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Judy Hedding

9 Free Things To Do In and Around Phoenix - January 2013

By January 14, 2013

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This week you can decide to bleach or not, see a soul food movie, tap your toes, ride a bike, hear a singer, get artsy, tour an historic site, go to sleep, and chew on a movie.

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. 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 the long list of activities and festivals that are annual events in Greater Phoenix check the calendar.

What: The Science Behind the Sparkle: Dental Bleaching
When: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Foothills Library, 19055 N 57th Avenue, Glendale
You may be considering having your teeth bleached, but how effective is dental bleaching and how much is hype? Thomas McDaniel, D.M.D., of Midwestern University Dental Institute and College of Dental Medicine, will describe how bleaching agents work, which ones are effective and which are not and how to identify and alleviate adverse effects associated with the process.

What: Community Cinema
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Mesa Arts Center, Dobson Lecture Hall
The City of Mesa Office of Diversity, City of Mesa Human Relations Advisory Board, Mesa Arts Center, ITVS Community Cinema and Eight Arizona PBS present the screening of "Soul Food Junkies". Soul food lies at the heart of African American cultural identity. The black community's love affair with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some cases, deadly. "Soul Food Junkies" puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its significance and its consequences. Following the screening, there will be an audience discussion and presentation from Mesa Urban Garden. Sandra Dee's Catering will provide samples of traditional soul food dishes with a healthy twist. Activities will include recipe sharing and a raffle, and presentation about food labels.

What: Toe Tapping Thursday
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Glendale Main Library, Glendale
Sing, clap and dance in this movement and music program for ages 2-6, with a parent/caregiver. Available on a first-come, first-served basis.

What: Third Thursday's Bike Night
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Hayden Square Amphitheater, Mill Avenue District, Tempe
Join the Tempe Bicycle Action Group (T.B.A.G), TriSports, and CycleLights for one of multiple free group rides: an endurance ride, an easy group ride, or a night ride. Wrap your bike with lights and decorate it for the occasion. This month's free Third Thursday Concert features Arizona indie-rockers Race You There at the Hayden Square Amphitheater. RSVP to Ashley@downtowntempe.com to join a ride.

What: Sonoran Sunset Series
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Veterans Oasis Park, Chandler
Free outdoor musical entertainment for the entire family. This month the Courtney Castillo will perform.

What: Free Art Friday
When: Friday, January 18, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Edna Vihel Activity Center, 3340 S. Rural Road, Tempe
Preschoolers get artistic!

What: Grand Opening: Mesa Grande Cultural Park
When: Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to noon
Where: Mesa Grande Cultural Park, 1000 N. Date St., Mesa
Mesa Grande is an ancient archaeological treasure in the middle of Mesa and is one of the most important prehistoric Hohokam sites in Arizona. There is a Welcoming Center tells the story of the project to preserve the site displays ceramics, baskets and other Hohokam artifacts. The Welcoming Center will also assist archaeology students and Arizona Museum of Natural History staff with ongoing excavations. The grand opening will include a blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m., Salt River Traditional Dancers at 10 a.m., guided tours and traditional Hohokam games such as the atlatl and rabbit stick throws. The Mesa Grande Neighborhood Alliance will also provide a free pancake breakfast after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Mesa Grande Cultural Park will be open four days a week from October through mid-May. After the grand opening there will be an admission charge and tours will need to be scheduled in advance.

What: Insomnia Lecture
When: Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Mesa Main Library, 64 East 1st Street, Mesa
Dr. Eric Hampton, Primary care family physician and founder of Arizona Prohealth, will walk you through a 60-minute presentation focused on identifying and solving the causes of illness and disease, as well as managing and treating the symptoms.

What: Chew on This! Film: The Lorax
When: Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.
Where: Arizona Science Center, Phoenix
Indoors, on the giant screen. Arizona Science Center and Chipotle Mexican Grill have joined forces to explore and answer food and sustainability related questions during their Chew on This! film and lecture series. On Saturday Jan. 19, Chew on This! Seating is limited and registration is required to ensure availability. The Lorax is an animated adventure that follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

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.

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.

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