The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week | Phoenix New Times

Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Livestream concerts, art shows, and some Halloween fun is on the docket for this week.
Get to Spirit Halloween at Desert Ridge this week for some spooky fun.
Get to Spirit Halloween at Desert Ridge this week for some spooky fun. Benjamin Leatherman
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Looking to save some money where you can? Have fun and keep an eye on your spending with these free events happening this week around Phoenix.

Get Drawn In

Get drawn into the world of children’s literature in Scottsdale, where you can see works from the private art collections of two retired librarians in the “Pictures Tell Stories: Children’s Book Illustrations” exhibit in a gallery space at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale. It’s a great way to bring a little nostalgia to your life, rekindle some of your own memories tied to beloved books or authors, and get to know the work of accomplished artists working in the field of children’s literature. Look for work by Tempe artist Molly Idle for Flora and the Flamingo and work by Tucson artist Adam Rex for Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. The exhibit includes illustrations from Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, Drum Dream Girl, One Night in the Coral Sea, Bedtime Bunnies, and many more. The gallery is open during library hours, which are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18. Consider taking along a sketchbook and some colored pencils, in case you get inspired to draw a few of your own imaginings after seeing these whimsical works of art. Lynn Trimble

Spooky Season Is Almost Here

It's hard to wrap our minds around the fact that Halloween is just around the corner. But October will be here before you know it, and locations of ubiquitous retail concept Spirit Halloween will soon be popping up all over (there's even one in the old Barneys space now). In north Phoenix, the Desert Ridge location, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard, will host a grand opening party from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 19. UZA MysCreation Haunted Attraction, a local Halloween attraction, will be bringing some of their monsters to the events and giving away coupons to this year's edition. Happy haunting, everyone. Jennifer Goldberg

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Catch Wyves on the season premiere of The Way Back Sessions.
Luxicon Photography

The Way Back Sessions

Live music is definitely back, and there aren't many things better than watching some of Phoenix's top talent rock out in a local venue. But you may want to stay in on Thursday, August 19, to catch a show and get to know one of the best bands in town. The Way Back Sessions, a YouTube series that combines a live concert with musician interviews is kicking off its second season with local favorites (and former Best of Phoenix winners) Wyves. Tune in at 7 p.m. to watch in real time as frontman Corey Gloden and the rest of the band blow up the studio with their hard-charging rock 'n' roll. You'll get to interact with other fans and post questions for the band in the live chat as well. Jennifer Goldberg

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Phinger Phest

Local bands tend to come and go, but the misfits of Dephinger have stuck around the Phoenix scene for more than two decades. When the scum-rock band formed back in 2000, their M.O. was to “basically to get as wasted as possible and suck” while playing bastardized arena rock badly and spewing lyrics that would make GG Allin blush. Dephinger’s changed things up over the years (including switch over to more of a punk sound, undergoing some lineup changes, and taking the occasional hiatus) but still have a yen for performing loud, fast, and obnoxious rock. They do so again during Phinger Phest on Friday, August 20, and Saturday, August 21, at Chopper John’s, 2547 East Indian School Road. Dephinger will headline both nights of the event, which will also feature sets by Phoenix Hooker Cops, Quantum Colossus, Sewer Gap, Loserfur, The Declaimed, Psycloptopus, Bee Keeper, and TV Tragedy. The music starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

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See Jennifer Bailey's artwork in "Off the Clock" at Vision Gallery in Chandler.
Vision Gallery

'Off the Clock'

Most people walk into art museums and galleries assuming that all the creativity in their midst is hanging on the walls around them. But exhibitions showing works by staffers, which happen periodically at places like Phoenix Art Museum, reveal that people working behind the scenes often spend time off the clock making their own works of art. Case in point: The new “Off the Clock” exhibit at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street, Chandler. The gallery is showing artworks by more than two dozen city employees, including Peter Bugg, Cynde Cerf, Savana Martinez, and Michaal Winer. Collectively, they work for 11 city departments. But here, you’ll get to see the art they bring to life on their own time. Like other exhibitions the gallery has presented thought the years, the show includes a fascinating diversity of medium, subject matter, and style. Admission is free. Be one of the first to give it a good look on Saturday, August 21, when Vision Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then remember, next time you’re at a local gallery or museum, that the people you sometimes take for granted just might be among the Valley’s many talented emerging artists. Lynn Trimble
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