Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Ready to party.
Ready to party. Courtesy of Club 90s

The weekend is here. You can snag a free sticker at Sticker Drop 2, dance your heart out at Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen Night and '70s Party, or watch the game while eating a burrito at Crescent Ballroom's Super Bowl Party. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge See paintings by Josef Albers at the Heard Museum's latest exhibition. - HEARD MUSEUM
See paintings by Josef Albers at the Heard Museum's latest exhibition.
Heard Museum
“Josef Albers in Mexico”
Organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, “Josef Albers in Mexico” at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, explores artwork created by the German artist during the early 20th century. Albers’ geometric abstractions were heavily influenced by Latin American travels, where he encountered pre-Columbian art, architecture, and culture. The artist visited Mexico more than a dozen times from the 1930s to the 1960s, and his works reveal the influence of archaeological sites including Teotihuacan. Featured works include paintings, photographs, and photo collage. Check them out between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. when the exhibit opens on Friday, February 1. The exhibit is included with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time to celebrate Chinese New Year. - COURTESY OF HERBERGER THEATER CENTER
Time to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Courtesy of Herberger Theater Center
First Friday Live
Every First Friday, excluding warmer months from June to September, the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, puts together a mix of creative offerings with a common theme. At First Friday Live, you might experience live music, performance, video projections, visual art, and interactive activities. On Friday, February 1, they’ll be spotlighting Chinese New Year. For 2019, Chinese New Year actually falls on February 5, and will celebrate the Year of the Pig. Head over between 6 and 9 p.m. on First Friday to explore the free event, which happens on the center’s outdoor plaza, where dancer statues by John Henry Waddell punctuate the urban landscape. Visit Lynn Trimble

Revolver Records
In case you hadn’t heard the news, Revolver Records is closing its doors after more than a decade in business. But the Roosevelt Row institution isn’t going out with a whimper. The store, known for throwing great outdoor concerts every First Friday, will be putting on its loudest party yet. It is sure to shake the windows of the condos that have been built up around the little red building that has housed the store for 11 years. Be sure to take advantage of the deep discounts inside, too.

The beat stops on Friday, February 1, at 918 North Second Street. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Feeling the sticker love. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Feeling the sticker love.
Lynn Trimble
Sticker Drop 2
What’s better than snagging a free sticker? Finding nearly 200 fresh stickers in one spot, for starters. Pop into Sundown Gallery & Studios, 921 East Roosevelt Street, from 7 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, February 1, to check out a free sticker exhibit and swap called Sticker Drop 2. It’s being organized by James B. Hunt, an artist who uses the moniker NXOEED for his own creative ventures, including hiding artworks around town with a “finders keepers” approach. The gallery will be showing works by several artists gifted in sticker design, and presenting live music by Snailmate. Visit the Facebook event page for Sticker Drop 2 at Sundown Gallery. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Check out Rosalie at FilmBar. - COURTESY OF INDIE FILM FEST
Check out Rosalie at FilmBar.
Courtesy of Indie Film Fest
Indie Film Fest
Explore fresh faces in film during the two-day Indie Film Fest that kicks off on Friday, February 1. Friday offerings include screening for 25 films starting at 1 p.m. at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, where you can also enjoy two live-action performances and a pair of filmmaker panels. See those screenings with a $30 ticket, or get a full festival pass for $75. Friday’s lineup also includes a 10 p.m. screening of Rosalie at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, which is $10 for general admission. PAZ Cantina, 330 East Roosevelt Street, is offering Friday Indie Film Fest fare as well. Visit Lynn Trimble

Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen Night and '70s Party
Rami Malek’s Oscar-nominated performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody has once again renewed interest in the operatic rock of Queen. Since you can’t dance to “We Will Rock You” at the movie theater (without getting kicked out, anyway), head over to the Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen Night and ’70s Party. In addition to playing tunes from the British rock group, there will be disco and glam rock hits from David Bowie to the Bee Gees. The first 300 people inside will receive pins. Come dressed as the Queen frontman and you could win the Freddie Mercury lookalike contest.

Get on your bikes and ride at 10 p.m. on Friday, February 1, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $10 to $15. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Painted Desert Fur Con
Much has been written about furries over the years, and it typically concerns the subculture’s more lurid, unusual, or shocking aspects (we’ll leave it to you to Google all that on your own). Truth be told, most are just ordinary geeks who are fascinated with anthropomorphic animals. Some create artwork, while others build and wear elaborate fursuit costumes for their characters, complete with fantastical backstories. Some, like Dragonball FighterZ champ SonicFox, even game in their fursuits.

This weekend, local packs of furries will gather at Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 North Scottsdale Road in Paradise Valley, for the Painted Desert Fur Con. The three-day event runs from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, February 1, and will feature more than 80 hours of programming geared toward furry-related fandom, including costuming, art, LARPing, and more. The event runs through Sunday, February 3. Special guests will also be in attendance. Single-day passes are $25 to $45 and weekendlong admission is $55. Hours vary. See for complete details. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Veggies on the brain. - ARIZONA VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVAL
Veggies on the brain.
Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival
Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival
Up your vegetarian cuisine knowledge and skills at the two-day Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival that launches from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. It’s all happening at the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater, 7380 North Second Street, which means you can check out plenty of public art including Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture (it makes a perfect Valentine’s Day selfie backdrop), while you’re there. Saturday performers include Canadian acoustic duo The Tree Huggers and Phoenix singer/songwriter Danielle Durack, among others. Single days tickets for the festival featuring demonstrations, speakers, yoga classes, and live music are $20. Full festival passes are $30. Visit Lynn Trimble

Petroglyph Discovery Hike
The Petroglyph Discovery Hike is an introduction to the language of the Hohokam tribe. Learn how the members of the indigenous people communicated with each other over 700 years ago using these rock drawings. Let one of the knowledgeable park guides take you around Holbert Trail at South Mountain to view the ancient pictures of snakes, dancers, and stick figures. Binoculars are recommended but not required.

This easy, one-mile hike begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, at 10919 South Central Avenue. This is a free event, but space is limited. For more information, call the Pueblo Grande Museum at 602-495-0901 or visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Running with nature. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Running with nature.
Lynn Trimble
Rio Salado Trail Run
Get a whole new perspective on the city of Phoenix, including hidden parts of its natural and manmade landscapes, during the Rio Salado Trail Run happening from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. The run includes 5K, 10K, and 15K options and begins at 1900 East Riverview Drive, taking runners through portions of the lush desert habitat for myriad animals and plants. It’s a relaxing way to meet fellow nature enthusiasts while honoring those New Year’s fitness goals. Plus, you’ll get to see the underpinnings of a freeway system you’ve driven over countless times, without ever giving thought to the history of the land from which it rises. Registration starts at $45. Visit Lynn Trimble

Crescent Ballroom's Super Bowl Party
You have to watch the game somewhere, right? If a bar serving greasy food isn’t for you, then head downtown to Crescent Ballroom’s Super Bowl Party. You can grab a delicious burrito and check out the big game (or the commercials, if that’s your thing) on the venue’s two televisions and projected on the screen in the lounge.

Seating for this event is limited, so you may want to head over when the doors open at 3 p.m. Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at 308 North Second Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Mask Alive! El Puente Festival
Putting on a disguise can be an artistic and transformative experience. Celebrate the change within yourself and around you at the Mask Alive! El Puente Festival. There will be performances and storytelling by local dancers and mariachi bands, a book swap, kids arts and crafts, and a food truck. This cultural celebration will culminate with a procession across Tempe Town Lake on the pedestrian bridge.

The fun goes from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge COURTESY OF CRITERION
Courtesy of Criterion
Bicycle Thieves
FilmBar is giving film buffs the opportunity to see one of the greatest films of all time on the big screen as part of its Art House Society series. Bicycle Thieves popularized the Italian neorealism movement and influenced everything from Indian cinema to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. The plot is simple: A man’s bicycle is stolen and he and his son search the streets of Rome to find it. It is the encounters the duo has along the way that touch the viewer emotionally. And yes, there are subtitles.

The movie starts at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9.95. For more information, visit Jason Keil
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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