25 Things to Do and See This Valentine's Weekend in Metro Phoenix

Ah, Valentine's Day: arguably the most divisive of all Hallmark holidays. Whether you're planning a romantic evening for two with a longtime partner, hitting the scene with some single friends, or trolling Tinder from the comfort of your couch, there's no avoiding it, the day of cliché is upon us. This year the big day falls on Sunday, February 14, meaning you have an entire weekend to celebrate love, or show your cynical side, during ample events citywide with some skewed toward Cupid while others are blissfully unrelated. We've rounded up a list of 25 things for you to see and do this Valentine's weekend — regardless of your relationship status. 

Friday, February 12

Exotic Art Show 32
An annual, human highlight amidst the cookie-cutter Hallmark hubbub, the 32nd Exotic Art Show debuts at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 12, at Alwun House, at 1204 East Roosevelt Street. The all-consuming event is a bit of sensory overload, with live acts, roving performers, and body painting. Not for the faint of heart, this art show features two floors of uninhibited, provocative work from 60 erotic-exotic artists. The "Phantasmagorical" opening night truly is sex on display — in all of its shapes, sizes, and forms. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. There will be a cash bar at the 21-and-over event. Visit for more.

Body Art Expo

You can say it with flowers, you can say it with chocolates, but it just means more when you say it with ink — right? Whether you're feeling committed or browsing around, the annual Body Art Expo takes over the Arizona State Fairgrounds this holiday weekend, bringing with it more than 200 tattoo artists, a live art competition, and a beer fest featuring 20 draft beers. The expo is open from 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 14. Single-day tickets are $22 either online or at the door. Don't have a special someone to memorialize on your body forever? We're sure Mom'll love her name in a bright red heart.

"Still Tickin'"
For six decades, artist Betye Saar has taken collections of everyday items and assembled them into art: Art that speaks volumes about her African-American identity, personal spirituality, and the similarities and deep divides between cultures. Now those items are on view as part of a nostalgia exhibition that doubles as a stoic stance: "Still Tickin'." The retrospective is filled with the mixed-media installations Saar is known for, divided into three themes that overlap her artistic life: Nostalgia and memory, mysticism and ritual, and political and racial. On view from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, February 12, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students. Member discounts may be available. "Still Tickin'" will continue to run through Sunday, May 1. For show and museum details. visit

Chances are the Arizona Science Center's newest exhibit was designed with children in mind, but we're pretty certain the grownups will appreciate it even more. "POPnology" is a science-skewed look at how popular culture effects our daily lives: from how we live and work to how we move and play. Should you thank the creators of Spock for that iPhone in your pocket? Are Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator and George Lucas' R2D2 prototypes of what's the come? Stroll through 8,000 square feet of sci-fi technology, with displays ranging from E.T. to the original Jurassic Park. Entrance fees are $12 for adults ($10 for children) in addition to general admission pricing ($18 adult, $13 children) into the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit for more.

Saturday February 13

Arizona Statehood Celebration

Fun fact: This weekend’s Hallmark holiday doubles as Arizona's birthday. The Arizona Capitol Museum is offering free admission during a daylong celebration on Saturday, February 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (museum is closed on Sundays). The event highlights The Grand Canyon State's 104-year history and features a presentation from Dr. C. Gilbert Storms on "The Father of Arizona: Charles Poston." For event and museum details, visit

Statehood Bike Ride
If you're the type of person to get up around 7 a.m. on Saturdays with an inclination to actually be active, then Phoenix Spokes People and Bicycle Nomad Café have the event for you. Though not actually on Statehood Day, the Second Saturday ride — rebranded as "Statehood Ride" in honor of Arizona's birthday — will take bikers on a two-wheeled tour of historic structures around Phoenix, some of which have (surprisingly) been around almost as long as the state itself. The group meets at 8 a.m. on February 13, at Bicycle Nomad Café (inside Velo), 828 North Second Street #1, to caffeinate and charge up before rolling out at 9 a.m. Look to their Facebook event for details.

Market at MADE
If you're the kind of person who just realized Valentine's Day is tomorrow — that's right: tomorrow — you're in luck. Skip the overprice jewelry and lengthy mall lines and head to the Market at MADE, a local one-stop pop-up shop full of local love. Browse through designs from Phoenix-based artists and participants, like Be You Jewelry, Jar of Buttons, and Ellie Brook Designs. Iron Root Wood Burning, SpoonsenForksen, Lafayette Avenue Ceramics, and The Painted Ladies will also have booths, so whether you're looking for something for your significant other to hang or to wear that shows how much you care, you're covered. Runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, at MADE Art Boutique, 922 North Fifth Street off Roosevelt Row. 

VNSA Used Book Sale
Whether it's a love story you want or you're looking to escape among the pages of a novel, the VNSA Used Book Sale is the perfect place to pick up some paperback companions. This year marks the event's 60th anniversary, as it sets up shop at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, offering more than eight semi-trucks of used books to choose from. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 14. Even better news for all you book lovers out there? Most items will books will be half-price on Valentine's Day. Visit for more.

Second Annual MAFW Galentine's Day
Fans of Amy Poehler's Parks & Recreation will fondly remember Galentine's Day, the unofficial February 13th holiday for lady friends. Leave the boyfriends and husbands at home and "ladies celebrating ladies" Leslie Knope-style — over breakfast foods, naturally. The 2nd annual MAFW Galentine's Day will be held over vegan and vegetarian brunch specials, booze, and coffee at The Coronado, 2201 North Seventh Street. Starts at noon and, yes, there will be waffles. For details, head to the Facebook event page.

Galentine's Day at The Duce
Across prefer your brunch after noon? Luckily, another group of ladies has a similar Knope-inspired idea. A separate gal pal party takes place across downtown at The Duce. If Sunday is for significant others, then Saturday is for all your #WCWs out there: Gather the girls together for cocktails and chitchat from 1 to 4 p.m. at 525 South Central Avenue. $15 covers the cost of attendance plus one cocktail (or mocktail) and includes entry into an on-site raffle. Visit Facebook for more information.

I Love Science Day
Whether you’re the kind of person who likes science fine or fucking loves science, "I Love Science Day!" is the V-Day answer to those who prefer realistic heart-shapes. Learn a thing or two about everything from dinosaurs to the desert and observe ongoing science experiments from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 North MacDonald in Mesa. Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children. Visit for details.

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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