Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Dressed for the part.
Dressed for the part. Kristin Heggli
We've planned your week. This week, you can step onto the island at Arizona Tiki Oasis, enjoy a bite of something delicious at Scottsdale Culinary Festival, and get educated at Carnivorous Plant Class. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

"Dispatches From The Dream Factory"

“Dispatches From The Dream Factory” is a celebration of films produced by Studio Ghibli, the award-winning Japanese animation studio known for their fantastical plots and strong visual style. Throughout the month of April, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be screening several films from the house that director Hayao Miyazaki helped build. This weekend features Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro.

The festival begins with Spirited Away at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe with additional screenings throughout the weekend. Tickets are $7. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Cheers! - TIM HARDY
Tim Hardy

Arizona Tiki Oasis

To say that tiki culture is popular in the Valley would be a major understatement. There are no less than a dozen different bars rocking the vintage Polynesian aesthetic around town, including the recently opened Drunk Munk in Scottsdale. So the fact there’s an event like this weekend’s Arizona Tiki Oasis should come as little surprise.

The three-day “island lifestyle party,” which takes place from Friday, April 12, to Sunday, April 14, at the Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 East Main Street in Scottsdale, will celebrate anything and everything tiki-related, including its history in pop culture. There will be a tiki marketplace featuring the works of more than 60 artists, tropical cocktails, luaus, educational seminars, a fashion show, art shows, rooftop parties, and more. Special guests will include mid-century and tiki artists like Mookie, SHAG, Beachbum Barry, and author and historian Sven Kirsten.

Get tropical starting at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Admission prices to ATO’s various events are $10 to $80. See for full details. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge The ASU Pow Wow is an annual gathering. - COURTESY OF THE ASU POW WOW COMMITTEE
The ASU Pow Wow is an annual gathering.
Courtesy of the ASU Pow Wow Committee

The ASU Pow Wow

The 33rd annual ASU Pow Wow, a three-day gathering of American Indian dancers and singing groups from several North American tribal nations, opens on Friday, April 12, with a Grand Entry at 7 p.m., which members of the public are welcome to attend. Organizers describe the event as a “culmination of American Indian beliefs and traditions that inspire, communicate, and support American Indian culture.” The ASU Pow Wow takes place at Sun Devil Stadium, 500 East Veteran Way, Tempe. Arrive by 5:30 p.m. if you’d also like to experience gourd dancing. A single day ticket is $10, but you can get a three-day pass for $24. Visit  Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Finding out what purple tastes like. - SCOTTSDALE CULINARY FESTIVAL
Finding out what purple tastes like.
Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Make new friends who share your culinary passion during the three-day Scottsdale Culinary Festival that opens on Friday, April 12. The festival launches with a cocktail party that features culinary offerings from 10 restaurants, plus an assortment of cocktails and spirits. Expect music and other entertainment with a secret agent theme, during the party for ages 21 and up, which runs from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. James Bond-inspired attire is encouraged. Tickets are $85 in advance or $100 at the door, and proceeds help the organizers support myriad arts organizations, including Free Arts for Abused Children. Visit  Lynn Trimble

Arizona Diamondbacks Golf Day

David Peralta and the boys of summer won’t be the only ones swinging at Chase Field. To celebrate Arizona Golf Day, the Arizona Diamondbacks will hold an interactive golf expo before taking on division rivals the San Diego Padres. Practice your golf swing and participate in other golf-inspired activities. Proceeds benefit Junior Golf in Arizona, an organization dedicated to instilling a love of the links in young people. The first 20,000 fans receive an Archie Bradley Bobble Gnome doll.

The first pitch goes out at 5:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at 401 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $39 to $375. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Catch OT Genasis at this year's DUB Show Tour. - GABE SHADDOW
Catch OT Genasis at this year's DUB Show Tour.
Gabe Shaddow

DUB Show Tour

The M.O. of the annual DUB Show Tour is simple: showcasing hot custom cars and even hotter hip-hop talents. You’ll get both on Saturday, April 13, when this year’s tour hits downtown Phoenix.

Hundreds of customized, modified, and exotic cars and motorcycles of the imported and domestic variety — including plenty of lowriders, cherry rides, and amazing-looking whips — will be on display inside the south building of the Phoenix Convention Center, 33 South Third Street. Meanwhile, a lineup of burgeoning rap stars and hip-hop artists like Trippie Redd, Lil Xan, OT Genasis, Mellow Man Ace, Coca Vango, and Dani Leigh will perform.

The show goes from 4 to 9 p.m. General Admission is $20 in advance, $25 day of. A speed pass (which includes express entry and a free T-shirt) is $35 and VIP tickets (which offer front-row seating and other perks) are $75. See Benjamin Leatherman

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 Jason Keil

click to enlarge Strolling through Park Central before renovations were complete. - LYNN TRIMBLE
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 Lynn Trimble

Don't let those innocent tendrils fool you. - CURIOUS NATURE
Don't let those innocent tendrils fool you.
Curious Nature

Carnivorous Plant Class

While some people are going vegan, some plants are perfectly content with being carnivores. There’s more to carnivorous plant life than the renowned Venus Fly Trap, and you can learn all about it at a Carnivorous Plant Class happening at Curious Nature, 5032 North Central Avenue, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. It costs $10, and spaces are limited. One sure sign you should give it a go? You know all the words to Little Shop of Horrors, the musical that stars a blood-thirsty plant. Visit  Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out a small business on McDowell Miracle Mile. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out a small business on McDowell Miracle Mile.
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 Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out Historical Happenstance in Scottsdale. - LYNN TRIMBLE
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 Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Helping children blossom. - COURTESY OF JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
Helping children blossom.
Courtesy of Japanese Friendship Garden

Children's Day

Imagine a national holiday that’s all about assuring kids are healthy and happy. Turns out, Japan beat us to it. We can all join the celebration when the Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 North Third Avenue, presents Children’s Day from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. The day features taiko drumming, martial arts, traditional dance, calligraphy demonstrations, and a children’s chorus. Plus, kids can make origami crafts, get their face painted, create a dry garden, or explore traditional Japanese toys. Tickets are $7 for adults or $5 for students, and kids through age 6 get in free. Visit  Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Creating a new generations of musicians. - ASU SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Creating a new generations of musicians.
ASU School of Music

ASU Mariachi Spring Concert

Maybe you’re more into string instruments, or horns. Either way, mariachi bands deliver. Members of the ASU Mariachi Ensemble have been practicing a lot lately, getting ready to perform the ASU Mariachi Spring Concert, which is free and open to the public. It’s happening at the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 50 Gammage Parkway, on the Tempe campus, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Monday, April 15. Expect a mix of traditional genres, such as polka and ranchera, along with modern ones, including cumbia. Every musician loves a great crowd, and students are no exception. Visit  Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Javiera Alejandra Mena Carrasco is coming to Crossfade Lab. - COURTESY OF CALA ALLIANCE
Javiera Alejandra Mena Carrasco is coming to Crossfade Lab.
Courtesy of CALA Alliance

Crossfade Lab

Maybe you’re used to hitting concerts at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Mix it up a little by heading over on Monday, April 15, when it’s all about conversation. MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Josh Kun is co-curating something called Crossfade Lab for CALA Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes cultural understanding through shared arts experiences. The evening features Chilean musician Javier Mena, along with Peruvian-American novelist Daniel Alarcón. Organizers promise a mix of “fiction with reporting, songs with stories, and podcasting with synth pop.” Tickets are $15, and it’s an age 21-and-over event. Visit  Lynn Trimble

Arizona Storytellers Project

Living in Arizona, we all have a story about a trip to the Grand Canyon. If your tale about hiking down the Bright Angel trail or the summer vacation you took with your great aunt should be heard, then spin your yarn at the latest Arizona Storytellers Project. This month’s theme is “100 Years of the Grand Canyon.” If speaking in front of large crowds isn’t your thing, live vicariously through someone else telling their tale.

The event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Parks and Recreation Trivia

It’s time to test your knowledge of all things Pawnee, Indiana. Parks and Recreation Trivia is coming to Growler USA, so spray on some Tommy Fresh cologne, chow down on a few calzones, and crank up a little Mouse Rat so your team can make it through five rounds of questions and ascend to the top of the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. It will be more fun than a game of “The Cones of Dunshire.”

Treat yo’ self beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, at 5415 East High Street #101. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Getting to work the healthy way. - COURTESY OF MARICOPA COUNTY
Getting to work the healthy way.
Courtesy of Maricopa County

Bike to Work Day

Are you sick of getting stuck in traffic during rush hour? Pedal your way to the office using two wheels for Bike to Work Day. Elected officials and motivational speakers will be at CityScape to inspire you to pedal on to reduce congestion and pollution. The streets will be cleared for a three-mile ride through downtown Phoenix with a light breakfast afterward.

Check in at 6:30 a.m. and get on your bike and ride at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at 1 East Washington Street. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble