Six Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

We’re really tired of people reminding us that Christmas will be here before we know it (nine weeks and five days, to be exact). But it’s a fair point that with the holiday season coming, now might be a good time to save money where you can. Fortunately, you can still have a lot of fun without spending very much.

This week, you can catch a screening of a comedy classic in Scottsdale, see some art at Phoenix College, get your eco-tarot read in Tempe, and more.

Young Frankenstein

It’s crazy to think about the fact that writer and director Mel Brooks made two of the funniest films of all time — Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein — in the same year (1974). You’ll get a chance to attend a free screening of the latter on Monday, October 18, at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, as part of the library’s Dare to Be Scared film series. Gene Wilder plays the grandson of the famous Dr. Frankenstein, who returns to his ancestral home and, with the help of a buxom assistant and a hunchbacked lackey, attempts to bring a creature to life. Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, and Cloris Leachman co-star. The film starts at 2 p.m. Jennifer Goldberg

click to enlarge A little sneak peek at what to expect in Dain Q Gore's exhibition. - DAIN Q GORE

A little sneak peek at what to expect in Dain Q Gore’s exhibition.

Dain Q Gore

‘Thou Shalt/Not’

Phoenix-based artist Dain Quentin Gore set about creating a personal mythology to explore the middle ground between concepts of religious control and secular freedom, which he’s transformed into a fascinating exhibition of puppet-like wall paintings. See what you think during the free opening reception at Eric Fischl Gallery, which is located on the second floor of the fine arts building at Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas Road. It’s happening from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 18. While you’re there, check out the “Violets” exhibit by Natalie Strait, who trains a queer, semi-autobiographical lens on modern feminine existence within the contexts of the pandemic and social media. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Get back to nature with an easy two-hour hike. - MCDOWELL SONORAN PRESERVE

Get back to nature with an easy two-hour hike.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Take a Hike

We’re entering prime hiking season now that sweltering summer days are behind us. If you’re looking for a relatively easy jaunt, try joining the hike happening from 8 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 19, at the Fraesfield Trailhead at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It’ll be guided by natural resources coordinator John Loleit, who knows plenty about the area’s natural wonders. To participate in the free event, head to 13400 East Rio Verde Drive, Scottsdale. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time, and make sure you’re prepared with sturdy shoes, sunscreen, sufficient water, and such. Fair warning: Dogs aren’t allowed. Also, a pro tip: Rattlesnakes are active this time of year, so avoid veering off the trails. Don’t let it scare you off, but make sure you’re being mindful whenever you’re in desert environments. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out Adriene Jenik's ECOtarot cards. - ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Checking out Adriene Jenik’s ECOtarot cards.

Arizona State University

Tarot Readings

Artist and ASU professor Adriene Jenik created a custom deck of tarot cards that helps people explore the current climate crisis. She’ll be doing free readings with her ECOtarot deck from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 20. It’s happening at Ross-Blakley Hall 196, 1102 South McAllister Avenue, on ASU’s Tempe campus, and you should RSVP before attending. Jenik updated archetypes and interpretations from traditional tarot cards for her own deck, created by printing original artwork onto handmade, plant-based paper and painting with natural pigments. She’s conducted readings across the United States, and countries including Canada, Chile, Finland, and Iceland. It’s a creative twist on a contemporary challenge, and the readings are a fun way to explore your own thoughts and feelings about human impacts on the planet. Lynn Trimble

Halloween Anime Fest

Anime fans who didn’t get their fill at last month’s Saboten Con can head for Collectors Marketplace, 1945 East Indian School Road, for this afternoon-long extravaganza on Saturday, October 23. A cosplay contest will be staged and offer prizes while a stage will host live performances and events. Various local geek creatives will also display and sell their works along an artist alley. Collectors Marketplace will also offer various sales throughout the event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s free to attend. Benjamin Leatherman

Anthem Autumn Fest

Crafters rejoice, because Anthem Autumn Fest, 41703 North Gavilan Peak Parkway, is a love letter to everything handmade. Admission is free, and here’s a pleasant surprise — so are hayrides. You can roam around the grounds while listening to live music. Adults can relax in the beer garden with their favorite brew, and kids can decorate a pumpkin, watch the roaming magician who pulls quarters out of his ear, or get a treat from the balloon artist who makes animal art out of colored balloons. The festival begins on Thursday, October 21, and ends on Saturday, October 24. The hours are 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 3 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Wristbands are for rides only and cost $25. Rudri Patel

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