Things to Do

13 Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

Pool party fun at The Saguaro in Scottsdale.
Pool party fun at The Saguaro in Scottsdale. Benjamin Leatherman
Each weekend, a variety of local events and activities take place at venues across the Valley. The three-day stretch from Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 19, is no exception and will include the chance to celebrate Juneteenth, enjoy some fun in the sun, or participate in a massive art hunt in Tempe. Details about each of these events and others can be found below.
click to enlarge Be on the lookout for the art of James B. Hunt (a.k.a. Nxoeed) later this month. - JAMES B. HUNT
Be on the lookout for the art of James B. Hunt (a.k.a. Nxoeed) later this month.
James B. Hunt

Nxoeed 50th Birthday Art Hunt

Friday, June 17
Various locations in Tempe
The thrill of the hunt can rival the satisfaction of a good find. Of course, it’s fine to search for art in traditional venues such as galleries and museums. But seeking out art in the streets is just as rewarding — especially when you know a local creative has hidden paintings for people to find. That’s what local artist James B. Hunt, a.k.a. Nxoeed, has been doing for years and will do so again on June 17 in honor of his 50th birthday on June 17. As with Hunt’s previous, um, hunts, a treasure trove of zines, sticker and button packs, screen-printed posters, and original art pieces will be hidden in and around the Tempe area. He’ll then start posting clues to the various locations on his social media feeds beginning at 9 p.m. that night. Lynn Trimble and Benjamin Leatherman

Lightspeed Launch Party

Friday, June 17
Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard
In honor of the Disney animated film Lightyear debuting in theaters later this month, The District at Desert Ridge Marketplace will host a free launch party inspired by the film. Activities will include laser tag sessions, glowing starcraft displays, live entertainment, and movie pass giveaways. Attendees can also get a photo with a life-sized Buzz Lightyear. The party runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Benjamin Leatherman

Adam Conover

Friday, June 17, to Saturday, June 18
CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard

If there was a living embodiment of the “well, actually” trope associated with nerddom, Adam Conover would be it. The actor, writer, podcaster, and “investigative comedian” has made a career of demystifying difficult concepts or debunking myths, first on his TruTV edutainment show Adam Ruins Everything and then on the Netflix limited series The G Word (which helped explain how the federal government works). Conover’s standup comedy is equally brainy, as he jokes about such topics as growing up in a family of geniuses, science, and his own lack of depth perception. His summer stand-up tour will start off in the Valley with a three-night stint at CB Live, and he’s not only promising all-new material but is also offering to take selfies afterward with anyone who attends. Showtimes vary each evening and tickets are $22 (plus a two-drink minimum) per set. Benjamin Leatherman

Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 18
Eastlake Park, 1549 East Jefferson Street
The free Valley of the Sun Juneteenth celebration hosted by the Arizona Informant Foundation will features in-person activities at Eastlake Park Community Center. It’s happening from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Expect live performances by school and community groups, health screenings, educational workshops, vendors, games, soul food, and more. Lynn Trimble

Learn and Lunch

Saturday, June 18
Marcellino Ristorante, 7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Sit at the chef's table to watch Chef Marcellino make an Italian specialty during this learn and lunch session at Marcellino Ristorante from 1 to 3 p.m. The dish for June is pasta alla checcha, tossed with a sauce of fresh diced tomato, basil, and mozzarella. The cost is $70 per person plus tax and gratuity, and reservations are required. Julie Levin
click to enlarge Vintage playthings will be available at the latest Arizona Toy Con. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Vintage playthings will be available at the latest Arizona Toy Con.
Benjamin Leatherman

Arizona Toy Con

Saturday, June 18
Glendale Civic Center, 5750 West Glenn Drive, Glendale
Children of the 1970s and ‘80s who never quite grew up can take a trip down memory lane at the latest Arizona Toy Con in Glendale. They might just run into some old friends along the way, including such favorites as Optimus Prime, He-Man, or Stretch Armstrong. More the 100 vendors from around the Valley will display and sell vintage and modern toys at the geek-friendly event. Plastic playthings of the past will be legion, whether they’re rare gems like an Electroman action figure from 1977, old-school Kenner-era Star Wars toys, or enough Transformers to conquer Cybertron. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults and $20 if you’d like to get early access starting at 9 a.m. Children 10 and younger are free (with a limit of two per paid adult). Visit the Arizona Toy Con website for more info. Benjamin Leatherman

Spirited Sipping Seminar

Saturday, June 18
Hearth '61 at Mountain Shadows, 5445 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale
We love when we can learn and also get a buzz on, and Hearth '61's spirited sipping seminars do just that. This month's topic is rosé which you'll get to taste while receiving a history lesson from a beverage expert. Space is limited to 20 guests and the event costs $39 per ticket. Julie Levin
click to enlarge The Nile Theater in Mesa. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The Nile Theater in Mesa.
Benjamin Leatherman

A Midsummer Night's Scream

Saturday, June 18
The Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, Mesa
We’re only a few months removed from Halloween and plenty of folks are already busy planning what they’ll be doing during the scary season. As such, you can expect a big turnout at this spooky swap meet and concert inside the Nile, which will feature more than 40 local vendors offering a mix of art, merch, costuming items, and even stranger things. It’s free to attend from noon until 5 p.m. Starting at 6 p.m., 13 different local bands and a number of DJs will perform throughout the evening both upstairs in the Nile and downstairs in The Underground. There’s a $10 cover to check out the nighttime activities. More information is available here. Benjamin Leatherman

Sip and Shop Summer Market Series

Saturday, June 18
Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale
The Arizona heat can make outdoor farmers' markets tough to attend during the summer, so Hotel Valley Ho is bringing the fun inside for this free market series. This month is all about rosé and bubbles, and you can RSVP to the event online. Sip on samples of wine, beer, and spirits while listening to live music and enjoying food by local chefs. Take-and-make cocktails with recipes will be available for purchase, and you'll get a 20 percent off voucher to use at the hotel's ZuZu restaurant within 30 days. Julie Levin

Ice Cream Sundays Pool Party

Sunday, June 19
The Saguaro, 4000 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale
The DJs of Recordbar Radio have been spending their Sunday afternoons in June spinning up tunes from various genres next to The Saguaro’s pool during this laidback weekly event. This Sunday’s edition will feature sets by Jake Stellarwell, T4yana, DJ MyGodComplex, Jules Quimby, DJ Pootiecat, and DJ J-Me Lee. A full bar and paletas will be available. The party runs from noon until 5:30 p.m. and admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.