Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Phoenix Art Museum
Explore Afrofuturism with Malakai's SOULS.
Your plans are here, Phoenix. This week, you can cruise through downtown during Crescent Community Bike Ride, cheer on your favorite artist at ArtBattle, or join the anarchy at ’77: A Night of Punk. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge
Bike rides pair well with post-cycling beers.
Lynn Trimble

Crescent Community Bike Ride

It’s official, Phoenix: It’s so hot you could cry, but you can’t because your tear ducts dry up when you walk out the door. But don’t let the temperatures stop you from getting some exercise. The Crescent Community Bike Ride, along with Heavy Pedal, take to the streets every Thursday. If you want to move, hop on your saddle for the Caliente ride. If you’d rather cruise through downtown, the Fresca ride is for you. Then hydrate and refuel with discounted cold drinks and burritos.

Get on your bikes and ride! The Caliente Ride meets up at Crescent Ballroom at 7 p.m. and rolls out at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at 308 North Second Avenue. The Fresca Ride will get together at 8 p.m. and hit the road at 8:30 p.m. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Not your typical murder scene.
Lynn Trimble

Totally '80s Totally Murdered

Pause for a minute to visualize the classic board game Clue, where everyone’s a suspect and you spend your time trying to figure out who did the crime, plus how and where it happened. Now imagine a similar game, transformed with an ’80s twist and brought to life at your local spaghetti joint. It’s a real thing called Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, happening from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at The Old Spaghetti Factory, 1418 North Central Avenue. Don your best ’80s attire for the event they’re calling Totally ’80s Totally Murdered. Tickets are $49, which includes dinner and the chance to hone your detective skills. We figure the noodle maker did it with the giant meatball on the vintage train car, dressed in her finest leg warmers. But that’s probably a long shot. Lynn Trimble


Are you looking for a new sport to follow now that the NBA season is over? Painting is the competition at ArtBattle. This worldwide phenomenon gives audiences a unique glimpse into the creative process. Inspiration has to hit local artists fast, because they only have 20 minutes to move their brushes and create something beautiful. The audience determines the winner. Once the champion is crowned, you can purchase your favorite painting at the silent auction after the show.

Get your canvas ready at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at Cactus Jack’s Bar and Grill, 4747 East Elliot Road, #2. Tickets are $10 to $20. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
The perfect pairing.
Zak Forsythe

Egg Roll Beer Pairing

There have been some unusual culinary combinations made throughout the ages, so hopefully the folks at The Beer Research Institute in Mesa will understand if we didn’t initially see the brilliance behind their Egg Roll Beer Pairing. Upon closer inspection, it makes perfect sense. There’s a Philly cheese steak egg roll paired with their hoppy red War Paint. Or you can sample the Filipino-style lumpia with their Belgian Blonde Lolli. The 480G and the meat candy mac and cheese sound delicious, and we think the beef machaca egg roll will pair perfectly with the Vamonos Mexican-style lager.

Roll with it all day on Thursday, June 27, at 1641 South Stapley Drive, #104, in Mesa. The cost to taste all four beers and egg rolls together are $25. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Make a mini-robot at Changing Hands.
Jordan Alexander-Thomas

Arizona Craft Rave

Maybe you’ve dreamed of creating a diabolical robot to help you rule the world, but you’re a tad weak in the building robots department. Artist Jordan-Alexander Thomas can help you with that during the Arizona Craft Rave happening on Friday, June 28, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. He’ll be there with mini-robot parts and tips for putting them together. So will several other creatives, with projects ranging from felt succulents to animal ornaments. The event runs from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Get your $4 timed admission tickets for 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. entry online, then buy activity tickets on-site to try various crafts that interest you. Odds are, you’ll feel less stressed after having some creative time. So maybe you can skip the whole world domination thing after all. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Mercury

Let’s be honest: The Phoenix Mercury haven’t gotten off to the best start this season. With All-Star Diana Taurasi recovering from back surgery, it’s been tough for the team to get into a scoring groove. The good news is that it’s not too late in the season to turn things around. The Indiana Fever continue to rebuild their squad, which seems like the perfect opportunity for the Mercury to rise to the top.

Take it to the paint at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $13.25 to $80.25. Jason Keil

Art Heals

Art Heals is more than a teenage talent show. It’s a way for mistreated children, many who come from foster homes, treatment centers, and homeless shelters, to tell their stories and heal their emotional wounds by expressing themselves artistically. This event is the culmination of the Theater Camp put on by the Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona. The teenage participants tell their stories through acting, music, dance, and poetry.

There are two performances at 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. There will also be an art activity in the lobby starting at 6 p.m. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Night time is the right time to visit the DBG.
Desert Botanical Garden

Flashlight Tours

If you’ve been to the Desert Botanical Gardens when the sun is out, then you still haven’t seen everything. Night time is the right time to visit the 140 acres of this beautiful desert landscape. During the Saturday night Flashlight Tours, visitors grab a torch and explore all the plants and animals that come out at night. There will also be delicious food and drinks to sample.

Shine a light from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, at 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Tickets are $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids ages 3 and up. Jason Keil

Grand Tour of the Solar System

Do you want to make a quick weekend getaway? Instead of driving to San Diego, hop over to Arizona Science Center’s Dorrance Planetarium, where you can visit Pluto for the afternoon during their Grand Tour of the Solar System show. During the immersive presentation, you can learn about the orbit of Neptune’s moons or the properties of water on different planets. This is one trip that’s out of this world.

Blast off at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, at Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. Tickets are $9 for adults and $8 for kids ages 3 and up, in addition to regular admission. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Scene from the 2009 film Moon.
Sony Classics


One second you’re driving along the lunar landscape, mining elements to help power Earth. Then, you crash your rover. Next thing you know, you’re waking up from a bad hallucination and hearing your robot companion chatting with the corporate overlords that sent you into space. You’re isolated and suspicious — what’s next? See how astro-laborer Sam Bell fares, especially after learning he may not be the only man on the moon after all, when Alamo Drafthouse Chandler screens the 2009 psychological sci-fi film Moon. Directed by Duncan Jones and starring Sam Rockwell, it’s being shown at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, at 4955 South Arizona Avenue. Tickets are $8, even for robots. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
John Walters
Greg Gorman

John Waters

John Waters is still notorious for his trashy cult films Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble, but his respectability has increased over the last several years. This is due in no small part to his famous commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design, which became the basis of the 2017 book Make Trouble.

The Hairspray director spills the tea on the making of his films for his one-man show titled This Filthy World. He will also do a meet-and-greet and sign copies of his book Mr. Know-It-All after the show.

Waters serves it up raw at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets are $30 to $65. Jason Keil

Jay Pharoah

You could say Jay Pharoah made an impression on Saturday Night Live with his spot-on takes on Barack Obama and Denzel Washington. If you want to know what the comedian is truly capable of, stop by StandUp Live and see him step behind the mic. Sure, he’s going to riff on Drake from time to time, but he also tells humorous vignettes about his childhood and his encounters with celebrities.

The laughs begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, at 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets are $25 with a two-drink minimum. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Talk about a view.
Courtesy of Dorrance Planetarium at Arizona Science Center

Apollo 11

The documentary Apollo 11, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, takes viewers to the moon with its beautiful footage of the first moon landing. As the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface approaches, the Irene P. Flinn Theater is showing the “First Steps Edition” of the critically acclaimed documentary, culled from a newly discovered, unprocessed collection of 70 mm film footage. If you missed the movie on the big screen earlier this year, here’s your chance.

Blast off at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 1, at Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. Tickets are $7.95 for adults and $6.95 for kids ages 3 and up in addition to regular admission. Jason Keil

Fall Into Fitness

FitPHX began with the goal of making our city one of the healthiest in the nation, but even the fittest individuals won’t move when the temperature is unbearably warm. Luckily, Fall Into Fitness is an all-ages exercise program that takes place indoors. The weekly program features Zumba and P90X to help everyone burn calories and build muscle.

Sweat it out from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at Civic Space Park, A.E. England Building, 424 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. Participants are encouraged to bring their own water, towel and mat. Jason Keil


The second season of Ryan Murphy’s groundbreaking drama Pose began with ballroom culture crossing over into the mainstream thanks to the hit song “Vogue” by Madonna. You could always watch the award-winning show at home alone, but why not gather your friends instead and head to Kobalt to watch this week’s episode? Gigi DeMilo and Yoyo Blackfire are your hosts for the evening. This viewing party also features music and food and drink specials.

Strike a pose from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at 3110 North Central Avenue, #175. This is a free event. Jason Keil

Stranger Things

Let’s assume that you’re rewatching the first two seasons of Stranger Things in anticipation of the Netflix show’s return on July 4. Isn’t it time to leverage all that knowledge to win some prizes? Bring your friends to CB Live for five rounds of trivia from your favorite science-fiction nostalgia show. Some of the questions may be tough, but the evening will go down better than a can of New Coke.

Turn things upside down at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at 21001 North Tatum Boulevard. This is a free event. Jason Keil

SOULS Installation

Normally you have to look up to see the stars. But the SOULS installation at Phoenix Art Museum, created by artist and filmmaker Malakai, is bringing them into gallery spaces. It’s part of an exhibit featuring four Arizona artists who received grants from the museum last year. Born in Mesa in 1990, Malakai created SOULS in the aftermath of her grandmother’s death as a way to explore blackness, mortality, disenfranchised communities, and African diaspora perspectives on the “beyond.” The museum, located at 1625 North Central Avenue, is screening SOULS from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3. It’s free with admission, which is $18 for adults. But you can pay what you wish between 3 and 9 p.m. that day, during voluntary donation hours. While you’re there, make time to see the exhibit featuring additional artist grant recipients Taylor James, Elliott Jamal Robbins, and Papay Solomon. Lynn Trimble

It's okay to be a punk sometimes.
Annie Mikolajczak, Instagram @bansheebanshee

'77: A Night of Punk

The interior of the new Thunderbird Lounge is inspired by the decor of the late ’70s and early ’80s, from its cigarette machine and free video games. They’re also dedicating Wednesday nights to the music of the time, titled ’77: A Night of Punk. Annie Meeko is curating the evening’s soundtrack, which will include The Clash, Talking Heads, and Blondie. There will also be pizza from Dino’s Napoletana and $3 cans of Old Style.

The anarchy begins at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, at 710 West Montecito Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil