Things to Do for $10 or Less in Metro Phoenix, October 21 to 23

There's no shame in being a cheapskate — especially here in Phoenix. Why? Well, because there's so much stuff to do. Take a look at New Times' calendar for proof. Here's something you might notice while doing so: A lot of the time, said stuff is free, or at least cheap. This weekend, for instance, you'll find provocative art shows, a chance to browse wares from local makers, and 32 straight hours of funny. Seriously. 

"Take Aim"
In artist William LeGoullon’s crosshairs is hunting culture — the hobby, the hurt, the way of life. To look deeply at the practice, the predator, and the prey, he curated “Take Aim,” a group photography exhibition featuring shots by some artists acting as observers and others as participants. Presented with support from Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art at Arizona State University’s Northlight Gallery, the exhibition features imagery from artists including Erika Larsen, Michael Tummings, and Andrea Tese. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, at 605 East Grant Street. For more information on the free show, open through December 2, see or Becky Bartkowski

Fall Plant Sale
There’s a certain Fall Plant Sale in the Valley that steals all the limelight — but, truth be told, there are plant sales happening all over town this time of year. This weekend, get your fix of cacti, succulents, shrubs, and more at Scottsdale Community College’s Center for Native and Urban Wildlife (CNUW), 9000 East Chaparral Road in Scottsdale. As an added bonus, there will also be wildflower seeds, bee poles, and custom arrangements available for purchase.

Check out the Fall Plant Sale at the CNUW from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21. The greenhouse is located on the north side of the SCC campus. Plants range in price from $3 to $15. Bring cash or checks. For more info, e-mail [email protected] Katrina Montgomery

When Halloween is looming and you hear about a “Ghostfest,” you might assume it’s some kind of spooky affair. Don’t this time, though, because you’d be wrong.

This event is Torch Theatre’s Ghostfest Improv Marathon. The hotspot for longform improv comedy and all-around creative behavior is presenting 32 straight hours of improvisational fun, featuring local and national acts. Opening night includes Billy Hawk, a troupe from Los Angeles featuring Brian James O’Connell, director of the 2015 horror-comedy Bloodsucking Bastards, and Jeff Hawkins of the Shake Them Ropes wrestling podcast. Saturday includes Ghostfest, Jr., which is family-friendly. Let the humor haunt you at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 21, at the Torch Theatre, 4721 North Central Avenue. Admission is $10 for a six-hour pass, and $15 for an event pass good through October 23. Call 602-456-2876 or visit Amy Young

Read on for more budget-friendly events.
Good 'N Plenty
Watch six local creatives pitch new projects, then vote for your favorite to help determine who gets the latest Good ‘N Plenty award from Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. It’s a cash prize, with bragging rights, comprising half the proceeds from both this event and the museum’s earlier Wine + Bingo for Art event.

The six creatives were chosen by a panel of arts professionals looking for projects that are conceptually rich and well-researched, in addition to addressing the concerns and interests of the local community. Past winners include Ann Morton’s Street Gems and Blushing Soup Vinyl.

Your $10 ticket to the Good ‘N Plenty Artist Awards, happening Friday, October 21, at 7 p.m., gets you one vote, dessert, and Cartel coffee. Visit Lynn Trimble

Mesa Bazaar
Lovers (and strong likers) of shopping local have another outdoor market to add to their calendars this fall, this time in downtown Mesa. The Mesa Bazaar modern market offers everything from art, jewelry, and home décor to vintage items and records — and for the rest, we’ll just say “gifts.” You can also make a day of it thanks to food trucks, craft beers and cocktails, and live music on the schedule.

Check out the free Mesa Bazaar from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, at One South Macdonald Street — or Main and South Macdonald streets. Your light-rail stop is Center and Main Street, and free parking is available. For more information, call 480-890-2613 or visit, and invite friends at Lauren Cusimano

PHX Zine Fest
Those wont to deem print as “dead” might find themselves thinking differently after attending the inaugural PHX Zine Fest, which takes over The Icehouse, 429 West Jackson Street, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 23.

The free-to-attend daylong celebration of DIY comes courtesy of authors Marna Kay (B-Sides Magazine) and Charissa Lucille (Fem Static Zine) — who also operate Wasted Ink Zine Distro, an East Valley zine exchange — and Brodie Foster Hubbard (Fair Dig).

Inaugural attendees can indulge in food trucks, listen to artist talks, and browse a pop-up library featuring handcrafted publications on almost any topic imaginable. (If you’re into it, there’s probably a zine about it.) Poet Joy Young will lead the panel discussion “The Zine Table: Gender in Transition,” and Amber McCrary, co-producer of Native American Feminist Musings, will host “POC Talk: The Creative Process Through a Cultural Lens.” See for complete schedule. Janessa Hilliard

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Katrina Montgomery
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble