Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Greater Phoenix This Week

Look for work by Abe Zucca at Tempe Art a Gogh-Gogh.
Look for work by Abe Zucca at Tempe Art a Gogh-Gogh. Abe Zucca
Forgot your wallet at home? No problem. This week, you can have a good laugh at Antiques Groan Show, raise your glass for a toast at First Draft Book Bar, or take the kids to Pajama Time. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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Paul Hirt is sharing his water expertise.
Paul Hirt

'Water in Arizona: Past, Present, Future'

Climate shifts and population growth will bring new water-related challenges for desert environments moving forward, so it’s worth taking some time to learn more about water issues here in Arizona. Start by attending "Water in Arizona: Past, Present, Future," a free presentation by Paul Hirt, a professor of history and sustainability at ASU. He’ll be talking about historical context, water rights, drought risk, water shortages, water policy, and more — including what you can do to make a difference. McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is holding the event in the Mustang Library auditorium, 10101 North 90th Street, Scottsdale, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28. Lynn Trimble

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Do you have the answers?
Carly Schorman


Chaos reigns inside Triviadome, the monthly cinema and culture trivia night hosted by Amy Young and Ashley Naftule, contributors to Phoenix New Times and the voices behind the local movie podcast Prizefighting Kangaroo. Teams of up to six pit themselves against each other to win gift certificates, concert tickets, and other prizes. There will be drink specials to keep the mayhem going. Will your squad taste victory or suffer a cruel fate? The only way to know is to step inside.

Signup starts at 7 p.m. The battle for pop culture supremacy begins at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil

Julio César Morales' art explores border life.
Julio César Morales


While talking heads are busy blathering on about border issues they’ve never experienced, artists are out there making work that reflects authentic experiences in the borderlands. Tempe-based Julio César Morales, curator for ASU Art Museum, is among them. When Morales’ “Invaders” exhibit opened at Phoenix Art Museum earlier this year, he gave a fascinating talk about his art practice, wrapping in elements of family history, borderland politics, and creative endeavors ranging from sound art to culinary fare. Now, he’s doing a free artist talk in the museum galleries where you can see his photographs, videos, neon sculptures, and drawings. It’s happening at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29. The museum is located at 1625 North Central Avenue, where admission is pay-what-you-wish from 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. Lynn Trimble

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Up close with Allure.
Crystal Wagner


A  couple of weeks ago, Los Angeles artist Crystal Wagner was surrounded by pristine white walls inside the Project Room at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street, Mesa. Soon, she began transforming the space, using chicken wire to create the foundation for a large-scale art installation called Allure. Formed with torn pieces of multicolored tablecloths, the artwork prompts reflection on the relationships between organic and manufactured materials, and how the contemporary landscape saturated in visual culture affects the ways people see, think about, and explore their environments. Get a good look on Wednesday, May 29, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Lynn Trimble

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Get ready for some laughs.
Pizza Party Comedy

Antiques Groan Show

PBS might want to watch their backs. Kyle Coughlin, Michael Kohn, Sam Lowy, and Michael Margetis are more than the quartet of comedians that make up the local sketch comedy troupe Pizza Party. They’re also “antique experts” — or rather, they’re going to be playing hilarious characters that will find the hidden value of the trinkets and treasures in your home at the Antiques Groan Show. This latest edition of their hit improv show will feature appearances by Anwar Newton, Trejon Dunkley, and Eric Sobczak.

The appraisal begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil

Tempe Art a Gogh-Gogh

One of the Valley’s best underground art happenings returns at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31. If you’re age 21 or up, head over to Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe. That’s where Tempe Art a Gogh-Gogh brings together all sorts of creatives, from visual artists to musicians, for a night of interactive art experiences. Friday’s lineup includes new art installations by Abe Zucca and Melissa Waddell, MDMN, Steve Wesby, and Purdy Lites. But look for The Deadbeat Cousins, Audrey Heartburn, DJ Kings, SupaVaiza, and much more. It’s a fabulous last Friday alternative to typical First Friday fare. Lynn Trimble

First Draft Book Bar

Changing Hands introduced the concept of drinking alcohol at a bookstore when it opened the doors of its Uptown Phoenix location five years ago. The First Draft Book Bar has been a hit with bookworms ever since. To mark the occasion, the store has a number of fun activities planned, including coloring, vintage typewriter demonstrations, free beer and wine samples, and poetry on-demand by Phoenix’s poet laureate, Rosemarie Dombrowski.

Raise your glass for a toast from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. Jason Keil

The Little Mermaid

As Sebastian the Crab so eloquently put it in “Under the Sea,” the human world is a mess. So float on over to Kiwanis Community Park to watch the Disney classic The Little Mermaid and forget all your troubles. In addition to seeing one of the greatest animated movies of all time, the Tempe Play Mobile and food trucks will be on-site with treats, sports equipment, and games for you and your family to enjoy before the movie starts.

It’s hotter under the water starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at 5500 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. This is a free, family-friendly event. Jason Keil

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Some children's books are well worth an adult read.
Lynn Trimble

Pajama Time

Some days, it's a battle just to get the kids out of their pajamas. If you're tired of fighting the good fight, Changing Hands has you covered. Grab your kiddos and head over to the Phoenix store, 300 West Camelback Road, at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31. That’s when Pajama Time with Mr. Tom gets started, which means the kids can rock their pajamas and claim it’s all for the sake of promoting literacy. Stop by the commons area on your way home, if you want to enjoy some grown-up treats and join the locally owned business in celebrating its fifth anniversary. Both events are free. Lynn Trimble

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It feels great to give back.
KJZZ Staff

State Forty-Eight Impact Day

If you’re looking for a great way to help the hungry children in Arizona, you can donate a few hours of your time at the United Food Bank for State Forty-Eight Impact Day. The organization and the fashion brand are teaming up to build 4,800 emergency food bags consisting of pasta, rice, beans, and other healthy food items. DJayT3 will provide the musical accompaniment. Volunteers receive food and an exclusive State Forty-Eight and United Food Bank collaboration sticker.

The first shift builds bags from 9 a.m. to noon. The second shift finishes the job from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, at 245 South Nine Drive in Mesa. This is a free event. 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