The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Check out this Erika Jaynes mural when you're in downtown Mesa.EXPAND
Check out this Erika Jaynes mural when you're in downtown Mesa.
Lynn Trimble
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Time to have a good time — for free. This week, you can take a walk into the local poetry scene at Phoenix Poetry Slam, take a stroll through downtown Mesa during Second Friday, and put in some work at Earn Your Booze. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana

Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana is a true story about becoming part of something bigger than yourself. Gabrielle Zilkha discovered a small synagogue in a village outside of Accra, the capital of the west African nation. The remote congregation only recently had discovered they were actually practicing a form of Judaism, so the filmmaker went on a five-year journey to find out how the religion reached such a remote location. The Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center is screening the 2016 film as part of its documentary series.

The movie begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, at 122 East Culver Street. This is a free event, but RSVP by sending an email to lbell@azjhs.org. Jason Keil

Cozy little spot to enjoy some poetry at The Lost Leaf.EXPAND
Cozy little spot to enjoy some poetry at The Lost Leaf.
Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Poetry Slam

It’s been nearly 50 years since Phoebe Snow sang “Poetry Man,” revealing one of pop’s most distinct voices of her generation. It’s still a moving reminder of poetry’s power amid quiet moments and community gatherings. Take a foray into the local poetry scene with Lawn Gnome Publishing, which is presenting a free Phoenix Poetry Slam for the age 21-plus set at The Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 13. You’ll see 15 poets compete in three rounds judged by randomly selected audience members. And you can linger to enjoy drinks or increase your circle of literary friends. Stay after for ’80s and ’90s dance music by Thump Daze, or explore art by local creatives exhibited inside the bohemian staple of the local culture scene. Visit Lawn Gnome Publishing on Facebook. Lynn Trimble

Second Friday

The Mesa Film Festival is gearing up for its inaugural edition in October by bringing a film focus to the Second Friday festivities in downtown Mesa on Friday, June 14. Along with checking out the three films being screened, you can stroll through downtown Mesa to check out live music, dozens of artisan booths, food trucks, and more. Look for Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush at 6:30 p.m. and Jackie Chan’s 36 Crazy Fists at 8:30 p.m. on the patio at 101 West Main Street. Or hit the Sliver Lot, 219 West Main Street, for The Goonies at 8 p.m. They’re all free, but it’s a bring-your-own-blanket or beach chair affair. Lynn Trimble

See this Alison King work in the "Timeless" exhibit.EXPAND
See this Alison King work in the "Timeless" exhibit.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

'Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless'

Want to see a new spin on designs by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright? Head to Taliesin West, his one-time winter home located at 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale. That’s where the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the San Francisco- and New York-based Spoke Art Gallery are presenting an exhibition titled “Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless.” The show features works by 10 artists from various countries, who bring fresh eyes to Wright’s designs while taking inspiration from 1930s-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) artworks. See the free exhibit between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, and on  Sunday, June 16. Featured artists include Phoenix’s own Alison King. Lynn Trimble

Drumming performance during a Juneteenth celebration in Tempe.EXPAND
Drumming performance during a Juneteenth celebration in Tempe.
Dan Miller

Juneteenth: Journey To Freedom

There’s more work to be done for social justice and civil rights in America, but that doesn’t mean people can’t celebrate milestones along the way, including the abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War. A holiday called Juneteenth, which was started in Texas back in June 1865 and continues to this day, celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. The Juneteenth: Journey to Freedom festival is happening from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue. The free event includes music, dance, spoken-word performance, a kids’ zone, and food vendors. Hit up Tempe Public Library right next door before you leave if you want to find related books to read with your family. Lynn Trimble

Guilt free.
Guilt free.
Earn Your Booze

Earn Your Booze

Drinking that weak 90-calorie beer isn’t going to help you lose weight, but exercising will. The philosophy behind Earn Your Booze is putting in the work so you can enjoy your alcohol without guilt. Lustre is hosting a series of workouts to start your weekend off right through the summer. This week, trainer Kenyatta Banks will be at the rooftop bar to get you in shape for the drink specials available when your workout is through.

Check in for the workout at 9:30 a.m. and start earning that cocktail at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, at 2 East Jefferson Street. This is a free event. Jason Keil

Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West

Most dads like experiences more than objects when it comes to Father’s Day gifts, which makes Father’s Day a great time to enjoy some museum time with your dad. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, is offering dads free admission on Father’s Day, June 16, when museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Typically, admission is $15, but everyone in Dad’s party gets in for half-price. If your dad’s a space geek, be sure to check out the astronaut portraits painted by Paul Calle, who spent time with the Apollo 11 crew before their famous flight. Museum offerings also include photographs by Barry M. Goldwater and works by cowboy artist and author William James. Lynn Trimble

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.