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Judy Hedding

11 Free Things To Do In and Around Phoenix - May 2012

By April 30, 2012

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This week you can eat pulled pork, hear a grasswacker, water your yard, watch a panda, get to a museum, hear fiddles, create urban art, ask questions, hear about down syndrome, make salad and learn to exercise at home.

This column includes activities and programs in the Greater Phoenix area that have free admission. If you are looking for fundraisers, seminars, workshops, and other community programs that have an admission charge, or where donations are expected, I have a separate column for those. I call them "Phoenix Area Programs, Fundraisers & Events" and you can find those listings in my blog. They tend to cover a wider range of dates than a week, because advance registration is often required. For a long list of programs and festivals that are annual events in Greater Phoenix check the calendar.

What: Annual Customer Appreciation Day & Book Drive
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Joe's Real BBQ, 301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert
Stop by during the stated hours and you'll receive a free meal which includes choice of a pulled pork or chicken breast sandwich, fresh homemade coleslaw, BBQ Pit Beans, and a drink. There will be children's sized sandwiches available for the little ones. One meal per person. Must be present to receive free meal. No take out. No other menu items will be offered that day. At the same time Joe's is hosting a book drive. If you can, please bring new or gently used books that adult readers would enjoy. The books will be donated to Loving Through Literacy, a Gilbert nonprofit dedicated to getting books and reading instruction to areas of the world where there is no access to either. Book donation is not required to receive free meal.

What: Foothills Coffeehouse
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Foothills Library, 19055 N 57th Avenue, Glendale
Acoustic music performed by local musicians on the first Wednesday of every month. This week, The Grasswackers perform traditional bluegrass and old-time music.

What: Landscape Watering/Water Scheduling and Controller Programming
When: Thursday, May 3, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Avondale City Hall, 11465 W. Civic Center Drive
If you're mystified about landscape watering, you're not alone. Hands-On instruction for creating a schedule to meet your plants watering needs. Watering efficiently is the easiest way to reduce your water bill. Pre-registration is requested to reserve your seat. Call (623) 333-4422.

What: Movie Night at the Ballpark
When: Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Goodyear Ballpark
"Kung Fu Panda 2" (rated PG). Admission and parking are free. Concessions available.

What: Bank of America presents Museums on Us
When: Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, 2012
Where: Phoenix Art Museum, Musical Instrument Museum, Children's Museum of Phoenix
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get a free admission to the three museums mentioned. Photo ID and a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card must be presented. One free general admission limited to cardholder at participating institution, excluding fundraising events, special exhibitions and ticketed shows. Not to be combined with other offers.

What: Chandler Symphony Orchestra: Fiddle Finale
When: Sunday, May 6, 2012 at p.m.
Where: Chandler Center for the Arts in Downtown Chandler
Chandler Symphony Orchestra will present a free concert with Fiddle Artist, Peter Rolland performing the season's grand finale program. All seating is first come, first served.

What: Vision Kidz Workshop: Graffiti Art vs. Urban Art
When: Saturday, May 12, 2012. Two sessions, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Where: Vision Gallery, 10 E. Chicago Street, Chandler
Come learn the difference between Graffiti Art and Urban Art as artist J. Pierce guides students in creating with bright, happy colors in a respectful and positive way. Registration required, 480-782-2695.

What: Ask-a-Lawyer
When: Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market, Brown and 1st street, Scottsdale
The public may ask questions of experienced, volunteer attorneys from the Maricopa County Bar Association. This event is a public service in celebration of Law Day, which occurs annually on May 1. First come, first served.

What: Recent Advances in Medical Treatment of Down Syndrome
When: Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Children's Hospital Main Campus, Rosenberg Children's Medical Plaza - Melvin Cohen Conference Center, 1920 East Cambridge Avenue, Phoenix
Families and caretakers are invited to a detailed workshop to learn recent advances in medical treatment for children with Down syndrome. Seminar topics include: A Parent's Perspective, New AAP Guidelines for Care, Developmental Pediatrics/Dual Diagnosis, Rehabilitation Milestones, Transitioning to Adult Care, Visits to the Emergency Room, ENT/Allergy, and Comprehensive Heart Care. The seminar is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Enter the Phoenix Children's Hospital campus off 20th Street and Cambridge, 2 blocks south of Thomas Road. Free parking is available in the visitor parking garage. To register, email jmaraston@phoenixchildrens.com

What: Healthy Cooking - Salads
When: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: SCAN Connections Resource Center, 1313 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix
A healthy cooking demonstration and sampling. In honor of National Salad Month, the May demonstration will feature salads SCAN Health Plan Arizona invites seniors to take part in one or all of its nutrition-related presentations. This program covers portion control, a healthy cooking demonstration and sampling. Space is limited, reservations are required. Call 602-778-3420.

What: Wellness Way of Living
When: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (rescheduled from May 23)
Where: SCAN Connections Resource Center, 1313 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix
A one-hour workshop on physical activity. The discussion will include the health benefits of physical activity, including disease prevention and control, improved brain function and balance. Participants will also learn recommended amounts of physical activity, easy ways to add physical activity to daily routines, tips for staying motivated, exercises for seniors that can be done in the living room. Space is limited, reservations are required. Call 602-778-3420.

More Freebies

If you've arrived at this page and find that the event dates have past, check my recent blog entries for more Free Things -- I write about free things to do in Greater Phoenix several times per month. Also, check that same blog list for another column on upcoming fundraisers, walks, runs, seminars, workshops and programs that might interest you.

If you know about a free event that's open to the public that you'd like me to consider for this weekly column, complete and submit this form at least 8 days prior to the event and I'll consider it.

All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.


April 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm
(1) scott ziegler says:

you wrote about Karsten golf (Ping). Have you heard about their gift to every injured military person to be discharged who have a 3 day fitting and golf lessons to received a free set of custom clubs & bag? It’s not publicized but passed around through military email circles. Can you verify it, please? Thanks.

April 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(2) Judy Hedding says:

Hi Scott,

PING has a rebate program for military. You can see the details here:

They have, in the past, worked with the Wounded Warrior Program, which is, what I believe, what your question is about:
I don’t see that PING is currently listed there as a sponsor, but you could certainly contact them and ask. Here is the contact information for that group:

As an aside for anyone reading this, Scott’s question is not related to this blog even though he commented here. If anyone wants to contact me, here is the preferred method:

May 5, 2012 at 7:29 am
(3) Ernest says:

Hi there,

I love how you have presented the list of 11 free things to do in Phoenix. It’s nice that you have also given the venues and the dates for various events. Thanks to your blog I have actually identified a couple of things that I would love to do this May. So keep up the good work and continue to keep your readers informed.


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