Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

Celebrating Persian New Year.
Celebrating Persian New Year. Courtesy of Persian New Year Festival

Sick of spending money? You're in luck. This week, you can escape to the islands at Arizona Aloha Festival, watch traditional performances at Arizona Two Spirit Powwow, or celebrate the New Year at Persian New Year Festival. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Yoga at The Churchill
Want to breathe new life into your contact list? Yoga at The Churchill is a great way to let the conversation flow. Led by Katie Hembrough of FairyGoddust Yoga, this all-levels class takes place in the courtyard of Downtown Phoenix’s newest gathering place. After your workout, Namaste and enjoy 20 percent off your breakfast at Foxy Fruit Bowls and Smoothies. You’ll make a friend over an acaí bowl in no time.

Class begins at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5, at 901 North First Street. Monetary donations are strongly encouraged. You can also donate items supporting the charitable organization ONe TRUe LOVe. Please bring your own water bottle and yoga mat. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Lit time.
Jake Friedman
Get Lit
There’s a fabulous first Thursdays tradition at Valley Bar inspired by 17th-century French salons devoted to philosophical discourse. It’s a Get Lit gathering presented by Four Chambers Press, with a different theme each time. Head to the Reading Room, located inside the Rose Room at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, if you want to join the conversation happening at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7. The free event, for ages 21 and up, is a casual foray into local literary culture. If you wax more poetic with cocktails, you’ll have to buy your own drinks. But there’s no charge for the lively exchange of ideas. Poet and ASU faculty member Rosemarie Dombrowski will be in the house. Arrive early to assure you get a seat. Visit Lynn Trimble

This Week Sucks Tonight
This Week Sucks Tonight, hosted by Anwar Newton and Michael Turner, has been taking place on Thursday nights for two years. Credit the local comedians for putting on a great show week after week when most of their audience still has to get up for work Friday morning. The duo are moving their weekly news roundup to its new home at Stand Up Live and bringing Tony Tripoli, Derek McFarland, Zack Lyman, Ben Anderson, Luis Alvarez, and maybe a few drop-in guests to celebrate.

The laughs begin at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at 50 West Jefferson Street. This is a free event with no drink minimum  For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Add some aloha to your life. - COURTESY OF ARIZONA ALOHA FESTIVAL
Add some aloha to your life.
Courtesy of Arizona Aloha Festival
Arizona Aloha Festival
Escape to the islands, as the free two-day Arizona Aloha Festival comes to Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway. The festival opens on Saturday, March 9, with a rich lineup of music, dance, art, and cuisine. Learn to make a tiki, lei, or rattle. Watch traditional and contemporary hula dance. Try food offerings from poke to potstickers. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s also a 7 to 9 p.m. seminar on tattoos in Polynesian culture happening at the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center, 300 East Indian School Road (admission is $10). Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Don't ruffle these feathers. - COURTESY OF RIO SALADO AUDUBON CENTER
Don't ruffle these feathers.
Courtesy of Rio Salado Audubon Center
Arizona Animal Encounters
Social media seems to favor puppies and kittens, but there’s a lot more diversity in the desert, and it’s especially intriguing when you can explore it up close. You’ve got plenty of opportunities over at the Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 South Central Avenue. The center has a family program called Arizona Animal Encounters, which features wildlife ambassadors sharing desert creatures, and talking a bit about the animals’ habits and habitats. Liberty Habitat will be showing birds of prey from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 9. If you’re an early riser, head over at 8 a.m. for a Saturday Morning Bird Walk. Both events are free. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Celebrating Two Spirit people. - CLAYTON KARAS PHOTOGRAPHY
Celebrating Two Spirit people.
Clayton Karas Photography
Arizona Two Spirit Powwow
The inaugural Arizona Two Spirit Powwow is happening from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at the South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center Amphitheater, 7050 South 24th Street. The free event, which is open to the public, is being presented by Native Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). It’s a gathering of Native LGBTQ/Two Spirit people from 22 tribes, for celebration, ceremony, and conversation. The powwow will feature traditional performances such as singing and dancing, storytelling, arts and crafts, lectures, panel discussions, and a photography exhibit — as well as a Native market and food. Organizers hope the event will help to foster diversity, inclusion, and healing. All powwow dancers and drums are welcome. Visit Lynn Trimble

Persian New Year Festival
The Persian New Year Festival happens on Saturday, March 9, along the Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 East Camelback Road. Head over between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to enjoy a free celebration of Persian culture, featuring food and drink, crafts by local artisans, children’s activities, music, and dance performance. The event is organized by the Iranian American Society of Arizona, which fosters appreciation for Iranian culture, language, history, and heritage through education, food, cultural activities, and community events. Persian New Year is celebrated not only in Iran, but also other countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. The festival is a fun way to learn more about Persian culture and traditions. Visit 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