Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Don't miss this unique chance to explore and uplift Native American culture.
Don't miss this unique chance to explore and uplift Native American culture. Native Art Market
Looking for something to do that is fun and free? This week, you can load up on new recipes to try during Recipe Drop, forget your pants at home for the Tempe Underpants Run, or support and explore Native American culture at Native Art Market. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Ukhamba #102 (A1), a traditional beer serving vessel, by Mncane Nzuza. - LISA SETTE GALLERY
Ukhamba #102 (A1), a traditional beer serving vessel, by Mncane Nzuza.
Lisa Sette Gallery

‘Zulu! Contemporary Master Zulu Potter Mncane Nzuza’

Potter Mncane Nzuza is recognized within both her native Zulu culture and contemporary Western circles for her exquisite hand-built clay vessels. They will be featured in the free “Zulu! Contemporary Master Zulu Potter Mncane Nzuza” exhibit at Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 East Catalina Drive. It’s a rare opportunity to see works by this South Africa-based artist.

Nzuza learned her craft from her grandmother, making meticulous pieces that demonstrate technical and aesthetic prowess. “Her pots transcend that gap, remaining profoundly moving even separated from their cultural context,” writes gallerist Lisa Sette of the show.  Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Getting that natural high at Usery Mountain Regional Park. - RICHARD EDWARDS
Getting that natural high at Usery Mountain Regional Park.
Richard Edwards

Hiking Safety and Preparedness

Sometimes it’s hard to find your happy place during the holidays. Relatives roll into town, shoppers clog the streets, and calorie counts rise. Hiking can help you beat that holiday stress while getting a little time to yourself. But don’t haul off and try it without getting the lay of the land first. Brennan Basler, an interpretive ranger with Usery Mountain Regional Park, can help you with that.

Basler is doing a free presentation on hiking safety and preparedness at Mesa Public Library, 64 East First Street in Mesa. It’s happening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 21. He’ll also share information on local hiking trails and resources that can enhance your hiking adventures. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out the cookbook section at Bookmans in Phoenix. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out the cookbook section at Bookmans in Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

Recipe Drop

Swapping recipes was a quaint tradition that went the way of the dinosaurs once the internet gave us cooking websites and videos, but it was a fun way to meet fellow foodies and spice up your culinary repertoire.

Break out your old cookbooks at Bookmans Phoenix, 8034 North 19th Avenue. They’re doing a free Recipe Drop event from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, November 22. Just show up with some fun recipes, then leave with a few new ones to try at home. It’s an easy way to get fresh food ideas and find new friends who share your passion for home cooking. Lynn Trimble

Tempe Underpants Run

Pants-less events have been the rage for some time. They’re a great way to meet folks and collectively spit in the face of public decency. If you’re looking to channel that same semi-nude energy for a good cause, then you’d best participate in the Tempe Underpants Run. The two-mile journey begins at the park near Tempe Town Lake (west of the train tracks), dips over to the Tempe Center for the Arts, and then winds down back at the park. No word yet on which charity or cause the run is raising money.

The run begins at 10 a.m. (following coffee and doughnuts) on Friday, November 22. Participants will meet at the south side of Tempe Town Lake — just look for the gaggle of half-naked folks. Chris Coplan

Young Waylon Jennings - NEW TIMES ARCHIVE
Young Waylon Jennings
New Times Archive

‘The Outlaw: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings’

Waylon Jennings may have been born a Texan, but he made Arizona his home. Several local artists are celebrating the musician with a tribute show. “The Outlaw: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings” will feature performances by Jim Bachmann and The Day Drinkers and the August Manley-fronted The Outlaw. It may not exactly be catching him at JD’s back in the day, but Jennings’ music is an essential part of Arizona’s free-wheeling arts lineage.

This free show is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, November 22, at the Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue in Tempe. Chris Coplan

Strike a pose. - ANGELA ADAMS
Strike a pose.
Angela Adams

Pet-A-Palooza Day of the Dog Festival

Forget giving every dog its day. Valley pups deserve a two-day party. The Pet-A-Palooza Day of the Dog festival is the pinnacle of canine celebrations. There will be doggy yoga, dock diving, puppy stampede, Chihuahua and wiener dog races, and the running of the French and English bulldogs. And there will also be 65 pet-friendly exhibitors. The event is free (not counting the money you’ll likely drop on adopting a baker’s dozen of pups).

Bark on by on Saturday, November 23, and Sunday, November 24, at 3720 North Marshall Way in Scottsdale. Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Chris Coplan

Native Art Market

November is Native American Heritage Month. Luckily, there’s still a chance to explore and uplift the culture with the Native Art Market. This semi-regular event offers Native vendors and their families a chance to sell genuine handcrafted clothing, art, jewelry, pottery and sculptures, and more. Plus, there will be food galore and live performances by dancers, storytellers, bands, and DJs.

The market is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 23, and Sunday, November 24, at 9175 East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. The event is free. Chris Coplan

Swap and Show

The cool bikers and muscle car bad boys had all summer for their meet-ups and brazen exhibitions. With fall now upon us, it’s time for the bicyclists to show off. Phoenix Bike Company’s Swap and Show is firstly a chance for folks to ride around on their recumbent or fixie bikes, perusing a selection of vendors and swapping neat biking stories. But if you're feeling extra competitive, you can enter a ride for judging, with categories ranging from the best original bike and best new BMX to rarest bike and “Just [email protected] Cool.” Then, ride off into the sunset like a true champion.

The show goes down from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 23, at Desert Rose Steakhouse, 6729 North 57th Drive in Glendale. The event is free, but it’s $5 each to enter up to three bikes. For more information, contact Phoenix Bike Company at 602-413-3801. Chris Coplan
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Coplan has been a professional writer since the 2010s, having started his professional career at Consequence of Sound. Since then, he's also been published with TIME, Complex, and other outlets. He lives in Central Phoenix with his fiancee, a dumb but lovable dog, and two bossy cats.
Contact: Chris Coplan
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble