The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Checking out a small business on McDowell Miracle Mile.EXPAND
Checking out a small business on McDowell Miracle Mile.
Lynn Trimble
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Attention, cheapos — this one's for you. This week, you can jump into your creative side at The Spot Downtown: Beats, Brunch, and Brushes, do some spring cleaning at McDowell Miracle Mile, or enjoy an art tour at Cycle the Arts. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

The Spot Downtown: Beats, Brunch, and Brushes
Now that Mercury is no longer in retrograde, you can feel free to move forward with your creative efforts. One way to kick off your artistic endeavors is to head to Margaret T. Hance Park for The Spot Downtown: Beats, Brunch, and Brushes for a painting party. You can draw our city’s scenic mountain skyline, one of the sculptures in the park, or anything else that might inspire you.

Bring your canvas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at 67 West Culver Street. This is a free event. For more information, visit phoenix.gov. Jason Keil

Strolling through Park Central before renovations were complete.EXPAND
Strolling through Park Central before renovations were complete.
Lynn Trimble

Park Central Community Grand Opening
There’s a striking new mural near the entrance to Park Central Mall, 3121 North Third Avenue, a recently-revitalized space that’s holding a free community grand opening from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Phoenix artist Jane Goat painted the 43-by-36-foot mural, seeking to pay homage to the site’s previous incarnation as one of the city’s first large-scale malls while also giving a nod to its future. Get a good look during the Park Central Community Grand Opening, a free celebration which will include live music and memorabilia gathered at Park Central through the years. Whatever you think of the new design elements, you’ll have plenty to talk about with friends after taking it all in. Visit parkcentralphoenix.com. Lynn Trimble

McDowell Miracle Mile
Volunteers will be converging on the McDowell Miracle Mile, a commercial corridor that stretches from Seventh Street to SR-51, to get the area all spruced up between 7:30 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. It’s a prelude to an afternoon ceremony rededicating the McDowell Gateway Arch that gives the area its iconic vibe. Wear closed-toe shoes and a hat if you want to help out. You need to be at least 16 years old to join in, by the way. Leave extra time to check out local treasures like Mucho Mas Art Studio and Palabras Bilingual Bookstore. But first, check in at 1736 East McDowell Road, so you can help make the street shine. Visit miraclemilemerchants.com. Lynn Trimble

Celebrate Mesa
Meander through the Living Green Village on Saturday, April 13, to explore the dozens of exhibitors showcasing the latest in conservation efforts. Local companies like Stardust Building Supplies will teach how to use reclaimed building materials while technology giant Apple will have an arts and crafts table.It all starts at Pioneer Park,  526 East Main Street, Mesa, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit mesaparks.com. Megan Marples.

Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration
Visit with animals and participate in hands-on educational activities on Saturday, April 13, to discover more about conserving the world. Vendors will teach visitors about small actions they can take every day to help conserve resources. Activities take place at the Environmental Education Center at Veteran’s Oasis Park, 4050 East Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, from 9 a.m. to noon. Visit chandleraz.gov. Megan Marples

Checking out Historical Happenstance in Scottsdale.EXPAND
Checking out Historical Happenstance in Scottsdale.
Lynn Trimble

Cycle the Arts
Head to Old Town Scottsdale on the weekends, and you might see Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts, out enjoying a bike ride with his wife, visual artist CeCe Cole. They know all the public art high points, including two favorites for rabbit lovers, called One-Eyed Jack and Historic Happenstance. They’re both stops on Cycle the Arts, a free public art tour comprising a leisurely 10-mile bike ride, which happens on Sunday, April 14. RSVP before you go, then check in at 8:30 a.m. at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way. Wuestemann is joining the ride, where he’ll be sharing plans for renovations to the Civic Center Mall that’s home to both SMoCA and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Visit scottsdalepublicart.org. Lynn Trimble

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