Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour
Every fall, dozens of artists open their creative spaces for the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, which features works by more than 100 artists affiliated with the Sonoran Arts League. This year’s self-guided tour includes 174 artists showing and talking about their work in 44 studios located around Desert Foothills communities, including Cave Creek, Carefree, and North Scottsdale. Check it out on Sunday, November 18, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. That’s just one of six days the tour is open. While you’re there, you can get a head start on holiday shopping for friends and family who might like a unique piece of jewelry, ceramics, or other work of art. Participating artists work in diverse media, including glass, prints, metal, photography, wood, painting, and more. Just print the online map, and start exploring. Visit sonoranartsleague.org. Lynn Trimble
There have been quite a few exciting book debuts this year, but The Incendiaries, Friday Black, and Fruit of the Drunken Three were some of the most talked-about. At 7 p.m. on Monday, November 19, you have the chance to meet the first-time authors behind these novels at Changing Hands’ First Fiction. At the bookstore’s Phoenix location, 300 West Camelback Road, you can sit at their First Draft Book Bar and sip from their beer and wine selection as you listen to the authors read excerpts from their work. Then you’ll have the chance to meet them, take photos, and get them to sign your copy. The event is free, but you can buy a VIP package for $85 to $100. Call 602-274-0067 or visit changinghands.com. Angelica Cabral
Work off that stuffing and shake a leg at Jive Turkey, the funky soul music dance party. DJs Gila Man, Mitch Freedom, and other special guests will be spinning the grooviest dance tracks from the ’70s. Grab a strong one and let the rhythm help you forget all the stupid things your drunk uncle said at the dinner table.
Shake your tail feather beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event and only available to those 21 and over. For more information, visit valleybarphx.com. Jason Keil
Planning on waking up before daybreak to find some deals at a big box store? Avoid the mob (and the mundane) and head over to CityScape to find unique gifts from local vendors. The Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market will feature over 30 local makers, artisans, and vintage stores selling truly special presents for everyone. There will also be live music and holiday-themed drinks to help you fly through that shopping list.
Shop till you drop from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, November 23, at 1 East Washington Street. This is a free event. The first 100 shoppers will receive a souvenir tote bag. For more information, visit cityscapephoenix.com. Jason Keil
Annual Ornament Marketplace
Everyone’s hangups seem to multiply over the holidays, but that’s not a problem over at the Heard Museum Shop, 2301 North Central Avenue, where hundreds of unique holiday ornaments hang on festive trees during their annual ornament marketplace. Get there on Friday, November 23, when the shop is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. That’s the first day of the free three-day event, which means you’ll have the best selection to choose from — including ornaments from elegant to whimsical, created with diverse materials such as metal, wood, fabric, and beads. There’s even a limited-edition sterling silver and turquoise ornament by featured Navajo artist Kee Yazzie. Visit heard.org. Lynn Trimble
Odds are, you won’t encounter any turkeys during the free Saturday Morning Bird Walk, happening from 8 to 9 a.m. on November 24 at Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 South Central Avenue, so you won’t have to look one in the eye and explain how you feasted on its kin just two days before. Instead, you’ll spot birds that are native to the desert habitat along the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, marveling at the lush landscape tucked under the freeway where nature’s calm is a welcome contrast to hectic holiday pursuits. Turns out, more than 200 types of birds call the region home. Visit riosalado.audubon.org. Lynn Trimble