25 Things to Do and See Valentine's Day Weekend in Metro Phoenix | Phoenix New Times


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...
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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 www.alwunhouse.org 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 www.bodyartexpo.com 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 www.smoca.org.

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 www.azscience.org 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 www.azlibrary.gov/azcm.

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 www.vnsabooksale.org 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 www.azmnh.org for details.

"Shapes of Humanity"
Bringing a human element to the abstract notions of love and lust that plague the Valentine's holiday is Jon Wassom's ongoing exhibition, "Shapes of Humanity." Wassom explores the human condition through the sexuality and complex emotions that shine through in his figure pieces: some paint, some mixed media. The artist reception begins at 5 p.m. at {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Avenue. Free and open to the public. The gallery show remains on view through Wednesday, February 17. Visit the Facebook event page for show details.

Flamenco Por La Vida
If it's passion you're looking for, head to Crescent Ballroom where it dances in droves during the venue's weekly Flamenco Por La Vida live lounge show. For those unfamiliar, flamenco is an exotic, red-hot marriage of song and dance straight from Spain, with striking, detailed outfits and even fancier footwork. Together with her fellow dancers, artistic director Angela Ramirez creates a truly intimate performance. Doors at 5 p.m., show at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, at 308 North Second Avenue. Free. For more information, visit www.crescentphx.com.

2016 Chinese New Year Show
The Chinese New Year began on Monday, February 8, but most celebrations for The Year of the Monkey are taking place this weekend Valleywide. If it’s a cultural celebration you’re craving rather than a glittered heart or an already wilting bouquet, check out Mesa Arts Center’s 2016 Chinese New Year Show. A marriage of East and West, the show blends traditional and contemporary dance, song, and live music for a full night of live entertainment. Tickets run $20 to $30 for the 7 p.m. show on Saturday, February 13, at the Ikeda Theater, off Main Street between Center and Sirrine streets at the Mesa Arts Center complex. Visit www.mesaartscenter.com for details.

DeSoto's Valentine's Eve Speed Dating
Find yourself ready to mix & mingle? DeSoto's Valentine's Eve Speed Dating might be the most hipster answer to those in the dating dumps. Ladies get free entry and a swag bag at the door, but advance sign-up is encouraged as there are only 30 spots available. Admission for guys is $10 and includes a glass of beer or wine. Cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m. and the musical chairs mixer — hosted by DJ Mr. PHX and Ms. Maricopa 2015 — begins at 8:30 p.m. at 915 North Central Avenue. (Two-minute rounds, men rotate.) For reservations, email [email protected].

Butthurt Valentine's Dance Party
Find yourself feeling a little down this weekend? Join with other lonelyhearts and dance that pain away during the Butthurt Valentine's Dance Party. The free event takes over Palo Verde Lounge for a night of vinyl sets and live music, covering everything from funk and soul to 80s John Hughes jams. Oh, and candy. Lots of candy. DJs start at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, at 1015 East Broadway Road in Tempe. Hit the Facebook event page for details and set times.

Viva Hate: A Party For Those Who Love Morrissey, but Hate Valentine's Day
Is there are more aptly named event out there than "Viva Hate: A Party for Those Who Love Morrissey, but Hate Valentine's Day!"? Probably not. The name says it all, when DJ Court and Matty take over the decks at Rips (3045 North 16th Street) starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, playing all things Morrissey. The night doubles as the last (regular) monthly Obscura Dance Night, a long-running scene-and-be-seen experience, so even if you can’t tell Morrissey apart from The Smiths, it’s still worth checking out. After all, what goes better than a holiday about love than a brooding Brit with a thorn in his side? 

Sunday, February 14

Willo Home Tour
Allow us to #humblebrag for a moment. While the rest of the country is feeling the chill of winter, we're shedding our sleeves and gearing up, ever so slightly, for sunshine and an ever-extending summer. How can we tell? The annual home tours are upon us. The Willo Historic District's crowd-pleasing home tour event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, taking neighbors from next door or across town into Ranch Style and French Provincial and around Spanish Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival homes dating back to the 1930s. Food trucks and vendors are on hand as walkers wander the street fair on their way to the next home. Tickets are $20 day of, discounts for advance online purchases. Visit www.willohistoricdistrict.com for more information.

Detox to Retox
If roses aren't the only red you're into this holiday weekend, then 19th Floor Yoga has the event for you: a workout replete with wine tasting. The "Detox to Retox" is an afternoon of om-and-ah courtesy of Hidden Track Bottle Shop, Heavenly Sweets AZ, and instructor Gabriel Gavin. Tickets are $20 and include both the all-levels yoga session and wine refreshments. The 75-minute class starts at 3:30 p.m. with tasting to follow at 4:45 p.m. at 111 West Monroe Street in downtown Phoenix. Doors open at 3 p.m. and participants are encourage to show up early to ready your mat and fill out a waiver. For details and reservations, visit www.19thflooryoga.com.

Infuse Open Mic Night
There is perhaps nothing so universal as love and the pitfalls and pleasures that come with it. Whether it's a bad breakup, a whirlwind romance, or finding solidarity in being single, everyone has a story — and this open mic night is the place to tell it. Infuse's 2nd Sunday Open Mic Night just happens to fall on the most love struck of holidays, encouraging everyone from seasoned storytellers to novice poets to share on stage. Sign-up is at 5:30 p.m. and show time is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Free to attend and participate. For questions, contact the organizer at [email protected] or visit the Facebook event page.

Arizona Territory
Whether you're a fourth-generation Phoenician or a recent transplant to the Grand Canyon State, chances are you could stand a refresher course on Arizona's Statehood and hundred-plus-year history. Tempe Center for the Arts raises the curtain on our state's story with "Arizona Territory," an on-stage production from playwright Augustus Thomas that originally debuted in 1899 — talk about being steeped in history. The contemporary performance comes courtesy the Arizona Centennial Theatre Foundation. Curtain opens at 7 p.m. on Arizona's actual birthday, Sunday, February 14, at the Tempe Center for the Arts Theater, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $20 to $25. Visit www.tempe.gov for details.

Valentine's Speed Dating
Depending on whom you're matched up with, this soul mate search could be seven minutes of heaven — or hell. The Coronado hosts Valentine's Day Speed Dating from 7 to 10 p.m. on the big day itself, and unlike traditional speed dating, there's no male-female separation. So whether you're gay, straight, or looking for a new Facebook friend, everybody is invited. And don't worry about awkward icebreakers, event moderators will be supplying pulled-from-a-hat conversation topics to get things warmed up. Justin Humbert and Alex Benson (the self-proclaimed Official Officiators of Valentine's Day) will emcee and keep daters entertained with ukulele jams. Participation is free and the restaurant is running food and drink specials all night.

The Princess Bride
Even if your plans for the evening included Netflix and chill-ing or binge-watching all of Broad City on Hulu, nothing quite beats the magic of the big screen — especially when there's a bar inside. And you'll be hard-pressed, in our humble opinion, to find a better silver screen romance than the Carey Elwes-Robin Wright classic The Princess Bride. Pirates! Poison! Spanish swordsmen! Medieval torture devices! And, of course, true love. It's an action-packed romance that really does have it all — including Billy Crystal. (To be fair, if it's more traditional adventure you prefer, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom screens right after.) The one-night-only screening starts at 8 p.m. at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9, must be 21+ unless with a parent or guardian. For tickets, click on www.thefilmbarphx.com.

Swipe Right for Awesomeness
If you trust your love life to an app — that, more often than not, matches you with a stranger — what’s the harm in trusting a stranger with your account? None, that is, if you're OK with being the butt of the joke. That’s the concept behind "Swipe Right for Awesomeness: An Honest Tinder Experiment," designed and hosted by local stand-up comedian Erick Biez. Part-comedy show, part-dating show, comics Anthony Desamito, Anwar Newton, and Alley Lightfoot take the stage to mock or praise not only their own accounts (and those of their fellow funny people), but those of brave audience members as well. Time to update those profile pictures. The Tinder roast starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road. Tickets are $5-10 for this 21+ show. Click on www.therebellounge.com for tickets.

Morrissey & Smiths Valentine's Night Dance
Think of it as the quintessential 80s teen film come to life: Dance party takes over pizzeria. Lovers, crushes, and friends of all kinds are encouraged to sway, swing, or pout along solemnly during the Morrissey & Smiths Valentine's Night Dance at Spinelli's Pizzeria in Tempe. (Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before.) DJs Ron Diep, Santa Cecilia, JS, and Laine B. have you covered from "Handsome Devil" to "Girlfriend in a Coma." Records start spinning at 9 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, at 420 South Mill Avenue, and will surely have you headed home humming "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me."
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