Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Dudes being dudes.
Dudes being dudes. Benjamin Leatherman

Another weekend is here, and not just any weekend, but Valentine's Day weekend. So whether you're spending this weekend alone, with your "Galentines," or even a significant other, there should be something on this list for you. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Dolla Dolla Dance Party

The folks behind the Blunt Club hip-hop party series are debuting their Dolla Dolla Dance Party, paying everyone a crisp George Washington (that’s $1) for the mere gift of attendance. Once inside, you can then use that fresh dollar on drink specials, or expand your stack by catching bills from the money gun. There’ll also be DJ sets from M2, Tricky T, Fact135, and Pickster, as well as live art installations. Getting paid to party down is something worth loving. The 21-and-over party goes down at 10 p.m. on Friday, February 14, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Space is limited. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Nice Ink. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Nice Ink.
Benjamin Leatherman

Body Art Expo

What separates a good tattoo from a bad one? Picking the right artist is the first step. An experienced and talented ink-slinger can keep your potential piece from becoming some muddled abomination suitable for being mocked online. At Body Art Expo 2020 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 West McDowell Road, you’ll have plenty of talent to choose from. More than 200 artists from all over the U.S. will gather inside the exhibit building, which runs from Friday, February 14, to Sunday, February 16. And if getting needled doesn’t hold your attention, there will also be freak shows, tattoo contests, live entertainment, and “extreme human suspensions.” Hours are 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Early-bird admission is $18. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Exploring the Rio Salado habitat. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Exploring the Rio Salado habitat.
Lynn Trimble

Rio Salado Water Walk

The Museum of Walking, headed by Tempe artist Angela Ellsworth, is working with partners at ASU to present a contemplative Rio Salado Water Walk meant to honor the sacred water of the desert and heighten awareness for the city’s relationship to the river. Sharon Day (Ojibwe) will lead the multiday walk, which begins at the headwaters of the Rio Salado. Single-day walkers are welcome on Friday, February 14, plus other days. Participants should read the online guidelines, which explain how and where people can join the walk in progress. People are free to join for any length of time. The event is free. High-visibility clothing, walking shoes, and refillable water bottles are recommended. Lynn Trimble

Pretty in Pink Valentine's Day Party

If ever there was a film perfect for Valentine’s Day, it’s Pretty in Pink. The 1986 Brat Pack film, written by the late John Hughes, embodies many of the ups and downs relating to matters of the heart, from unrequited love and high-school crushes to winning the affections of your dreamboat. Fittingly, the flick will be the inspiration behind Thunderbird Lounge’s Pretty in Pink Valentine’s Day Party on Friday, February 14. The Hi-Dreams DJ Collective will spin ‘80s tunes (including songs from the soundtrack) inside the retro bar while the film and other John Hughes movies are screened. Costumes inspired by the film (and the ’80s in general) are suggested. The party starts at 8 p.m. and admission is free. Thunderbird Lounge is at 710 West Montecito Avenue. Benjamin Leatherman 

click to enlarge Cheers! - ALEXANDRA GASPAR
Alexandra Gaspar

Beer Can Derby

Some folks recycle old beer cans, while others build a pyramid-like monument to excess and laziness. But why not use beer cans to secure eternal glory instead? Four Peaks Brewing is celebrating Arizona Beer Week by hosting its annual Beer Can Derby. They’ll supply the main kit (wheels, axles, framing, empty can, etc.), and you can bring the added weights and cool racing fin to complete your mean machine. There’s four grand prizes this year, ranging from $100 to $25 Four Peaks gift cards, plus trophies and local fame/celebrity. So come for the championship and stay for the sweet suds. The derby is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, at Four Peaks, 2401 South Wilson Street in Tempe. Race entrance is just $10. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge A.J Pollock finished with one hit and a walk. - JIM LOUVAU
A.J Pollock finished with one hit and a walk.
Jim Louvau

Arizona Diamondbacks Fan Fest

Even with spring training still a week away, there’s a great opportunity to scratch that baseball itch. The Arizona Diamondbacks are opening their home field for Fan Fest, which is about the closest people will get to the action without throwing a 75 m.p.h. curveball. The event features a photograph and autograph session with players, clubhouse tours, a stage show featuring team broadcasters and alumni, and the Diamondbacks Foundation Yard Sale. It sounds like a home run of a day. The fest is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge LYNN TRIMBLE
Lynn Trimble

ASU Art Museum New Artists' Workshop

Giant magnetic words fill a magnetic space on a wall inside the new ASU Art Museum’s new Artists’ Workshop. It’s one of many elements that families and museum guests of all ages can enjoy during Playfest, a free event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 15. Head to 51 East 10th Street in Tempe if you want to explore museum exhibits, try hands-on art activities, and learn more about art basics in a creative setting. The Artists’ Workshop has comfy seating for exploring art books, a long table for drawing, and technology that’ll help you explore your inner muse. But you’ll want to explore other museum spaces as well. You’ll find videos, paintings, sculptures, and other artworks to spark your imagination. Lynn Trimble 

click to enlarge Elevating women's voices. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Elevating women's voices.
Lynn Trimble

The Vagina Monologues

Although The Vagina Monologues debuted in 1994, the play still resonates today. Created by activist and playwright Eve Ensler, it addressed the stigma surrounding rape and abuse, as well as women’s sexuality. It’s been performed around the world ever since, as a way of giving voice to women who’ve experienced sexual violence and trauma. You can see local productions of The Vagina Monologues in English and Spanish at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. The English performance starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 16. Tickets are $10. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Build your little heart out. - TEMPE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Build your little heart out.
Tempe Public Library

LEGO Build Party

Maybe you’ve dreamed of having a room filled with LEGO building blocks, where you could spend endless hours creating whatever bold designs come to mind. Odds are, you ended up going with something more practical at home. Never fear, because Tempe Public Library has you covered. They’ve got big containers full of LEGOs, and they’re encouraging families to play together during the Family LEGO Lab for all ages, which happens from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 16, at 3500 South Rural Road in Tempe. It’s a chance to promote cognitive, emotional, and motor development through play. Try to avoid the whole “my design is more badass than your design” thing because the kids will be watching. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Bark-n-Roll. - 32 SHEA
32 Shea

Rockabilly for Dogs Charity Show

Don’t let the slicked-back hair and love of muscle cars fool you: rockabilly folk are still true pillars of the community. Case in point: the Rockabilly for Dogs charity show, which is raising money for the local Lucky Dog Rescue. In addition to adoptable dogs on hand, the day features performances by The Octanes, The Booze Bombs, and Whiskey Kiss, among others, as well as appearances the Devoted Dolls and comedian Travis Thurman. There will also be vendors galore, a classic car show, and a raffle. With some luck, you just might see an adorable doggy in a sweet leather jacket. The 21-and-over event is set for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 16, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road. Tickets are $15 at the door and include one raffle ticket. 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.
Barbara Smith
Contact: Barbara Smith
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble