Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Get ready to eat.
Get ready to eat. Jacob Tyler Dunn
A busy week, but a fun week. You can embrace the Halloween spirit at Horror Tattoo Expo, indulge yourself in goodness at the Phoenix Pizza Festival, or meet your favorite authors at First Fiction. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Get ready for to laugh. - STANDUP LIVE
Get ready for to laugh.
StandUp Live
Jon Lovitz
Jon Lovitz is best known for his hilarious tenure on Saturday Night Live in the late 1980s (“Yeah, that’s the ticket,” was the catchphrase of his beloved character Tommy Flanagan, The Pathological Liar) and as the voice of Jay Sherman in the animated television show The Critic. In addition to being a member of Adam Sandler’s troupe of actors for his Happy Madison movies, the comedian has been stepping up to the mic with a stand-up show that features Lovitz at the piano roasting his contemporaries in the style of Billy Joel or Bryan Adams.

The laughs begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, at StandUp Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, with additional shows through Saturday, November 17. Tickets are $30 with a two-drink minimum. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Julius Caesar
As we say goodbye to spooky season and enter winter, here’s your chance to bid farewell to a classic character in one of the most well-known assassinations of all time at Southwest Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar. This play is a part of the company’s mission to bring theater to the community through education. Recently, they’ve put on productions of Bury the Hatchet, which told the story the infamous Lizzie Borden, and Ladies in Waiting: The Judgement of Henry VIII, in which the controversial king must face his ex-wives in purgatory. Julius Caesar will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16, at Taliesin West, 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale. Tickets are $35, and if you can’t make it, don’t worry: there are additional performances on December 14 and January 18. Visit for more information. Angelica Cabral

Horror Tattoo Expo
Halloween was weeks ago, but the Horror Tattoo Expo arrives at the Arizona State Fairgrounds to ensure the terror lasts for a lifetime. Over 200 artists and body piercers will be in attendance and ready to ink anything from Pennywise the Clown to a Ouija board on any patches of skin that need decorating. There will also be scarehouses, costume and tattoo contests, and a special appearance by Butch Patrick, best known for his portrayal of Eddie on the classic television show The Munsters.

Get inked up from 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday, November 16, at 1826 West McDowell Road, with expanded hours on Saturday, November 17, and Sunday, November 18. General admission tickets are $25. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Enjoying a cold one. - FOUR PEAKS BREWERY
Enjoying a cold one.
Four Peaks Brewery
21st Anniversary Party
The Valley’s most popular brewery has reached drinking age, so the makers of Kilt Lifter and Peach Ale are throwing a rager to celebrate. Four Peaks’ 21st Anniversary Party will have food trucks serving up the perfect bite to go with your pint of Hop Knot and musical performances from local favorites Katastro and pop-punk mainstays The All-American Rejects. The local company will also be unveiling their new packaging designs for their frothy collection of tasty brews.

Celebrate from 3 to 11 p.m. on Friday, November 16, at Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex, 751 North McClintock Drive in Tempe. Tickets for this 21 and up event are $10 to $50. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Investigating. - ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
Arizona Science Center
Science With A Twist: Game of Thrones
The battle for the Iron Throne will conclude early next year on HBO, but the Arizona Science Center’s Science With A Twist: Game of Thrones will study how the Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens have set themselves up for success (or failure). How did Cersei destroy the Sept of Baylor? Is wildfire real? And of course, dragons and White Walkers will be discussed. Check your chalice for poison before you drink and come to this event dressed in your finest attire for the costume contest.

Heads will roll from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 16, at 600 East Washington Street. Tickets for this 21 and up event are $12. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Phoenix Pizza Festival
Who doesn’t love pizza? The merits of the food are rarely up for debate, although the internet often finds itself locked in arguments about what to put on it. On Saturday, November 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Phoenix Pizza Festival will feature 15 pizza makers showcasing all different types of pizza, so there’s likely to be something for everyone’s taste buds. It will take place at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1201 North Third Street, and will include live bands, lawn games, desserts, and a kids’ zone. A $10 ticket gets you access to the event, but food and drink are an extra cost once you’re inside. For more info, visit Angelica Cabral

click to enlarge Do it. - MAC AND CHEESE FEST AZ
Do it.
Mac and Cheese Fest AZ
Mac and Cheese Fest AZ
The recipe of macaroni and cheese is almost as old as America itself — Thomas Jefferson and his chef brought it back from Paris — but for years, our nation was satisfied to prepare this comfort food from a recipe on a box of noodles. The Mac and Cheese Fest AZ will be an upgrade from your typical Kraft dinner, with restaurants from around the Valley each dishing up their own twist on the classic. There will be vegan and gluten-free options available, and craft beer vendors to help you wash it all down.

Get cheesy from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18, at Salt River Fields, 7555 North Pima Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10 to $75. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Dog days, indeed. - PET-A-PALOOZA
Dog days, indeed.
Day of the Dog
Now that the dog days of summer are behind us, dogs and their people are taking back the streets. For Day of the Dog, they’ll be converging on Old Town Scottsdale between Goldwater Boulevard and Marshall Way. The two-day event kicks off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, when the lineup includes yoga, wiener races, a puppy stampede, Chihuahua races, and dock diving – plus over 65 exhibitors showcasing pet health, nutrition, recreation, photography, rescue, and more. Dogs rule every day, but this way they get a chance to go out and really strut their stuff together. The free event continues on Sunday, November 18. Visit Lynn Trimble

Bonsai Exhibit
Bonsai has long been associated with the Japanese, but it actually originates from an ancient Chinese horticultural practice. It was then redeveloped under Japanese Zen Buddhism. On Saturday, November 17, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Japanese Friendship Garden will host their fourth annual Bonsai Exhibit at 1125 North Third Avenue to share in this history. The day will also feature pottery, poetry, and traditional flower arrangement. There will also be demonstrations and a hands-on presentation, for those looking to learn more about these ancient arts. Tickets are $5 for students, $6 for military and seniors over 62, and $7 for all other adults. For more information, call 602-274-8700 or go to Angelica Cabral

Sushi Puppet Making Workshop
Whether it’s the Americanized California roll or the more traditional edomae, sushi comes in many forms. At the Sushi Puppet Making Workshop on Saturday, November 17 from 10 a.m. to noon, it’ll be made with felt. For $20, you can spend a couple hours learning the technique and making maki, uramaki, or nigiri. The event takes place at Puppet Pie, 1301 Grand Avenue, Studio 4, and is for ages 8 and up (ages 8 to 12 require a grown-up, but at no extra charge). Artist Stacey Gordon, who will lead the class, has made puppets for the likes of the Phoenix Coyotes and rock band Barenaked Ladies. She also has other classes coming up, including doll decorating. You can find more details at or call 602-842-9433. Angelica Cabral

Colorectal Cancer Alliance
2018 Undy Run/Walk
Lace up your shoes and pull up your drawers for the 2018 Undy Run/Walk. This family-friendly event gives runners the chance to sprint through the streets of Phoenix in your favorite pair of boxers, briefs, or panties. This 5K length race benefits the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, whose mission is to raise awareness of the devastating and preventable disease. All participants get a fresh pair of underwear.

Stride in your skivvies at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 17, at Wesley Bolin Plaza, 1700 West Washington Street. Registration is $35 in advance and $40 on race day. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Baritone Jubilant Sykes - ASU GAMMAGE
Baritone Jubilant Sykes
ASU Gammage
Mass: A Theatre Piece For Singers, Players, and Dancers
Whether you’re into punk rock, hip-hop, or techno, you’ve got to give it up for Leonard Bernstein, the prolific 20th-century composer and conductor whose body of work includes opera, ballet, film scores, musicals, and more. Those iconic strings you hear when the Jets and Sharks face off in West Side Story came from his score. Bernstein also created a monumental work called Mass: A Theatre Piece For Singers, Players, and Dancers, which features lyrics by Bernstein and Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. You can enjoy a rare performance of Mass, featuring baritone Jubilant Skykes with the ASU Symphony Orchestra and a host of other creatives, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue, Tempe. Choreography is by Carley Conder, David Olarte, and Marcus White. Tickets start at $7. Visit Lynn Trimble

I get a round.
Downtown Donut Festival
Downtown Donut Festival
Show some doughnut love on Sunday, November 18, during the free Downtown Donut Festival that runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park, near Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. While you’re there, you can drool over a fun selection of donuts, listen to live music, check out a doughnut-themed photo booth, play lawn games, and relax in an inflatable doughnut lounge. There’s a bike valet for cyclists, and local brewers will also be on hand. Bring plenty of $1 bills for doughnuts and other delish samples. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge See Tess Mosko Scherer's work during Hidden in the Hills. - TESS MOSKO SCHERER
See Tess Mosko Scherer's work during Hidden in the Hills.
Tess Mosko Scherer
Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour
Every fall, dozens of artists open their creative spaces for the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, which features works by more than 100 artists affiliated with the Sonoran Arts League. This year’s self-guided tour includes 174 artists showing and talking about their work in 44 studios located around Desert Foothills communities, including Cave Creek, Carefree, and North Scottsdale. Check it out on Sunday, November 18, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. That’s just one of six days the tour is open. While you’re there, you can get a head start on holiday shopping for friends and family who might like a unique piece of jewelry, ceramics, or other work of art. Participating artists work in diverse media, including glass, prints, metal, photography, wood, painting, and more. Just print the online map, and start exploring. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Bruce Campbell - ICONIC MEDIA GROUP
Bruce Campbell
Iconic Media Group
Last Fan Standing
There is a trivia night on the schedule at almost any watering hole in Phoenix, but chances are none of them have movie star Bruce Campbell as the master of ceremonies. Last Fan Standing begins with the entire audience answering a series of multiple-choice questions about comics, movies, and television. The four players with the highest scores will step onstage and be quizzed by the groovy star of The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. The winner gets bragging rights and the knowledge of truly being the smartest person in the room.
Ring the buzzer at 8 on Monday, November 19, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $39-$69. For more information, visit Jason Keil

First Fiction
There have been quite a few exciting book debuts this year, but The Incendiaries, Friday Black, and Fruit of the Drunken Three were some of the most talked-about. At 7 p.m. on Monday, November 19, you have the chance to meet the first-time authors behind these novels at Changing Hands’ First Fiction. At the bookstore’s Phoenix location, 300 West Camelback Road, you can sit at their First Draft Book Bar and sip from their beer and wine selection as you listen to the authors read excerpts from their work. Then you’ll have the chance to meet them, take photos, and get them to sign your copy. The event is free, but you can buy a VIP package for $85 to $100. Call 602-274-0067 or visit Angelica Cabral

Pet Sematary
Terror Tuesday returns to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Tempe with one of the great Stephen King movie adaptations: Pet Sematary. Scripted by the master of horror himself, this classic film revolves around an ancient burial ground where the dearly departed return with more than an evil look in their eye. Of course, a remake is in the works, so you know it’s scary as hell. Victor Moreno of AZ Cult Classics is hosting this screening, so there will be fun and prizes for those in attendance.

The dead will rise at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, at 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe. Tickets are $8.65. For more information, visit Jason Keil

East Coast Swing Nite
Haven’t cut a rug since the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies were topping the charts? Steven Conrad has been around the world shuffling his feet and teaching the Lindy Hop for over two decades, but every Tuesday he and fellow instructor Bernadette Smith can be found at East Coast Swing Nite teaching the young and old the Harlem jazz dance that was all the rage in the ’30s and ’40s.

Jump, jive, and wail from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, at the FatCat Ballroom and Dance Company, 3131 East Thunderbird Road, #33. Admission is $7. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Going to see the millions of lights at the Phoenix Zoo has become a mainstay of the holiday season in the Valley. From November 21 through January 13, the zoo is lit up nightly from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. But, ZooLights still has new additions to keep things exciting for newcomers and those who have been coming for years: This year, the zoo has added live reindeer. Tickets range from $10.95 to $23.95 depending on your membership, what night you go, and what package you get. The zoo is located at 455 North Galvin Parkway, and you can go to for more information. Angelica Cabral
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble