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Pinball action awaits at The Grid in Mesa.
Pinball action awaits at The Grid in Mesa.
Courtesy of The Grid

The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

You could waste your weekend by binge-watching Netflix, or you could see both cosplay and cabaret at the Burl-Escapades: A Nerdy Tribute to the Legends, get artsy at the SMoCA Opening Reception, or shop 'til you drop at the Pineapple Triangle Summer Market. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Endless Summer Party
At this point of the year, it seems like the end of summer is so far away that you just can’t imagine what cooler weather feels like. The good news is that we’ll eventually get there, but not before suffering through four or five months of brain-melting torture.

It’s best to keep yourself busy, or at the very least distracted, if for no other reason than to make the time go by faster. And this weekend’s Endless Summer Party at The Grid, 525 South Gilbert Road in Mesa, might help with that. The pool party-themed affair will take place on Friday, June 8, at the local game bar. While there won’t be an actual pool involved, patrons are encouraged to wear swimsuits and beach-inspired costumes. Synthwave and electronic dance music will be spun by DJs, umbrella drinks will be served, and drunken limbo may or may not take place.

The party goes from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Admission is $5. Call 480-621-8088. Benjamin Leatherman

Re-Animator
Medical student Herbert West has invented a serum that can bring the deceased back to life, but no one ever warned him that he shouldn’t use it. The 1985 cult masterpiece Re-Animator explores what happens when science can’t leave dead enough alone. Director Stuart Gordon created this masterpiece that seamlessly combines humor and gore to become a touchstone in the horror genre. Brian Haas and Shelly Grant, the hosts of the local podcast BS Movies, will be recording a live episode of the show after the screening, livening up the evening with trivia and prizes.

Inject yourself into the fun at 10 p.m. on Friday, June 8, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $9.95. For more information, visit the FilmBar website. Jason Keil

Escapades, but sexier.
Escapades, but sexier.
London Snow

Burl-Escapades: A Nerdy Tribute to the Legends
George Costanza hated when worlds collided, but we all know that in some cases, it can be a good thing. Like at Burl-Escapades: A Nerdy Tribute to the Legends, where you’ll see elements of burlesque dancing and nerdy pop culture combine for a fun-filled night of sexy dancing. The troupe is not new, but they’ve been on a break for the last six years. One of the performers, Mia PiaCherrie, says the event is a night where “cosplay and cabaret mix, for a show that is like no other.”

It’s all geeks and glamour at this 21 and over event, at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 8, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $25 to $35. Visit the Valley Bar website. Amy Young

SMoCA's opening receptions always draw an intriguing crowd.
SMoCA's opening receptions always draw an intriguing crowd.
Chris Loomis

SMoCA Opening Reception
Forget those misconceptions about museums being stuffy places, where silence is golden and fun feels forbidden. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, is throwing a free opening reception for its new crop of summer exhibits, complete with cash bar, and art that inspires lively conversation.

It’s happening from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 8. It’s casual, and you needn’t be an art nerd to enjoy it.
Show up, and you’ll be one of the first to see “Lydia Okumura: Situations,” which explores more than four decades of the artist’s geometric abstractions, created using materials such as stainless-steel wire mesh, string, glass, and acrylic paint.

It’s also a chance to check out Refik Anadol’s immersive Infinity Room, and an exhibition of more than 130 animal-inspired works. “Wild Thing: Adventures with the Permanent Collection” includes pieces by renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, plus several Arizona creatives. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

Hips don't lie.
Hips don't lie.
Joe Mac Photos

Desert Caravan Belly Dance and Drum Circle
Every second Saturday of the month, Daddy-O’s Grill, 4163 West Thunderbird Road, hosts the Desert Caravan Belly Dance and Drum Circle. This month’s theme and edition is titled Bollywood Bazaar and takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. The Dancers of DeNile have been belly dancing since 2002, combining genres like American cabaret, tribaret, and improvisational tribal style belly dance. From beginners to professionals, children to adult, The Dancers of DeNile train local belly dancers of all skill level through classes in six-week sessions. Daddy-O’s monthly show allows the dancers to share their progress to an audience with live music.

For more information, visit the Dancers of DeNile website. The event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Tanner Stechnij

This converted garage in downtown Phoenix draws artisans peddling diverse wares and hipsters looking for food and grub.
This converted garage in downtown Phoenix draws artisans peddling diverse wares and hipsters looking for food and grub.
DeSoto Central Market

Pineapple Triangle Summer Market
DeSoto Central Market, the underrated food hall at 915 North Central Avenue, will be throwing down with the huge Pineapple Triangle Summer Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. A wide variety of artisans will be peddling their diverse wares in the buzz and din of the market, which draws a fun crowd even on non-market weekends.

DeSoto has a patio, true, but mercifully the Pineapple Triangle Summer Market will be inside and air-conditioned. It costs $10, and nothing for kids 12 and under. Vendors include Favorite Human, Sweet Fusion Bakery, and Wicked Arts. The nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul Society will receive 20 percent of ticket sales. Buy tickets at the Pineapple Triangle website. Chris Malloy

Prowl and play.EXPAND
Prowl and play.
Benjamin Leatherman

Prowl and Play: Superheroes Unite
It’s not Halloween or Comic Fest, but go ahead and dust off that superhero costume. At the Phoenix Zoo’s event Prowl and Play: Superheroes Unite, unleash your inner geek with abandon. Events like the Hulk Smash, Spidey Jump Wall, and Lava Pit Escape will let you test your own powers. There are also spots to create masks, dance to DJ tunes, and of course ogle plenty of cute critters. For book lovers, author Susan Stoltz will be on hand to sign Edie Goes the Wrong Way, about a stingray with an explorative nature.

The evening of fun happens from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, at the zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway. Admission is $10 or free for kids 2 and younger. Call 602-286-3800 or visit the Phoenix Zoo website. Amy Young

Blush International Rosé Festival
Beer lovers spend St. Patrick’s Day downing green beer, so fans of all things simultaneously alcohol-laden and pink should have their day, too. Yes, at the Blush International Rosé Festival there will be pink beer, along with the bubbly rose-colored wine. Booze tastings will be paired with delectable bites and the soundtrack will be provided by live musical acts.

This sparkling, day drinking event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, at the Clayton House, 3719 North 75th Street, in Scottsdale. Tickets are $60 to $105 and offer two sessions and a VIP experience. Visit the Blush International Rosé Festival website. Amy Young

Calligraphy Class
Ever wanted to try your hand at calligraphy? Do you remember making origami creatures when you were in school? The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is hosting a free event for kids on Saturday, June 9, where they can experience the traditional arts of brush calligraphy, mask-making, and origami from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Visitors still have to pay to enter the picturesque three-acre garden. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and military, and free admission for kids under 6. But once you’re in, the workshop is free for everyone and materials will be provided — no need to register in advance.

The garden is located at 1125 North Third Avenue. For more information, visit the Japanese Friendship Garden website or call 602-274-8700?. Joe Flaherty

Jimmy Fike transforms plant photos to fine art.
Jimmy Fike transforms plant photos to fine art.
Jimmy Fike

“Digital Desert”
There’s nothing garden variety about Phoenix artists Mary Shindell and Jimmy Fike, whose photographs and drawings put a fresh spin on desert plant life. Shindell combines topography from other planets with Arizona botanicals. Fike photographs plants, then embellishes their edible components with pops of color. But both use digital technology to modify their images, with vastly different but equally beautiful results. See how each creates a distinct aesthetic using digital techniques in the “Digital Desert” exhibition at Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road.

You can check out the free exhibit from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Lynn Trimble

Scarface
The cultural footprint that Scarface has left in the 35 years since its release goes beyond cinema, extending even into video games and music. When the Al Pacino film was shown during the Tribeca Film Festival this year, the moderator at the discussion afterward ignored all this and instead asked Michelle Pfeiffer about her weight during filming. You can watch the uproar for yourself when the session is shown after the screening.

We’re just going to say it: Say hello to Pacino’s little friend at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Chandler, 4955 South Arizona Avenue, and 6 p.m. in Tempe, 1140 East Baseline Road. Admission is $8.65. For more information, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website. Jason Keil

“Dino Explorer”
Looking for something to keep the kids engaged indoors and have some supersized adult fun, too? Head to the “Dino Explorer” exhibit at Legoland Discovery Center, 5000 South Arizona Mills Circle, #135, Tempe. The exhibit, which runs daily through December 31, offers hands-on activities such as building your own T-rex using LEGOs. Or, let your imagination go Jurassic and create the dino of your dreams with America’s favorite building blocks.

Admission starts at $14.95. Call 877-525-3960 or visit the Legoland Discovery Center website. Deb Van Tassel

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