Nerd Culture

7 Things to Do This Weekend for $16 or Less

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in CenPho.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in CenPho. Courtesy of the Irish Cultural Center
Believe it or not, St. Patrick's Day has more to offer than green beer. Similarly, Phoenix has more ways for you to spend this weekend than just St. Patrick's Day parties. Here's a look at this weekend's cheap happenings, and each one costs $16 or less. Which means more money for beer that's green, or for other awesome events in metro Phoenix.

St. Patrick's Day
Aside from pubs and workplace parties where Mary’s hunter green sweater is clashing with a lime-colored skirt, you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2017 at the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library, 1106 North Central Avenue.

That’s where you’ll find educational offerings like genealogy displays, a “Ceili” or social dancing workshop, a 1916 commemoration exhibit, a Celtic authors table, and primers for learning to speak Irish. There will also be a full cash bar, food for purchase from the cooks in the kitchen, and rowdy stuff like sing-a-longs, Irish and Scottish dance, and scavenger hunts.

Festivities at the Irish Cultural Center run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 17. A ticket is $10, or get three for $25. Buy tickets early to be entered for a $100 gift certificate to a local pub, an annual family membership to the center, or a trip to Ireland. Call 602-258-0109 or see the Irish Cultural Center website. Lauren Cusimano

click to enlarge The Sensatorium by Sensebellum. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
The Sensatorium by Sensebellum.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity
We live in an age of such overstimulation that you’d think inspiration would come easy. Typically, that’s not the case. But this weekend, the East Valley has a little something that might kick start your creative flow.

Spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity is an immersive arts experience that includes work by Arizona creatives. This annual event features installations, musical performances, live art-making, and demonstrations where diverse projects and performances are brought to life. Highlights include Kyllan Manney’s Homage to Yayoi Kusama, a large-scale tribute to the Japanese artist, and We Are All Musical, Evan Tobias’ interactive music area. Find your inspiration from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 17, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Admission is free, and festivities continue through Saturday, March 18. Call 480-644-6560 or visit Mesa Arts Center's website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Go green at Desert Botanical Garden. - ADAM RODRIGUEZ
Go green at Desert Botanical Garden.
Adam Rodriguez
Spring Plant Sale
Even if you have a proverbial “green thumb,” having the right plant is key — especially in Arizona. During the Desert Botanical Garden’s Spring Plant Sale at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, experts are on hand to advise you on what succulent, monarch butterfly nectar or host plant, cactus, bare-root plant, shrub, perennial, or groundcover best fits your gardening or landscaping needs.

The sale is open to garden members only from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17. But nonmembers are invited to shop from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 19. Shoppers can expect to find discount plants for less than $1 and collector plants costing around $3,500. But most offerings will be available for $8 to $30, and there’s no charge for admission to the sale. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden website or call 480-941-1225. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Rendering for Casey Farina's Intersection being shown during Art Detour 29. - CASEY FARINA
Rendering for Casey Farina's Intersection being shown during Art Detour 29.
Casey Farina
Art Detour
Whatever your weekend routine, it’s probably time to mix it up a bit. And Art Detour, the annual art walk designed to showcase the local arts scene, makes it a no-brainer. Just show up at one of five trolley stops on Saturday, March 18, and you can make your way to all sorts of interesting art spaces, from galleries and museums to artist studios, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There’s even an intriguing after-hours lineup, with live music and performances.

Saturday’s highlights include live painting, Taiko drumming, letterpress printing, neon art, an interactive digital public art projection, and an ambient performance by Katharine Leigh Simpson.

Art Detour is presented by Artlink, in partnership with the city of Phoenix and Downtown Phoenix Inc. The event is free, but cash comes in handy for food trucks, pedicabs, and little splurges on art. Visit the Art Detour website for trolley stops and event details. Lynn Trimble

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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
Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Laura Latzko
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