Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Get ready to slide the rails in Scottsdale.
Get ready to slide the rails in Scottsdale. City of Scottsdale
Work is over, so it's time to play. This weekend, you can watch talented dancers pop and lock at USA Hip Hop Dance Championship, learn tips on how to keep your bike in perfect condition at Bike Maintenance Class, or leave the f-bombs at home for Clean Comedy Night. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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Throwback to 2018 "Desert Dwellers" exhibit.
Jose Romero

'Desert Dwellers III'

Big props to the artists from different fields who get out there every day to support each other’s work. If you want to celebrate collaborations between visual and literary artists, and the artists whose talents flow within both realms, head over to The Hive, 2222 North 16th Street, for an art exhibit called “Desert Dwellers III.” The free event is happening from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, when you can explore art inside The Hive gallery and surround yourself with zines inside the Wasted Zine Ink Distro that’s a hub for zine culture here in metro Phoenix.

Artists will be selling their works, with proceeds helping to support PHX Zine Fest 2019, a day of all things zines coming to Unexpected Gallery on October 20. More than a dozen artists are participating in this exhibit, including Kyllan Maney, whose symmetrical glow-in-the-dark mural was a standout at the recent Chalk Art Festival on Grand Avenue. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Just because we’re in the middle of August doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. REI Co-Op will be guiding beginners through a beautiful evening at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. If you’ve never gone on a hike, this is the perfect opportunity to learn some basics, meet some new people .and get inspired for a bigger adventure when the weather cools down. There will be refreshments served afterward.

Take a walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, at 3902 East Dunlap Avenue. This is a free event, but you must reserve your spot online. Jason Keil

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Talented dancers ahead.
TLC MediaWorks

USA Hip Hop Dance Championship

Are you ready to pop and lock? The USA Hip Hop Dance Championship is returning to Phoenix. The most talented dancers in the country will take the stage to show what they’ve got. The winners not only bring home a medal but have gone on to tour with performers like Jennifer Lopez. Last year, two Valley-based crews, The Rise and Exiles, took home gold and silver, respectively. Will history repeat? There’s only one way to find out.

Bust a move for the preliminary rounds from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, and the finals at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, at the Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 South Arizona Grand Parkway. Tickets are $25 to $40. Jason Keil

Bike Maintenance Class

Keeping a bicycle in working condition is just like taking care of a car — you have to give it a tune-up regularly. Bike Saviours offers a monthly Bike Maintenance Class to help you know what your two-wheeled ride needs (and keep you from lining the pockets of your local shop). The volunteer-run center will provide everything from equipment to hands-on instruction.

Learn how to take control of your bike from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, at 1930 South Roosevelt Street in Tempe. The class is $20, which includes the tools necessary to fix a flat tire. Jason Keil

Slide the Rails

Before your kids pack up their pencils and notebooks for back-to-school time, take them over to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 North Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. Typically, it’s all about exploring vintage trains, plus riding the park’s carousel and miniature train. But the park is upping its game, adding seven water activities for a free event called Slide the Rails, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 3.

The lineup includes a monster slide, splash pool, and special pool for the wee ones. Wristbands are $10, which gets you access to the water fun, plus free train and carousel rides. Tykes age 2 and under are free with a paying adult. Don’t forget the sunscreen, hats, and water bottles — nobody wants to go back to school looking like a lobster. Lynn Trimble

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Checking out James Muir’s Truth sculpture in downtown Mesa.
Lynn Trimble

'FRANK Talk: The Spread of Fake News'

The FRANK Talks series organized by Arizona Humanities has tackled some weighty topics in recent years, from gun ownership to diverse religious beliefs. Now the group is presenting “FRANK Talk: The Spread of Fake News,” a discussion being led by Gail Rhodes from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Media. The free presentation happens from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, at Desert Broom Library, 29710 Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek.

It’s a beautiful desert setting for engaging in civil discourse about the impact of fake news on community members, the prevalence of fake news across social media platforms, and related topics. Rhodes will also discuss standard journalistic practices, and offer tips for becoming a more savvy consumer of news. It’s all part of Arizona Humanities’ larger effort to promote civic dialogue and community engagement through thoughtful consideration of multiple perspectives. Lynn Trimble

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Your pretty plant markers can make a cute cocktail stirrer.
Lynn Trimble

Fruit Craft Cordials to Sip & Stir

Your next fruit punch might have a little kick, after you get some fresh tips from mixologist and plant whisperer Gregory Ware. He’s teaching a two-and-a-half hour class called Fruity Craft Cordials to Sip & Stir, starting at noon on Sunday, August 4, at Southwest Gardener, 300 West Camelback Road. That way, you’ll have another excuse to hit your local farmers market, where you can stock up on summer fruits that make swell ingredients for liqueurs, cordials, and scrubs.

Scrubs, by the way, are acid-based mixtures that incorporate fruit, berries, and other elements to give cocktails or nonalcoholic drinks a bit of tang. You’ll also learn to make Irish Cream and Kahlua, and enjoy samples along the way. Check out store offerings while you’re there, in case you want to bring home some colorful plant markers that double as cute cocktail stirrers. The class costs $45. Lynn Trimble

Teacher Appreciation Day

The Phoenix Mercury will be honoring local educators by raising money for schools and wearing one-of-a-kind shooting shirts for their first annual Teacher Appreciation Day. The team will hopefully teach the Washington Mystics a thing or two about bouncing back from a rough season start. Things are coming together as Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner step up their shooting game while Diana Taurasi, who led in scoring last year, recovers from back surgery.

Tip-off is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $10 to $240.25. Jason Keil

Clean Comedy Night

If you love stand-up comedy but hate all the [expletives deleted] and f-bombs, then Stir Crazy Comedy Club’s monthly Clean Comedy Night is the show for you, because there are no earmuffs required. This month’s edition features Michael Bailey, a teacher who tells relatable stories about his hilarious family life. Also appearing is Andrew Norelli, who gave a TED Talk about computers in 2016, and has made numerous appearances on the late-night talk show circuit.

The laughs begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, at 6751 North Sunset Boulevard, Suite E-206, in Glendale. Tickets are $10. 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