Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Stay fresh at Old Town Farmers Market.
Old Town Farmers Market
Stay fresh at Old Town Farmers Market.
Ready for the weekend, Phoenix? You can have a jolly ole time at Sippin' Santas Pub Crawl, blast to the past at Holiday Tea & Tour, or enjoy some fresh air during the Mistletoe & Holly hike. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Happy days are here again. - SPACE 55
Happy days are here again.
Space 55
A Bloody Mary Christmas
Picture a Christmas fireplace mantle, hung with two festive stockings and a jumbo pair of white cotton panties. You’ve got the makings of a holiday tradition called A Bloody Mary Christmas, a theatrical twist on seasonal merriment featuring the antics of three “naughty, saucy, incorrigible Sun City gals” who team up to save their condo in the aftermath of an eviction notice. This year’s cast includes Ann Harper, Bridgette Lee Phipps, Kim Singletary, and Robert Peters. The foul-mouthed festivities, directed by Toni Jourdan, kick off at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 15, at Space 55, 1524 North 18th Avenue. Tickets are $20. Visit Lynn Trimble

The Star Wars Holiday Special
If you’re one of the sexist Reddit bros who thought The Last Jedi was bad because it had decent female characters, you obviously haven’t seen the worst thing the Star Wars universe has ever defecated into the world: The Star Wars Holiday Special, a 97-minute — yes, 97 — TV special that explores the Galaxy Far Far Away in ways nobody ever wanted. For instance, what if Wookiees celebrated an off-brand version of Christmas called “Life Day”? What if Chewbacca somehow had a son named Lumpy? What if Jefferson Starship were there for some reason?

This notorious 1978 crime against cinema will be screened at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, on Friday, December 14, first at 8 p.m. and again at 10:30. Tickets are $12. You’ve been warned: This thing is a piece of garbage. Visit Douglas Markowitz

Scrooge in Rouge
Check out this oddball retelling of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, featuring 20 company actors from a third-rate British acting troupe performing a musical adaptation of the holiday staple. Did we say 20? Seventeen of them just happened to contract food poisoning before your show, which leaves only three members of the remaining cast to fulfill their contractual obligation and deliver a tour-de-force much bigger than themselves. If your holidays are missing men in drag, breakneck pace, and bawdy comedy, catch Scrooge in Rouge, beginning on Friday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mesa Encore Theatre Black Box, 933 East Main Street, Mesa. Tickets are $15. Visit Logan Rasmussen

Lasers and Liquor
The holidays can be a difficult time for many. Maybe the bonus didn’t come through. Maybe your deadlines are crunched at work. Maybe you accidentally put too many lights on the tree and set it aflame. Sometimes, don’t you just want to turn on, tune in, drop out, and listen to some Pink Floyd while watching a laser show?

You’re in luck, because the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, just so happens to be putting on a pair of Lasers and Liquor shows on Saturday, December 15. You read right — there will be booze here. The 8 p.m. show will incorporate music from Netflix’s Stranger Things, while 9:30 will feature Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Tickets are $10. Visit Douglas Markowitz

Old Town Farmers Market
Moderation is an important thing, even during the hectic holiday season. Perhaps you’ll indulge in a few spiced lattes or baked goods, but don’t forget the fabulous feeling that comes from eating fresh foods. The Old Town Farmers Market can help you with that. You’ll find them on the corner of North Brown Avenue and East First Street in Scottsdale from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 16. Typically, the free event includes dozens of vendors, selling not only fresh produce, but also other fare such as teas, tamales, bread, brats, hummus, soup, cheese, shrimp, beef, and nuts. Check out John Randall Nelson’s giant rabbit sculpture while you’re in Old Town, but don’t expect it to nibble on your carrots. Visit Lynn Trimble

Sippin' Santas Pub Crawl
It’s perfectly fine to pause amid the holiday chaos now and then, and Downtown Chandler is making it easy, with a self-guided Sippin’ Santas Pub Crawl that includes more than a dozen destinations where your official lanyard will get you a $2 drink special ranging from margaritas to martinis, assuming you’re at least 21. Don your best Santa gear between 1 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, then make your way to festive destinations on the crawl, such as Murphy’s Law Irish Pub and Bourbon Jacks. You’ll find live entertainment along the way, plus a brewery-theme mural painted by Such and Champ Styles for SanTan Brewing Company. A $20 ticket ($25 on event day) includes a pub crawl T-shirt, while supplies last. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Bet they really decked these halls. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Bet they really decked these halls.
Lynn Trimble

Holiday Tea & Tour
See how they decked the halls in Victorian times, during a Holiday Tea & Tour happening from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, at the Rosson House, 113 North Sixth Street. The 1895 high-style Victorian home gets the grand Christmas treatment every year, so visitors can see how it was done back in the day. For $30, you’ll enjoy the tour, plus afternoon tea served on vintage china — which includes tea sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, and tea. Let them know, when making reservations, if you’ll need gluten-free or vegetarian options. Then put on your fancy frocks, and experience a little blast to the past. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Before there's pecan pie... - THE FARM AT SOUTH MOUNTAIN
Before there's pecan pie...
The Farm at South Mountain
Pecan Harvest at the Farm
Never seen a pecan in its shell? Starting to think nuts grow in aisle six at your local grocery store? You need to up your food game, especially as pecan pie season rolls around. Head to The Farm at South Mountain, 6106 South 32nd Street, from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, December 16, and you can join Trees Matter for a free Pecan Harvest at the Farm. First you’ll learn a bit about The Farm’s history, and explore various trees around the property. Then you can harvest pecan trees with fellow nature lovers. Even pets can come along, but only with a leash. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Monet mixes the naughty with the nice. - MURRAY & PETER
Monet mixes the naughty with the nice.
Murray & Peter

A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour
Don’t buy into that whole either/or thing. Turns out, nearly everyone is both naughty and nice. Drag queens are no exception, as you’ll discover when Murray & Peter present A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. It’s happening at 8 p.m. on Monday, December 17. Tickets start at $37, and doors open at 7 p.m. All ages are welcome, but expect adult comedy wrapped up in holiday splendor. If you pop for a VIP Meet & Greet ticket, you can show up at 5:45 p.m. to meet the performers, take photographs, and get autographs — plus go home with a tour poster and customized lanyard. Visit Lynn Trimble

Elf: The Musical
Perhaps the most recent holiday film to be canonized as a classic (thanks mostly to constant reruns on the USA network come December), the 2003 Will Ferrell movie Elf, about a human raised in Santa’s workshop that takes off on an epic quest to find his father in New York City, is now also a musical. And it’s playing here in the Valley. Lucky you!

Elf: The Musical runs until December 30 at the Phoenix Theater, 1825 North Central Avenue. The Tuesday, December 18, performance happens at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $76. For more showings, call 602-254-2151 or visit Douglas Markowitz

Seinfeld Trivia
What, more Festivus? You bet your ass, pallie! Valley Bar’s regular Seinfeld Trivia night is getting a seasonal coat of paint. Hosted by Emily the Lewis, with music by DJ Shane Kennedy, the free event will feature $1 off craft beer cans and all-important prizes. It all goes down at 130 North Central Avenue on Tuesday, December 18. Sign-up begins at 7 p.m. and the Feats of (Trivial) Strength commence at 8 p.m. Don’t miss it, or you’ll be airing your grievances all week. Douglas Markowitz

Arizona Coyotes
As the light chill of winter approaches the Sonoran Desert, we may finally have a team to warm the collective cockles of our sports heart. While the Suns and Cardinals continue to stink into oblivion, the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes have been give us something to cheer about, notably rookie goalie Adin Hill. He blocked 59 of 60 shots during a recent three-game stretch, including a 29-save shutout over the 2017 Stanley Cup finalist Nashville Predators, earning ESPN’s World Player of the Week award in the process. He will try to work his magic again on Tuesday, December 18, against the visiting New York Islanders. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, Glendale. Tickets start at $23. Visit Stuart Warner

We Call It Skwee
Would it surprise you to learn that there’s a type of music called “skweee?” Back in the late 2000s, DJs and producers in Sweden and Finland such as Daniel Savio and Eero Johannes were making this funky, quirky mix of chiptune, techno, and other electronic genres for a sound unlike any other. They even made a film about it: We Call It Skweee, a documentary by Iacopo Patierno that captured this kooky little scene, will screen at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19. It’s all a part of the PAM’s Scandinavian Pain Film Series, which ties in with their excellent current exhibition, “Ragnar Kjartansson: Scandinavian Pain and Other Myths.” Admission is $5. Visit Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Nature does Christmas right. - SONORAN MCDOWELL PRESERVE
Nature does Christmas right.
Sonoran McDowell Preserve
Mistletoe & Holly
You’re probably used to seeing mistletoe hung under a door frame, where you might hope to catch a holiday kiss when you pass beneath it. Before all that kissing goes down, the mistletoe grows wild, where it’s kissed by the sun. There’s a McDowell Sonoran Preserve docent named Franco Farino who knows all about desert plants and holiday traditions, and he’s happy to share the lore during an easy three-mile Mistletoe & Holly hike happening from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 19. The free event, where you’ll glean fresh facts for entertaining holiday visitors, starts at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead, 30301 North Alma School Parkway. Visit Lynn Trimble

Tapas & Paella
Impress your holiday guests with delicious appetizers and a delightful dish of paella when they come to call. Private chef and cooking instructor Lisa Brisch can show you how, during her Tapas & Paella class, which runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19, at Sweet Basil Gourmetware and Cooking School, 10749 North Scottsdale Road, #101, in Scottsdale. You’ll learn to make several dishes, from Roasted Pepper Tapas with Golden Raisins to Cast Iron Shrimp, Sausage, and Mussels Paella. Naturally, you’ll get to sample what you make, as you sip sangria blanco. Call 480-596-5628 or visit Lynn Trimble