The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Spending some quality time with the man himself during the Downtown Donut Festival.EXPAND
Spending some quality time with the man himself during the Downtown Donut Festival.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
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Your favorite part of the week has arrived. This weekend, you can dance your heart out at Mamma Mia: ABBA Night and ’70s Party, check out some sweet rides at the Seventh Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show, or sample some of the best pastries known to man during the Downtown Donut Festival. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

It's a milestone moment for Modified Arts.EXPAND
It's a milestone moment for Modified Arts.
Miguel Angél Monzón

‘A City Modified’

Modified Arts is celebrating 20 years on the downtown arts scene with an exhibition called “A City Modified,” which opens on Third Friday, November 15. The show will feature works by 13 artists who have influenced both the gallery and the downtown arts scene, including Annie Lopez, Brent Bond, Casebeer, John Randall Nelson, Laura Spalding Best, and Monica Martinez.

You can expect plenty of history, too. The show will highlight through photographs and memorabilia the ways Modified Arts, located at 407 East Roosevelt Street, has been integral to the local arts and music scene. The free opening reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Several artists will be there, so you can chat with them about their work and the area’s evolving arts landscape. Lynn Trimble

Mamma Mia: ABBA Night and ’70s Party

Is “Dancing Queen” or “Waterloo” the better ABBA song? If they get you out on the dance floor at Mamma Mia: ABBA Night and ’70s Party, then who cares so long as you’re having the time of your life? Put on your favorite ’70s gear and watch The Van Buren transform into Funkytown. In addition to having everyone’s favorite Swedish pop stars on the playlist, there will be selections by the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and Queen. If you’re one of the first 300 people in the door, you get a free oversized souvenir button, and everyone can take selfies in the photo booth. Boogie on down on Friday, November 15, at 9:30 p.m. at 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $10 to $25. Jason Keil

Checking out some sweet rides at the Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show.
Checking out some sweet rides at the Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show.
Tempe Marketplace

Seventh Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show

Motorcycles are an iconic representation of freedom and individuality. And if you’ve got a particularly badass hog, why not show it off at the Seventh Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show? Riders from across the state can bring their Triumphs or Harleys for public gawking — and maybe take home a sweet trophy or two. Or, just come to check out these mechanical wonders while enjoying some Flyin’ K BBQ and the assorted vendors, including Italian Iron, Parts Unlimited, and Western Powersports. Plus, if you don’t win a prize, you may still get lucky with a giveaway.

The free show runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 16, at GO AZ Motorcycles, 15500 North Hayden Road in Scottsdale. Chris Coplan

Celebrate Harlem's musical legacy with Mwenso and the Shakes.EXPAND
Celebrate Harlem's musical legacy with Mwenso and the Shakes.
Chandler Center for the Arts

Harlem 100

A century after the Harlem Renaissance, the influence of African-American creatives who lived and worked in this small section of New York City remains strong. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue in Chandler, is celebrating these many contributions to the artistic landscape with a variety show called Harlem 100. It’s happening at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 16.

The performance features Mwenso and the Shakes, a group of Harlem creatives with global roots, along with several special guests. Expect a night filled with music and dance that pays homage to Harlem greats and their ongoing legacy. Think Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington, among others. Ticket prices are $38 to $58. Lynn Trimble


There are festivals for music, food, booze, and tattoos. But how about a festival dedicated exclusively to sports? Sportstopia will host one-day tournaments for five sports (of varying degrees of difficulty and weirdness): flag football, kickball, soccer, grass volleyball, and that most kingly sport, cornhole. You can leave the competition aside to enjoy live performances, a beer garden, food trucks, yoga sessions, and several vendors, because true sportsmanship should always come with the promise of nachos.

Sportstopia is set for 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, November 16, at Tempe Sports Complex, 8401 South Hardy Drive in Tempe. If you’re playing, it’s $50 for volleyball, $40 for cornhole, and $100 for soccer, football, or kickball. Chris Coplan

Phoenix Art Museum is celebrating 60 years.EXPAND
Phoenix Art Museum is celebrating 60 years.
Lynn Trimble

‘The Past Decade’

The art world has focused in recent weeks on changes to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, but changes have been happening closer to home as well. Phoenix Art Museum has been ramping up its collection during the past decade, adding works that include historical photographs you can explore in a new exhibit called “The Past Decade.”

Check it out on Saturday, November 16, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s day one for an event called PhxArt60, which celebrates Phoenix Art Museum’s 60th anniversary. Normally, museum admission is $18 to $23. On Saturday, it’s just $6, although you’ll need another $6 to see the “Legends of Speed” exhibit. Lynn Trimble

Hear The Haymarket Squares at Coronado Park.EXPAND
Hear The Haymarket Squares at Coronado Park.
The Haymarket Squares


During divisive times, community gatherings can create connections that give people hope. In the Coronado neighborhood of Phoenix, those gatherings include Wayne Fest, a micro-music festival that helps to fund neighborhood projects such as little libraries, murals, a community garden, and more. This year’s festival takes place from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 16.

Head to Coronado Park, 1717 North 12th Street, if you want to join the fun. The festival includes live music by several bands, including Hot House Orchids, Hyperbella, and The Haymarket Squares. A $25 ticket also gets you two samples from restaurants such as Gallo Blanco, Ollie Vaughn's, and Taco Chelo. Lynn Trimble

James Turrell appears in the film Architecture of Infinity.EXPAND
James Turrell appears in the film Architecture of Infinity.

Architecture of Infinity

Inspired architecture can make the human spirit soar. That’s the premise behind a film called Architecture of Infinity, which addresses the ways buildings can take on spiritual dimensions that prompt reflection on what lies beyond the temporal nature of human experience. No Festival Required is screening the film as part of its architecture film series called Some Assembly Required.

The film features several creatives, including James Turrell. The artist has installations at both ASU in Tempe and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and is currently creating a monumental work called Roden Crater in northern Arizona. See Architecture of Infinity at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. The screening will include a short panel on sacred spaces and architecture. Tickets are $9 in advance or $12 at the door. Lynn Trimble

Prepare yourselves for a sugar rush.EXPAND
Prepare yourselves for a sugar rush.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Downtown Donut Festival

You could spend Sunday morning enjoying a cruller from the privacy of your home or dive headlong into these powerful lil’ pastries by attending the Downtown Donut Festival. There’ll be 20 local vendors offering doughnuts of all types, with most priced at $1. Why not pair that frosted Long John with coffee, beer, rosé, or mimosa? There will also be lawn games, live performances, and a zone for kids to make doughnuts (which you as a parent are then entitled to). Other food trucks are set to appear, including fried chicken and pizza, so combine foods for maximum efficiency — and a guaranteed afternoon nap.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 West Third Street. It’s $10 for 10 a.m. entry or $8 for entry at noon. Chris Coplan

Up close with a Randal Wilson work for "Textual Healing."EXPAND
Up close with a Randal Wilson work for "Textual Healing."
Lynn Trimble

‘Textual Healing’

Artworks routinely dot the red brick walls inside a common space at The Newton, 300 West Camelback Road. This month, the space is home to a free exhibit called “Textual Healing,” which includes artworks that communicate to viewers through both visual language and the written word. Featured artists include James Angel, Champ Styles, Such Styles, and Randal Wilson.

Check it out on Sunday, November 17, when The Newton will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. There’s a calligraphy class happening from 1 to 3 p.m., so it’s best to pop in before or after. In a society saturated by noise, it’s refreshing to see how artists are using language to communicate without making a sound. Visit the “Textual Healing” event page on Facebook. Lynn Trimble

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