This week you can meet Tomas, watch TED, be an artsy dude, go to the ballet, meet a new park, cook healthy, make something for fall and experiment with food.
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 -- usually the most popular, larger events -- in Greater Phoenix check the calendar.
What: Tomás and the Library Lady
When: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Mesa Arts Center
Childsplay is offering a free performance of its 2014-2015 National Tour, Tomás and the Library Lady. Tomás loves stories. Papa Grande tells them todas las noches but soon Tomás knows all of them by heart. One day while his family is in Iowa picking crops, Tomás meets the Library Lady and nothing is ever the same again. A celebration of reading, imagination and creativity. This free showing of Tomas and the Library Lady is sponsored by the CALA Arts Alliance. Reserve your free tickets here.
What: TEDCity 2.0
When: Friday, September 20, 2013 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Chandler City Council Chambers, 88 E. Chicago St.
The City of Chandler and Gangplank are hoping to spark ideas and conversation with a TEDCity 2.0 viewing party. TED is an international organization dedicated to sharing innovative ideas across the globe through its lecture series and online content. TED is hosting TEDCity2.0, a day-long event for urban innovators, organizers, stewards and builders, with live speakers, global conversations and activities. The event is being live-streamed from New York for free to various viewing locations around the world, where like-minded individuals can gather to envision the cities of our future and share big ideas about collaborative action and sustainable solutions. TEDCity 2.0 is divided into four separate sessions, and the public is invited to attend all or only one of them. The sessions include, Redefining Citizen, Reinventing Urban Experience, Reimagining the City and Redrawing Geographies. The program schedule is available online. The Chandler viewing party is open to the public, but registration is required, as attendance is limited to 100 people. You may register online.
What: Free Art Friday
When: Friday, September 20, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Edna Vihel Activity Center, 3340 S. Rural Road, Tempe
Preschoolers get artistic: Day at the Dude Ranch.
What: Ballet Under the Stars
When: Thursday, September 19 (Sun City West); Friday, September 20 (Goodyear) and Saturday, September 21 (Casa Grande), 2013 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ballet Arizona continues its annual season opening tradition with the 16th annual presentation of Ballet Under the Stars. Enjoy classical and contemporary ballet in a casual setting.
What: Pioneer Community Park Grand Opening
When: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9 a.m.
Where: Pioneer Community Park, along 83rd Avenue, south of Olive Avenue
The City of Peoria will hold a special ceremony to open the 83 acre park. Built at a cost of approximately $20 million, the new park will have six lighted dual-use baseball/softball fields with shaded spectator seating and four lighted soccer fields, all capable of accommodating tournament play. The park also has a five acre fishing lake with catch and keeps fishing. Though the lake will not be open for fishing until January, it is part of the Arizona Fish and Game Division's community fishing program. Other amenities include a large ramada area, dispersed small ramadas, two shaded children's playground areas, a shaded splash pad, concrete walking paths, a multi-cell dog park, and large turf areas for informal recreation, which are illuminated for evening use. There will be light refreshments and a dedication ceremony.
What: Whole Foods Healthy Cooking Demonstration
When: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Tempe Public Library
Chefs from Whole Foods Tempe will bring a healthy food item and demonstrate how to cook it in a tasty and nutritious way while discussing its health value. People can enjoy a sample of the food. No registration required. Call 480 350-5500 for more information.
What: Intersession Craft
When: Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 11 a.m. to noon
Where: Florence Community Library, 1000 S Willow St, Florence
Kids 8 to 12 years of age are invited to come and create a Fall themed make-and-take craft. All materials are provided. Seating is limited. Please call (520) 868-8311 to register.
What: STEM @ Your Library: Funky Food Experiments
When: Monday, October 28, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Foothills Library, Glendale
Ages 7-12 years old experiment with both edible and non-edible funky foods in this hands-on science workshop. Registration is required and is open now. Call 623-930-3837, stop by the youth reference desk, or go online to register.g
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.
Dollar bill photo credit: Getty