Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Creating a new generations of musicians.
Creating a new generations of musicians. ASU School of Music

click to enlarge Creating a new generations of musicians. - ASU SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Creating a new generations of musicians.
ASU School of Music

This week, save some money. You can take a hike during National Park Week, celebrate cannabis culture at 420 Party, or take part in '80s-inspired activities at Spark at Dark. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

ASU Mariachi Spring Concert

Maybe you’re more into string instruments or horns. Either way, mariachi bands deliver. Members of the ASU Mariachi Ensemble have been practicing a lot lately, getting ready to perform the ASU Mariachi Spring Concert, which is free and open to the public. It’s happening at the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 50 Gammage Parkway, on the Tempe campus, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Monday, April 15. Expect a mix of traditional genres, such as polka and ranchera, along with modern ones, including cumbia. Every musician loves a great crowd, and students are no exception. Visit Lynn Trimble

Parks and Recreation Trivia

It’s time to test your knowledge of all things Pawnee, Indiana. Parks and Recreation Trivia is coming to Growler USA, so spray on some Tommy Fresh cologne, chow down on a few calzones, and crank up a little Mouse Rat so your team can make it through five rounds of questions and ascend to the top of the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. It will be more fun than a game of “The Cones of Dunshire.”

Treat yo’ self beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, at 5415 East High Street #101. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Getting to work the healthy way. - COURTESY OF MARICOPA COUNTY
Getting to work the healthy way.
Courtesy of Maricopa County

Bike to Work Day

Are you sick of getting stuck in traffic during rush hour? Pedal your way to the office using two wheels for Bike to Work Day. Elected officials and motivational speakers will be at CityScape to inspire you to pedal on to reduce congestion and pollution. The streets will be cleared for a three-mile ride through downtown Phoenix with a light breakfast afterward.

Check in at 6:30 a.m. and get on your bike and ride at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at 1 East Washington Street. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil


Feeling burned out by the end of the week? Escape for a night of fire performance, live music, and art cars inspired by the famed Burning Man festival, during a free festival-sanctioned event happening from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, April 19, at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. It’s the official opening for an exhibition called “IGNiGHT!,” which continues through Friday, May 10. Expect plenty of interactive art for all ages Friday night at Alwun House and the art park they’re developing next door. Offerings will include a giant light wall, contortionist performance, play areas inspired by cat boxes, and LED sculpture made with upcycled bike wheel rims. Visit Lynn Trimble

Road trip.

National Park Week

National Park Week kicks off on Saturday, April 20, when you can hit the trails at any national park in Arizona for free. Entrance fees are being waived that day at national parks across the country. Here in Arizona, you have more than 20 parks to choose from, including Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki in Flagstaff. Never fear if hiking isn’t your thing. Just pack a picnic lunch and grab your binoculars to enjoy a leisurely stroll and some much-needed down time. Khakis aren’t mandatory, but they might give your photos more of that park ranger vibe. Hours and park offerings vary, so do your homework before you go. Then do the wildlife a favor, and be sure you don’t leave behind any litter or take anything from the parks as your personal souvenir. Visit Lynn Trimble

Look for Jerusafunk at Bud's Glass Joint. - JERUSAFUNK
Look for Jerusafunk at Bud's Glass Joint.

420 Party

Happy days are here again. It’s all about celebrating cannabis culture when April 20 rolls around each year, because the date is loaded with symbolism in both pot and pop culture. Head to Bud’s Glass Joint, 907 North Fifth Street, if you want to hit their free 420 Party happening from 7 to 10 p.m. that Saturday night. You’ll find plenty of art, food, music, local vendors, and a free raffle. Several creatives, including Desi B and Jimmy Rush, will be doing live glass blowing. Musical offerings include Snailmate, HotRock SupaJoint, Jerusafunk, and more. Plus, it’s an excuse to shop for cannabis-inspired clothing and jewelry, or glass with a creative twist (think aliens, animals, ray guns, and such). Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Adding to a Kyllan Maney mural at Mesa Arts Center. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Adding to a Kyllan Maney mural at Mesa Arts Center.
Lynn Trimble

Spark at Dark

Back in 1987, an underground teen club called Pulsations opened in Mesa. It’s long gone, but not forgotten. That’s why Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, is doing a free Spark at Dark event with a Pulsations theme from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Local artists working in fashion, music, photography, video, and visual art will be there, with ’80s-inspired interactive activities for all ages. Look for Kyllan Maney, who’ll be working on a large-scale mural and art car, plus creatives from Wasted Ink Zine Distro and the Femme Fotale photography project. Leave time to dance, while DJ Bueller delivers the ’80s tunes. And don’t forget money for food truck fare. Visit Lynn Trimble

Trivia Night

Trivia Night at Crescent Ballroom is always a hilarious time. In addition to answering random questions about pop culture and enjoying the great food and drink specials, nearly every team wins a prize. It could be a gift card from Stinkweeds or a picnic of Twinkies and bacon. However, this week’s edition takes a solemn turn. Hosts Compton and DJ Heimbuck will pay tribute to Prince. Study up on Purple Rain and be prepared to win it all.

Signup starts at 5 p.m. with trivia beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, at 308 North Second 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