Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Metal Man playing Mega Man at last year's Game On Expo.
Metal Man playing Mega Man at last year's Game On Expo. Benjamin Leatherman
Ready to have fun? This weekend, you can unwind during 2nd Friday, watch the world's best dance crews break it down at the World Hip Hop Championship, or mingle with like-minded individuals at Europa Expo. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Look for Jesse Perry's mural just off Main Street. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Look for Jesse Perry's mural just off Main Street.
Lynn Trimble

2nd Friday

Sometimes, you just need a chance to wind down after a hectic work week. Head to Mesa if you want to check out the free 2nd Friday event, which has a summer block party theme this month. It’s happening on Main Street between Center and Robson, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 9. The lineup includes dozens of creatives showing and selling their artisan goods, an assortment of food trucks, and live music. Bring a lawn chair or blanket if you want to watch a 7:30 p.m. screening of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part at the Sliver Lot at 219 West Main Street. Trivia buffs can hit the 8 p.m. trivia contest at 101 West Main Street. You’ll find several murals and public art works in the area, too. Lynn Trimble

Mary Lynn Rajskub

Mary Lynn Rajskub is best known as Chloe on the television series 24. Despite the drama’s cancellation, the Detroit-born comedian still has to remind audiences that she isn’t a computer genius in real life. She has been a staple of the alternative comedy scene for over two decades, which includes appearances on The Larry Sanders Show and the legendary sketch comedy program Mr. Show. The actress steps behind the mic this weekend in Phoenix.

The laughs begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 9, and 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, at CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard. Tickets are $22. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Games on games. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Games on games.
Benjamin Leatherman

Game On Expo 2019

For some, video games aren’t just a hobby, they’re an obsession or even a lucrative profession. Just ask the Fortnite fanatics, Overwatch addicts, and e-sports pros who will be legion inside the Phoenix Convention Center’s South Building, 33 South Third Street, during Game On Expo 2019.

They won’t be the only ones in attendance at the annual video game con, which runs from Friday, August 9, to Sunday, August 11. Gamers of every age and skill level, from casuals to hardcore joystick jockeys, will visit the expo for access to a free-play arcade, retro and modern consoles, PC gaming areas, and indie and homebrew titles. There will also be special guests, e-sports competitions, tabletop and card-based games, vendors, and cosplay contests.

Event hours vary. Daily admission is $20 to $30, three-day passes are $45, and kids ages 3 to 12 are $10. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Looks like a cozy spot for a drawing class. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Looks like a cozy spot for a drawing class.
Lynn Trimble

Sebastien Millon

While others debate the balance of luck and talent in building a thriving arts career, Sebastien Millon is busy sharing his drawing skills with fellow community members. He’s one of several artists who teach classes at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, which offers this delightfully simple description of his work: He draws a lot of animals doing silly things. His simple drawings exude humor and whimsy, but many also capture the impulses humans sometimes try to hide. Odds are you’ll get a wicked smile when you see his work. And that’s a good thing. Meet the artist and get some drawing tips during his next class at Practical Art, happening from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 10. The class costs $25 and all supplies are provided. Lynn Trimble

World Hip Hop Dance Championship

Last year, two teams from the Valley made it into the top 10 of the World Hip Hop Dance Championship. Will history repeat? The only way to know is to see for yourself. You can witness over 50 of the best dance crews from India to New Zealand take the stage. They have sacrificed their time, talent, and money to pop, lock, and whack their way to Glendale in pursuit of a win.

Break it down at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. Tickets are $25 to $125. Jason Keil

Europa Expo

If you’re looking for a like-minded individual to talk CrossFit with, make plans to stop by the Europa Expo. You can see who has the strength to lift their way to winning the Desert Cup. There will also be power-lifting, strongman, and Air Force Special Ops competitions throughout the day. If you’re looking for a supplement to help build your strength, there will be plenty of vendors to help you find the right one for you.

Bulk up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Tickets are $25 to $40 for adults. Jason Keil

Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl

The Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl is the best way to celebrate the most important meal of the weekend. Grab a mimosa or three and stride through 14 restaurants offering exclusive menus for participants, including Fruity Pebble French toast bites at Americana Burgers and Beer or a small plate of eggs Benedict Florentine at Rula Bula.

Dine and dash from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 10. The check-in tent will be at Fifth Avenue and Mill Avenue in Tempe. Tickets are $5, which includes free parking and sunglasses. Food and drink options are $7 at each participating business. Jason Keil

‘An Orchestral Interpretation of Dr. Dre 2001

Dr. Dre cemented his relevance in the hip-hop genre when his album 2001 dropped in 1999. With hits like “The Next Episode” and “Forgot About Dre,” the catchy and profane record, filled with brilliant guest appearances from Eminem and Snoop Dogg, proved that the producer would be a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium. No Strings Attached has adapted the record to a classical setting with “An Orchestral Interpretation of Dr. Dre 2001.” You’ll never hear rap the same way again, but event organizers want to make it clear that the artist will not be in attendance.

Blaze it up starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge It's all about the dirt. - AMY CARLILE
It's all about the dirt.
Amy Carlile

Soil Prep: What You Need to Know Before Planting a Garden

Soil. Water. Sun. They’re all important factors when preparing and caring for your garden. But not everyone’s a master gardener, so we all need a little help sometimes in getting it right. Local gardening expert Gregory Ware is teaching a class called Soil Prep: Everything You Need to Know Before You Plant a Garden at Southwest Gardener, where you’ll learn important strategies for preparing your fall and winter garden, including how to incorporate organic materials such as compost or manure. The class happens at 300 West Camelback Road from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 11. It costs $40, and you’ll go home with enough organic fertilizer and soil sulfur to cover a 100-square-foot garden. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge A rare moment of calm in the dance world. - KIMSTIM
A rare moment of calm in the dance world.


Spend about five minutes in a flamenco dance class and you’ll begin to understand the complexities of making this art form come to life. Rocío Molina has mastered it. She’s blended flamenco with other performative elements, from modern dance to paint. See how Molina combines traditional techniques with theatrical twists when No Flamenco Por La Vida and No Festival Required present Impulso, a film that explores the artist’s creative journey. Tickets to the 8 p.m. screening on Sunday, August 11, are $12 ($10 in advance). It’s happening at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. You need to be at least 21 to attend. Stay after for a free discussion about the modern/contemporary flamenco movement, facilitated by Erica Acevedo-Ontiveros. Lynn Trimble
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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