Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Excited Suns fans.
Excited Suns fans. Jim Louvau
click to enlarge Excited Suns fans. - JIM LOUVAU
Excited Suns fans.
Jim Louvau
Prepare yourselves for a busy weekend. You can spice up your night at Tease: Holiday Edition, bike around the Willo Historic District in perfect weather during the Luminaria Bicycle Tour, and slay the night away during Slay Ride Drag Show. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Daniel 'Miracle Man' Jacobs and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Talking Stick Resort Arena has been the site of many big showdowns over its 27-year lifespan. This weekend, it will host its latest showdown when pro boxers Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. square off on Friday, December 20.

Jacobs (whose record is 35-3 with 29 knockouts) will do battle with the popular Chavez (51-3-1 with 33 knockouts) in a clash of super-middleweight competitors. Fighting at Talking Stick Resort Arena, located at 201 East Jefferson Street, will also carry a certain significance for Chavez, as his pops, the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, held his retirement bout at the same venue in 2005.

Several other fights will be on the card, which starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $200. Benjamin Leatherman

Snow Blast

Maybe you’re ribbing your Midwestern friends right about now, reveling in the sunshine as they’re digging out from the latest snowfall. But you’re a little bit jealous, right? Try getting a snow fix during Snow Blast happening from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 14. The free community event takes place at Reach 11 Sports Complex, 2425 East Deer Valley Road.

Look for snow slides and a children’s snow play area, plus a craft zone and plenty of food vendors. Or spend some time decorating cookies, getting a fun holiday look with face painting, or having your picture taken with Santa Claus. It’s a great excuse for hauling out the boots and mittens. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge They know all of Santa's secrets. - REG MADISON PHOTOGRAPHY
They know all of Santa's secrets.
Reg Madison Photography

Truth About Santa: An Apocalyptic Tale

Santa has a few secrets, and he’s grown weary of living a lie. That’s the premise for a play called The Truth About Santa: An Apocalyptic Tale. It’s being performed by Blk Box Phoenix, an artist collective founded in 2018. They’ll be exploring Santa’s naughty side, including his plans to bring his mistress and their two children back to the North Pole.

Louis Farber, the associate artistic director for Stray Cat Theatre, is directing the play. So you know a good time will be had by all. Except, perhaps, Mrs. Claus. It’s recommended for ages 14 and up due to “adult language and situations.” Don’t bring the kiddies who still believe in Santa. The performance on Friday, December 20, starts at 8 p.m. It’s being performed at Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 North Central Avenue. Tickets start at $31. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Put a cabaret twist on your holiday fun. - CLEODORA PRODUCTIONS
Put a cabaret twist on your holiday fun.
Cleodora Productions

Tease: Holiday Edition

While others are spicing up their drinks this holiday season, you can spice up your life at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. That’s where a performance called Tease: Holiday Edition is happening from 7: 30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 21. Expect an evening of sultry entertainment featuring burlesque dancers, aerobic performance, and adult-themed comedy.

The cabaret-style show typically sells out, so get your tickets now if you’re interested. There’s nothing sexy about procrastination. Tickets are $25, which gets you a fabulous evening of onstage naughty and nice. Never fear, you can buy seasonal drinks at the cash bar if you need some extra holiday cheer. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge The Gorilla is still the best mascot in basketball. - JIM LOUVAU
The Gorilla is still the best mascot in basketball.
Jim Louvau

Phoenix Suns

If you paid attention to any headlines, the Houston Rockets reportedly “buried” the Phoenix Suns during their December 7 game at the Toyota Center. But is 115 to 109 really that severe of a loss? Perhaps not. Especially given how close the first three quarters proved, with ample ties and lead changes. If anything, you could argue that the Suns might have snatched the victory had James Harden not had such a massive fourth quarter. Damn Harden and his truly exquisite beard.

The Suns will get their shot at redemption when they host the Rockets at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 21, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Pausing from live painting. - MESA ARTS CENTER
Pausing from live painting.
Mesa Arts Center

Sticker Shogun

Fans of sticker art will converge on Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main in Mesa, for a Sticker Shogun happening from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 21. The free event features stickers designed by local creatives, plus live painting by several of the Valley’s best-loved street artists, including Lalo Cota and Such Styles. Look for six sticker stations, live screen-printing, and more activities with an arts and culture twist. The evening also includes live music, a photo area with a street art theme, and a community sticker and mural space. Everyone is welcome, but some stickers may have adult imagery or content. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out a POC Jam Session. - CARRIE BEHRENS
Checking out a POC Jam Session.
Carrie Behrens

POC Jam Session

Every third Saturday of the month The Torch Theatre, 4721 North Central Avenue, puts together a POC Jam Session that gives local creatives and community members of color a chance to take to the stage and share their myriad of talents with local audiences. The next jam session happens from 7 to 7: 55 p.m. on Saturday, December 21. Show up by 6:45 p.m. if you’re a person of color, and you want to throw your name into the hat. Organizers will draw names and put teams together before the show gets underway. Everyone is welcome to attend and watch the improv action unfold. The event is free. Lynn Trimble

Luminaria Bicycle Tour

Whereas parts of the country must suffer near-arctic temperatures during communal holiday celebrations, Phoenicians have a more leisurely experience. Case in point: the annual Luminaria Bicycle Tour, in which the collective Valley spits in the face of winter with a bike ride around the beautiful Willo Historic District to enjoy the luminarias. Because winter should be enjoyed at 10 mph — and possibly in flip-flops.

Guests will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 22, at Encanto Park Amp Island, 2605 North 15th Avenue. Following hot cocoa and snacks, the ride commences at 6:30 p.m. Chris Coplan

Slay Ride Drag Show

They say when it rains it pours, and that holds especially true for drag-centric holidays shows around the Valley. The Womack is no exception. Their Slay Ride Drag Show is stacking up to be especially promising. Kim Etiquette will host an evening of fantastic and festive performances, including Nikki Knowles, Gizele Milan, and Expressa Grande. You can enhance your good time by imbibing Naughty or Nice Shots and various Christmas cocktails. Santa wishes he could beat this good time.

The show begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 22, at The Womack, 5749 North Seventh Street. There’s a $5 cover fee, so put aside some of your holiday spending cash. Chris Coplan
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Chris Coplan has been a professional writer since the 2010s, having started his professional career at Consequence of Sound. Since then, he's also been published with TIME, Complex, and other outlets. He lives in Central Phoenix with his fiancee, a dumb but lovable dog, and two bossy cats.
Contact: Chris Coplan
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