Events

10 Nerdy Things to Do This October in Metro Phoenix

Movies, moon viewings, and the Mads will fill your calendar this October.
Movies, moon viewings, and the Mads will fill your calendar this October. Valley of the Dolls. Courtesy of Criterion Pictures USA
For some, October is the ultimate month of the nerd. Think about it: horror films, costumes, dressing in layers. Take that and add bookstores hosting write-a-thons, a Japanese moonviewing festival, and a live podcast taping, and you’ve got a highly anticipated four-week stretch of events.

So huddle up, nerds. Get your Halloween costume figured out and buy your candy early so you can have a clear schedule for these 10 events happening in the Valley this October.

click to enlarge Tap away during Write On at the Palabras Bilingual Bookstore every Tuesday in October. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Tap away during Write On at the Palabras Bilingual Bookstore every Tuesday in October.
Lynn Trimble
Write On
All through the month of October, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore is hosting Write On, a free weekly writing event where you're welcome to type, tap, or scribble away right in the bookstore. Bring your notebook, your laptop, your typewriter, or even try one of the few available ones in the store provided by Mesa Typewriter Exchange. October writing sessions are held every Tuesday at 5 p.m. See the Facebook event for more information.

click to enlarge Pills and personalities during the Valley of the Dolls: A 50th Anniversary Celebration at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. - VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. COURTESY OF CRITERION PICTURES USA
Pills and personalities during the Valley of the Dolls: A 50th Anniversary Celebration at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Valley of the Dolls. Courtesy of Criterion Pictures USA
Valley of the Dolls: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Valley of the Dolls – the 1967 film adaptation of the Jacqueline Susann novel about show biz, personalities, and pills (and how the three really don’t mix well). See Barbara Parkins, Sharon Tate, and the incredible Patty Duke get to work. Commentary from longtime Phoenix New Times contributor Robrt Pela will follow a 7 p.m. screening on Thursday, October 5, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Cost is $7 ($4 for members). See the SMoCA website for more information.

click to enlarge Otsukimi 2017 – or the Japanese Moonviewing Festival – is Saturday, October 7. - COURTESY OF JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
Otsukimi 2017 – or the Japanese Moonviewing Festival – is Saturday, October 7.
Courtesy of Japanese Friendship Garden
Japanese Moonviewing Festival
You can welcome fall with the traditional Japanese Moonviewing Festival held at the Japanese Friendship Garden. The event includes cocktails from Hiro Sake, a Sapporo Beer Garden, tea service in the Tea House by Chado Urasenke Tankokai of Arizona, lantern and bamboo art installations, and telescopes provided by the Phoenix Astronomical Society. There will also be performing artists, calligraphy demonstrations, and a Star Party. Otsukimi 2017 runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7. Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 at the gate. See the Japanese Friendship Garden website for more details.

click to enlarge Get Halloween goods at Monster Market Phoenix on Saturday, October 7. - COURTESY OF MONSTER MARKET PHOENIX
Get Halloween goods at Monster Market Phoenix on Saturday, October 7.
Courtesy of Monster Market Phoenix
Monster Market Phoenix
Something like a spooky vendor event is perfect for the month of October. So thank goodness there’s the Monster Market Phoenix happening at the Moxy Hotel Tempe. Expect a marketplace of art, to crafts, jewelry, clothing, and collectibles with a Halloween bent, plus Creepy Creator Spotlights and a poolside screening of The Lost Boys. Monster Market Phoenix runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the screening from 8:30 to 11 p.m., on Saturday, October 7. Tickets are available at the Zia Records or through Brown Paper Tickets, and range from $20 for an Ooky Ticket to $100 for Fright Ultimate Ticket. The movie is $10. See more information on the Facebook event page.

click to enlarge The Science with A Twist: Ultimate Apocalypse is a 21-and-over event at the Arizona Science Center - COURTESY OF ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
The Science with A Twist: Ultimate Apocalypse is a 21-and-over event at the Arizona Science Center
Courtesy of Arizona Science Center
Science with A Twist: Ultimate Apocalypse
It’s a Halloween party at the Arizona Science Center, and no one is complaining. Science with A Twist: Ultimate Apocalypse means post-apocalyptic laser tag, make-your-own-gas-mask tutorials, a peek at Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, and of course, drinking and dancing. The fun goes from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 6. Tickets are $12 for this 21-and-over event. See more at the ASC website.

click to enlarge A live podcast recording of Uhh Yeah Dude hits Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, October 14. - COURTESY OF UHH YEAH DUDE
A live podcast recording of Uhh Yeah Dude hits Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, October 14.
Courtesy of Uhh Yeah Dude
Uhh Yeah Dude
As far as live podcast tapings go, this is a big one. Jonathan Larroquette and Seth Romatelli are in town for an in-person episode of Uhh Yeah Dude, where they plan to wax on, um, pretty much everything. Larroquette and Romatelli are gracing the stage at Crescent Ballroom starting at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7) on Saturday, October 14. Tickets for this 21-and-over event are $28 to $30. See the Crescent Ballroom website for tickets and details.

click to enlarge Catch six feature length films at the 2017 Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival on Sunday, October 15. - COURTESY OF ALIFFF
Catch six feature length films at the 2017 Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival on Sunday, October 15.
Courtesy of ALIFFF
Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival
This marks year two for the Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival – a dedicated annual genre film festival with three features and four sets of 90-minute shorts. That's one world premiere, one North American premiere, and over a dozen Arizona premieres. What’s more, parking and popcorn are free, and there’s a cash bar. The 2017 ALIFFF is 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. Tickets are $30 for this all ages film fest at the ALIFFF website – where you can also find more information.

click to enlarge Earth as captured by astronaut Terry Virts, who'll be at the Mesa Arts Center on Wednesday, October 18. - COURTESY OF TERRY VIRTS
Earth as captured by astronaut Terry Virts, who'll be at the Mesa Arts Center on Wednesday, October 18.
Courtesy of Terry Virts
"View From Above"
Part of the National Geographic Live! Series presented by Mesa Arts Center in partnership with National Geographic, "View From Above" features NASA astronaut and International Space Station (ISS) commander Terry Virts. He’s also the photographer behind the book View From Above and IMAX film A Beautiful Planet. Hear all about snapping away in space at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, in the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center. Tickets are $26 to $40. See the MAC website for further details.

click to enlarge TV’s Frank and Dr. Clayton Forrester, i.e. Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu, will be riffing movies at the Alamo Drafthouse. - COURTESY OF THE MADS
TV’s Frank and Dr. Clayton Forrester, i.e. Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu, will be riffing movies at the Alamo Drafthouse.
Courtesy of The Mads
The Mads Are Back!
Hopefully you weren’t the type of person who skipped the skits while watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, otherwise you would have missed the antics of Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV’s Frank – a.k.a. the Mads. Currently traveling with The Mads Are Back! tour, Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff will be riffing B-movies and holding meet and greets for fans hoping to ask the big questions or take the ultimate photo. The Mads will stop by Alamo Drafthouse in Chandler at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 20, and Saturday, October 21. And since there will be two shows; there will be two different films. Tickets are $26.95 at the Alamo Drafthouse website.

PoeFest
Celebrating Halloween night on a weekday can prove tough, but the people behind PoeFest (yes, Poe as in Edgar Allen) have made it easy for you. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, The Raven will be performed every 20 minutes at the Rosson House Museum in Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. This follows a month-long series of events, which include Poe performances in the Ghost Lounge at the Hotel San Carlos and even the PoeFest Séance 2017 in the Senator’s Room. Cost is $10. See the PoeFest website for event details and tickets.
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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.