Mesa Contemporary Art MuseumLos Angeles-based artist Crystal Wagner creates whimsical works with names like Elasticity, which typically comprise site-specific installations melding manufactured and organic materials. She’s one of several artists featured in summer exhibitions happening at Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, 1 East Main Street, Mesa. The museum kicks off its new exhibit lineup, which also includes works by Mesa-born artist Esao Andrews, with a free opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 10. It’s a chance to explore five new exhibits and meet several of the artists, who also include Aaron Coleman and Shay Bredimus. The evening includes light refreshments and a cash bar. Lynn Trimble
The Music of Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin rode the line between bombastic rock and symphonic music. Guitarist Jimmy Page would play his guitar with a violin bow onstage. If you have ever wanted to see a mirrorball spinning at Symphony Hall, here's your chance. Vocalist Randy Jackson (not the American Idol judge, dawg, but the singer from the band Zebra) will take the stage in front of a full band and orchestra for the tribute show, The Music of Led Zeppelin. All your favorite tracks like “Black Dog” and “Whole Lotta Love” will be given the classical treatment.
Dancing days are here again at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at 75 North Second Street. Tickets are $35 to $225. Jason Keil
Mothers Who WriteLong before the TV series This is Us captured the gut-wrenching realities of daily life and relationships, writers Amy Silverman and Deborah Sussman launched their Mothers Who Write workshops, which equip mothers to embrace the pen as a means of exploring their own doubts and dreams. Several mothers will be sharing their workshop-driven writings during a free public reading at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. It’s happening from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Take note: Some materials aren’t suitable for young audiences. Lynn Trimble
Experience PolynesiaThere’s a ukulele calling your name, and the sound is coming from the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. They’re presenting a weekend of Polynesia-inspired performance and activities, which launches on Saturday, May 11. Experience Polynesia includes music-themed crafts, Tahitian dance performances, Hawaiian musical performances, a ukulele play-along, drumming performances, and more. Take it all in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, when you can also tour the museum’s Oceania Gallery and check out island-themed fare in the museum store and café. The event is free with museum admission, which runs $20 for a single day or $30 for a two-day pass. Lynn Trimble
Tidy Up TempeMaybe you’re guilty of leaving your dirty towels on the bathroom floor, or letting dirty dishes pile up in the kitchen sink. It’s one thing to let your personal space go for a while. But it’s quite another to let your community go. Turns out, there’s an easy way to help clean up your community, during a Tidy Up Tempe event being presented by Local First Arizona. The free volunteer gathering starts at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, at Cartel Coffee Lab, 225 West University Drive, and continues through 9 a.m. All you have to do is show up. Organizers will provide maps, trash pickers, garbage bags, and gloves. And you’ll get a free coffee if you pick up at least 15 pounds of trash in the area around University and Mill. Lynn Trimble
How to Write a BookPlenty of people dream of writing a book one day, but most never get around to making it happen. If you’re in that camp, you might find some much-needed inspiration in the Tempe Writes at the Library program, which includes free workshops with writers in residence. Mystery author Betty Webb, whose background also includes a journalism career, is teaching a free workshop called How to Write a Book, in the BRIC training room at Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road. It’s happening from 2:30 to 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Future topics include character, plot, self-editing, getting published, and more. Lynn Trimble
Scottsdale Whiskey FestivalWhether you want it neat or “on the rocks,” consumers are starting to pay attention to the quality of the liquor they drink, especially when it comes to bourbon and scotch. The Scottsdale Whiskey Festival in Old Town Scottsdale will have 20 varieties to sample from different distilleries across the nation.
Get in the spirit from 3 to 6 p.m. (or 2 to 6 p.m. if you spring for a VIP ticket) on Saturday, May 11, at Wasted Grain, 7295 East Stetson Drive in Scottsdale. This event is for those of legal drinking age. Tickets are $25 to $40. Jason Keil
Tortoise & Hare Sports Ice Cream RunThe mercury is starting to rise in Arizona, so lace up your shoes and head over to the coolest race in town. The course of The sixth annual Tortoise & Hare Sports Ice Cream Run is four scenic miles through the west Valley. Little striders can participate in the half-mile Kids Sundae Sprint. Your reward for a job well done is a finisher's medal and a scrumptious ice cream social at the finish line.
The starting gun goes off at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, at Rio Vista Community Park, 8866 West Thunderbird Road in Peoria. Registration is $54 on the day of the event. Jason Keil
Life From Bookmans: Ukulele Party!There’s a lot you can do with four strings, if you know how to play the ukulele. It’s all good and fine to sit and home and strum away, but it’s hard to go next level without professional assistance. Plus, it’s more fun to learn with other aspiring ukulele players. Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 1056 South Country Club Drive, Mesa, can help you out here, with a gathering called Live From Bookmans: Ukulele Party! It’s a free group ukulele lesson, presented by musician Kehau Kuhi. He’ll be teaching simple cords, and you’ll even learn to play a few songs. Lynn Trimble
Arizona Science CenterHaven’t had a chance to head downtown to see the “Mummies of the World” exhibition? If you want to see the largest collection of ancient remains, the Arizona Science Center is keeping the doors open a little later than usual tonight. Make it a date and have a few cocktails. Then check out the multimedia presentations, read the personal stories of those on display, and learn more about the past cultures of civilizations around the globe.
Put a "wrap" on your weekend from 5 to 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at 600 East Washington Street. Tickets are $14. Jason Keil