdy Things to Do This January in Metro Phoenix

It’s time to start over, guys. Here comes a new year, maybe a new you (if you go for that sort of thing), and definitely some new nerdy things to do around the Valley.

And we’ve got quite a lineup of events and activities worthy of your new, somehow-J.J. Abrams-related wall calendar, including a rock and mineral show, tabletop game fair, and talks of Mars supporting life. Here are 11 ways to geek out this January in metro Phoenix.

Super Trivia Night
The people of Crescent Ballroom know how to start the year right, and despite it being New Year’s Day, Super Trivia Night is still happening. Trivia Crüe kicks off its fourth season with an extravaganza of current events, food and drink specials, and of course, prizes. DJ Heimbuck spins between rounds. This free, 21-and-over event starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 1. Visit the Crescent Ballroom website for more information, or call 602-716-2222.

Adults Only Puppet Slam
If you’re an adult who enjoys puppetry, then you probably already know about Great Arizona Puppet Theater’s Adults Only Puppet Slam. The next one starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 6, and Saturday, January 7, at the Greater Arizona Puppet Theater in downtown Phoenix. The content is definitely geared toward an adult audience – but what that content is for this show, you’ll have to find out for yourself. Cost is $10 if you call and book at least 24 hours in advance, or $12 the day of the show. Call 602-262-2050 for reservations.

2017 Flagg Gem And Mineral Show
Forget the face paint at this tailgate party. Mark your calendar for the 2017 Flagg Gem and Mineral Show, a three-day event where local mineral and lapidary clubs and enthusiastic collectors showcase their assortment of rocks and minerals in a traditional tailgate-style atmosphere – all sponsored by the Flagg Mineral Foundation. The 45th annual Flagg Gem and Mineral Show is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday, January 6 through 8, at Mesa Community College in the West Parking Lot. Parking and admission are free. Visit the Flagg Show website.

"Potential Evidence of Past Life on Mars"
This adult-oriented discussion focuses on how Spirit, a Mars Rover from 2007, discovered some stuff on Mars that’s pretty similar to some stuff on Earth. We’ll let planetary geologist Steve Ruff cover the technical side of things during his free talk “Potential Evidence of Past Life on Mars Based on Observations from a Dead Rover and a Living Hydrothermal System in Chile” during MACH1: Science Café from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, at Burton Barr Central Library. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website for more details.

Plant Tour of Pueblo Grande
The desert has some edible, even medicinal, plants coming right out of the ground, and the folks at Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park are more than willing to tell you about them during the Plant Tour of Pueblo Grande. A guide will point out desert flora and some seasonal and traditional crops used by the ancient Sonoran Desert people from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, January 13. Cost is free with paid museum admission, which is $6 for adults. Visit the Pueblo Grande Museum website for more info.

Science Before Saturday: "Star Wars, A Galaxy Of Discovery"
Science Before Saturday is a new monthly and all-ages event that takes place each second Friday at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa. The New Year brings “Star Wars, A Galaxy of Discovery” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 13. Attendees can try hands-on experiments, attend workshops overseen by local scientists and institutions, and meet and greet downtown Mesa artists and business representatives. It’s all followed by the Downtown Mesa Second Friday block party. Cost is $9 for adults, and free for members. Check out the Facebook event.

Read on for more geekery.
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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.