15 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, December 26 to January 1

How should you spend the last days of 2016? We vote that you spend it well. Here are your best options in metro Phoenix — though more events await on New Times' curated calendar.

"Built on Booze"
The cure for a holiday hangover might just be a little hair of the dog — and there will be plenty to sip on during “Built on Booze” at Lucidi Distilling Co.

Housed in Historic Fire Station No. 1 in downtown Peoria, 8307 West Washington Street, Lucidi specializes in spirits from bourbon to moonshine. Boost your booze knowledge during their four-hour talk-and-tour on Monday, December 26. And come thirsty. Over the course of the evening, participants will sample fire department-inspired craft liquors, including Dispatch Gin, Crooked Ladder Rum, Forcible Entry Vodka, and Fire Station #1 Whiskey, along with three cocktails. Bistro on Wheels will provide an accompanying four-course small bites menu.

Advance tickets are $50 per person, or $60 per couple, through Attendees must be 21 or older. For distillery details, visit Janessa Hilliard

Snow Week
Forget John Hughes’ problematic nerd flick, because here in Phoenix we have a weird science all our own. It’s the act of dumping however many impressive tons of snow in the middle of the desert. However, that doesn’t keep Valley dwellers from going absolutely bananas over it.

Arizona Science Center is gifting us Snow Week — seven days of Heritage Science Park’s grassy hill covered in 60 tons of real snow. This being a scientific endeavor, attendees can expect plenty of interactive activity, including “explosive” demonstrations, quantum levitation, and a snow village that happens to be for all ages.

Snow Week starts Monday, December 26, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It runs until Sunday, January 1. Entry is included with admission, which is $18 for adults. Call 602-716-2000 or visit Lauren Cusimano

Cactus Bowl
If this year’s Cactus Bowl, which takes place on Tuesday, December 27, at Phoenix’s Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, was literally an enormous bowl full of cacti, it would still be more comfortable than the last year has been for Baylor University. The proud football program out of Texas was not only mired in an ugly sexual assault scandal for much of 2016, they’re also backing into the Cactus Bowl on a six-game losing streak. Their opponent, Boise State, despite having a 10-2 record, is similarly unenthused about their season. The team’s much-vaunted offense had most pundits predicting a playoff-caliber season for the Idaho program. Simply put: Boise is good, Baylor is desperate, and kickoff is at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $35
and up. Visit or call 480-350-0900 for details. Rob Kroehler

Seinfeld Trivia
You’ve seen every Seinfeld episode repeatedly. Give the stinky finger to people who accused you of wasting your life when you clean up at Seinfeld Trivia, a recurring event at Valley Bar. The free event is billed as “the Trivia Night about absolutely nothing,” as opposed to all those trivia nights that are drenched in meaning.

If you need to up your game (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we recommend hanging out at some wiki. There are scads of them. Your evening of fun begins at 130 North Central Avenue at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 27, and includes prizes that vary in worthlessness, as well as $1 off craft cans (filled with beer, we presume). Visit or, if you must, call 602-368-3121. Julie Peterson

Wrapping up 2016 with a literal circus might be anticlimactic, for want of a better word. (“Coals to Newcastle” also comes to mind.) But a spell under the big top is both entertaining and life-affirming, a combo everyone could use more of. So head out to Zoppé — an Italian Family Circus at Chandler Center for the Arts. The cozy yet flashy tour features clowns, acrobats, and all the low-key spectacle anyone could desire. (Yes, there are animal performers, and they’re of the doggie and horsie persuasion.) The troupe’s been lord of the ring since 1842, and it visits us through Sunday, January 8, at 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $40 at or 480-782-2680. Wednesday, December 28’s showtime is 7 p.m. Julie Peterson

It's a Wonderful Life
Television = reruns. Live theater = not reruns? If only it were that simple. When a theater company trots out a show repeatedly, it’s generally because people love it and want to re-experience it as often as possible. And new fans get to dive in and find out what all the fuss is about. (Like those Generation Z kids who are gaga over Friends.)
A holiday fave of both screen and stage, It’s a Wonderful Life is refreshingly not Christmasy except as a framing device. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre revives its stage production through Friday, December 30, at 8670 East Shea Boulevard #103 in Scottsdale. Showtime is 7 p.m. for the performance on Thursday, December 29, and tickets are $28 at 480-314-0841 or Julie Peterson

Open Stage Night
There have been harps and flutes, guitars, harmonies, and vocalizations. Whatever the instrument, during the weekly Open Stage Night at Fiddler’s Dream Coffeehouse, all are welcome to share a song.

Though the focus of the showcase is acoustic performances — participants are allowed to perform one song per rotation of the sign-up sheet — the stage also encourages spoken word, poetry, and storytelling pieces. So whether you’ve got something to say or something to play, they’ll see you onstage in the listening room of the fair trade coffee shop at 1702 East Glendale Avenue.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 on Thursday, December 29. Admission is by donation at the door; $3 is the customary amount. Call 602-997-9795 or visit for more information. Janessa Hilliard

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
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
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
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
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young