Nerd Culture

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Pose, relax, and be grateful.
Pose, relax, and be grateful. Matthew Fritz
No plans? We've got you covered. This week you can check out the newest vehicles at the 2017 Phoenix International Auto Show, shop Black Friday with a vintage edge, or hear scary stories from the Lore podcast. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Gratitude Flow
If your hectic holiday plans are making you thankful they’re almost over, you might need to start the day with an activity designed to chill you out.

Get mellow during Sutra Studio’s ninth annual Gratitude Flow, a tranquil session that will be followed by a guided meditation. Both activities are designed to rejuvenate the body and mind. Live music will provide the soundtrack, and there will be a raffle.

Be grateful for an hour of relaxation from 10 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 23, at Coronado Park, 1717 North 12th Street. Admission is free, but cash donations are accepted to support the Karma Sutra Initiative, an outreach program that supports neighborhood projects. Registration is required at the Sutra Studios website. Amy Young

click to enlarge For the car lovers. - COURTESY OF ARIZONA INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
For the car lovers.
Courtesy of Arizona International Auto Show
2017 Phoenix International Auto Show
A long weekend means fewer days commuting, which means less time to ogle other people’s cars. But you can get your automotive fix from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, courtesy of the 2017 Phoenix International Auto Show.

More than 500 new vehicles from over 35 manufacturers will be on display. Expect a range from futuristic to sporty — and even sensible. If you like what you see (and you have a license to drive), you can take select cars out for a spin, or step into one of the racing simulators on the display floor.

Rev up your engines from Thursday, November 23, through Sunday, November 26, at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Admission is $11 for adults, and $7 for seniors 62 and older, military personnel, and children 7 to 12. Ages 6 and younger get in free. Hours vary throughout the weekend. Visit the Phoenix International Auto Show website for a complete schedule. Jason Keil

'tis the season for discount shopping. - CITYSPACE PHOENIX
'tis the season for discount shopping.
Cityspace Phoenix
Alternative Black Friday
Holiday shopping can be the worst. Jam-packed parking lots and pushy patrons are just a couple of the pitfalls of hitting the mall. If you’re looking for a less obnoxious experience where you can load up on unique items, Alternative Black Friday at CityScape is worth checking out.

This one-day event features more than 20 vendors hawking handmade and vintage goods. And all the sellers were curated by the owners of boutique Phoenix General. Handmade vendors include Tom Budzak Ceramics and LUA Skincare. Vintage vendors include Heidi Abrahamson Vintage Jewelry, Antique Sugar, and Redhead Sadie Vintage.

CityScape shops and restaurants will also be open. And besides cool wares, you’ll find scenic photo backdrops, live music, and festive drinks.

Grab unique goods from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 24 at 1 East Washington Street. Admission is free. Visit the Phoenix Ice Rink website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Glendale Glitters decks them all. - COURTESY OF CITY OF GLENDALE
Glendale Glitters decks them all.
Courtesy of City of Glendale
Glendale Glitters
Glendale Glitters used to boast a mere million lights, but now there are 1.6 million of them. Strolling beneath twinkly trees and architecture is awe-inspiring in a way that your neighbors’ lawn inflatables cannot be.

Other attractions at the 24th annual fest include horsedrawn carriages, holiday street food, and live entertainment, along with kids’ activities, shopping, and, often, an occasion to wear your winter clothes. Murphy Park will offer free Wi-Fi, so you need not leave the teenagers home to bring down the neighborhood in blood and fire.

The event commences at 5:30 p.m. Friday, November 24, with tree-lighting and special performances, and continues through Saturday, January 6, at 58th and Glendale avenues (and the surrounding 16 blocks). For info about parking, shuttles, and so forth, go to, download the Visit Glendale app, or call 623-930-2299. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Shop for ornaments made by American Indian artists at the Heard Museum. - HEARD MUSEUM
Shop for ornaments made by American Indian artists at the Heard Museum.
Heard Museum
Heard Museum’s Ornament Marketplace
You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy shopping at the Heard Museum’s Ornament Marketplace. Several trees will be decorated with hundreds of hanging baubles that make for fun home décor beyond the holiday season. Some have a clear Christmas theme, but others use more general imagery, ranging from animals to pottery. They’re made with various materials, including metal, glass, fiber, wood, and ceramics.

Visit the museum at 2301 North Central Avenue between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, November 24, to get the best selection in the museum shop, where you can peruse without paying museum admission. The marketplace continues through Sunday, November 26. Visit the Heard Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Arizona Coyotes v. L.A. Kings
Listen. If you’re a fan of Arizona’s professional sports teams, you’ve probably recalibrated your definition of success in recent years. Otherwise, you might be a glutton for punishment. Yeah, the Valley’s sports landscape is pretty arid nowadays. But there’s a silver lining: The few bright spots get a little extra attention.

Arizona Coyotes rookie Clayton Keller, for instance, wouldn’t receive anywhere near the playing time he’s grown accustomed to had he been drafted by a better team. Simply put, if the Coyotes weren’t this bad, we might never have discovered that Keller is this good. And that makes watching the Coyotes lose somewhat more bearable.

The Yotes host the L.A. Kings at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 24. Tickets are $17 and up. Visit the Coyotes website or call 623-772-3800 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge The Sad Man is 1/27 of the programming for the two nights of A Night of Misfit Films. - MAHMOUD ZEIDAN
The Sad Man is 1/27 of the programming for the two nights of A Night of Misfit Films.
Mahmoud Zeidan
A Night of Misfit Films
You can see sketch comedy at The [SIC] Sense Theatre, but it’s also a space where folks other than the Sickies present events of the cultural sort. Like the proverbial additional slice of pie, Full Figure Productions chases your thankfulness this weekend with A Night of Misfit Films, two evenings of short works spanning two nations and four genres — sci-fi, horror, comedy, and drama. If you hang around both nights, you’ll see 27 movies, which isn’t unheard of for a weekend’s viewing, but typically involves a filthy sofa and footie PJs.

Somehow there’s also room for you to purchase food and drinks, win door prizes, and listen to live music. Maybe that’s why it all commences at 5 p.m. Friday, November 24, and Saturday, November 25, at 1902-9 East McDowell Road. Pay $15 for one night or $25 for two at the Brown Paper Tickets website. Julie Peterson

Watch RC Contreras, Anne Sanford, and Lidia Koelbel raise a glass in A Bloody Mary Christmas. - ROLAND BAYSE
Watch RC Contreras, Anne Sanford, and Lidia Koelbel raise a glass in A Bloody Mary Christmas.
Roland Bayse
A Bloody Mary Christmas
For eight years, Space 55 has provided refuge for people who hate both musicals and Christmas. That refuge recently relocated to 1524 North 18th Avenue, but its comforting contents are the same: A Bloody Mary Christmas, a wild play in which there’s more tinsel, gift-giving, singing, and dancing than you’d think you could tolerate.

Characters Blanche, Bertha, and Mabel cope with the holidays (and, frankly, all the days) in Sun City by downing booze and other substances and having sex.

The show and the new venue open at 8 p.m. Friday, November 23. Performances continue through Saturday, December 30. Tickets are $12 and $15; visit the Space 55 website. Julie Peterson

A selection of succulents at Dig It. - EVIE CARPENTER
A selection of succulents at Dig It.
Evie Carpenter
Succulent Success workshop
Succulents are resilient, but they need special care. During the Phoenix Public Market’s Succulent Success workshop on Saturday, November 25, you can learn more about different types of succulents and their watering and lighting needs.

Dig It Gardens owner Ryan Jerrell, an expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the plant industry, will teach the Q&A-style freeform workshop. The free event starts at 9 a.m. at 721 North Central Avenue. For more information, call 602-625-6736 or go to the Phoenix Public Market website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Explore art by Annie Lopez (left), Sandy Blain (right), and dozens of other artists at Art Intersection. - ART INTERSECTION.
Explore art by Annie Lopez (left), Sandy Blain (right), and dozens of other artists at Art Intersection.
Art Intersection.
“Little by Little”
Sometimes, big things come in small packages. The adage rings true at Art Intersection, 207 North Gilbert Road. For an exhibition titled “Little by Little,” the Gilbert gallery is showing small work by more than 60 national artists, selected by guest juror Julie Sasse, chief curator for Tucson Museum of Art.

Several artists are well-known on the metro Phoenix arts scene, including Laura Spalding Best, Christine Cassano, Jeff Falk, Denis Gillingwater, Annie Lopez, and Mary Meyer. Every work in the show measures no more than 10-by-10 inches. And the show features a wide variety of media, such as collage, watercolor, photography, found objects, pastels, ink, acrylic, and mixed-media. Check them out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 25. Visit the Art Intersection website. Lynn Trimble

The Miss AfriCaribe Beauty Pageant
Pageants can showcase more than just beauty. The Miss AfriCaribe Beauty Pageant, for instance, puts the spotlight on talent, eloquence, culture, and heritage, too. On Saturday, November 25, the pageant will bring together 11 contestants representing Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, Liberia, the United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Gabon. They will compete in interview, talent and evening-gown categories, and the top five will move to an onstage question round.

The winner will receive a $500 scholarship; second place, a $300 scholarship; and third, a $100 scholarship. The titleholder will become the face of the pageant system and take part in a clean-water project benefitting people in Kenya.

The pageant starts at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, and tickets run from $28 to $58. For more information, call 480-644-6500 or visit the Miss AfriCaribe Beauty Pageant website. Laura Latzko

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
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
Laura Latzko
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