Looking for something to do this weekend that doesn’t involve camping out in front of an air-conditioning vent? That’s where we come in, as we’ve put together a list of activities this weekend where you can escape the heat and have fun while doing so. During the three-day stretch from Friday, July 15, to Sunday, July 17, the possibilities range from having close encounters with lizards at the latest ReptiCon Phoenix, attending a pop-up anime fest, hanging out at a pool party, working a vintage letterpress, or catching a set by comedian Eddie Griffin.
Back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, comedian and actor Eddie Griffin was inescapable. He starred in UPN sitcom Malcolm & Eddie, appeared in episodes of the Chappelle Show and Def Comedy Jam, and played memorable roles in flicks like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Scary Movie, and The New Guy. Griffin is best known for his motormouth-like delivery of often profanity-laced humor, and if you’ve heard his comedy, its a safe bet you’ve been offended at least once (probably between fits of laughter). Griffin is scheduled to appear at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16. Performances are at 7 and 9:45 p.m. General admission is $35. Benjamin Leatherman
Give letterpress printing a try during a Hazel & Violet workshop.
DIY is always nerdy, no matter what’s going on. So if you’d like to make your own coasters, posters, or stationery, now’s your chance to get behind the heavy machinery at Hazel & Violet, 1301 Grand Avenue, No. 2B, for their Letterpress Workshop. This weekend, you can learn the basics of printing on Reprex, Vandercook 01, or Potter presses with wood and metal type, and pick your own vintage cut to boot. The workshops are from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16. The cost is $60 per person. You can register and get more information here. Lauren Cusimano
On any weekend, there are a variety of swim celebrations happening at local hotels or other venues equipped with a pool, each with its own vibe and music selection. Case in point: the annual Desert Splash, which is aimed at fans of hip-hop, trap, and R&B sounds — and anyone who wants to party hard for two days straight. The stylish event kicks off with a “Shorts & Stillettos” affair from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, July 15, at The Lounge Soho, 1457 West Southern Avenue in Mesa. The following day, the festivities move to the Holiday Inn & Suites, 1600 South Country Club Drive in Mesa, for a “Miami-style” pool party from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. A pajama and lingerie party will follow in the hotel ballroom from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. DJs, drinks, games, giveaways, and vendors are also promised. General admission is $60 and VIP tickets are $100. Both options cover all three events. More information is available here. Benjamin Leatherman
Local anime fans looking for a fix to tide them over until Saboten Con in September might consider attending this one-day pop-up event on Saturday, July 16, at Sun Studios of Arizona, 1425 West 14th Street in Tempe. More than 50 vendors will be on hand for the convention, which will offer such activities as a scavenger hunt, raffles, a cosplay contest and art fashion show, K-pop dance performances, a “swap weeb” (or weeb swap meet), and more. Hours are from noon to 9 p.m. General admission is $15 and VIP tickets are $30. Benjamin Leatherman
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Repo! The Genetic Opera might be 14 years old, but the flick has maintained a cult following for more than a decade, thanks to its campiness, gore, and innovation. A science fiction gothic rock opera horror film seems like it shouldn’t work at all, but look at the longevity of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Songs about repossessing organs are twisted, awesome, and difficult to follow up on, but writers and composers Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich definitely succeeded. The film is sick, twisted, and features sing-alongs, the hallmark of any good rock opera. Local film repertory series Cult Classics will screen Repo! The Genetic Opera at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at Landmark Theatres Scottsdale Quarter, 15257 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 230, in Scottsdale. General admission is $15 in advance. VIP packages, which include commemorative t-shirts, prints, and other merch, start at $25 to $100. Melissa Fossum
Have a full-scale encounter with reptiles at ReptiCon.
For those who don’t suffer from herpetophobia (or the fear of reptiles), the latest edition of ReptiCon Phoenix happens on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. The two-day event will feature vendors, breeders, and experts, as well as the chance to handle a scaly creature or two. According to the con’s website, reptiles like geckos, snakes, and maybe even an alligator will make an appearance. (Attendees are also allowed to bring two of their own reptiles, but only if they’re non-poisonous.) Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices vary per day. Check out the ReptiCon website for full details. Benjamin Leatherman
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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.