Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Scene from Dexter Farley's Isolation.
Scene from Dexter Farley's Isolation. Courtesy of ASU
This week, you can watch an intriguing lineup of documentary excerpts at Documentary Video Film Festival, enjoy art and live performances at Tempe Festival of the Arts, or cycle your way through the Arizona Canal during Cruise the Canals. Best part? It's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Documentary Video Film Festival
Documentary filmmakers are in our midst, and there’s an easy way you can get to know their work. Head to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street in Scottsdale, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 29, when ASU professor Muriel Magenta will introduce an intriguing lineup of four-minute excerpts of 10-minute films created by students in her video art class. One student chronicled the life of a Vietnamese family, and another created a character study of a Honduran immigrant. Others tackled diverse topics from the ASU marching band to the MECHA movement. The Documentary Video Art Festival is free, but seating is limited, so don’t be late. Visit smoca.org. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Be on the look out for Karolina Adams' booth at Tempe Festival of the Arts. - KAROLINA ADAMS
Be on the look out for Karolina Adams' booth at Tempe Festival of the Arts.
Karolina Adams
Tempe Festival of the Arts
Get your fix of fall colors, and the rest of the rainbow, during Tempe Festival of the Arts, which opens on Friday, November 30. Head to Mill Avenue between Third Street and University Drive in downtown Tempe between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to explore artworks from around the country, live music on two stages, chalk art, street performers, and a community art project with Kyllan Maney. Look for booths with Arizona artists including Karolina Adams, Jake Early, Aileen Frick, Lisa Olson, Melody Smith, and many more. The festival is free, but bring cash for food truck or beer and wine garden fare. The festival continues through Sunday, December 2. Visit tempefestivalofthearts.com. Lynn Trimble

Get ready to eat some delicious treats, - WILLIAM WESTFALL
Get ready to eat some delicious treats,
William Westfall
Arizona Asian Festival
Ever wanted to learn more about the diverse cultures of your neighbors from Asia? One way to do that is to attend the Arizona Asian Festival, now in its 23rd year. Authentic ethnic cuisine from the 18 Eastern countries participating will be served. There will also be a traditional fashion show, cultural performers, activities for children, a tea garden, and a new exhibit highlighting the immigrants who have served in our military.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. This is a free event. For more information, visit arizonaasianfestival.com. Jason Keil

Cruise the Canals
Maybe you’ve forgotten the finer points of science lessons on the water cycle. Turns out, you can cycle you way to a better appreciation of Arizona’s waterways during Cruise the Canals, a seven-mile bike ride exploring parts of the Arizona Canal with local water experts. It kicks off at the South Bridge of the Arizona Canal in Old Town Scottsdale, 4420 North Scottsdale Road, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 1. It’s a chance to learn about the intersection of art, history, and technology at Arizona Falls, plus water conservation and rainfall harvesting. The free event ends at O.H.S.O. Brewery, where you can buy brews made with Arizona water. Visit localfirstaz.com. 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