Your plans have arrived. This weekend, geek out at Arizona Toy Con, piece things back together during the Fifth Annual Jigsaw Puzzle Challenge, or cool off with a cold one during Bikini Bash Bar Crawl.For more things to do, visit
Big Book Sale
Are you looking for an affordable way to add some books and movies to your collection? Grab your largest bag and head to Mesa Public Library’s Big Book Sale. There will be more than some battered copies of Harlequin bodice-rippers in stock. You can choose from science fiction, self- help, cookbooks, and even vinyl records. Prices start at $.50, with additional discounts for teachers and military. Any remaining inventory on Saturday, July 27 will be half off.
Stock up your shelves from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, at 64 East First Street in Mesa. This is a free event. Jason Keil
The beautifully designed walls inside the Arizona Biltmore have brought in everyone from celebrities to world leaders, including President John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe (though to be clear, they didn't stay at the hotel together – that we know of). For its 90th anniversary, the luxury resort will give you a tour inside its remarkable facilities to have a drink and learn why it continues to attract the rich and famous.
The 45-minute tour begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at 2400 East Missouri Avenue. Admission, which includes beverages and discounts, is $25 for adults 21 and over and $12 for children between the ages of 5 and 20. Call 602-955-6600 for reservations. Jason Keil
Harry Potter Party
Forget Miller time. It’s muggle time over at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, where the First Draft Book Bar tap will magically flow with butterbeer during the bookstore’s Harry Potter Party for grown-ups. Get your $15 tickets online, then head over to the bookstore between 8 and 11 p.m. on Friday, July 26. You’ll get one free butterbeer in a commemorative cup that changes colors, adding just a touch of magic to an evening filled with Harry Potter activities and lore. Costumes are encouraged, of course. While you’re there, try competing in the Triwizard Tournament or showing your dance prowess during a Yule Ball. There’s even a book-lover’s maze, which might make a great excuse if you don’t manage to get home on time. Lynn Trimble
Maybe you like the idea of donating blood to help people who need it, but never get around to looking up times and places for local blood drives. If so, you’re in luck this week, because there’s a blood drive from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 27, at Phoenix Public Market, 721 North Central Avenue. Organizers says high school students are some of the biggest blood donors, which means the supply falls when school’s out for summer break. Here’s your big chance to go back in time and feel like a high school student again, without all the acne and homework. Register online so you’ll have a time slot, then make a morning of it by stocking up at the farmers market so you’ll have plenty of good stuff to reward yourself for making time for others. Lynn Trimble
Arizona Toy Con
Despite what your parents may have said, you’re never too old to play with toys. It’s why you’ll see kids of all ages (even those who have grown up) populating the aisles and perusing the tables at the annual Arizona Toy Con on Saturday, July 27, at the Glendale Civic Center, 5750 West Glenn Drive.
More than 125 sellers will have tables filled with retro and modern playthings available for purchase, including an attic’s worth of collectible toys and vintage finds. All of your childhood favorites will be there, ranging from G.I. Joe and Transformers to Hot Wheels and Star Wars.
Rediscover your inner child at the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10, and kids 12 and under are free. Benjamin Leatherman
Fifth Annual Jigsaw Puzzle Challenge
The Fifth Annual Jigsaw Puzzle Challenge will bring together 20 teams of puzzlers from around the Valley to compete for cash and prizes. The rules are simple: Each squad will have one to four people assembling 200- and 500-piece picture puzzles, and the fastest one wins. Try not to get stumped. Even if you don’t win anything, you can take your puzzle home.
Piece it back together at noon on Saturday, July 27, at Boulders On Broadway, 530 West Broadway Road in Tempe. The $60 registration fee for this family-friendly event covers all four members of your team. Jason Keil
Sixth Annual Real Wild & Woody Festival
Don’t worry Phoenicians, the sixth annual Real Wild & Woody Festival is indoors, so feel free to drink up without fear of heatstroke. There will be over 350 cask-conditioned ales and barrel-aged brews from 75 breweries around the Southwest for you to sample. You can also enjoy food, games, music, and an indoor rock-wall to slow down the alcohol and help you beat the heat.
Throw some back from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Tickets for this 21-and-older event are $60 to $80 for general admission and $80 to $120 for VIP options, which include 20 beer samples. Jason Keil
Bikini Bash Bar Crawl
There will be no pool for you to luxuriate in at the first-ever Bikini Bash Bar Crawl. You don’t even need to come wearing your swimming gear. But if you’ve never visited any of the great bars and restaurants along central Phoenix’s Seventh Street corridor, here is an opportunity to meet some new people and get acquainted with some great establishments. The festivities begin at Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen and venture to Pubblico Italian Eatery, Rito’s Mexican Food and The Womack Cocktail Lounge.
Check in and get your wristband starting at 1 p.m. before things kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at 5813 North Seventh Street, #140. Tickets for this 21-and-older event are $18 to $30, with four drinks included. Jason Keil
Trans Queer Pueblo
It’s time to werk! That’s the word from Trans Queer Pueblo, 1726 East Roosevelt Street, where all things arts, culture, and queerness are taking center stage from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, July 27. It’s all about celebrating the people who make it happen every day – from drag queens and kings to poets and musicians.
Expect plenty of cumbia, pop art, top 40 tunes, hip-hop, and more. Basically, it’s a fabulous time to reflect the joys and struggles of queer and trans people of color – whose work in the community ranges from business owner to community organizer. Never fear if you’re not sure you have the dance moves. They’ll happily teach you how to werk it. Admission is $5 suggested donation. Lynn Trimble
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The Little Prince
It’s time to chill out, opera style. They’re mixing opera with gelato over at Arizona Opera, 1636 North Central Avenue, where Frost gelato will be in the house for a film screening at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. Get there by 1:30 p.m. if you want to buy a scoop before the screening starts. Or try on costumes, then head to the photobooth to take your picture in diva mode. Next time someone calls you a diva, you’ll have the picture to prove it. There’s even a pre-screening contest, where you can build a paper airplane and see how well it fares against others’ designs.
The opera film The Little Prince starts at 2 p.m., which is a fun way to get a small taste of opera while beating back the summer doldrums. Admission is free with advance registration. Lynn Trimble