Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Family fun.
Family fun. Southwest Maker Fest

Tight on cash this week? You can get lost in time at SMoCA's spring opening celebration, check out local wares at Southwest Maker Fest, or tour the city on two wheels during the Downtown Pedal Anniversary Ride — all for free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Getting a sneak peek of Diana Thater's Orange Room Wallflowers at SMoCA. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Getting a sneak peek of Diana Thater's Orange Room Wallflowers at SMoCA.
Lynn Trimble
Spring Opening Celebration at SMoCA
Party like it’s 1999 at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, as the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary. Once upon a time, the building was a movie theater rather than museum, so it’s fitting that the museum is launching its birthday year with a spring opening reception featuring a new exhibition of video works. Curators promise visitors the chance to “get lost in time,” during the opening taking place Friday, February 15, from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, and it’s a great way to share the art love. Expect DJs, a cash bar, and a first look at the “Now Playing: Video 1999-2019” exhibit that continues through May 19. Visit Lynn Trimble

Naranja: Reggaeton + Cumbia + Salsa + Merengue
From the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico to the mountains of Colombia, there’s an entire world of Latin music that’s waiting for discovery from the average listener. If your only contact with Latin music is mumbling through the chorus of “Despacito,” however, you may need a lesson in the form of dance. Check out Valley Bar for their Latin-focused party Naranja: Reggaeton + Cumbia + Salsa + Merengue. Local DJ M’Rocka will be behind the turntables spinning.

Get into the groove starting at 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Southwest Maker Fest
Are you looking for a unique handmade gift? Then head over to the sixth annual Southwest Maker Fest. Intrepid entrepreneurs from all over the Valley will be selling their DIY wares. And if you want to light your own creative spark, an array of exhibitors will be there to help you design your own rocket, ceramic bowl, LEGO figurine, or robot. There will be food and entertainment on-site to help fuel your inspiration.

Find what you’re looking for from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at Pepper Place (between South Robson and South MacDonald) in downtown Mesa. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Head over wheels. - CHARISSA LUCILLE
Head over wheels.
Charissa Lucille

Downtown Pedal Anniversary Ride
Scooters are threatening to take over Phoenix, but pedaling through town on two wheels will never lose its charm. The Downtown Pedal Around Anniversary celebrates two years of the joy of hopping on your saddle and riding through the streets of the city. This 60-minute ride will give you a new perspective of the neighborhoods and murals that make the Valley such a great place to live. Grab a drink with your fellow riders after the ride is through.

The ride begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, at Phoenix Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil
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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