This week you can see classic cars, snag vinyl records, hear sonic sculptures, or watch hot air balloons in flight. Here’s a look at the best things to do around the Valley, whether you’re into books, sports, films, or tiny houses.
Local Bookstore Love
Hopefully you had a chance to shop local on Saturday’s Independent Bookstore Day. Now, there's a new reason to swing by the Phoenix location for Changing Hands Bookstore. More than two dozen new works by Laura Spalding Best, who paints offbeat urban and desert landscapes on everything from decommissioned traffic signs to vintage ironing boards, were recently installed inside the First Draft Book Bar.
You’ll have several chances to see the Arizona Diamondbacks play a home game this week, starting on Tuesday, April 27, when they’ll welcome the San Diego Padres for a 6:40 p.m. game at Chase Field. For games against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2, they’re doing a Pepsi promotion with 5,000 Diamondbacks baseball caps featuring artwork by Lalo Cota, whose iconic designs you’ll find around the Valley. Tickets start at $19.
Hot Rod Night
Classic cars and hot rods are returning to Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale on Wednesday, April 28. Head to WaterDance Plaza to see cars from the '80s or earlier decades, and Westgate Boulevard near Fountain Park to see cars from the '90s and beyond. All cars are welcome, and parking starts at 4 p.m. The free event runs from 5 to 9 p.m., and its being presented in partnership with Nancy Perry Productions, which organized Cruise on Central events in Phoenix.
Kick back and enjoy an eclectic mix of sound at home as Joe Willie Smith performs using sonic sculptures created in his Phoenix art studio. Smith’s work has been featured at several creative spaces, including Eye Lounge and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Tempe Center for the Arts is streaming the free event on Facebook from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28. Expect solo performance and collaborations with Chris Del Favero, Jessie Demaree, and Patricio Coronado.
Experimental Short Films
Students at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts have been busy creating experimental short films addressing a variety of personal, social, and cultural topics — and now they’re ready to share them during the Virtual Documentary Video Art Festival that’s being presented by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 29. Register online for pay-what-you-wish tickets. See more student films during the virtual ASU Film Senior Showcase at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1.
Maybe you’ve spent the year dreaming of having new digs, finding inspiration in reality TV shows about beachfront mansions, tiny homes, and treehouses. Now, you can explore a variety of tiny homes during the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show happening at WestWorld in Scottsdale from Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2. Event hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $5. WestWorld charges $10 (cash only) for on-site parking.
Viva La Cultura
If you’ve been missing outdoor festivals, head to Surprise for the Viva La Cultura festival featuring live performance, visual art, food trucks, and vendors. The free West Valley Arts Council event kicks off a new group exhibit highlighting Latinx and Chicanx cultures. Participating artists include Edgar Fernandez, Adriana Martinez, Cell 13, and more. The free festival happens from noon to 6 p.m. in Saturday, May 1, at Arts HQ Gallery.
Treat your favorite pooch to some fresh scenery as Desert Botanical Garden presents Dog Days at the Garden from 7 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 1. Dogs are free with admission, which is $24.95 for adults. Get your tickets online before you go. The last admission time for Dog Days visitors is 9:30 a.m., and you should bring your own water dishes and waste bags. Dogs are allowed in the gift shop, by the way, so you can do a little Mother’s Day shopping if that’s on your to-do list.
Phoenix Record Swap Meet
When the Arizona Italian American Club launched in 1957, chart toppers included Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. But you’ll find a far broader selection of vinyl as the club presents a Phoenix Record Swap Meet from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 1. The event includes buyers and sellers with records, CDs, and other music items. Admission is $3.
Arizona Balloon Classic
You’ll get free admission during the final day of the Arizona Balloon Classic in Goodyear on Sunday, May 2, when balloons are scheduled to fly in at 6 a.m. to compete for cash prizes. Sunday’s lineup also includes festival rides, a kite show, street food, retails vendors, and a family fun zone. The festival kicks off on Friday, April 30, when admission is free before noon.
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