Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Getting a peek inside Matt Magee's studio at Cattle Track Arts & Preservation.
Getting a peek inside Matt Magee's studio at Cattle Track Arts & Preservation. Matt Magee

Sure, it's the pivotal week of the NBA Finals, but watching the Phoenix Suns isn't the only thing to do this week by far. Over the next several days, you can take a wilderness survival class, listen to a Bastille Day concert, and much more.

Red Letter Day

You can find a fascinating mix of art hotels across the country, including the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee, the Navajo Lodge in Albuquerque, and Phoenix’s own FOUND:RE Hotel. But you don’t necessarily need to stay at an arts hotel to explore great works of art. Here in metro Phoenix, The Gallery at Mountain Shadows, 5445 East Lincoln, Paradise Valley, routinely shows works of contemporary art. It's curated by Phoenix-based creative CeCe Cole. Head over anytime on Monday, June 12, to see an exhibition of new works by Phoenix-based artist Matt Magee that amplify his dual passions for language and design while conveying the “energy, passion, and action” of the color red.” The exhibit is free, and it continues through August 1.

click to enlarge Big fun with macrame over at Sunshine Craft Co. - SUNSHINE CRAFT CO
Big fun with macrame over at Sunshine Craft Co.
Sunshine Craft Co

DIY Macrame Décor

Perhaps you’ve grown tired of looking at the same boring walls every day, especially after a year of trying to isolate at home as much as your work and community commitments allowed. If you’re ready to add some creativity to your personal space, and you love the idea of having a new DIY project, sign up for Amy Guerrero’s Large Macrame Wall Hanging Class. It’s a four hour commitment over the course of two days, but the end result will be a beautiful boho chic artwork you can proudly display inside your nest. It's happening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, June 12 and 13 at Sunshine Craft Co, 700 West Campbell Avenue (look for the yellow door). Best for beginners-plus, the class includes materials and instruction. The cost starts at $145.

click to enlarge The bloodmobile is headed to Scottsdale Quarter on Tuesday this week. - RUDRI BHATT PATEL
The bloodmobile is headed to Scottsdale Quarter on Tuesday this week.
Rudri Bhatt Patel

Be a Blood Donor

You’ve heard the expression ‘pour your little heart out,’ which typically means laying all your feelings on the line. But you don’t need to exude a bundle of emotions to show how much you care about your community or other people in need. Donating blood is one way to contribute to the common good while knowing the time you’re investing will help someone else reap tangible benefits during tough times. It could help a child born with medical challenges, a person seriously injured in a car accident, or someone battling a new strain of COVID-19. You can sign up online for the Vitalant Blood Drive happening from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, at Scottsdale Quarter, 15059 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

Time to celebrate Bastille Day with some French music. - THE NASH
Time to celebrate Bastille Day with some French music.
The Nash

Celebrate Bastille Day

In the years before Parisian revolutionaries famously attacked the Bastille fortress, it held the Marquis de Sade and other enemies of Louis XVI, who’d be the last King of France thanks to the French Revolution. The storming of the Bastille, which happened on July 14 in 1789, is still celebrated today, although the French typically don’t call it Bastille Day. At The Nash, 110 East Roosevelt Street, they’ll be celebrating with a gypsy swing concert where you night feel like you’ve been transported to the Latin Quarter in New Orleans. Constance Genter will sing in her native French, accompanied by the Uptown Combo. Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert start at $30.

click to enlarge Be safe out there. - RAY STERN
Be safe out there.
Ray Stern

Wilderness Survival Class

When a bear fatally mauled a woman who’d been sleeping in a tent in the Montana wilderness last week, it was a tragic reminder that it’s essential to know and practice wilderness survival strategies, whether you’re a frequent explorer or merely wilderness curious. Arizona Hiking Shack, 3244 East Thomas Road, is holding a beginning to intermediate Wilderness Survival Class from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15. It’s a chance to learn how to avoid and manage emergencies in remote environments within and beyond Southwest deserts. Specific topics include navigation, weather, first aid, animal encounters, shelter, water, fire, food, and more. You’ll even learn how to help rescuers help you, in case it ever comes to that. The class costs $25, and you need to sign up three days in advance.

Little Shop of Horrors

Imagine being a nerdy florist clerk faced with a blood-sucking plant, surrounded by people with sadomasochistic leanings. That’s the premise for Little Shop of Horrors, which began life as a 1960 film with Jack Nicholson playing a small part. Later, Rick Moranis and Steve Martin would star in a 1986 remake. Of course, there’s a Broadway musical as well, which has featured talented actors like Anthony Rapp of Rent and Jonathan Groff of Hamilton. Like Disney's Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, if features music and lyrics from brilliant collaborators Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 West Paradise Lane, Peoria, is bringing the offbeat mix of horror, comedy, and social commentary to its stage this summer. Tickets to the 5:30 p.m. performance on opening night, Friday, July 16, start at $47.99. Some ticket options include dinner with the show.

click to enlarge Checking out The Plant Stand of Arizona. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Checking out The Plant Stand of Arizona.
Lauren Cusimano

Yoga and Sound

Maybe you feel like practicing yoga is especially calming when you’re surrounded by nature, but haven’t been able to spend much time outdoors with recent high heat advisories. If you’re looking for creative ways to blend yoga with nature, try the Yoga and Sound Healing event happening at The Plant Stand, 6420 South 28th Street, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 17. During the first half, you can experience the vinyasa style of yoga characterized by flow between poses while listening to live music spun by a local DJ. For the second half, Mimi Miller will lead participants through sound healing and meditation using a crystal harp and singing bowls, as well as a gong, rain stick, and Buffalo drum. You’ll be surrounded by plants for the whole experience, which costs $25.

click to enlarge Get your lei on at SanTan Brewery's SunSplash Luau. - AMANDA MASON
Get your lei on at SanTan Brewery's SunSplash Luau.
Amanda Mason

Luau Party

Never fear if your dreams of Hawaiian travels haven’t come to pass just yet, because you can still feel the luau vibe right here in the Valley of the Sun, where SanTan Brewing Company partnered with Gold Medal Gymnastics to create a luau party for all ages. It’s happening from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 18, at the SanTan production facility located at 495 West Warner Road in Chandler. Feel free to don your grass skirt and floral shirt as you take in live music by Walt Richardson, a pig roast, water slides, and a first taste of the brewery’s new canned cocktails. Tickets are $10 for the event, where you can finally show off those flip flops and board shorts you secretly paired with suit jackets for all those Zoom meetings during the last year.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble