Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Heading to an event at Phoenix Art Museum.
Heading to an event at Phoenix Art Museum. Phoenix Art Museum
There's no reason to break the bank this week. You can get creative and make a macramé keychain with Sunshine Craft Co, do some good at Brave the Shave, or cool off with some gelato while watching The Little Prince — all for free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Heading to an event at Phoenix Art Museum. - PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
Heading to an event at Phoenix Art Museum.
Phoenix Art Museum

Make It!

Look for Tempe artist Mia Adams during the free Make It! event happening at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. She’ll be helping visitors create their own artworks, inspired in part by Carlos Mérida’s Abstract Composition on view in the American Gallery. July’s Make It! features an "opposites" theme, which should give you plenty of fun ways to express your own inner artist.

Adams’ work reflects her own experiences as a Black/Latina woman living in the U.S. Often, she uses photography, sculpture, and installation art to challenge social and political constructs as a means of promoting justice and equality. Museum admission is pay-what-you-wish that day, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Lynn Trimble

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, the latest selection of the First Draft Book Club, appeared on many “most anticipated novels of 2019” lists and it’s not hard to see why. Author Ocean Vuong tells the story of the immigrant experience in the form of a letter from a Vietnamese son to his illiterate mother and unearths a family’s brutal and violent history. USA Today Book Editor Barbara VanDenburgh moderates the stimulating conversation surrounding this stunning debut work. Enjoy drink specials throughout the evening.

Turn the page at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Eating for a cause. - JACK BARZ
Eating for a cause.
Jack Barz

Christmas in July

It’s the last week of Organ Stop Pizza’s Christmas in July food drive. The Mesa restaurant is offering 10 percent off the entire kitchen bill of anyone who brings in two nonperishable food items or donates $2 in cash to United Food Bank.

"We'll deck the Mighty Wurlitzer and walls with a Christmas feel,” says co-owner Jack Barz. You have until Wednesday, July 31, to drop off your donations. The restaurant is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday at 1149 East Southern Avenue in Mesa. Jason Keil

Macramé Keychain with Sunshine Craft Co

Do you remember making those colorful friendship bracelets in junior high? If you’re ready to take your handmade jewelry game to the next level, then come to the Macramé Keychain workshop with Sunshine Craft Co. The friendly folks from the local studio will teach you the basic knots you need to create your own piece of art that you can admire every time you unlock your door or start your car.

Tie one on from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange Phoenix, 8034 North 19th Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil

Brave the Shave

Is your hair getting a little long? Don’t just take a little off the top. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation wants you to go bald to help raise money for childhood cancer. At Brave the Shave, you can lose your locks, volunteer your time, or stop by and donate some much-needed funds to help research treatments for those stricken with this terrible disease. It’s too hot for hair, so lose it for charity.

Shave it off from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 25, at Aveda Institute Phoenix, 8034 North 19th Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Stock up on some good reads. - MESA PUBLIC LIBRARY/SARA LIPICH
Stock up on some good reads.
Mesa Public Library/Sara Lipich

Big Book Sale

Are you looking for an affordable way to add some books and movies to your collection? Grab your largest bag and head to Mesa Public Library’s Big Book Sale. There will be more than some battered copies of Harlequin bodice-rippers in stock. You can choose from science fiction, self- help, cookbooks, and even vinyl records. Prices start at $.50, with additional discounts for teachers and military. Any remaining inventory on Saturday, July 27 will be half off.

Stock up your shelves from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, at 64 East First Street in Mesa. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Looks like a cool place for a blood drive. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Looks like a cool place for a blood drive.
Lynn Trimble

Blood Drive

Maybe you like the idea of donating blood to help people who need it, but never get around to looking up times and places for local blood drives. If so, you’re in luck this week, because there’s a blood drive from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 27, at Phoenix Public Market, 721 North Central Avenue. Organizers says high school students are some of the biggest blood donors, which means the supply falls when school’s out for summer break. Here’s your big chance to go back in time and feel like a high school student again, without all the acne and homework. Register online so you’ll have a time slot, then make a morning of it by stocking up at the farmers market so you’ll have plenty of good stuff to reward yourself for making time for others. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Opera pairs well with gelato. - ARIZONA OPERA
Opera pairs well with gelato.
Arizona Opera

The Little Prince

It’s time to chill out, opera style. They’re mixing opera with gelato over at Arizona Opera, 1636 North Central Avenue, where Frost Gelato will be in the house for a film screening at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. Get there by 1:30 p.m. if you want to buy a scoop before the screening starts. Or try on costumes, then head to the photobooth to take your picture in diva mode. Next time someone calls you a diva, you’ll have the picture to prove it. There’s even a pre-screening contest, where you can build a paper airplane and see how well it fares against others’ designs.

The opera film The Little Prince starts at 2 p.m., which is a fun way to get a small taste of opera while beating back the summer doldrums. Admission is free with advance registration. Lynn Trimble
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble