The Best Events and Things to Do in Phoenix Around New Year's Eve | Phoenix New Times


15 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

New Times picks the best events and things to do in metro Phoenix from December 28 to January 3. Holidays at the Heard There’s no place like Heard for the holidays — for a few reasons. It’s one of the premier Native American art and culture museums, for starters. But during...
Share this:
New Times picks the best events and things to do in metro Phoenix from December 28 to January 3.

Holidays at the Heard
There’s no place like Heard for the holidays — for a few reasons. It’s one of the premier Native American art and culture museums, for starters. But during the most wonderful time of the year, the institution offers extra incentives to keep you and your out-of-town pals from inhaling that 73rd cookie. It’s called Holidays at the Heard, and it involves live music, art demonstrations, and traditional dance performances at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day from December 26 through 31 at 2301 North Central Avenue. On Monday, December 28, world-famous hoop dancer Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hop/Choctaw) and renowned Navajo basket weavers Christopher and Kevin Black are featured. Museum admission is $18 for adults. For more, see or call 602-252-8840. Becky Bartkowski

Pink Slip Open Mic
An open mic event, in which randos off the street are allowed to perform for an audience, usually features musicians, spoken word performers, and/or, Goddess forbid, comedians. (Just kidding! See what we did there?) A great thing about Lawn Gnome Publishing’s weekly Pink Slip Open Mic, hosted by local musician Andy Warpigs, is that you’re about as likely to experience burlesque, circus acts, and vaudeville — and all for a maximum of five minutes each.

The next Pink Slip rolls out at 8 p.m. Monday, December 28. Admission is $1. It’s an all-ages, uncensored event. (Because you’re the damn parent — take some responsibility.) If you want to perform, arrive early for signup. Lawn Gnome’s at 905 North Fifth Street. Call 602-682-5825 or visit Julie Peterson

What Is... Trivia Tuesday
Grab your friends (well, the smart ones), because Linger Longer Lounge has a battle of the ages taking place every Tuesday night with What Is… Trivia Tuesday.

The Jeopardy-themed, group-style trivia event keeps on rolling week-to-week. Keep your phone in your pocket (cheaters!) and test your mental strength with questions about pop culture, literature, history, and whatever other pointless knowledge Linger Longer decides you should have.

Have that friend who constantly drones on about utterly useless facts? They’ll finally be put to good use when the bar hands out prizes for first-, second- and third-place winners.

Put your wits to the test at 8 p.m. at 6522 North 16th Street. The event is free, but the beers aren’t. Christina Caldwell

After 20 years of marriage, Sue is ready to call it quits with Dan. That is, until a stash of old photographs recalls their past days of fun, love, and romance. What might be dreary ground for a play to cover is buoyed by the melodies of Stephen Schwartz (composer of Broadway hits Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked) in Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook. Not merely a jukebox musical, Schwartz has adapted and rewritten the lyrics of some of his most recognizable tunes to craft an altogether different, if not new, tale. For the couple in question, the ditties become a new way to look back at what brought them together in the first place.

Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook is at The Herberger Theater, 222 East Monroe Street, on Wednesday, December 30, at 7:30 p.m. Admission ranges from $28 to $68. Visit to purchase tickets or for more information. Jose Gonzalez

"Yonder Peasant"
Famous for his photos of Frank Lloyd Wright and the architect’s works, Pedro E. Guerrero was granted unprecedented access to Wright’s process and became one of the most sought-after architectural photographers of the 1950s.

Later, his stance on the Vietnam War raised some eyebrows and he was blacklisted from many of the era’s major architectural magazines, but he bounced back, extensively documenting the lives of sculptor Louise Nevelson and Alexander Calder.

“Yonder Peasant” turns the camera back on Guerrero, documenting his time in World War II, life in New York in the ‘40s and career, alongside some of the world’s most famous artists of the era at the exhibit at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, One East Main Street, through Sunday, January 17. Hours on Wednesday, December 30, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the free exhibit is available at Christina Caldwell

Flannel Ball 2016
Join Roosevelt Row CDC, downtown businesses, and New Times to toast to another year at Flannel Ball 2016 — think less “yee haw,” more hipster chic during this see-and-be-seen party.

Festivities include live music, food trucks, lawn games, a photo booth, a piñata, and a beer garden area from New Belgium Brewing Company. A featured art show, “New on Old Art Show,” enlists artists to revive old pieces with new contributions. Think of it as a real-life, arty application of “Auld Lang Syne.”

This block party is outdoor-heavy, so make sure the flannel you don is more functional than fashion-forward. Count down to 2016 from 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, to 1 a.m. on Friday, January 1, at Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905 North Fifth Street, and all along Fifth and Sixth streets off Roosevelt Street. Tickets are $25 day-of and open to all ages. For tickets and more details, visit Janessa Hilliard

Beau Jest
A lady is in love with a man her parents wouldn’t approve of — he’s gentile. So she hires a “perfect” boyfriend to come to dinner. (He’s not Jewish either, but he’s a good actor.) Will high jinks ensue? Does a bear use a bunny as toilet paper? (In other words, yes.) The rest of the plot unfolds in James Sherman’s very popular comedy Beau Jest, opening at Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre on Thursday, December 31.
Tickets are $42, and party favors and cheesecake will be distributed during intermission of the 6 and 9:30 p.m. performances. Prices decrease to $18 to $28 for the remainder of the run through Saturday, February 13. The theater’s at 50 West Page Avenue. Get tickets at 480-497-1181 or  Julie Peterson

Rob Schneider
Rob Schneider's a guy who puts his money where his mouth is. When CBS yanked the plug on his sitcom Rob despite it pulling down an average of 11 million viewers per episode, he resolved to self-finance another season of it. In its reincarnated form Real Rob, the comic plays himself going through various travails of making his way through the entertainment industry. The SNL alum and Adam Sandler chum has plenty of experiences to draw from and he’ll be sure to spill the most hilarious parts of them on stage.

Rob Schneider performs at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street in Phoenix, on Thursday, December 31, with shows at 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $35, with VIP packages for $68. To purchase tickets and more info, visit Jose Gonzalez

Midnight Madness Run
We know you, runners. We’re positive that at those New Year’s Eve parties last year, while you were sipping champagne and watching fireworks, you were secretly wishing you’d been able to squeeze in one last run, and maybe even follow up with another couple miles to kick of the new year. Don’t make the same mistake this year. The Midnight Madness Run at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex offers two 5K runs — one at 10:30 p.m. December 31; one at 12:10 a.m. January 1 — complete with a sparkling cider toast in between.

Start the new year running at the Midnight Madness Run 10:30 p.m. Thursday, December 31, at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex, 9833 North 25th Avenue in Phoenix. Visit for more. Zach Fowle

Enchantment Under the Sea
Your New Year’s Eve sets the pace for the next 365 days; actually, it’s 366 — we can’t wait to trade our tears for candy on February 29th. The Clarendon Hotel’s Enchantment Under the Sea shindig could be your key to the pathway to more success in the One-Six. Between decor recalling the cinematic classics Back To The Future, Grease, Pretty in Pink, and Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, good food and drink, cranking tunes, and The Clarendon’s rooftop providing one of the best views of the city, your 2016 will start swimmingly.

Enchantment Under the Sea bubbles up at The Clarendon Hotel, 401 West Clarendon Avenue, from 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, to 1 a.m. Ticket packages range from $54 to $107 and are available via Jose Gonzalez

Adventures in Hangovers
It’s safe to assume that we’ll all be hurting come the morning of January 1, with a hangover headache and little recollection of what happened post ball-drop. Luckily, Kobalt Bar gets 2016 started right with hair-of-the-dog and live entertainment during its seventh annual Adventures in Hangovers.

Indulge in mimosa and Bloody Mary bars, breakfast, and, eventually, pizza for those who can’t get up until noon. Prizes for best morning wear and, once the pounding stops, ready to party with Barbara Seville, Tyra Marie, and Celia Putty during a drag show at 1 p.m.
Doors open at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day at 3110 North Central Avenue. There’s no cover, so your resolution to save money can start off strong. Visit or call 602-264-5307. Janessa Hilliard

"Cats & Guitars"
Kate Benjamin is definitely a cat person. She owns 11 furry felines (all rescues) and built a successful business reviewing and creating products for cat-conscious homes — which, in turn, led to two New York Times bestsellers (with Animal Planet star Jackson Galaxy) on “catification.” Now she’s created “Cats & Guitars,” a gallery show that is exactly as it sounds.

More than 30 artists — from locals to Norwegians — have contributed. Most are depictions of cats and guitars, some are cats painted on guitars, and chances are good you’ll run into a real cat, sans guitar.

The exhibition of curious kittens playing, admiring, or posing with guitars debuts from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, January 1, at Chartreuse Gallery, 1301 Grand Avenue. The free show runs through Sunday, January 31. Visit for additional hours. Janessa Hilliard

Cactus Bowl
It’s been a disappointing season for Arizona State football. The Sun Devils started the season as a trendy pick to win the Pac 12 but ended the same way they always seem to: also-rans playing in a scrub-tier bowl game.

The small consolation for Arizona State fans is that they won’t have to travel far to watch the Devils play their low-level bowl game. The Devils will stay home to play West Virginia in the Cactus Bowl on Saturday, January 2, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. If you’re dying to watch the Sun Devils in a bowl, this is the cheapest chance you’ll ever have.

The game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and are available via Ed Kummerer

7 Minutes into the New Year
“Unsuitable for children” — oh, joy! Surely you have not yet had enough of the company of badly behaved, possibly tipsy grownups. So get out the house! Sitting in an audience with said adults can be more rowdy (depending on the type of show) than looking at TV, no matter how freakishly good it is. We’re setting you up for 7 Minutes into the New Year, Space 55’s completely unvetted extravaganza of diverse entertainers who get a mere seven minutes each to amaze and amuse you (and possibly evoke the feels).

You ought to snag your tix ($10) now, at, because the venue is small and the evening will be cray. The show’s at 9 p.m. Saturday, January 2, at 636 East Pierce Street.  Julie Peterson

"Luminous Trajectories"
Sitting in Los Angeles traffic is hardly a thing of beauty, unless you’re California’s Dion Johnson.
Inspired by the city’s bright skies, natural beaches, and industrial sheen, Johnson’s use of bright colors and stark lines warp Southern California’s harshest and most beautiful elements into dichotomous works packed with vibrant energy at Bentley Gallery’s exhibition, “Luminous Trajectories.”

Playing with darkness and light and shunning white space, Johnson’s angular acrylics on canvas are pop-inspired parties for the eye, taking note of freeway curvatures, skyscrapers, and the empty vastness of everything taking place off the California coast.

Catch the free exhibition through Tuesday, January 5, at 215 East Grant Street, during gallery hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit Christina Caldwell
KEEP NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. Your membership allows us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls. You can support us by joining as a member for as little as $1.