Save it, spring training. Whatever, patio weather. The Valley’s geek scene has plenty to offer this March, thanks to Archaeology Month, the busy people over at the Virginia G. Piper Writers House, and ideal road trip conditions for an excursion to the Tucson Festival of Books.
So pull up your calendar app, because you won't wanna miss a screening of Space Jam or a celebration of David Bowie's music. Here are 10 things to do this March in metro Phoenix.
Geeks Night Out
As part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, Tempe offers an annual STEAM festival called Geeks Night Out at the Tempe Community Complex. The event features educational booths, with interactive stuff like robotics demonstrations, solar-powered race cars, science experiments, and coding exercises. There’s also live entertainment, food trucks, and more. The seventh annual Geeks Night Out event is on Thursday, March 1, and admission is free. See the city of Tempe website for more details.
"Cli-Fi Bodies, Heart-Born Worlds"
Cli-fi is short for climate fiction. And during this lecture on the subject, national bestselling author Lidia Yuknavitch will ask the big questions like: What if we loved the planet the way we claim to love our partners or children? She’ll also touch on topics including biology, physiology, parallel universes, and new scientific discoveries. "Cli-Fi Bodies, Heart-Born Worlds" starts at 7 p.m. on March 2 in Phoenix Art Museum's Whiteman Hall. It's free to attend, but attendees need tickets. See the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing website for details.
Saturday Morning Bird Walk
It’s the best time of year for the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, which you can see for yourself during the weekly Saturday Morning Bird Walk. It’s a BYOB (bring your own binoculars) and BYOBB (bring your own bird book) event, featuring an expert birder who guides participants on a walk through the Rio Salado habitat. Both beginning and advanced birders are welcome. The walk starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, and it’s free. See the Rio Salado Audubon Center website for more information.
Sips 'N Screens: Space Jam
Everyone’s favorite basketball movie (calm down, Gene Hackman) is playing at the Arizona Science Center in honor of March Madness. It’s Sips 'N Screens: Space Jam. Which means you get to drink before watching this MJ classic on the five-story Irene P. Flinn Theater screen. Arrive at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5, for beer and/or cocktails, and stay for all the good Wayne Knight jokes. Seating starts at 6:45 p.m., the movie at 7. Tickets are $5. See the Facebook event for more details.
"The Earliest Apache in Arizona: Evidence of Arguments"
Pueblo Grande Museum will host Dr. Deni Seymour for this free lecture. Apparently, recent findings may connect to ancestral Apaches being around around three centuries earlier than previously thought. An authority on protohistoric, Native American, and Spanish colonial archaeology and ethno-history, Seymour will lead the discussion starting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7. See the city of Phoenix website for more details.
Celebrating David Bowie
This concert is a Bowie-style performance that ropes in the late artist's friends and former band mates, as well as musicians heavily influenced by Ziggy Stardust. We’re talking Mike Garson, Bernard Fowler, Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard, Carmine Rojas, and any number of special guests. Tickets range from $33 to $68. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, in the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center. See the MAC website for more information.
Tucson Festival of Books
An Arizona institution, the two-day Tucson Festival of Books has it all: books, authors, educational booth, a whole freaking section dedicated to parks, and books, too. Hundreds of authors are scheduled to appear. Sit in for talks like "Writing the Past – Best in Memoirs," "The Art of the Short Story," and "Tales from the Table: Writing about Food," or just cruise the booths and buy some books. The fest runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, on the University of Arizona campus. Entry is free. See the Tucson Festival of Books website for all details.
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A Reading with Elena Passarello
Elena Passarello is an author, essayist, and actress, and she’s coming to ASU to read form her book of essays, Animals Strike Curious Poses. She'll also partake in a Q&A session and book signing. Her book covers animals made famous by humans, beginning with Yuka, the 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth. The free reading takes places at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16. Visit the Eventbrite page to register and find out more.
Jim Morris of Pixar
The president of Pixar Animation Studios has a visit to Scottsdale on the books. During a talk at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Jim Morris will go over the creative, technical, and production process behind movies like WALL•E, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave, Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur, and Finding Dory — all of which have been banged out on his watch. Tickets are $20, and the talk starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. See the SMoCA website for tickets and further details.
Arizona Toy Con
Arizona Toy Con has the edge when it comes to cool vendors. They’ve got vintage toys, modern toys, comic books, and tons of collectibles. We’re talking My Little Pony, Care Bears, little Dr. Ian Malcolm action figures probably, and those Funko POP dolls all over the place. Admission is $10 for adults, and free for kids 12 and under. The 2018 Arizona Toy Con is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, at the Glendale Civic Center. See the Arizona Toy Con website for more information.