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Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

From must-see art exhibitions to theater and outdoorsy endeavors, here are Jackalope Ranch's top picks for things to do in and around Phoenix this week.

"Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land" @ Heard Museum The brightly painted flowers and daring landscapes of American modernist artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) are well known. Less-known is O'Keeffe's fascination with katsina dolls (carved and painted portrayals of Pueblo and Hopi spirit beings, frequently called kachinas), which she studied and "interpreted" beginning with summering stints in New Mexico in 1929, and continuing until her 1984 retirement. This is the focus of the Heard Museum's "Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico" exhibit, on view through March 3, 2014. The exhibition includes numerous, though infrequently seen, katsina depictions by O'Keeffe, as well as a number paintings of startling landscapes protected by these spirits. Paintings of churches, architecture and cultural objects will also be on display.

See also: 10 Best Attractions at the Arizona State Fair

Stop by the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, September 29. Admission is $18 for adults, $13.50 for seniors, $7.50 for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 and younger, museum members, and American Indians. Visit www.heard.org or call 602-252-8840. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Pumpkin Days & Fall Maze @ Tolmachoff Farms We love Halloween. So much so that we do our best to drag that holiday out as long as possible, starting with the pumpkin. Rather than toss some mediocre store bought gourd into our grocery cart, we prefer to make a day of it.

At Tolmachoff Farms not only will pumpkin hunters have their pick of potential jack-o-lanterns, they also have their fair share of family friendly activities, including a six-acre themed corn maze, mini corn maze, petting zoo, train rides, hay pyramids, farm-themed activities, and more. The Pumpkin Days and Corn Maze will run daily through the fall season at Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 North 75th Avenue, Glendale. October hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $9, and sales end an hour before closing. For more information, including November hours, visit www.tolmachoff-farms.com. -- Katie Johnson

Garrison Keillor @ Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Over the last few decades Garrison Keillor has staked his claim as the last of the American radio stars. Sure there's been a dozen or so books -- who's counting? -- a slew of insightful articles and one delightfully odd excursion into film, but it's Mr. Keillor's unmistakable voice that has crystallized his place in American folklore.

Since its inception in 1974, Keillor's brainchild A Prairie Home Companion has become one of the most popular radio programs in the world, broadcast on over 600 public radio stations to a weekly audience of about four million. With it's old-timey format and a cadre of live musicians and actors, everything about the Prairie oozes a certain down-home nostalgia. Keillor will no doubt weave a similarly sweet tapestry of anecdotes, Midwestern tales, and a little Woebegon wisdom when he visits the Scottsdale Center For the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Scottsdale Road, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 16. Tickets start at $69. Visit www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org or call 480-499-8587 for details. -- Rob Kroehler

The Two Gentlemen of Verona @ Mesa Arts Center Ah, William Shakespeare, master of the tricky, ambiguous title (Much Ado About Nothing? Tell that to the characters -- oh, okay, right. The Taming of the Shrew? As if. The Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of whom is not so gentlemanly, but maybe that's because the real second gentleman here? It's . . . a lady, as Leon Phelps would say). This latter comedy by the Bard of Avon, an introduction to his frequent tropes of chicks dressing as dudes, aristocrats running around the forest for stupid reasons, the Bro Code getting broken, and lovers taking their betrayers back for no good cause, is the current entry in Southwest Shakespeare Company's season, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street, through Saturday, October 26, including at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 17.

The production's set in a Prohibition Chicago-style world: kind of Gatsby meets Capone. And there's a live puppy dog and Ian Christensen, each of which features in many of our favorite plays. Tickets range from $24 to $35 at 480-644-6500 or www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/shows/theater/thetwogentlemenofverona. -- Julie Peterson

"Hot Plate!" @ R. Pela Contemporary Art From shopping to sightseeing, our tastes tend to veer toward vintage. Hence, Best of Phoenix 2013's Vintage Phoenix theme. Because of our love of oldish stuff and said theme, New Times and R. Pela Contemporary Art co-present "Hot Plate!"

It's an exhibition of Phoenix-inspired plates, reminiscent of commemorative dishes you'd find while thrifting, made by local artists Michael Allen, Cheryl Brandon, Sue Chenoweth, Eric Cox, Kathleen Engstrom, Jeff Falk, Todd Grossman, Halldor Hjalmarson, Sarah Hurwitz, Christopher Jagmin, Peter Kuttner, Janet Deberge Lange, Annie Lopez, Melissa McGurgan, Ronnie Ray Mendez, Kim Sweet, Melany Terranova and Paul Wilson.

The show is on view from 6 to 10 p.m. during Third Friday, October 18, and by appointment through the end of the month. Admission is free. Visit www.rpelagallery.com or call 602-320-8445 for more information. -- Becky Bartkowski

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