The Best Free Events in Phoenix This Week

What's better than Mario Kart in the park?
Lynn Trimble
What's better than Mario Kart in the park?
So much to do, so little to spend. This week you can test your wizardry knowledge at Harry Potter Trivia, shop all things local, or see art by Awa Tsireh at the Heard Museum. The best part, it's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

Mario Kart Halloween Adventure Ride
Pull up your suspenders, twirl your mustache, and get ready to ride. Phoenix Downtempo is putting a gamer spin on its Casual Monday and making it into the Nintendo racing video game Mario Kart. Arrive dressed as your favorite character, but remember: This isn’t a race. And dressing as Princess Peach will not provide a tactical advantage. Expect safe tricks and traps throughout the route, including water balloons masquerading as turtle shells. All skill levels will be welcome, but this event will include some bar-hopping. So it’s a 21-and-over ride.

Let’s-a-go at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 30, at Phoenix Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit the Phoenix Downtempo website. Jason Keil

Sarah Bailey
Discovering a dead body floating in a lake is bad enough. But things get worse for homicide detective Gemma Stone when she realizes that the deceased is her former high school classmate.

Sounds like a teen drama on the CW network, but it’s the plot of Sarah Bailey’s new book, The Dark Lake. In this thriller, she digs into the life of her once-popular high school pal to find out why she was murdered. The investigation also forces Stone to face some of her own buried secrets.

Bailey will sign copies of her latest from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 30, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free; books for the signing are $26. Call 480-947-2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Amy Young

It's levi-OH-sa, not levio-SAH. - COURTESY OF WARNER BROS
It's levi-OH-sa, not levio-SAH.
Courtesy of Warner Bros
Harry Potter Trivia
Did your Halloween plans fizzle like a failed Patronus spell? Grab the nearest portkey, zoom over to Valley Bar, and celebrate All Hallows Eve with Harry Potter Trivia. Think of the evening as an Ordinary Wizarding Level examination: Study hard, and you will be rewarded with concert tickets and gift cards. Fail to do so, and the consequences could be ... severe (if you consider embarrassment a punishment). There will be discounts offered on cans of craft beer if you need a Calming Draught to ease your nerves.

Signup starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. The free event starts at 8 at 130 North Central Avenue. For more information, visit the Valley Bar website. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Explore works by artist Elizabeth Alexander at Scottsdale Community College. - ELIZABETH ALEXANDER/COURTESY OF SCC
Explore works by artist Elizabeth Alexander at Scottsdale Community College.
Elizabeth Alexander/Courtesy of SCC
Elizabeth Alexander
Thanksgiving is about a month away, but students at Scottsdale Community College are already giving thanks for Elizabeth Alexander. The late artist studied at SCC and left the college a sizable donation that funds up to 30 art scholarships per semester.

Alexander took art classes at the college after retiring to the Valley in the early 1990s. That’s when faculty member Robert You noticed her gift for charcoal drawings that revealed a scientific approach to exploring organic and geometric forms.

See a free retrospective exhibition of Alexander’s work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, inside the SCC Art Building, 9000 East Chaparral Road. Visit the Scottsdale Community College website for details. Lynn Trimble