The 12 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

All smiles.EXPAND
All smiles.
Melina Zuniga

It's time to relax and let loose. This weekend, you can watch dragon boats fly across Tempe Town Lake at Arizona Dragon Boat Festival, sip over 100 varieties of wine at Uncorked Wine Festival, or find your inner flower child at Bloom. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.       

Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts
The 42nd annual Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts will boast do-it-yourself creatives selling their wares along with great food and entertainment. To celebrate art’s ability to bring us together, visitors will also have the opportunity to enter the Portal. Inside one of the gold-painted shipping containers you can meet someone else from across the nation or around the world. You’ll be able to talk with them as if they are in the same room. The conversations can range from what a day in each other’s life is like to what your favorite cereal is.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29, through Sunday, March 31, along Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit tempefestivalofthearts.com. Jason Keil

Game on.EXPAND
Game on.
Benjamin Esham/CC BY-SA 2.0/via Flickr Creative Commons

Arizona Game Fair
So you say you want to get into tabletop gaming and RPGs but don’t know a Warhammer from a claw hammer? Join the party at the Arizona Game Fair, taking place from Friday, March 29, to Sunday, March 31, at Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. The geek-friendly event is a good place to get a crash course in gaming of the board, tabletop, miniature, collectible card, and role-playing varieties.

Attendees can choose from a library of more than 800-plus games, ranging from old favorites like Clue and Monopoly to the ever-popular Settlers of Catan, to try for themselves during open and scheduled gaming sessions throughout the weekend. Other activities will include a crossword puzzle championship, miniatures-painting station, a tabletop traders flea market, various game rooms, and more. Special guests include famed tabletop gaming designers Vital Lacerda and Vincent Baker.

Doors open at 8 a.m. each day. General admission is $15 to $20, a full event badge is $45, and kids under 12 are $5. See arizonagamefair.com for full details and the complete schedule. Benjamin Leatherman

Be in the room where it happens.
Be in the room where it happens.
Courtesy of ASU

Art and Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon
Every March since 2014, the Art + Feminism campaign has organized hundreds of Wikipedia editing sessions around the globe. They’ve got a laser focus, described by organizers as “improving coverage of cis and transgender women, non-binary folks, feminism and the arts.” ASU has participated for several years now, inviting interested community members to come together for the cause. This year’s Art and Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon happens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 29, at the ASU Design and the Arts Library, 810 South Forest Mall, on the Tempe campus. It’s free, and experienced Wikipedia editors will be on hand in case you need a crash course. Visit asuevents.asu.edu. Lynn Trimble

Arizona Rockabilly Bash
If you can’t get a hold of your rockabilly pals on the blower this weekend, don’t sweat it, daddy-o. They’re likely hanging out at this year’s Arizona Rockabilly Bash up at Lake Pleasant. The weekendlong hepcat hullabaloo at Pleasant Harbor Marina and RV Resort, 8708 West Harbor Boulevard in Peoria, which runs from Friday, March 29, to Sunday, March 31, will feature three days of souped-up thrills, classic vehicles, and plenty of rockabilly sounds. Local bands like VooDoo Swing, Rhythm Dragons, and The Devillains will perform while activities like a vintage car and motorcycle show, pinup and tattoo competitions, and even a flamethrower contest will take place. Overnight camping will also be available.

Things get going at 3 p.m. on Friday. Other times vary. General admission is $15 and its $20 in advance to register your ride, $25 at the gate. Call 480-225-1666 or see azrockabillybash.com for more info.? Benjamin Leatherman

Day on the water.EXPAND
Day on the water.
Melina Zuniga

Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
In the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones, viewers will witness knights and dragons battling alongside and against each other to discover who is worthy to sit on the Iron Throne. The 16th annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival will also feature winged serpents engaged in conflict, but it will be about as far as you can get from a Westeros bloodbath. Rooted in ancient Chinese tradition, athletes will paddle lavish dragon boats across Tempe Town Lake to the beat of a drum as they try to prove whose dragon flies the fastest.

The races run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, through Sunday, March 31, at Tempe Town Lake Marina, 550 East Tempe Town Lake in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit azdba.org. Jason Kiel

Scottsdale Pajama Bar Crawl
Deciding on the perfect look for going out can be a lengthy and expensive endeavor, sometimes involving tearing through your closet or taking a trip to the mall. The folks involved with this weekend’s Scottsdale Pajama Bar Crawl, however, needn’t look any further than their dresser drawers.

As the name of the event implies, participants will ditch clubwear for sleepwear as they spend the afternoon and evening of Saturday, March 30, drinking and carousing in Scottsdale’s downtown bar district while in their jammies. Think of it as a massive slumber party of sorts, albeit with adult beverages.

The crawl starts off at Maya Day & Nightclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza in Scottsdale, before making stops at several other nearby bars and clubs. Registration begins at 1 p.m. and branded merch and a variety of food and drink specials will be offered to those who register by 4 p.m. The crawl goes until 10 p.m. Early bird tickets are $10, general admission is $20, and last call admission is $25. See facebook.com/events/2097305463659187 for more info. Benjamin Leatherman

Where is the wild thing?
Where is the wild thing?
Courtesy of Changing Hands

Changing Hands 45th Anniversary Celebration
In today’s increasingly digital world, it seems that brick-and-mortar bookstores are slowly being wiped out by online retailers. Thankfully his hasn’t been the case with the Valley’s own Changing Hands. For 45 years, this independent business has united the community with weekly poetry readings and visits from authors. The store’s Tempe location will celebrate its anniversary with mini tarot card readings, activities for kids, complimentary cake, and a toast with the owners. The Phoenix venue will feature extended happy hour prices at the First Draft Book Bar.

The Changing Hands 45th Anniversary Celebration runs from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe, and 300 West Camelback Road in Phoenix. This is a free event. For more information, visit changinghands.com. Jason Keil

So many wines to choose from.
So many wines to choose from.
Courtesy of Uncorked Wine Festival

Uncorked Wine Festival
Uncorked Wine Festival is returning to Arizona. You can sip over 100 varieties of vino from more than 40 vendors against the backdrop of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Pair your selection with an entree from the variety of gourmet food trucks on-site. This 21-and-over event will also feature a photo booth and a live DJ spinning some smooth jams. Proceeds will benefit STARS, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

The fun pours from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at 7555 North Pima Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $55 to $65. For more information, visit uncorkedwinefestivals.com. Jason Keil

Black out.EXPAND
Black out.
Rob Mains

Fountain Hills Dark Sky Festival
From meteor showers to blood moons, there is no shortage of astronomical activity in Arizona. It’s too bad bright city lights of Phoenix make it difficult to get a full view of the heavens. Thankfully, Fountain Hills, which is located about 30 miles east of Phoenix, was designated a Dark Sky Community last year. The second annual Fountain Hills Dark Sky Festival is a celebration of the city’s efforts to curb light pollution, featuring presentations from educators, a virtual reality exhibit, a star tour, and live entertainment.

Look up to the stars from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at the Fountain Hills Community Center, 13001 North La Montana Drive in Fountain Hills. This is a free event. For more information, visit FHDarkSky.com. Jason Keil

Bring out your inner flower, child.EXPAND
Bring out your inner flower, child.
Walter Productions

Maybe all you know of Walter Productions is its giant, lighted art cars shown from everywhere from Phoenix’s own Grand Avenue Festival to Burning Man. Turns out, it’s also big on music, yoga, and other creative pursuits you can explore during its next arts party. It’s called Bloom, and it’s happening at the Walter crew’s massive Where?House creative space, 702 North 21st Avenue. The event starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, and ends at 3:30 a.m. Expect plenty of light and lasers, along with performances by Nic Chavez and Vessel. More than a dozen artists will be showing work that night, including Margarete Beeson, Lisa Von Hoffner, and Kristin Wesley. Bring out your inner flower child by dressing in “spring pastels, floral prints, and anything bouncy and bright.” This is an age 21 and up event. Tickets are $25 online or $35 at the door. Visit wherehousegallery.com. Lynn Trimble

Bell Lexus North Scottsdale Copperstate 1000
For nearly three decades, vintage and race cars have added a grand’s worth of mileage to their speedometers for a four-day springtime drive through Arizona. The 29th annual Bell Lexus North Scottsdale Copperstate 1000, put on by the Men’s Arts Council, raises money every year for the Phoenix Art Museum. Their four-day journey kicks off at Tempe Diablo Stadium with a world-class car show where you can get up close to over 80 cars and talk shop with their owners.

Start your engines from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, at 2200 West Alameda Drive in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit mensartscouncil.com. Jason Keil

Ready to run.
Ready to run.
Courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs Race Against Cancer
Lace up your running shoes and stride over to Chase Field for the 2019 D-backs Race Against Cancer. The 5K course goes through the heart of downtown Phoenix. You can bring your favorite four-legged friend to the one-mile Family Fun Walk. All participants receive a commemorative T-shirt, drawstring bag, finisher medal, and a ticket to a Diamondbacks game. Proceeds benefit cancer research.

The starting gun for the 5K goes off at 7:15 a.m. and the Family Fun Walk begins at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, at 401 East Jefferson Street. Registration for the 5K is $40 and $20 for the Family Fun Walk. For more information, visit dbacks.com. Jason Keil

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