Tag Archives: Things to Do

Balancing Act, WEB

Catch ‘XTREME’ fun at the circus this week

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME
Have some XTREME fun with your family this week as the circus comes to Phoenix! The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey have pulled out all the stops for this exciting event, which celebrates all things extreme, extraodinary and exotic. The young―and young at heart―will love seeing The Greatest Show On Earth.
All ticketholders are invited to the All Access Pre-Show, which starts one hour prior to the show’s start time. You and your family can get up-close and personal with the circus animals, meet the performers, try on costumes, get autographs, and get a real behind-the-scenes circus experience!
US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, June 24-29, $10-$123.

Phoenix Independents Bowl
Join Psyko Steve and Local First Arizona for the 5th somewhat-annual Phoenix Independents Bowl! Grab three friends and register as a team of four to be in the running for first place. Each team bowls two games, the top four teams with the best-combined scores will go into the finals, and two final rounds will determine who wins first, second, and third place. This is bound to be a fun event, whether you’re a bowling pro or a beginner.
Let It Roll & Bowl Entertainment, 8925 N. 12th St., Phoenix, June 28, 12pm, $80 per team of four.

Vino and Canvas “Starry Starry Night” Painting Party
Join Vino and Canvas at Fat Willy’s Family Sports Grill in Mesa this Wednesday for a special painting party. During the two-hour class you’ll be guided through the process of replicating the famous van Gogh masterpiece “Starry Night” step-by-step. Artists of all skill levels, including complete beginners, are welcome for this fun night of drinking and painting.  Aprons, paint, canvases and all art supplies are provided by Vino and Canvas and are included in the class fee. Enjoy happy hour pricing on food and drink at Fat Willy’s before the event! Use the code “NEWLOCATION15” when buying your ticket to save $20.
Fat Willy’s Family Sports Grill, 2250 S. Buttercup Rd., Mesa, June 24, 5pm-7pm, $25 with promo code.

Up on the Woof at Lustre Rooftop Garden
Man’s best friend is welcome at a free pet-friendly event at Lustre Rooftop Garden at the top of the Hotel Palomar Phoenix. This Thursday, and every Thursday this summer, bring your pooch for an evening of dog treats, chew toys and playtime with other dogs, plus happy hour food and drink specials for you. Dogs of all sizes, weights and breeds are welcome at the pet-friendly hotel. This is part of Lustre’s 100 Days of Summer, which features a special event every day of the week all summer long.
Lustre Rooftop Garden at Hotel Palomar, 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 5pm-8pm, no cover.

Jessica Who at Talking Stick Resort
Catch DJ Jessica Who at RELEASE at Talking Stick Resort this Saturday for a pool party. Who has been on the scene for 10 years and has worked with everyone from Katy Perry to Queen Latifah. She’ll be mixing from 11am to 6pm, with no cover charge before noon. After 12pm, men pay $10 and ladies get in free. You can rent a cabana for $300-$450 or a daybed for $200, and be sure to wear your best swim attire to this fun pool party event!
Release at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, 11am-6pm, $10 for men after 12pm.

How father of nine feels about Father's Day

Things to do for Father’s Day weekend

Raise a toast to dad at the Westin Kierland
The Westin Kierland Resort is offering a double-header of weekend events celebrating dad. First, check out “Drams for Dads,” a special scotch-tasting event in the resort’s Scotch Library. Try four Glenmorangie whiskies while learning about the differences between the labels, the whiskey regions of Scotland and different ways to drink scotch. Dads who bring an old tie can trade it for a special gift bag with a customized scotch glass, cigar and cigar cutter. Then, head back to the resort for a Father’s Day beer brunch at Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Cafe on Sunday, where you and dad can snack on beer-infused dishes and dad can enjoy a complimentary 22 oz. Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA.
The Westin Kierland Resort, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale. Drams for Dads: June 19, 6 p.m., $60. Father’s Day Beer Brunch: June 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $37 for adults, $12 for children ages 5-12

Half Moon Comedy Night
Get ready for a laugh-filled night at the Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill! Las Vegas comedian Brandt Tobler, who has traveled the country making people laugh, will be headlining a night of comedy. Tobler is the founder of the Backyard Comedy Show, which is an independent comedy show that allows comedians to perform in Vegas without censorship. Local comedians Andy Steinberg and Erin Otko will be opening for Tobler. Guests have the option of purchasing an all-inclusive ticket, which includes entry into the show, access to an appetizer buffet and two drink tickets.
Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill, 2121 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix, June 20, 8 to 10:30 p.m., $18-$60

Scottsdale Beer Palooza
More than 30 breweries will be represented at Scottsdale Beer Palooza, a one-day beer festival at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Escape the heat at this indoor event and sample great local and national craft brews, including refreshing summer seasonal beers. Visit the Beer Store to pick up your favorites from the event. Entry into the event includes a custom 4-ounce beer mug and 20 tastings from participating breweries; VIP tickets get in an hour early for VIP hour, which includes exclusive access to beers not available at the regular event.
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, June 20, 1 to 6 p.m. (VIP ticket holders get in at noon), $10-$50

Family drumming workshop at MIM
The Musical Instrument Museum is all about providing a hands-on musical experience for its guests, and its inviting families to do just that in a special Father’s Day family drumming workshop. Guests of all ages are invited to learn the basics of African, Latin and pop music hand drumming under the instruction of expert drummer and instructor Frank Thompson. At the end of the session, participants can join in a jam session and put their newly learned drumming skills to work. Guests are welcome to bring their own drum or use the drums provided by the museum.
Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, June 21, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., $12

CAKE at the Marquee Theatre
Check out alternative rock band CAKE this week at the Marquee Theatre on their latest tour. The band, which formed in 1991 as a more muted response to the era’s grunge rock, is led by frontman John McCrea. The band’s fun, catchy music with a message has led to platinum albums and chart-topping hits. See them perform some of their greatest hits, like “The Distance” and “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” and catch some of their newer work from “Showroom of Compassion,” their 2011 release, and their upcoming album.
Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, June 21, 8 p.m., $40-$50

mcclelland irish stonemason

‘Into the Woods,’ Aerosmith and more to do this weekend

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Indie rock group Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is playing the Crescent Ballroom this Tuesday as part of their 10th Anniversary Tour. The band has self-released, marketed, and distributed all four of their albums, including 2014’s Only Run. In addition to a tour, the band has reissued its self-titled first album, which will include a set of 12 solo acoustic performances by lead singer and songwriter Alec Ounsworth. Indie pop band Teen Men will open the show.
The Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, June 9, 8:00pm, $15-$18, 21 and over.

“Into the Woods
If you liked the Oscar-nominated film, you can’t miss the Broadway musical it was based on. Catch the Valley Youth Theatre’s performance of Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical “Into The Woods” starting this week at the Herberger Theater. The musical cleverly blends together some of your favorite fairytale characters into one interconnected story. Follow a childless baker and his wife, Cinderella, Jack, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and more as they pursue their desires and learn along the way to be careful what they wish for. Opt for a dinner package and enjoy a meal at one of downtown Phoenix’s great restaurants before the show. $5 from each dinner package sold goes to benefit the theater’s Arts Education and Outreach Programs for youth.
The Herberger Theater, 222 E. Monroe, Phoenix, June 12-28, $20-$39.

Aerosmith at Gila River Arena
Legendary rock band Aerosmith kicks off their Blue Army Tour this week at Gila River Arena. Led by iconic and eccentric frontman Steven Tyler, Aerosmith will play their top hits, as well as some lesser-known favorites. This will be the band’s first time back in the valley in 6 years; they last played in Phoenix with ZZ Top on the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Tour. The band is on tour supporting their latest album, Music From Another Dimension!
Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland, Glendale, June 13, 8:00pm, $35-$150.

Bloomin’ Beerfest at the Irish Cultural Center
The Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation presents the 9th annual Bloomin’ Beerfest this Saturday in celebration of Bloomsday. The day commemorates the events that take place on June 16th, 1904 in James Joyce’s epic novel “Ulysses,” in which the main character, Leopold Bloom, visits many of Dublin’s pubs and meets a fascinating group of characters. Events include Irish music by Seanachie, SHEELA-na-Gig and the Irish Cultural Center Academy Band, plus live readings of Ulysses and free entry into McClelland Library. There will be food and a full bar, which will include beers from Arizona and Ireland. The $25 entry fee includes 16 token tickets, which can be exchanged for beer or food. Teetotalers pay only $10 and get 2 tickets for free soda or bottled water.
The Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, June 13, 7:00-11:00pm, $10-25.

Burgers and Beer: Father’s Day Cooking Class
Get ready for Father’s Day by enjoying dad’s old standard: burgers and beer. Enjoy a cold one while Chef James Monaci teaches you how to make gourmet burgers from scratch at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace. Bring dad along for an early celebration or learn how to cook him a delicious meal for Father’s Day. While you’re there, check out the marketplace, which is full of healthy ingredients you can use to make great burgers and more at home.
Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, 1590 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, June 14, 6:30-8:30pm, $39.99.

Short ribs and mashed potatoes at Paul Martin's American Grill. Photo by Shavon Rose

Bono, restaurant week and more to do this week

Arizona Restaurant Week
Experience Arizona’s finest restaurants with special prix-fixe 3-course meals at over 100 restaurants statewide. The event, which spans 10 days, celebrates local restaurants and world-renowned chefs by giving diners the opportunity to try the state’s best restaurants at a special price. Diners’ options range from exotic Ethiopian and Brazilian food to modern American and classic Italian dining. The participating restaurants will continue to serve their normal menus, but the prix-fixe menus are specially selected to give diners an opportunity to try the restaurant’s best offerings at a fixed rate. Reservations are recommended, as the event’s popularity means that the participating restaurants are busy during Arizona Restaurant Week. Many restaurants offer vegetarian and gluten-free options for their prix-fixe menus.

Various locations, through May 25, $33-$44 plus tax and tip.

Celtic Woman 10th Anniversary Tour
Irish musical group Celtic Woman comes to ASU Gammage auditorium this week on its 10th Anniversary Celebration Tour. The all-female Irish group’s current lineup features four women—three vocalists and a violinist—backed by a full band, a choir, bagpipers, and Irish dancers. The group will perform traditional Irish songs as well as more modern pop hits. The group will release their celebratory 10th anniversary album, Solo, on June 1st. This is sure to be an entertaining evening full of music and culture.

ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave, Tempe, May 19, 7:00pm, $40-$100.

U2 at U.S. Airways Center
Irish rock band U2 returns to the Valley this week for the first time since 2009 to play two shows on the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour. The tour supports the band’s 13th studio album, Songs of Innocence, which was released in conjunction with Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement last year as a free download to over 500 million iTunes users. This is the band’s first indoor arena tour in over a decade, providing an intimate setting for the shows. The tour, which kicked off last week in Vancouver, will visit 20 cities worldwide and play two shows in each location. Want to share your experience on social media? Use #U2ieTOUR

U.S. Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, May 22-23, $34.75-$279.75.

Flashlight Tours at Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden kicks off its annual summer Garden Flashlight Tours this week. The event gives visitors the chance to explore the desert landscapes at night in a sensory environment using sight, touch, and sound. On a self-paced walk through the gardens, visitors will encounter discovery stations that give a hands-on approach to the desert. Some stations let visitors touch desert-dwelling animals like snakes, lizards, and even a desert tortoise, while others spotlight common desert plants. This is a great experience for people of all ages, and children are welcome. Starting this week, flashlight tours take place every Thursday and Saturday from 7:00-9:00pm. Bring a flashlight from home or buy one in the gift shop

Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, May 23-September 5, free with garden admission ($22 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under) or garden membership.

Carnival of Illusion
Carnival of Illusion is a vaudeville-inspired traveling show that incorporates magic, mystery, comedy and a theme of travel to create an unforgettable evening. The show’s setting is an intimate boutique theater in the glamorous Arizona Biltmore Resort, a Frank-Lloyd Wright inspired hotel that provides a historic setting for the show. The theater is dressed up as a vaudeville parlour, and the show is “Around the World in 80 Minutes.”  Carnival of Illusion has prepaid the Biltmore’s valet fee for its guests. This is a clean show for adults; at matinee shows, children ages 8 and up are welcome, while evening shows are open to ages 13 and up. If you can’t make it to this week’s shows, catch the Carnival at the Mesa Arts Center on June 6th.

Arizona Biltmore Resort, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, May 23, 5:30 and 9:00pm, $45-60.


Run, rock and roll this weekend

Every weekend brings a new lineup of rocking events around the Valley, and does this weekend rock. Lace up for an Arbor Day 5K, catch some live music and BBQ or prep some questions for a Q-and-A with Anderson Cooper in Phoenix.

Arbor Day Run
The Arbor Day 5K is in its fifth year. Proceeds from the run go to Trees for Tempe. The event allows runners, residents, and businesses to get involved with making the city greener. The route winds around Kiwanis Park. Runners will be timed via chip. Day of activities start at 4:30 pm with the run starting around 6 p.m. Kids can run for free in the Kids Dash.
Kiwanis Park, 5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, April 24, $20 in advance, $25 day of event

Anderson Cooper
CNN personality Anderson Cooper will be at the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. This Delivery Democracy Lecture will discuss the meaning of the word democracy. The lecture is a yearly event that brings in a guest speaker. Cooper is a social justice advocate. This Emmy-winning media icon will present his ideas on participatory democracy. The event is free, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket in advance.
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, April 25, Free

Grooves, Hooves, BBQ and Blues
This second annual event mixes scenic views and BBQ for the all day event. The BBQ includes Western BBQ and a pig roast. There will also be a chicken wing-eating contest with cash prizes for the top four finishers.  If food contests aren’t your strong suit, there will also be a corn hole tournament with cash prizes for the first and second place teams. Essence Groove Factory will provide live music alongside Lady Jai. The event runs from 11 am until 3 pm.
Rustler’s Rooste, 8383 S. 48th St., Phoenix, April 26, $25

MIM celebrates five years
Since 2010, the Musical Instrument Museum has provided engaging experiences for the community. The MIM opened as the first and largest global musical instrument museum. The community is invited to come and celebrate their five-year milestone. Events will feature performances by some of the museums favorites. While you’re there, be sure to check out their current featured exhibition Beyond the Beat: Drums of the World.
Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, April 25-26, $20

Rock n’ Roll by the Pool
Talking Stick Resort will be hosting their summer Pool concert series. This week’s star lineups include Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers in addition to ZZ Top. Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers is a band from Tempe that have been rocking across the country since the ’90’s. They will be at the resort’s pool Friday night. ZZ Top will take the stage Sunday night. Formed in 1969, this classic American rock band is still at it today. Both take the stage at 8 p.m.
Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, April 26, $30+

Get your mind blown at ZapCon, an arcade game convention in Mesa. 123RF.com, iofoto

Nerd out at ZapCon, take in rugby + more to do this week

Rugby Bowl
The 2nd annual Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale Beauty and the Beast Rugby Bowl comes to Scottsdale Stadium this weekend.  This all day event features three different rugby games including the Arizona high school championship, Grand Canyon vs. USC, and Arizona State vs. Ohio State. In addition to Rugby, fans can challenge the world arm wrestling champion, Travis Bagent, to a match. The beauty aspect is brought by the Phoenix Fashion Week’s “Warning Track” fashion show in between the college matchups. There are a variety of ticketing options that fans can choose from such as bleachers and on field seating.
Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Rd., Scottsdale, April 18, $10+ in advance, $15+ day of

Cultivate Festival
The Chipotle Cultivate Festival provides free fun and entertainment in this all day event. This year’s music lineup features Twenty One Pilots, Bleachers, MS MR, Magic Man, Jared and the Mill, and DJ Christopher Golub. In addition to the all day music, there will be chef demonstrations where they will be creating new Chipotle dishes specifically for the event. Attendees can also check out the additional food, beer, and wine selections in Artisan’s Hall.
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, April 18, Free

Arizona vs. Arizona State Lacrosse
For those who enjoy the Sun Devil and Wildcat rivalry, here’s your chance to express it. Arizona State and Arizona finish out their seasons with a conference game at ASU’s West Campus. These two MCLA teams will duke it out for seats in the upcoming conference tournament. As for history between the two teams, Arizona State has defeated Arizona each year since 2008.
ASU West Campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale, April 18, Free

Channel your inner gamer and head out to ZapCon at Mesa Convention Center. This two-day event gives gamers of all ages the chance to experience a variety of video games. As a bonus, all arcade games are set to play for free. In addition to the video games, gamers will also have the chance to participate in tournaments and talks. The convention will also show films and vendors.
Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St., Mesa, April 18-19, $25

Spend the day giving back to the community in HandsOn Greater Phoenix’s Serve-a-Thon. Last year more than 1200 volunteers worked to complete 20 projects around the Valley to help those in need. The projects included painting homes, cleaning up highways, helping in community gardens, and more. HandsOn Greater Phoenix assists with grassroots community organizations throughout the Valley. Those who are interested in volunteering with the Serve-a-Thon are encouraged to visit their website for this year’s projects: handsonphoenix.org
HandsOn Greater Phoenix, 5151 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, April 18, Free

Chase Field

Back to the ballpark + more to do this weekend

Scottsdale Culinary Festival
The 37th annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival takes place this week at various locations throughout Scottsdale. The event is home to over 20 events, 100 restaurants, dozens of chefs, and thousands of guests. This six-day extravaganza has events such as the Burger Battle, Great Arizona Picnic, Southwest Festival of Beers, and more. Scottsdale League for the Arts hosts the event and donates all money raised at the event to arts organizations in Arizona. For a complete list of events and locations, visit scottsdalefest.org.
Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Various Locations, Scottsdale, April 7-12, $40+

Back to the Ballpark
Spring Training is officially over, but that means the regular season is officially upon us. The Diamondbacks open their season with back-to-back home series against the San Francisco Giants early in the week and Los Angeles Dodgers in the later part of the week. Head out to the ballpark to catch the start of the 2015 season or sample the abundance of new dishes that the park has to offer, such as the Churro Dog. The week is also filled with a limited number of giveaways and special nights, such as Hello Kitty baseball bobble heads and Dad and Daughter Day at the Ballpark.
Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, April 6-8; April 10-12, $19+

“Sleeping Beauty”
Magic, mischief, and true love’s kiss. What more could you ask for in a performance? Ballet Arizona performs the classic story of “Sleeping Beauty” in the Dorrance Theatre. The studio company will preform the abridged version of the fairytale complete with all the curses.
Ballet Arizona 2835 E. Washington St., Phoenix, April 11-12, $25

Laura’s Run
Runners, take your mark and get set in the Annual Laura’s Run. The event features a 5K, 1.5K walk, kids dash, and a doggie trot. There will be age bracket awards for the top finishers. Aside from running, there will also be live music, a silent auction, dog treats, refreshments, and a raffle. This annual event benefits patients currently undergoing lung transplantation at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale, April 11, $35

Paddle Fest
Head out to Lake Pleasant’s Fireman’s Cove for the all day Paddle Fest. Starting early, participants can enter into the fishing derby. If you don’t own a paddleboat, there will be booths set up to try out canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and rafts. Other events include photography from a paddleboat and various scavenger hunts. Vendors will be on hand all day for festival attendees to check out all the different watercrafts. There will also be live music throughout the afternoon.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd., Morristown, April 11, $6 per vehicle

Jazz Girl

This week: Jazz at the Nash, Bike ‘Prom,’ First Friday

Jazz at The Nash

Jazz Appreciation month kicks off April 1 and the Nash has a number of events scheduled throughout the month. The first in this series of events is “Exploring the Jazz Masters of the Tenor Saxophone.” Taught by ASU jazz instructor Dr. Jeffrey Libman, this class is aimed toward those who want to learn more about jazz. The event will include guided discussion as well as listening to recordings of jazz. Instruments are not required.

The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, April 1, $25

The Maine

Local band The Maine will be taking of the Marquee Theatre on Friday. The band has entered the alternative music scene with a force since they began in 2007. Their debut EP, “The Way We Talk”, reached the number six spot on the iTunes Top 100 Alternative Chart. Their new album, American Candy, was just released this week. Friday’s show is the start of their tour for their new album before they head off around the country for the summer. The tour also feature Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and the Technicolors.

Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, April 3, $20

Movies in the Park

Bring a blanket or chair and spread out on the lawn at Biltmore Fashion Park to catch a movie. This week’s movie is Eat, Pray Love. The park shows movies outside in the springtime with weather permitting. Movies are shown in their original format. The screening starts at 7:30. If you can’t make this week’s screening, the movies go through the end of April on every Friday showing a variety of classic films.

Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, April 3, Free

First Friday

This monthly self guided tour showcases the businesses that inhabit Roosevelt Row and the surrounding area. Art galleries are open for visitors to check out. If it’s your first time to First Friday, Artlink Phoenix hosts a First Friday Trolley Tour, which takes participants around Roosevelt Row as well as Grand Avenue. There is also live music, food trucks, and vendors posted along Roosevelt Row.

Roosevelt Row, Downtown Phoenix, April 3, Free

Bike “Prom”

Valley Bike Month kicks off with Phoenix Spokes People Bike Prom. If your high school prom wasn’t the best or you just want an excuse to get dressed up, this event is for you. Participants will meet at Civic Space Park at 6p.m. before biking over to the Phoenix Ale Brewery. There will be snacks and desserts in addition to alcohol to purchase. There will be a prom king and queen as well as awards for best dressed and best dancers.

Phoenix Ale Brewery, 3002 E. Washington St., Phoenix, April 4, $15 solo/ $20 couple

Portugal. The Man

Concerts and festivals you need to catch this weekend

McDowell Mountain Music Festival
Arizona’s only nonprofit music festival returns this weekend. Performers for this year’s show include Passion Pit, Portugal. The Man, Thievery Corporation, Widespread Panic and more. The profits from the show go on to benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers. In addition to diverse music on the main and local stages, the three-day festival will offer food and beverage via food trucks. Festival attendees also have the option of upgrading to VIP experiences as well as purchasing camping spaces. Tickets for the event can be purchased by visiting mmmf.com.
Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix, March 27-29, $60+

Phoenix Bike Festival
The 2015 Phoenix Bike Fest will take over Westgate for three days. Event attendees will have the chance to try out a variety of bikes from Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. The event will also hold performances by Dead or Alive and TNT. There will also be MMA fights. More than 50 bike related vendors will be on hand for the event.  This event welcomes spectators and bike enthusiasts alike.
Westgate Entertainment District, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., March 26-28, Free

Phoenix Film Festival
Arizona’s largest film returns for it’s 15th year. The festival screens over 150 films on 7 screens in the theatre. The event initially began as an opportunity for independent films to be showcased. Categories include Horror, Sci-Fi, Shorts, and more. The festival will also host events and seminars for filmmakers of any level. Fans will have the chance to participate in Q&A sessions with producers, talent, and directors as well. Movie attendees have the option to purchase single tickets or bulk packages.
Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, March 26- April 2, $13+

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? The classic Shakespearean tragedy comes to the Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix. Presented by the Arizona Theatre Company, this story of betrayal features the famous feud of the Capulets and Montagues. Director Kirsten Brandt and designer David Lee Cuthbert offer a fresh taste on an old favorite.
Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, March 26-April 12, $36+

Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts
Almost 400 artists will take over Mill Avenue to showcase their work in 16 different mediums. The spring festival attracts close to 225,000 visitors to the three-day event. The committee for the event awards cash prizes to the overall top artist as well as the top artist in each category. Sunshine Art Magazine ranks the festival in their Top 200 art festivals. The event will feature live entertainment, street performers. The Tempe Festival of Arts gives a portion of the proceeds to local Tempe charities that assist with the event.
Mill Avenue District, 281 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, March 27-29, Free

HotAirBalloon, WEB

Five things to do before summer in Arizona

While Phoenix natives enjoy beautiful weather in the fall and winter, it’s tough for anyone to stand outside for more than a couple minutes during the hot summer months. So, here are five outdoor activities to do with family and friends before triple-digit temperatures hit the Valley.

Lost Dutchman Trail

Lost Dutchman Trail


Arizona is home to some of the most spectacular hikes in the country.  From Camelback Mountain to the Superstitions, there is no shortage of gorgeous trails that are close to home for many.  If you haven’t checked out these hikes yet, then there’s still time.

●    Hieroglyphic Trail –  Gold Canyon, AZ 85118
●    The Lost Dutchman State Park
●    First Water Trailhead – Srv Road 78, Arizona 85219

Have a picnic at Tempe Town Lake

Close to Mill Avenue and Arizona State University, Tempe Town Lake is a great place to jog, walk your dog, play Frisbee or enjoy a good old-fashioned picnic.  Set up camp right up next to the bank on a beautiful Friday afternoon after a long week.

Spring Training

One of the best times of the year is getting the chance to watch one of the 15 Cactus League teams playing at the 10 spring training venues around the Valley. Even if you are not a huge fan of baseball, Chicago Cubs’ Sloan Park is worth checking out.  Plus, Mesa Riverview shopping mall and recreational area is nearby.

HorseRidingGo horseback riding

Horse lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike can enjoy beautiful guided rides at the Ponderosa Livery Stable at South Mountain Park.  There are more than 50 miles of trails through 18,000 acres of the beautiful Sonoran Desert.  There is nowhere else you can get the same taste of the western life and the “Cowboy Way” while enjoying beautiful scenery with family and friends.

Hot air ballooning

Want an unforgettable bird’s eye view of the desert?  Let Hot Air Expeditions take you up in the clouds, while a guide points out the McDowell, White Tank and Mazatzal mountains, Lake Pleasant, Weavers Needle and downtown Phoenix.  The San Francisco Peaks may also been seen on a clear day.  Hot Air Expeditions also offers a post-flight gourmet meal after every hot air balloon excursion.

"Napoli." Photo credit: Alexander Iziliaev

5 things to do this weekend: Feb. 9-16, 2015

1. “Napoli” premieres in US

Ballet Arizona will be the first American ballet company to present “Napoli.” This performance tells the love story of the poor fisherman Gennaro and his beloved Teresina. Teresina is swept away in a great storm. Sea nymphs rescue her, but Gennaro is nowhere to be found. Their love must overcome obstacles in a dark vs. light story. This classic Danish ballet is perfect for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, February 12-15, $45+

2. Cooking at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, come to the Scottsdale Civic Center Library to learn how to cook a meal just for the special day of romance. Chef Jon-Paul Hutchins, Lead instructor of the LeCordon Bleau College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, leads the cooking demonstration. He will teach a variety of dishes that you can cook at home for that special someone. The cooking lesson begins at 6:30.

Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, February 11, Free

3. VNSA Book Sale

The 59thAnnual Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association (VNSA) Book Sale happens this weekend.  The annual book sale benefits VNSA charities. All books are marked at discounted prices. The book sale offers books for all tastes―children’s, biography, textbooks, classics, and many more. On Sunday, all books, except for rare and unusual books, are half off. Admission to the event is free, but the fairgrounds charge parking. Shoppers should bring their own bags or small wheel around carts as VNSA is going green and will not have bags.

Exhibit Hall at Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, February 14-15, Free

Phoenix Comicon Brings In Over 23,000 Attendees, Photo: Jonathan, LightningOctopus.com

Photo: Jonathan, LightningOctopus.com

4. Amazing Arizona ComicCon

Over 150 exhibitors are expected to be present at this year’s Amazing Arizona ComicCon. Friday will feature special Friday the 13thprogramming. There will be a costume contest on Saturday. The event will also feature special guests such as Kevin Eastman, the creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and artists from “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, February 13-15, $25-$35, $60 for a weekend pass

5. Coyotes, Sharks, and Rangers, oh my!

The Arizona Coyotes will face off against the San Jose Sharks and the New York Rangers this weekend. The Sharks were last here in January and managed to take a 3-2 win over the Coyotes. As for the Rangers, the Coyotes’ have yet to face off against the New York team. The puck drops at 7 p.m.  both nights at the arena.

Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, February 13-14, $35+


Nataliia Kelsheva

Nataliia Kelsheva

BONUS: Do you still need to find a place to take that special someone to dinner this weekend? Check out our two-part series on Valentine’s Day Deals in Arizona.

Part 1

Part 2

123RF.com; Mark Spowart; London Ontario, Canada - April 14, 2012. John (Jet) Williams (32) goes up for slam dunk during the warm up. The Harlem Globetrotters brought their show and defeated the International Elite to win the "World Championship" at the John Labatt Centre in London

Things to do this week: Feb. 2 to 9

Here are some things to do around Arizona this weekend, including Harlem Globetrotters performances, a Firehouse cookoff and a citywide scavenger hunt.

Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters are known for traveling the country to showcase their spectacular basketball talents while performing a comedic act. The troupe is back in the Valley this weekend with shows at both U.S. Airways and Gila River Arena.  Head to downtown or out to Glendale to witness their showcase of shots, humor, and fun. The team will appear at both venues at 2p.m. on their respectful days with an additional appearance at 7p.m. at U.S. Airways on February 7.
US Airways, 201 E. Jefferson St., February 7, Phoenix, $18-$135
Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., February 8, Glendale, $21-$123

Blockbuster Broadway
Composer Stephen Schwartz will join conductor John Clanton and the Phoenix Symphony for a night of performances of Broadway pieces. Schwartz is the mind behind shows such as Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell. Schwartz is also known for his collaboration for songs in movies such as Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This rare treat is sure to leave you in awe.
Orpheum Theatre, 203 W, Adams St., February 6-7, Phoenix, $29-$89

Alumni Game with ASU Baseball
Before the season starts, Arizona State University’s baseball team holds an alumni game to kick off the season. This is the first season the team will be playing in their new venue, Phoenix Muni. The alumni game is at 11 a.m. with an intrasquad scrimmage at 1:30 p.m. New head coach Tracy Smith will be available for a Q&A session at 1 p.m. Players will be signing autographs following the intrasquad scrimmage on the concourse.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 E. Van Buren St., Feb. 7, Phoenix, Free admission and parking

CityScape Scavenger Hunt
The CityScape scavenger hunt comes to Scottsdale Saturday. Instead of spending your Saturday afternoon sitting around the house, get up and head to Scottsdale to put your brain to the test to solve clues. This urban adventure is similar to the Amazing Race. Teams of up to six people are only allowed to travel via foot or public transportation. The winning team receives a cash prize. Check in begins at 11 a.m. and racers take off at noon.
Bottled Blonde, 7340 E. Indian Plaza, Feb. 7, Scottsdale, $50 per person pre-registration, $70 day of

Gatekeepers Six-Alarm Firehouse Cookoff Showdown
Firehouse cooks and chefs alike will work together in a cook off to raise money for the 100 Club of Arizona. Each firefighter is paired with chefs from restaurants such as Culinary Dropout at Scottsdale Waterfront and The Henry. This tasty fundraiser showcases sizzling dishes. There will also be a silent auction with items such as dinner at a firehouse, tastings, and many more options.
Allstate Appliance Showroom, 15250 N. Hayden Rd., Feb. 7, Scottsdale, $45


Things to do this week: Jan. 26 to Feb. 2

Last chance to ice-skate

Arizona’s only outdoor ice-skating rink comes down after Super Bowl weekend. The 5,442-square-foot rink has been in place on Central Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets since late November. CitySkate offers a variety of special events throughout the rink, including theme days on Tuesdays. This week’s theme is Football Jerseys. In addition, the rink hosts Adult Skate this Saturday from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

CitySkate at CityScape, 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix, through February 2, $12

Super Bowl takes over downtown

Even if you do not have tickets to the big game on Sunday, there are still a number of events happening downtown that lead up to the big game. Starting Wednesday, Super Bowl Central will hold over thirty events. One of the largest attractions includes an 18-foot high rock-climbing wall that is a replica of the Grand Canyon. There is a concert series downtown every night beginning Wednesday that features bands such as Walk the Moon and The Roots.

Verizon Super Bowl Central, 5th Street to 1st Avenue and Jefferson to Monroe, January 28-February 1, Phoenix, free 

Super Music Series at Westgate

In addition to the Super Bowl activities in Downtown Phoenix, there are concerts all week long at Westgate. The Super Music Series is a five-day concert event that features bands from rock, pop, country, and other genres of music. Headlining bands include Los Lobos, The Chainsmokers, Eli Young Band, and Naked Eyes. The concert is hosted on the WaterDance Plaza at Westgate.

Westgate, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale, January 28-February 1, free

Valor and Victors 5K

The NFL Valor and Victors 5K is part of the Super Bowl Run Series. The proceeds from the race benefit the Pat Tillman Foundation and the NFL Alumni Association. The top three overall finishers for men and women will receive awards as well as the top three from multiple age categories. Packet pick-up begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. After the race, there will be a post-race “tailgate” that all runners are welcome to take part in.

Arizona Canal Trail, 5th avenue & Goldwater Road, Scottsdale, January 31, $50 before January 28 or $60 after and same day

Glendale Chocolate Affaire

If you have a sweet tooth, this event is definitely for you. Over forty chocolate makers will be present in downtown Glendale for an ultimate sugar rush. There will be a variety of choices including chocolate dipped fruit, Twinkies, nuts, and more. This two-day event even has a Super Street area and Team Zones in honor of Super Bowl weekend. The Chocolate Affaire is open Friday noon-10p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-10p.m.

Murphy Park, 7010 N. 58th Ave., Glendale, January 30-31, free admission and parking

123RF.com, Nomadsoul1

Epic Maker Instrument Challenge, more to do this week

11/21: Global Dance Festival
The global dance festival has spread to several cities after originating in Colorado in 1999. The EDM, electronic, and dubstep music dance fest will feature musicians from all over the world, coming together to provide music for the outdoor dance party.
Tempe Beach Park, 54 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, Friday, Nov. 21, begins at 5 p.m., $45-$75

11/20: Birds ‘n’ Beer
This event actually occurs on the third Thursday of every month, and this Thursday is no exception. The series of events, hosted by Audubon Arizona, gathers those who love drinking beer and watching birds to drink Four Peaks and talk about birds and other wildlife.
Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, Thursday, Nov. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m., free

11/19-23: Walking with Dinosaurs
This exhibition brings the dinosaurs of the past to life. Well, it shows visitors what dinosaurs could have looked like. With life-size models walking the audience through the evolution of dinosaurs, the show Walking with Dinosaurs the Arena Spectacular is educational and must-see for dinosaur lovers.
US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Wednesday to Sunday, Nov. 19 to 23, various times, $32 to $72

11/22: The 1975
The indie rock band from England that has found success in the U.S. with songs “Chocolate” and “Sex” are making a tour stop in Phoenix. The 1975’s self-titled debut album found huge success on U.K. charts.
Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, Saturday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m., $30 to $170

11/22: Epic Maker Instrument Challenge
For anyone who likes music, art or a just a good challenge, the Epic Maker Instrument Challenge is the place to be. Competitors will spend their Saturdays with Oh My Ears music organization creating, improving or repurposing an instrument they will then present for judging.
TechShop Chandler, 249 E. Chicago St., Chandler, Saturday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (time to work 10 a.m. to  4 p.m., presentation of creation 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.), $12 for contestants, $5 for spectators

Tegan and Sara

In the Mix: Tegan and Sara, Say Anything, KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band @ The Salt River Ballroom at the Talking Stick Resort

Formed in the 1970s, KC and the Sunshine Band’s music has survived the test of time as their music is still played around the world. Harry Wayne Casey (KC) started the band by being backed up by studio musicians form TK records and a local band in Florida. Their second self-titled album debuted in 1975 and went triple platinum with “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way (I Like It)” topping the charts and appearing at No. 1. KC and the Sunshine Band’s electric funk, R&B, and disco music gained a large following and their popularity flourished into the 1990s in the revival of disco music. KC and the Sunshine Band released “I’ll Be There For You” in 2001, after a 10-year break. With 13 albums released over 40 years, KC and the Sunshine Band’s music has been featured in 200 motion picture film soundtracks and heard at every major sporting event around the world. They have sold over a 100 million records and their legacy continues. Get down with KC and the Sunshine Band at the Talking Stick Resort to relive the disco days.

Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Sunday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m., $30-$150, Buy tickets here


Say Anything/Saves the Day @ The Marquee

Say Anything is an American rock band from Los Angeles, that was formed in 2000 by the direction of Max Bemis recruiting four of his close friends. They caught the attention of Doghouse Records after they self-released two EPs, “Junior Varsity” and “In Your Dreams”, and their first album “Baseball: An Album by Say Anything.” “…Is A Real Boy” was their only album released under Dog House Records, but received positive reviews from the music industry. They signed with J Records and completed their first headlining tour in 2006, with Piebald and mewithoutYou. Say Anything introduced “Hebrews,” released on January, 10, 2014, that was the first album self-produced by Bemis and lead to a headlining tour with Saves the Day. Don’t miss the theatrical night as Say Anything and Saves the Day perform together at The Marquee.

The Marquee, 730 N. Mill Ave., Sunday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m., $29, Buy tickets here


Tegan and Sara @ The Marquee

Identical twins, Teagan and Sara Quin, are a mainstream duo who are mostly recognized for their song “Closer” released in 2012. Teagan and Sara are singers, songwriters, and can play the guitar and keyboard. They started in the halls of their high school recording two demo albums and got the chance to record a professional demo after winning a local competition. The duo signed to Neil Young’s Vapor label and recorded numerous albums in their Canadian indie genre. Tegan and Sara have been touring with Katy Perry on her Prismatic World Tour, but are heading to Arizona this Monday for an intimate performance at The Marquee.

The Marquee, 730 N. Mill Ave., Monday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., $48.50, Buy tickets here

Photo by Brandon Cox

Linkin Park, Steve-O, a taco fest + more to do

9/10: Linkin Park and Thirty Seconds to Mars

The Carnivores Tour is stopping by US Airways Center with Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI for a show that’ll take many a Phoenician back to the height of emo and male eyeliner. The tour is meant to support Linkin Park’s sixth album and Thirty Seconds to Mars’ fourth album, with a dynamic Davey Havok-fronted AFI opening for the two bands. The crowd should be pretty rabid, given the hometown cred Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington’s current residential status.

US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Wednesday, Sept. 10, doors open 5:30 p.m., show starts 6:30 p.m., $95 to $332


9/11-14: Steve-O

Taking a break from his usual stunts and pranks, Steve-O of “Jackass” fame is coming back through Phoenix for some stand-up. Clean, sober and vegan since 2008, Steve-O’s jokes and stories about his life vary widely from the stunt-loving skateboarder that most people are familiar with.

Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Dr., Tempe, Thursday 8 p.m., Friday 7:30 and 10 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., 18 & older, two-drink minimum, $22  


9/12: 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

In honor of 9/11, a remembrance ceremony will be held the day after the 13th anniversary of the tragedy. Events will include an opening ceremony by State Veterans of Foreign Wars, an illuminated walk, folding of the flag and Honors Guard Taps. First responders and veterans will be honored during the event as well.

San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek, Friday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., $6 per vehicle park entrance fee


9/13: El Palacio’s Rockin’ Taco Street Fest

The third annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest is taking over Chandler with margaritas, tacos, a salsa competition, live entertainment and more. With chances to win a vacation get away in a raffle, play beach games, and more family fun, the street fest is a good time for the whole family and all your taste buds.

El Palacio Restaurant & Cantina of Chandler, 2950 E. Germann Rd., Chandler, Saturday, Sept. 13, 4-10 p.m., $5 general, 12 & under free, food and drink sold separately


9/12-19: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

This Tony-winning improv sketch that was turned into a musical gives a glimpse into the competitive and overachieving world of spelling bees. With some audience participation, this show is bound to captivate audiences with its witty portrayal of over-achieving competitive spellers.

Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, Sept. 12 to19, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m., $20

Tony Bennett, photo from NewYorkNatives.com

Arizona Open, Tony Bennett + more things to do

8/21-8/23: 2014 Arizona Open
Pull up those argyle socks, Tide-wash your white britches on an extra hot water setting and get ready for some serious golf! Did you know the second-oldest professional tournament in the state is the Arizona Open? The 54-hole stroke play event offers prize money for professionals and gift certificates to amateurs.
Troon Country Club, 10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale, Thursday to Saturday, August 21 to 23, times and prices vary

8/22-24: FANtasm (CopperCon 34)
The Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society is full of sci-fi and fantasy fans who have been promoting their shared interests in an annual convention called CopperCon for 33 years. This year, CopperCon 34 gets a new name — FANtasm — but will be filled with all the usual fantastical booths, programming and like-minded folks.
Hilton Garden Inn, 11460 W. Hilton Way, Avondale., Friday to Sunday, August 22 to 24, Friday: 5 p.m.-midnight; Saturday: 10 a.m.-midnight;Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $30 to $45


8/23: Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett’s voice — as an entertainer as well as an activist — has touched many during his six-decades-spanning tenure in the biz. The 88-year-old’s daughter, Antonia, will open this show with a collection of jazz and pop standards. The concert includes a pre-show dinner option for $35 at 6:30 p.m. in the Nesbitt-Elliott Playhouse Stage.
Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, Ariz., Saturday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m., $60 to $155

8/23: Sedona Bike & Brew
Red rocks, green grass and fresh mountain air. It sounds like a sweet setting for a bike ride to us! Fortunately, it’s time to gear up for the inaugural mountain bike race along 18 holes of the Sedona Golf Resort. This event is six-miles long with race categories that include, pro and the less competitive “sport” designations. There are also tiers in which children of different ages may compete. Even if you don’t want to feel the wind whip around your helmet hair, you can join the post-race party with food, beer and a silent auction to benefit the Verde Valley Cycling Coalition.
Sedona Golf Resort, 35 Ridge Trail Drive, Sedona, Saturday, Aug. 23, times vary, $75 to $150


Mile High Brew Fest + things to do this week

Mercury welcome Brittney Griner8/16: Phoenix Mercury vs. Los Angeles Sparks
The Phoenix Mercury have had a hell of a season. It celebrated the second-longest winning streak (16 games) in WNBA history and will go head-to-head with the team that still holds the record (18 games in 2001) in their last home game before the WNBA playoffs begin on Aug. 21.
US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Saturday, August 16, 7 p.m., $12


8/16: Southern Arizona Salsa & Tequila Challenge
Live mariachi music, salsa dancing and 40 different red, green, hot, mild or fruity salsas at your fingertips. There will also be a tequila-based mixed drinks and menu pairing competition featuring 50 established and emerging chefs beneath at least 20 pinatas designed by Viva Piñata! Visit the festival website for a full list of participants, including salsa and tequila challengers as well as participating tequila makers.
La Encantada Shopping Center, 2905 E. Skyline Dr., Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m., $45-$55

8/16: Mile High Brew Festival
More than 65 craft beers (and a handful of local wineries) brewed in the Southwest at your mercy. You get to take home a Brewfest Tasting Glass. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Central Arizona. Visit the event website for a full list of participants.
Montezuma Street, Prescott, Ariz., milehighbrewfest.com, Saturday, Aug. 16, 1 to 7 p.m., $20 (additional tasting tickets are 10 for $10)

8/17: John Legend
The All of Me Tour is hitting Phoenix with a warm snuggly feeling as velvety and buttery as John Legend’s voice. The nine-time Grammy Award winning songwriter has been all over the airwaves with his No. 1 single “All of Me,” which we can only imagine sounds just that much better live — and with thousands of other people singing along. And, as if Legend’s music was swoon-worthy enough for the guys and gals out there, he’s also an outspoken feminist married to supermodel Chrissy Teigen. He was once quoted on CNN.com as saying “All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world would be a better place.”
Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, livenation.com, Sunday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m., prices vary

8/19: WWE Smackdown
Just because it’s all fake, heavily choreographed and greased up fighting by men who are wearing less clothes than their female counterparts doesn’t mean it won’t be a good time! The story is melodramatic, the actors are buff beyond belief and the fans are equally entertaining. Welcome to the world of the WWE Smackdown.
US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Tuesday, August 19, 4:45 p.m., usairwayscenter.com/events/detail/wwe-smackdown, $25 to $100

Justin Timberlake

Timberlake and McCartney in one week + more things to do

It’s gonna be a hot week — and we’re not just talking about global warming’s effects on our sweltering desert. Two of our biggest musical heartthrobs are in town this week: Justin Timberlake and Paul McCartney. Plus, there will be some serious grape stomping and theatrical Tombstone shenanigans to get in on!

8/9: Justin Timberlake
Whether you loved him when he had those tight, frosted curls or are more partial to his current dapper style, the ever versatile performer Justin Timberlake is landing in the Phoenix Metro this weekend. Everyone who can fit into Jobing.com Arena will be there for the “20/20 Experience” of Mr. Timberlake. Hello, the awards and nominations he’s received has its own Wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Justin_Timberlake
Jobing.com Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, Saturday, August 9, 8 p.m., $65 to $205

8/9: Rage in the Cage
Mixed-martial arts (MMA) has always had a special place in Phoenix — and worlds collide when the second-longest running MMA Promotion in the world, Rage in the Cage, hits Celebrity Theatre. Two guys enter, only one exits (as a winner). Plus: Rage babes.
Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, Saturday, August 9, 7:30 p.m., $30 to $93

8/10-11: 8th annual Grape Stomp
We think Lucille Ball tells this story better than us (see above video). Stomp to your toes’ content at Coronado Vineyards, taste some wine stomped by others before you and take home a $15 wine glass.
Coronado Vineyards, 2909 E. Country Club Dr., Willcox, Sunday and Monday, August 10 and 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $15

8/12: Paul McCartney’s “Out There” Tour
Let good ol’ P-Mac do what he does best — be it as a Beatle, a Wing or his solo work. He’s one of the most loved and celebrated musicians “Out There.” He even plays some mean air guitar! (see below)
US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Tuesday, August 12, $36 to $267

8/8-10: 66th annual Vigilante Days
The Wild West is always alive and well in Tombstone, Ariz. After all, it is “the town too tough to die.” However, this weekend will feature a few extra events — namely an 1800s fashion show, 10K, shoot-outs (maybe more than usual), hangings, a chili cook-off and saloon girls. Lots and lots of saloon girls.
Friday to Sunday, August 8 to 10, times vary, free
While you’re in southern Arizona:
Check out the Old Bisbee Brewing Company’s 4th annual Pirates of the High Desert event.

Things to do this weekend

The Valley is not resting this Independence Day weekend and neither should you! From a music festival, firework displays at the zoo and Tempe Town Lake, a movie festival and a beer pong tournament, there is no excuse for being bored this holiday weekend.

Independence Day Music Festival with Phillip Phillips
The American Idol will start off this long weekend right, headlining the fourth annual Independence Day Music Festival at Salt River fields.  Phillips won “American Idol” back in 2012 and has been busy ever since. He released a platinum debut, “The World From the Side of the Moon.” He first saw success with his inaugural five-times-platinum breakthrough of his “Idol” single, “Home” and his second single, “Gone, Gone, Gone,” also went platinum.  The opening acts are set to start performing at about 5:30 p.m. and the Independence Music Festival promises the “largest fireworks show in Metro Phoenix,” which is set to start after the show, at about 9:55 p.m.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road Scottsdale, ticketmaster.com, Thursday July 3. 5:30 p.m. $20 to $40

4th of Zoo-Ly
The Phoenix Zoo celebrates Independence Day with a special 4th of Zoo-Ly! There will be plenty of family fun and exclusive evening access to the zoo with fun activities for everyone. The event features a classic summer BBQ, carousel rides, face painting, bounce houses and special animal guests. The evening will close with a bang with a special view of the Tempe Town Lake Fireworks Spectacular at a “VIP” seating area in the back of the zoo.
Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, tickets here , Friday, July 4, 7 to 10 p.m., SOLD OUT

July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival
The Tempe Town Lake Festival, featuring Tempe’s 63rd annual fireworks display over Tempe Town Lake, is always a major hit on July fourth. The festival features many attractions, including live music, splash park,  a climbing wall, and numerous culinary delights.  People will line the lakeshore and kick back on the grassy “beach” for a fireworks show that cannot be beat in terms of location in the valley.  The fireworks are shot from the Mill Street Bridge and nearby buildings and bridges are strung with colorful lights reflecting in the water. Also, lit-up and decorated boats float on the lake to add more color.
Tempe Beach Park, 54 W. Rio Salado Parkway Tempe, http://www.tempe4th.com/ , Friday July 4. 5 p.m., $ 5 general admission, $30 children’s VIP garden tickets, and  $60 adult VIP garden tickets

Dawn to Dusk Film Festival
Escape the heat this weekend at the Phoenix Art Museum as it says goodbye to its Hollywood Costume exhibit with an all-day film festival! All-day screenings will highlight films from classic to contemporary. Enjoy an entire day of art, cinema, and surprises at the Museum and FilmBar. The schedule: “The Searchers” at 9 a.m., “The Birds” at 11:30 a.m. and “Taxi Driver” at 5 p.m. “Animal House” will also be shown at FilmBar, 815 N. Second St., Phoenix, at 2 and 7 p.m. as part of the festival.
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave Phoenix, tickets here, Sunday July 6, $20 and $10 for museum members.


Beer Pong Tournament
Fire House in Tempe will be racking up red cups in the classic pyramid formation, so perfect your arch for a beer pong tournament that comes with series prizes.  The second place prize is complimentary bottle service and the first place winners get a cash prize of $150 cash. Even if you do not sink that winning shot, you can still have beer as a consolation prize.
Firehouse Tempe, 4 East University Drive Tempe, Sunday July 6. 2 p.m.

Things to do this weekend

Are you looking to break away from your daily routine? From the Vans Warped Tour rocking the desert, learning about women’s issues through LUNAFEST, engaging in side-splitting laughter with a former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor Dennis Miller, experiencing the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in a new way to ending your weekend with a serenade by an “American Idol” winner, the rest of your week is bound to be anything but ordinary!

Icon for Hire, via Vans Warped Tour flickr.

Icon for Hire, via Vans Warped Tour flickr.

Vans Warped Tour
Lather on that sunscreen and stay hydrated, but most importantly unleash your inner punk rocker because the Vans Warped Tour is taking over the desert! Featured bands include Anthony Raneri, Anberlin, Bad Rabbits, Bayside, Born of Osiris, Bowling for Soup, Breathe Carolina, Chelsea Grin, Cute is What We Aim For and many more.
Quail Run Park, 4155 E. Virginia, Mesa. vanswarpedtour.com. Wednesday, June 18. 11 a.m. $23.50 to $45

Join the LUNAFEST film festival to raise awareness about women’s issues. The festival will illustrate women serving as leaders in society through nine short films. Each film will focus on topics ranging from women’s health, motherhood, body image, aging, cultural diversity and breaking barriers. All proceeds will help fund the Breast Cancer Fund and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
AE England Building at Civic Space Park. 424 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. http://lunafest.org/phoenix. Friday, June 20, Reception: 6 p.m., Festival Opening Remarks, 7 p.m. General Admission: $20; Filmmakers: $15; Students: $8

Dennis Miller

Dennis Miller

Dennis Miller
Former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor and Monday Night Football commentator, Dennis Miller known for his pop culture references and right-winged comedy is set to fill Talking Stick Resort with laughter. Miller is a five-time Emmy award winning comedian best known for his live talk show, Dennis Miller Live.
Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Salt River Reservation. talkingstickresort.com.  Saturday, June 21, 8 p.m. $30 to $150

Rocky Horror Picture Show with Shadow Cast
Get ready to experience the songs, dances and flashy costumes that make the Rocky Horror Picture Show unforgettable. Watch as the cult-classic comes to life through performances by Frankie’s Fishnets alongside the actual film. A costume is not required, but you may purchase a prop bag at the show or wear your own Rocky Horror Picture Show inspired attire.
Arizona Event Center, 1300 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa. arizonaeventcenter.com. Saturday, June 21, Doors open 9 p.m. $10 adv, $15 dos

Scotty McCreery
End your weekend with “American Idol” winner and country singer, Scotty McCreery! The “See You Tonight Singer” and “I Love You This Big” singer has three successful albums under his belt along with numerous hit singles. McCreery is the second country singer to win “American Idol” since past winner, Carrie Underwood in 2005.
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. 5040 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Gila River Reservation.  wingilariver.com. Sunday, June 22, 7:30 p.m. $38 to $58

Tim McGraw

Things to do this weekend

Don’t let these hot days get in the way of all the fun to be had all around the Valley this weekend. From concerts and comedy shows to the Phoenix Pet Expo, a peach festival and the fourth annual Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival, there’s something for everyone (A/C included). Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying these events with the hashtag #SL5 and follow us at @scottsdaleliving on Instagram!

Tim McGraw
Pull on those cowgirl boots and hold onto your stetsons! The Dancehall Doctor himself is swooping down on Phoenix for his “Sundown Heaven Town” Tour this weekend. His new album of the same name isn’t due for release until September, but he may just sneak in a few newbies for the diehard fans. If not, the well-awarded country artist can always play one of his many, many hit songs from albums past.
Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, Friday, May 16, 7 p.m., $40 to $308

George Lopez
Your kids may know George Lopez as Grouchy Smurf, but you probably know him as the raucous stand-up comedian or his work on TV shows “George Lopez” and “Lopez Tonight.” No seat in Celebrity Theatre will be immune to Lopez’s observational humor, but that’s half the fun!
Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, celebritytheatre.com, Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, 8 p.m., $51 to $96

“Life is Peachy” Peach Festival
Walk the orchards of Schnepf Farms and dig into all kinds of peachy events, from pie-eating and pit-throwing contests to honeybee rides, live entertainment and other free attractions.
Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, schnepffarms.com, Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

Phoenix Pet Expo
Want to know the best place to commission a painting of your prized pup? What about vet care, accessories and hundreds of other services and goods that could improve the life of your furry family member? More than 200 exhibitors are scheduled to attend the Phoenix Pet Expo, including discount vaccinations, microchipping, a pet costume and talent contest, agility demonstrations and a doxie derby. Plus, you can meet Shorty and Hercules from Animal Planet’s TV show “Pit Boss.”
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, phoenixpetexpo.com, Saturday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., free

Ameri-Can Canned Craft Beer Festival
SanTan Brewing Company has rallied more than 250 locally and nationally produced canned brews for its fourth annual Ameri-CAN Cannred Craft Beer Festival during American Craft Beer Week. Bring your liver and an appetite ready to take on the food vendors, beer Olympics, an interactive nano beer garden and loads of aluminum vessels filled with your soon-to-be-new-favorite brewski.
If you can’t make it out, you can watch the event live from the event’s website.
Scottsdale Civic Center, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, cannedcraftbeerfest.com, Saturday, May 17, 1 to 6 p.m., $35 adv, $35 dos, $100 VIP

Derby Dames, WEB

Things to do this weekend

Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf @ Scottsdale Plaza Resort and McCormick Ranch Golf Resort, May 1-2
Have a good meal, play a round of the ageless game and help support St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center all in one go. Starting Thursday this all-inclusive golf tournament starts off with a diner and a raffle and goes into the next day with a golf tournament that is sure to be a good time. In the past the tournament has raised nearly $5 million so help raise that number for a good cause.
Contact 602-406-3041

2nd Annual Arizona Improv Festival with Paul Brittain @ Outliars Comedy Club Mesa, May 2-3
Paul Brittain of Saturday Night Live fame is in town to give an improv show with a similar rhythm of the famous show. Brittain and Jet Eveleth will be working together on the stage to bring you hilarious scenes and characters that are sure to split your sides.
Admission is $24

Cinco De Mayo Phoenix Festival @ 2nd St. and Van Buren, Downtown Phoenix, May 3-4
Help celebrate Mexico’s victory over France with this two-day festival that the whole family and you are sure to enjoy. There will be music, food, and fun for the whole family that will make your celebration a great time! The performers are Grammy award winning national acts so make sure you don’t miss out on this event.
Admission: $5 before 5 p.m. and $10 after 5 p.m.

Arizona Derby Dames Double Header @ The Hall of Dames, May 3 at 7 p.m.
Hear the thundering roll of skates in the arena this weekend as Brutal Beauties verse of against the Schoolyard Scrappers and then the Pink Ladies roll against the Black Dollyas. Watch a double header of the increasingly popular and hardcore game of Roller Derby this weekend. There will be food trucks at this event so be sure to bring an empty stomach as you watch these intense games.
Price is $7-$15

Relay for Life of Central Phoenix @ Camelback High School, May 3, 6 p.m.
Help the “Finish the Fight” once again this year by attending Relay for Life. There will be raffles, one of which is for two tickets donated by Southwest Airlines. There are 54 teams participating this year that have already raised $38,531.25 so come on down and help raise that number even higher.
Admission: $10 suggested donation


Things to do this weekend (April 25-27)

Time is flying by this month, because it’s already almost the weekend. Or at least close enough. This weekend enjoy some classic opera, a baseball game or maybe a good show. Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying these events with the hashtag #SL5 and follow @Scottsdaleliving on Instagram!

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little @ Theatre Artists Studio, April 11-27
Looking for a laugh, but also some drama? And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is just the play you’re looking for. Written by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Paul Zindel this play will surely entertain you as the all-star cast makes a great performance for all audiences.

Students 25 and younger $10 and General admission is $20.

Don Pasquale @ Arizona Opera, April 25
Come downtown and enjoy the classic Italian opera, Don Pasquale. You’ll laugh, be cultured and much more from this classic opera. It’s a tale of a man who’s disinherited from his family and who’s uncle is a silly fool trying to get married in his old age. It’s a classic tale everyone should see at least once, so why not now?

Tickets range from $27-$102.

Zombie Night @ Arizona Diamondbacks, April 25
The Diamondbacks may not be playing very well this season, but that’s no excuse to not come down for Zombie Night. Dress-up or watch others dress-up as the famous undead. The creative costumes of the fans will surely be spectacular as the Diamondbacks face off against the Phillies. And maybe, just this once, the Diamondbacks will win.

Tickets range from $30-$55 in the areas designated for the game. http://mlb.mlb.com/ari/ticketing/special_events.jsp?mlbkw=ma-s-7Z0k2604#zombie

April Pools Day @ Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center, April 27
Bring the kids and the whole family for an educational day by the pool. This whole event is geared towards preventing child drowning’s at the pool. Make sure your kids listen at this informative event that could save their lives. There will also be raffles and prizes to keep you there and plenty of safety demonstrations.


Arizona’s Ultimate Women’s Expo @ Phoenix Convention Center, April 26-27
This weekend indulge in everything YOU love. There will be inspirational keynote speakers, booths filled with holiday gift ideas and much more. Try out the best food, see the greatest fashion and cosmetics at the Phoenix Convention center. This event will sure to leave YOU happy and content.

$10 per person at Expo.