Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix July 11-17

Gathering for Movies on Main in Mesa.
Gathering for Movies on Main in Mesa. Ivan Martinez

Looking for some fun this week? You can get into your feels at Risk!, transport yourself to Europe at Experience France, or enjoy a sundae after a history lesson during the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Checking out One-Eyed Jack in Old Town Scottsdale. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out One-Eyed Jack in Old Town Scottsdale.
Lynn Trimble

Summer Spectacular Art Walk

Strolling the streets of Scottsdale’s Old Town arts district is a relaxing way to beat the summer heat, especially during the free Summer Spectacular Art Walk, which happens from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 11. Start on Main Street between Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard, where Royse Contemporary’s “Moments of Color” exhibit includes works by Cherie Buck-Hutchison, Nigel Clouse, Charmagne Coe, Gennaro Garcia, Daniel Shephard, and Onna Voellmer.

Then head over to Marshall Way north of Indian School Road, where you’ll see John Randall Nelson’s giant rabbit sculpture for Scottsdale Public Art. It’s also home to Wilde Meyer Gallery, which is having its “Annual $100 Show,” and the Art One gallery that has an eclectic selection of affordable offerings. Expect live music and refreshments, too. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Kevin Allison - MINDY TUCKER / WITH RESERVATION
Kevin Allison
Mindy Tucker / With Reservation


Risk! isn’t a typical storytelling podcast. The tales told may shock and even repulse (bodily fluids are often involved). But make no mistake, they will also make you laugh, cry, and feel. Kevin Allison, a member of the beloved comedy troupe The State, hosts the live show’s return to Phoenix. The lineup has yet to be released, but expect great local talent to step behind the mic. When Risk! made its Phoenix debut in 2017, comedians Anwar Newton and Kathy Cano-Murillo (The Crafty Chica) took the stage.

Gather round at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $20. Jason Keil

click to enlarge All about Frida. - KATHY CANO-MURILLO
All about Frida.
Kathy Cano-Murillo

Forever Frida: A Celebration of the Life, Art, Loves, Words, and Style of Frida Kahlo

Most people know Kathy Cano-Murillo as The Crafty Chica, but she’s also an accomplished writer. Her latest work merges her love of art and prose. Forever Frida: A Celebration of the Life, Art, Loves, Words, and Style of Frida Kahlo is a deep dive into the work and legacy of Frida Kahlo. This isn’t going to be a typical book signing, either. There will be a Kahlo-themed art workshop after the presentation for those who are creatively inclined.

The book signing begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. The workshop takes place at 7:30 p.m and costs $20, which doesn’t include a copy of the book. The signing is free. Jason Keil

'Hugo Medina: 10 Year Retrospective'

Hugo Medina’s first show took place at Barrio Cafe in 2009. In the decade since, the Bolivian-born artist’s murals have transformed downtown Phoenix into a colorful feast for the eyes. Medina’s paintings, many of which reflect the struggles of migrants and the working class, along with images of his murals will be on display until the end of August at the Arizona Capitol Museum in an exhibition titled “Hugo Medina: 10 Year Retrospective.” You can meet the artist at the opening reception.

The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at 1700 West Washington Street. This is a free event. Jason Keil


Nearly five years after Robin Williams’ death, people still gather to watch the many films he made, including the 1995 film Jumanji, which imagines a giant, jungle-themed board game coming to life. Grab your lawn chair or blanket for a free screening happening at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 12, at The Sliver Lot, 219 West Main Street in Mesa.

National Comedy Theatre will be doing preshow activities, and the street will be lined with vendors and food trucks for the city’s 2nd Friday Night Out event. This month’s theme is Gamers’ Dilemma, so other offerings will include a vintage video game competition, plus an 8 p.m. trivia contest at the gallery at 101 West Main Street. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Padriac Murphy ran with the "Bugs and Blooms" theme. - WEST VALLEY ARTS HQ
Padriac Murphy ran with the "Bugs and Blooms" theme.
West Valley Arts HQ

“Bugs and Blooms”

Seeing an exhibit filled with flowers might not sound that exciting until you recall the vastly different ways artists have rendered them through the years. Consider Claude Monet’s serene “Water Lilies” paintings compared with Jeff Koons’ flashy Bouquet of Flowers sculpture, or flowers created by Kahlo, Klimt, and Van Gogh. You’ll see intriguing variations in flowers created by local artists in the new “Bugs and Blooms” exhibit at West Valley Arts’ Arts HQ gallery, 16126 North Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.

Meet several of the artists during the free opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 12. The exhibit, which continues through August 23, features works by more than three dozen creatives, including several inspired by desert blooms. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Exploring native plants and ancient petroglyphs. - DEER VALLEY PETROGLYPH PRESERVE
Exploring native plants and ancient petroglyphs.
Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

Sunrise Tour

What used to be called the Deer Valley Rock Art Center is now the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. Operated by ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, it’s located at 3711 West Deer Valley Road. The 47-acre preserve includes a quarter-mile nature trail with prehistoric petroglyphs, native plants, and desert animal life, where you can take the sunrise tour at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 13. The preserve is also home to educational exhibits highlighting Arizona’s archaeological history. Bring water and a hat, and wear your closed-toe walking shoes, plus sunscreen. It’s an easy trail, but it never hurts to be prepared for the summer sun. The tour is free with $9 admission. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Celebrating French culture. - MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM
Celebrating French culture.
Musical Instrument Museum

Experience France

Recently, soccer fans got to watch the U.S. win the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, which might put an extra spring in your step during Experience France, a two-day event happening at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. It starts on Saturday, July 13, when you can explore French music and culture from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The lineup includes a curator talk, artist encounter, family film screening, and photo booth with themed props, plus crafts and musical performances. It’s free with $20 admission, but you can also buy French cuisine in the museum’s café or France-inspired gifts in the museum’s shop. Be sure to visit the France display in the European Gallery while you’re there. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time for summer treats. - PHOENIX ZOO
Time for summer treats.
Phoenix Zoo

Winter in July

Nearly 50 tons of snow is coming to the Phoenix Zoo for Winter in July, happening from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13. Wake up early and make your way to 455 North Galvin Parkway, where you can watch animals eat icy treats, play games, enjoy splash play areas, hear a DJ spin tunes, explore a fire truck, and get some rare snow time while you rock your favorite pair of mittens. Admission starts at $24.95 ($22.95 online). Bring money for extras like carousel and camel rides, plus food and drinks or souvenirs from the gift shop. Pro tip: The monkeys get treats at 9:30 a.m. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Enjoying Christmas in July in Glendale. - LORRAINE ZOMOK
Enjoying Christmas in July in Glendale.
Lorraine Zomok

Christmas in July

With so many holidays happening near the end of the year, it’s nice to spread the holiday spirit around a bit. Give it a try in historic downtown Glendale, where Christmas in July is happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. You don’t have to stay up wrapping gifts or baking pies the night before. Just pick up your event map at 5836 West Palmaire Avenue, then start exploring. Expect plenty of shopping and hands-on activities. There’s even a cookie crawl, but only while supplies last. Bring bottled water if you’d like to donate to relief efforts for vulnerable populations. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Kerri Gallagher bringing the comedy to JOJO Coffeehouse. - JULIET STRAKER
Kerri Gallagher bringing the comedy to JOJO Coffeehouse.
Juliet Straker

It’s a Talk Show

If you like a little coffee with your comedy, head over to Scottsdale for a live taping of It’s a Talk Show, featuring comic Kerri Gallagher. She’s turning her weekly podcast into a comedy talk show, complete with panels of comics talking pop culture plus interviews with industry experts. Her next free family show happens from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at JOJO Coffeehouse, 3712 North Scottsdale Road. The casually elegant coffeehouse serves food, espresso drinks, wine, beer, and nonalcoholic beverages. Lynn Trimble

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

If you’ve only watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show on your television screen, then you haven’t really seen the movie. Come to FilmBar in your best fishnets and give yourself over to absolute pleasure while watching the ultimate cult classic. The musical tribute to B-movies stars Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf, and Tim Curry as “a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.” Frankie’s Fishnets, a local “shadow cast,” will be there to guide you through every step of the “Time Warp.”

Be warned: The virgins will be sacrificed starting at 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $14. Jason Keil

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social

Wearing long, puffy gigot sleeves and three-piece suits isn’t the coolest way to spend a summer afternoon in the Valley, but costumes are encouraged during the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social at Heritage Square. First, you can learn about the lives of Phoenicians in the late 19th century when you go on a guided tour of the Rosson House Museum, a restored Queen Anne Victorian house. Then enjoy a sundae and a game of croquet.

Bring your mallets at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, at 113 North Sixth Street. Tickets are $15 and $10 for children. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Art meets cider in Mesa. - JENNIFER GASTELUM
Art meets cider in Mesa.
Jennifer Gastelum

Cider & Scribbles

Cider on tap and colored pencils make a nice pairing when you’re ready for a relaxing Sunday. Grab your sketch pad and pens, or anything else you like to draw with, and head to Cider Corps, 31 South Robson in Mesa. That’s where Cider & Scribbles is happening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 14. No worries if you don’t have drawing supplies, by the way. They’ve got you covered. The event is free, but bring money for food truck fare or drinks from cider mimosas to cider slushies if you want to indulge a bit while you’re sketching your little heart out. In case you’re curious, the event is part of Mesa Arts Center’s Creative Catalyst initiative, which promotes community engagement through creativity. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Step inside Vision Gallery in Chandler. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Step inside Vision Gallery in Chandler.
Lynn Trimble

'Selections from the Permanent Collection'

Vision Gallery in Chandler is mixing it up this summer, showing works of public art on a rotating basis as they get various pieces ready for installation around the city. See the free “Selections from the Permanent Collection” exhibit at the gallery, 10 East Chicago Street, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, July 15. Then circle back sometime before the show closes on August 23, because what they’re showing will shift over time. They’ve exhibited some unique public art works in the past, including Ruth Knowles’ life-size ostrich sculpture called Olivia Ostrich Buys Fresh & Local, which references the city’s renowned ostrich festival. Lynn Trimble

Disney Movie Trivia

Disney keeps turning its animated library into mediocre live-action films, but viewers of a certain age remember it was truly an event when the studio released one of their classic films on video. If you wore out your VCR watching Dumbo or The Little Mermaid, then you and your friends just might win Disney Movie Trivia. There will be five rounds of questions ranging from Lady and the Tramp to The Lion King. Just don’t consider your team “poor, unfortunate souls” if you don’t win it all.

Quiz upon a star at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, at Growler U.S.A., 5415 East High Street #101. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Francene Christianson's take on summer road trips. - I.D.E.A. MUSEUM
Francene Christianson's take on summer road trips.
i.d.e.a. Museum

'Roadtrip U.S.A.'

Who doesn’t dream of taking summer road trips? Embrace your inner wanderer with the “Roadtrip U.S.A.” exhibit at the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa, located at 150 West Pepper Place. They’re showing 71 artworks that reflect the theme of traveling through different parts of the American landscape, created by 24 artists from around the U.S. Ten artists, including Mesa ceramicist Farraday Newsome and Tempe printmaker Jake Early, hail from Arizona. The show runs through September 8.

Exhibition hours on Tuesday, July 16, are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $9, and the exhibit also includes several hands-on activities, including making maps and vacation postcards, creating a magnetic license plate, and using a green screen to picture yourself in surfing vacation scene. Odds are, you’ll leave inspired to plan your own getaway, or at least revisit those vintage road trips your family made when you were just a kid. Lynn Trimble

Apollo 11

Fifty years after the first American astronaut set foot on the moon, the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU is celebrating with an evening that include a free screening for the 2019 film Apollo 11 plus time with ASU experts who’ve helped make space exploration possible. ASU’s Apollo 11 Mission event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, inside the Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Building IV, 781 Terrace Mall on the Tempe campus. The event kicks off with a 5:30 p.m. reception and meet and greet, which includes light refreshments. The film starts at 6:35 p.m. and you can stay after for an 8 p.m. Q&A with moon exploration experts Mark Robinson and Craig Hardgrove. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Mercury

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — the Phoenix Mercury are taking on the Dallas Wings in the early afternoon on a weekday. It’s part of the team’s Camp Day promotion with activities geared toward families and youth groups looking for a great way to spend a summer afternoon, including hanging out with Scorch, the team mascot. They also get a chance to see Team U.S.A. gold medalist Brittney Griner light up the scoreboard.

Tip-off is at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $10 to $240.25. 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