No plans? Don't fret. This weekend, you can check out some rare items during a tour of Burton Barr Central Library's Rare Book Room, drink up the good stuff at a tequila festival, or learn about board gaming at Games for Dames+. For more things to do, visit
'Climate of Unrest'
The new “Climate of Unrest” exhibit at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, includes works by eight artists who bring diverse materials and sensibilities to the issue of climate change, using photography, drawing, sculpture, and other media to consider the toll human activity is taking on the planet. Carolyn Lavender draws real animals alongside manufactured counterparts. William LeGoullon photographs objects used in desert target practice. Andrew Manning paints animals in human settings. And Lizzy Taber creates abstractions based on mapping the shifting seafloor. Additional artists include Jeff Chabot, Sean Deckert, Luis G. Hernandez, and Molly Koehn. The opening reception happens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 19. The free group show runs through August 10. Lynn Trimble
Science With a Twist
If staring up at the moon makes you feel a tad romantic or sends you into full-on science geek mode, grab a friend or fellow romantic type and head over to Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. That’s where the 21+ event Science With a Twist is getting an Apollo-Palooza twist from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 19. You can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with live music, special talks, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. There’s even a cash bar. Arrive by 7 p.m. to hear an Apollo at Fifty presentation, or by 8:30 p.m. to hear a talk on debunking conspiracy theories. Tickets are $12. Some experiences, including a laser show with Pink Floyd music or moon-related film screening, cost extra. Lynn Trimble
If you’ve watched the TruTV series Adam Ruins Everything, then the one thing you know is that everything you know is wrong. Adam Conover’s breakout show has shattered the myths that marketers would have us believe with well-researched pieces and a gentle sense of humor. Now the comedian is hitting the road with his stand-up. You’re likely to leave with a blown mind after Conover drops his knowledge bombs, but you’re also going to learn more about the man behind the mic, which isn’t something he has time to get to on his show.
The debunking begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard, with additional shows on Saturday, July 20. Tickets are $22. Jason Keil
Rare Book Room
Odds are you’ve only scratched the surface of what your local library has to offer. Consider the case of Burton Barr Central Library, the flagship branch of the Phoenix Public Library located at 1221 North Central Avenue. It’s home to a Rare Book Room filled with historical books and ephemera, contemporary artist-made books, and reference books illuminating the history of books and book arts. Get a good look when the library hosts a Rare Book Room tour from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20.
You’ll get to see cuneiform tablets inscribed about 4,000 years ago in Babylonia, a Coptic scroll from sixth-century Egypt, a page from the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, and a Shakespeare Folio from 1632. The tour also includes time with artist books featuring summer and desert themes, created with diverse papers and techniques. The tour is free, but online registration is required. Lynn Trimble
Phoenix Independent Comic Show
Never fear if you couldn’t make it to San Diego for this year’s Comic-Con, because Bookmans Entertainment Exchange is doing a little something to help ease your pain. Bookmans Phoenix, 8034 North 19th Avenue, is holding a free Phoenix Independent Comic Show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Local comic book authors will be on hand to show, sell, and discuss their work. For Nick Cagnetti, that includes pre-release copies from his "Pink Lemonade" series coming out in October, plus additional titles and original art. The lineup also includes Russ Kazmierczak Jr. of Amazing Arizona Comics, plus Jessica Dzielinski and Coop Bolton. Lynn Trimble
The Day We Walked on the Moon
In honor of the 20th anniversary of humanity’s first moon walk, completed during the Apollo 11 mission, the Heard Museum will be screening the Smithsonian Channel’s 44-minute film The Day We Walked on the Moon. The film features astronauts, their family members, and members of the mission control team recounting events of the day and sharing their own personal reflections. The free screenings will happen inside the museum’s Steele Auditorium, 2301 North Central Avenue, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Lynn Trimble
A Tribute to Larry Levan + Paradise Garage
Legendary house and disco DJ Larry Levan would be celebrating 65 years on Planet Earth this year, had he not passed away in 1992. The DJ’s legacy lives on in the aesthetic he gave birth to when he started his decade-long residency at the famous New York nightclub Paradise Garage. The local vinyl collective Hi-Dreams will pay their respects to the trailblazer with A Tribute to Larry Levan + Paradise Garage, a set that includes some of the funkiest cuts from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, including Parliament-Funkadelic and The Sugarhill Gang. Mitch Freedom, Greg Wytes and Joyable Jake will be behind the tables. Let the spin begin at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil
Stranger Things '80s Night
Unless you’ve been stuck in The Upside-Down the past few weeks, you’re undoubtedly aware that season three of Stranger Things is out. Given the show’s rampant popularity — 40 million people have already watched the latest episodes according to Netflix — it isn’t much of a shocker that the folks at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, are putting on a Stranger Things ‘80s Night at the venue this weekend to coincide with the latest chronicles of Hawkins, Indiana.
Much like the show, the party, which takes place on Saturday, July 20, will be steeped in Reagan-era nostalgia. The DJ duo of Jeffery and Bractune will spin ‘80s tunes and songs from the show throughout the night. As you’d expect, ‘80s attire and Stranger Things costumes are encouraged. There will also be a photo booth and character buttons for the first 300 patrons. Start time is 10 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 to $18 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman
The Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, will mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the moon landing with a two-day celebration featuring family-friendly activities and exhibits inspired by space and the moon. The 2019 documentary Apollo 11: First Steps Edition will also be shown in the Irene P. Flinn Giant Screen Theater.
Kicking off on Friday, July 19, the event will also run on Saturday, July 20, the actual anniversary of Armstrong and his fellow Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepping onto the lunar surface. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $18 in advance for adults, $13 in advance for children 3 to 17. It’s free for kids 2 and under. Call 602-716-2000. Benjamin Leatherman
My Neighbor Totoro
A little girl named Mei climbs inside a camphor tree next to her house and discovers the furry forest spirit named Totoro. The creature takes the young girl and her sister on a series of adventures in the animated Studio Ghibli production My Neighbor Totoro. Speaking of tall wooden plants, this screening of director Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece will be presented by the nonprofit Trees Matter, whose mission is “to inspire and promote an increased tree canopy in the Valley.” This delightful story branches out at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children. Jason Keil
Connoisseurs know that Cien Agaves already has one of the best menus in the Valley, so the Old Town Scottsdale restaurant is going to take an afternoon to focus on liquor. Attendees of the Cien Agaves First Annual Tequila Festival will work their way through 14 of the best blancos, reposados, anejos, and mezcals, with representatives on-site to help you find the right one for you. There will be drink and food specials, live music and a swag bag.
Take your shot from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at 7228 East First Avenue in Scottsdale. Tickets are $25, which includes 10 drink samples, light food and a tasting card. Jason Keil
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Games for Dames+
If you’ve watched Stranger Things, you may have noticed there is something missing when the three main characters play Dungeons & Dragons: the opposite sex. Women enjoy role-playing games just as much as the boys do, which is why the organization Do Better Gaming created Games for Dames+. If you’re someone who identifies as female or nonbinary who is interested in learning about board gaming in a safe environment, then stop by and learn from one of the game masters on site or participate in a Dungeons & Dragons character creation station.
Roll the dice from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at Imperial Outpost, 4920 West Thunderbird Road in Glendale. This is a free event for those 16 years old and up. Jason Keil