This week you can get a feel for the classes, figure out how to afford college, meet the police, watch Muppets, listen to a band, laugh, make a family tree, meet a tortoise and learn to tweet.
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: Free Fall Class Expo
When: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Tumbleweed Recreation Center, Chandler
A free expo open to the public for instructors to showcase the variety of recreation and exercise classes offered this fall. Attendees also are invited to participate in a free "Courtyard Yoga" class at 7 p.m., as the staff attempts to host the largest group exercise class since the facility opened in 2008. Light and healthy refreshments will be available, and first-time customers can sign up for a free one-week fitness pass. Mats will be provided for the courtyard yoga class.
What: How to Pay for College
When: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Learn how to pay for college with financial aid, scholarships, work-study and savings. Space is limited. To register or for more information, call 602-261-8847
What: National Night Out
When: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: See below
Meet and interact with Peoria Police Departments officers. Get an up-close look at SWAT robots, police motorcycles, and the bicycle unit. Learn ways to keep homes and family safe, and talk one-on-one with area police officers. This year's events will be held at three local Target stores: 9350 W. Northern Avenue; 8055 W. Bell Road; 24890 N. Lake Pleasant Parkway.
What: Movie Night at the Ballpark
When: Friday, August 10, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Goodyear Ballpark
Movie is "The Muppets" rated PG. Gates open one hour before movie time. Admission and parking are free. Concessions available.
What: Music at Uptown Alley
When: Saturday, August 11, 18, 25, 2012 at 9 p.m.
Where: Uptown Alley, Surprise A different band performs each of the mentioned Saturday nights. Admission and parking are free.
What: Dry Heat Comedy Night
When: Saturday, August 11 2012 at 8 p.m.
Where: Goodyear Community Park, 3151 N. Litchfield Rd, Goodyear Hear some of the funniest comedians in the Valley perform clean, adult humor. Bring lawn chairs/blankets as well as food and beverages of your choice, (no glass containers please) or purchase from our on-site food vendor. Admission and parking are free.
What: Free Art Workshops
When: Saturday, August 11, 2012 from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Tempe Center for the Arts
A walk-in workshop where participants work with an artist on an artistic endeavor. This week: Family Tree with Michelle Dock and Rolf Brown. Create a unique family tree and can learn about basic genealogical research methods and the use of web-based ancestry resources.
What: Tortoise Encounter
When: Saturday, August 11, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Veterans Oasis Park, Chandler
Stop by the new desert tortoise habitat at the Environmental Education Center for a free 'Tortoise Encounter' and the chance to meet and learn about the Center's new Sonoran Desert tortoises. If the tortoises are cooperative, guests will get a close look at them, watch them have breakfast and learn more about these amazing desert creatures Pre-registration is not required.
What: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn
When: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 2 p.m.
Where: Sunrise Mountain Library, 21109 N. 98th Ave., Peoria
Learn the basics of how to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Set up accounts with these services if you don't have one. Registration required as space is limited. Call 623-773-8650.
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.