Nerd Culture

3 Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, December 23 to 25

Here come the holidays, when ice skating, snow (yes, snow!), and presents reign supreme. But there are also new public artworks, robots, and a chance to stretch your brain this weekend — all for the low cost of free. Have at 'em, Phoenix.

"The Big Robot Show"
On the very official robo-spectrum that ranges from super-fun (think Battlebots) to super-bummer (think Mr. Robot), Practical Art’s current showing falls very near to the former. “The Big Robot Show” features works by Jordan-Alexander Thomas, an artist who uses discarded objects to build his creations that blend sci-fi and whimsy. See for yourself at 5070 North Central Avenue on Friday, December 23, when the art gallery/store is open for business from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For details about the show and Practical Art, see or call 602-264-1414. Becky Bartkowski

Los Trompos
Inspired by the spinning top, a simple toy with universal appeal, Mexican artists Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena created 10 brightly colored sculptures you can basically take for a spin. They’re part of a public art installation called Los Trompos, which you can experience for free any time on Saturday, December 24, at five sites around Old Town Scottsdale.

The sculptures double as giant seating arrangements that rotate when someone spins them and are best enjoyed before rather than after you’ve hit the Scottsdale club scene. Three locations, including Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 North Drinkwater Boulevard, have more than a single sculpture. Which means less time waiting for other people to share their giant toys. Visit Lynn Trimble

Super Trivia Night
The gifts are opened, the turkey eaten, and the naps taken. Christmas night is still young, and that means there’s plenty of time for drinks and games with friends.

Despite the holiday, Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, is hosting its regular trivia night on Sunday, December 25. Show off your useless knowledge to win prizes while enjoying appetizer and drink specials, including $4 Oskar Blues and $8 nachos. Prizes include gift certificates and tickets to upcoming shows.

The questions start a little later than usual, however, with the first round at 7 p.m. As always, DJ Heimbuck is hosting and spinning before the fun starts. Admission is free. For more information, visit or calls 602-716-2222. Michael Senft
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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
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble