Nerd Culture

7 Free Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

What is the deal with Valley Bar?
What is the deal with Valley Bar? Courtesy of Valley Bar
Attention, broke folks. This week you can celebrate Christmas in July, get a yoga class with a view at Rooftop Yoga, or hang out with your ride or dies at “Bikes, Balcony & Beers.” Best part? It's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Operation Indie: Indie Music Trivia Night

Were you aware there is a band out of Bloomington, Indiana, named after the mailman from the hit sitcom Cheers? Of course you were. The entire discography of Operation: Cliff Clavin is on your iPhone. Bring your knowledge of the Midwestern punk band, along with myriad others you’ve read about in Pitchfork, to Operation Indie: Indie Music Trivia Night for fun and prizes.

Sign-up starts at 7 p.m. in the Valley Bar’s Rose Room, 130 North Central Avenue. Trivia begins at 8 p.m. This is a free event. For more information, visit the Valley Bar website. Jason Keil

Chatterbox Storytelling Open Mic
Independence is the word du jour for July, in light of our national holiday. But what has independence meant in your life? If you have a story with independence as its theme, you might want to check out an open mic storytelling event at Fair Trade Cafe. On Wednesday, July 11, from 8 to 10 p.m., the popular downtown coffee joint is hosting its regular Chatterbox Storytelling Open Mic.

The ground rules are simple: “No fiction. No stand-up. No poetry. No guitars. No racism. No sexism. No homophobia. No hate speech.” You can sign up to share a six- to eight-minute personal story, as long as you arrive 30 minutes early. Stories are recorded for the local podcast Chatterpod, from producers Jared Duran and Janell Hughes.

Fair Trade Cafe is located at 1020 North First Avenue. For more information, visit the Chatterbox Storytelling website. Joe Flaherty

Princess & Pirate Party
Summer nights can pose a challenge for keeping the kids engaged and happy, but for midweek entertainment, Westgate Wednesdays has enough fun, games, and music for just about everyone — even adults. The free event, featuring the chance to meet a favorite film character or superhero, runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through July 25 at Fountain Park in the Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 North Sunset Boulevard, Glendale.

The main attraction on Wednesday, July 11, is the Princess & Pirate Party starring Disney film characters Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Cinderella (Cinderella, of course), near the splash pad. Kids can pose with the Disney Dolls for a free downloadable picture, too. Bring bathing suits and cool off in the splashpad afterward. Call 623-385-7502 or visit the Westgate website. Deb Van Tassel

Sutra’s Rooftop Yoga
Is there anything truly better than free yoga classes? How about a free rooftop yoga class?

On Wednesday, July 11, you can do just that at Sutra’s Rooftop Yoga at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix. You can downward dog and warrior to the spinning of a live DJ. All you need to do is enroll for the class at, bring your yoga mat and confirmation email to 2 East Jefferson Street, and arrive by 6:50 p.m.

Doors for the event open at 6:30 p.m. Visit the Facebook event page for more information or to invite friends. Lindsay Roberts

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Bike rides pair well with post-cycling beers.
Lynn Trimble
“Bikes, Balcony & Beers”
First rule of summer cycling: Avoid the heat by riding late in the day. Second rule: Down a cold one after you finish. It’s easily done with a free community bike ride called “Bikes, Balcony & Beers,” which starts at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 12. Cyclists at all levels will head out for a 45- to 60-minute ride through downtown Phoenix, before heading back to enjoy conversation and discounts on cold drinks and hot burritos. It’s presented with Slippery Pig Bike Shop, which promises no pigs get harmed in the process. Visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Lynn Trimble

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You'll spot Calvin Charles Gallery during the Scottsdale ArtWalk.
Lynn Trimble
Summer Spectacular Art Walk
There’s an actual art walk line you can follow on Old Town sidewalks in Scottsdale, but nobody says you have to do it. Instead, just head to Marshall Way or Main Street near East Indian School Road, where you can bounce in and out of galleries in any order you like during the free Summer Spectacular Art Walk, presented by the Scottsdale Gallery Association from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 12. Expect misted sidewalks, live music featuring a Caribbean twist, Hawaiian shaved ice with adult flavors, and plenty of art in diverse media and styles. Visit the Scottsdale Gallery Association website. Lynn Trimble

Christmas in July
Even a wool-suited North Pole-guy like Santa Claus deserves a break from ice, snow, and reindeer, especially if it’s to kick off the 12th annual Christmas in July celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, in Catlin Court shopping district in Historic Downtown Glendale. Check in for your visit and get an activity list at the “North Pole” setup at Arizona Doll and Toy Museum, 5847 West Myrtle Avenue, then take advantage of all the ops for shopping, sweet treats, and free activities. Don’t forget to have a photo taken with Jolly Old St. Nick — after all, he’s traveling nearly 4,000 miles to bask in Arizona sunshine.

Parking is free throughout the downtown and in the city garage. Visit the Facebook event page or call 623-930-7303 for more information. Deb Van Tassel
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble