We're so ready for the weekend. This weekend, you can take a stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden at its 80th anniversary celebration, show yourself some love at Galentines Self Love Affair, or win bragging rights and gift cards at the Four Peaks Beer Can Derby 2019. For more things to do, visit
SMoCA Spring Opening Reception
Party like it’s 1999 at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, as the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary. Once upon a time, the building was a movie theater rather than museum, so it’s fitting that the museum is launching its birthday year with a spring opening reception featuring a new exhibition of video works. Curators promise visitors the chance to “get lost in time,” during the opening taking place Friday, February 15, from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, and it’s a great way to share the art love. Expect DJs, a cash bar, and a first look at the “Now Playing: Video 1999-2019” exhibit that continues through May 19. Visit smoca.org. Lynn Trimble
34th Arizona Gay Rodeo
The 34th Arizona Gay Rodeo will feature traditional rodeo events like bucking broncos and roping cattle. Also on the schedule for this year? Goat dressing. What is goat dressing, you ask? It’s an event where a two-member team puts a pair of tighty-whities on the horned animal. The fastest duo wins. If putting Jockeys on farm animals isn’t your cup of tea, there will also be dancing and appearances by Jessica Wild and Lineysha Sparx from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Giddy up beginning Friday, February 15, through Sunday, February 17, at Corona Ranch, 7611 South 29th Avenue in Laveen. Single-day tickets are $15. For more information, visit agra-phx.com. Jason Keil
Desert Botanical Garden 80th Anniversary Celebration
Turns out, aging can be a good thing, and Desert Botanical Garden is living proof. Head over to the garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, to join their 80th Anniversary Celebration from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 16. You’ll pay just $8 for admission, which normally runs $24.95 for adults. While you’re there, you can explore diverse desert plants, enjoy garden artworks, try hands-on activities, and indulge in a slice of birthday cake. You’ll see plenty of intriguing changes, especially if it’s been a while since you popped in on all that plant life. We should all look so good at 80. Visit dbg.org. Lynn Trimble
Galentines Self Love Affair
Who needs a date for Valentine’s Day when you can love yourself? Head over to Wasted Ink Zine Distro, 2222 North 16th Street, for an unapologetic afternoon of self-love, made better by sharing it with others. Wasted Ink and Femme Forward Collective are presenting a little something called Galentines Self Love Affair from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 16. Grab a gal pal and go. The afternoon lineup includes dirty yoga, plus tips on doing your make-up in just five minutes. Bring extra cash if you want to get a $5 facial or makeup session. Maybe you’ll leave inspired to write your own zine, about any kind of love you please. Visit wizd-az.com. Lynn Trimble
Naranja: Reggaeton + Cumbia + Salsa + Merengue
From the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico to the mountains of Colombia, there’s an entire world of Latin music that’s waiting for discovery from the average listener. If your only contact with Latin music is mumbling through the chorus of “Despacito,” however, you may need a lesson in the form of dance. Check out Valley Bar for their Latin-focused party Naranja: Reggaeton + Cumbia + Salsa + Merengue. Local DJ M’Rocka will be behind the turntables spinning. Get into the groove starting at 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit valleybarphx.com. Jason Keil
Were you unable to get a sitter for Valentine’s Day? The Children’s Museum of Phoenix has you covered with an adults-only Play Date. They aren’t going to watch your kids for you, but they are going to keep their doors open late so you can get into some shenanigans. There will be drinks, dancing, food trucks, inflatable Twister, henna tattoos, and candy bingo. It’s the most fun you can have at the museum without your little ones.
This event is only for those of legal drinking age. The fun runs from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at 215 North Seventh Street. Tickets are $15 to $20 per person with a $50 VIP option. For more information, visit childrensmuseumofphoenix.org. Jason Keil
Southwest Maker Fest
Are you looking for a unique handmade gift? Then head over to the sixth annual Southwest Maker Fest. Intrepid entrepreneurs from all over the Valley will be selling their DIY wares. And if you want to light your own creative spark, an array of exhibitors will be there to help you design your own rocket, ceramic bowl, LEGO figurine, or robot. There will be food and entertainment on-site to help fuel your inspiration.
Find what you’re looking for from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at Pepper Place (between South Robson and South MacDonald) in downtown Mesa. This is a free event. For more information, visit southwestmakerfest.com. Jason Keil
Four Peaks Beer Can Derby 2019
Even if you hated Cub Scouts, making your own car for the Pinewood Derby was a lot of fun. Take your wooden car-making skills to the next level with The Four Peaks Beer Can Derby 2019. Add some flair to your derby flyer by incorporating empty beer cans into your design. Compete against other racing aficionados in a battle to win bragging rights and some gift cards from the brewers of Kilt Lifter.
On your mark, get set, and go from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at 2401 South Wilson Street in Tempe. The entry fee is $15, which includes a starter kit for your racer. For more information, visit fourpeaks.com. Jason Keil
Downtown Pedal Around Anniversary
Scooters are threatening to take over Phoenix, but pedaling through town on two wheels will never lose its charm. The Downtown Pedal Around Anniversary celebrates two years of the joy of hopping on your saddle and riding through the streets of the city. This 60-minute ride will give you a new perspective of the neighborhoods and murals that make the Valley such a great place to live. Grab a drink with your fellow riders after the ride is through.
The ride begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, at Phoenix Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit dtphx.org. Jason Keil
2019 Seven Chefs Dinner
What if there was a greatest-hits compilation of the best culinary delights the Grand Canyon State has to offer? That anthology drops this weekend at the 2019 Seven Chefs Dinner. Local chefs Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table, Jacob Cutino of Cutino Sauce Company, Little Miss BBQ’s Scott Holmes, Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta, The Gladly’s Bernie Kantak, Doug Robson from Otro Café, and New Wave Market’s Country Velador will make a multicourse meal that you will never forget.
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Dinner is served from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, at The Gladly, 2201 East Camelback Road. Tickets are $175, which includes your meal, drinks, tax, and tip. For more information, visit localfirstaz.com. Jason Keil
UFC Fight Night
If you still aren’t convinced that MMA has become a mainstream sport, keep in mind that ESPN is broadcasting their first UFC Fight Night live from Talking Stick Resort Arena as part of a five-year deal worth $1.5 billion. This news means that MMA is now bigger than professional hockey. There are 10 exciting bouts scheduled to take place, including several big matchups that had to be rescheduled after UFC 233 was canceled. The headlining fight is the heavyweight matchup between former champion Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou.
The bell rings at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, at 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $50 to $175. For more information, visit talkingstickresortarena.com.? Jason Keil