Let's be real: November has been a colossal bummer. But the holidays are officially here. And that means there's plenty to keep you busy — from holiday lights, shopping, and reflection on what you're feeling thankful for. Also, though? There are ways to get outta the house without busting your budget. Handpicked from the New Times' curated events calendar, here are a few weekend events that'll cost you $7 or less (and maybe put a smile on your face).
We all have that one neighbor for whom holiday decorating comes early — like, daylight savings time early — and whose icicle lights are out despite it being 80 degrees.
But come the day after Thanksgiving, it once again is socially and HOA-acceptable to cover every cactus or front door in LED hues. And no one leads the charge of glowing displays quite like Glendale.
Now in its 23rd season, Glendale Glitters will paint 16 blocks of Historic Downtown in 1.5 million lights with the ceremonial flick of a switch at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 25. With the square at 58th and Glendale avenues aglow, spectators can play in a faux snow area, visit a fully decorated, 30-foot tree, and get a jump on that naughty-or-nice list at a marketplace of handcrafted gifts.
The square lights up nightly from 5 to 11 p.m. through Saturday, January 7. Admission's free. Special events are held Fridays and Saturdays. Find details at www.glendaleaz.com/glitters or 623-930-2299. Janessa Hilliard
Find the traditional red and green ornaments far too boring to dangle from your holiday tree? We know where you can find more interesting baubles for decorative — or gift-giving — purposes.
The Ornament Marketplace is an annual holiday shopping event that features an array of Native-themed ornaments crafted by American Indian artists using a range of media. From carved wood, to basketry, to pottery and beaded works, these are intricate and unique creations. Navajo artist Vincent Begaye designed this year’s limited-edition signature ornament; only 30 are available. Ogle or obtain handmade goods from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, November 25, at the Heard Museum Shops, 2301 North Central Avenue. Admission is free, and the event runs through Sunday, November 27. Call 602-252-8840 or visit heard.org. Amy Young
The fourth annual Phoenix Flea on Small Business Saturday will be anything but small. With more vendors, food trucks, and amenities, Phoenix Flea 2016 is all set to take over Heritage Square Park, 115 North Sixth Street, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 26.
The market offers handmade crafts and body care products, vintage apparel and décor, and original art through such vendors as Slather Lotions, Her Name is Mud, Local Nomad, Frockify, Pink Midnight Jewelry, Local Stem Flower Truck, and nearly 100 more. If shopping gets you hungry, find food trucks like Tia Rose Taco Truck and Mustache Pretzels. If you’re only thirsty (wink wink), visit Bar Bianco or the Rose and Crown.
Admission for this pet-friendly, all-ages shopping event is $5 cash at the gate, or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2715896. Some proceeds benefit a local nonprofit helping at-risk children. Visit www.phx-flea.com for more details. Lauren Cusimano
Read on for improv comedy, a dance party, and a geeky gaming competition.
Mail Order Bride
Though it might be difficult to remember in light of recent events, the correct answer to the question “Who run the world?” is indeed “girls.” And similarly, we would argue, the correct answer to the question “Who run the Phoenix improv scene?” is also “girls.” The ones of Mail Order Bride, specifically. On Saturday, November 26, Phoenix’s only all-female longform improv group will be celebrating a decade of making the Valley laugh at their Mail Order Bride 10-Year Anniversary Show at 7 p.m. As one of the founding groups behind the Torch Theatre, it only makes sense that the indie comedy hub at 4721 North Central Avenue would host the show. And if seeing hilarious women doing what they do best isn’t enough for you, Mail Order Bride will also be releasing their calendar, The Mobiography, which documents the improve troupe’s history. Tickets are $7 and available, along with more information, at www.thetorchtheatre.com. Evie Carpenter
If Top-40 dance nights have you rolling your eyes, you don’t have to put up with that basic noise anymore, thanks to a brand-new dance night at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Aptly titled D.A.N.C.E. (Justice circa 2007, anyone?), the DJ event will showcase indie and underground tunes to get you moving. For the first iteration, DJ Mitch Freedom will be accompanied by live performances from Paper Foxes and BOYS, along with some special guest DJs. So get your back up off the wall and head to that alley bar on Saturday, November 26, at 9 p.m. There’s a $3 cover at the door, with advance tickets available via www.valleybarphx.com. It is a 21-and-over event. Heather Hoch
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They may be known for their old-school arcade machines, but on Sunday, November 27, Cobra Arcade Bar is celebrating console gaming with the third round of their inaugural Console Tournament, featuring four weeks of fights.
This week players face off with King of Fighters XIV, the latest entry in the popular head-to-head fighting series. Spectators are welcome, and can enjoy Dos Manos Hot Dogs outside, or show off their singing voices at 9 p.m. for the Sore Throat Sunday Singalong. The tournament wraps up on Sunday, December 4, with Mortal Kombat XL.
Sign-up and warm-ups start at 4 p.m. with no buy-in for competitors at 801 North Second Street. For more information, call 602-595-5873 or visit cobraarcadebar.com. Michael Senft