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Judy Hedding

19 Free Things To Do In and Around Phoenix - Oct 2013

By September 30, 2013

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This week you can find tiny doors, meet famous authors, walk into open mic, make a mummy jar candle, go to a special art walk, eat from your garden, honor Seamus, have grown up fun, hear music at the mall, see the new opera center, attend a pageant, see the cars, get involved, care for your plants, see a princess, watch Ralph, go to a museum, be a successful woman and get legal advice.

Free Things to Do in Phoenix

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: Keebler Tiny Doors
When: Now through October 9, 2013
Where: Encanto Park (2605 N 15th Ave.), Nuestro Park (1433 S Ninth St.) and Margaret Hance Park (1134 N Central Ave.), Phoenix
The Tiny Door Project (@TinyDoorProject) has created magical elf entrances for local families. Unlock your imagination when you find the Tiny Doors. Families are encouraged to leave letters on the elves' tiny doorsteps and post photos to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #TinyDoors spreading the word about the magical elves who've just moved in. It's all about believeing in the magic. There is no cost to view the exhibit and families are encouraged to explore each park to find the Tiny Door location on their own.

What: October 1 - 15 at The Poisoned Pen
When: Various dates, various times
Where: The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 N Goldwater #101, Scottsdale
Events are in an interview format, last about 1 hour and are free to attend. Books will be available for purchase. Some events are very popular, so you might want to get there 30-45 minutes early.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7 p.m. - Jefferson Bass signs Cut to the Bone
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7 p.m. - Michael Sears signs Mortal Bonds
Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 2 p.m. - Jennifer Chiaverini signs Spymistress
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. - Stuart Woods signs Doing Hard Time
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 7 p.m. - Nancy J. Cohen signs various books
Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7 p.m. - John Sandford signs Storm Front
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2 p.m. - David Wagner signs Cold Tuscan Stone
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 7 p.m. - Baron Birtcher signs Rain Dogs

What: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic
When: Wednesdays: October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Tempe Center for the Arts
Walk-in Wednesdays offers musicians an opportunity to perform original and cover songs in a friendly, attentive atmosphere void of noisy nightclub indifference. Singer, songwriter Walt Richardson serves as host of the popular Open Mic series. A special youth segment from 5 to 6 p.m. features an Open Mic for kids high school age and younger. All musicians are welcome.

What: Green Teen Crafts
When: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6 p.m.
Where: Peoria Public Library, Peoria The first Thursday of each month is dedicated to making crafts from recycled items. Crafts are subject to recycled item availability. This month: Mummy Jar Votives.

What: 39th Anniversary ArtWalk
When: Thursday, October 3, 2013 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Scottsdale Arts District
The kickoff to the cultural high season, at Scottsdale ArtWalk happening every Thursday night. Galleries get active with a night full of art openings, live music, food samplings and more. Look for the "ArtWalk the Line" decals on the sidewalk throughout the Scottsdale Arts District, extending along Main Street west of Scottsdale Road and on Marshall north of Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue.

What: Scottsdale Water Conservation Fall Landscape Workshop
When: Thursday, October 3, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Via Linda Senior Center, 10440 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale
Topic: Edible Gardening. Advanced registration is required either online or by phone to 480-312-5690.

What: Tribute to the late Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney
When: Friday, October 4, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: The McClelland Irish Library, 1106 North Central Avenue, Phoenix in Margaret Hance Park
Seamus Heaney passed away recently on August 30 and was widely recognized as one of the world's finest poets and the greatest Irish poet since the noted W.B. Yeats. Heaney was one of the four winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature from Ireland along with William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, and George Bernard Shaw. Open house and presentations in the Library at 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Music and art show in the Great Hall.

What: Adults' Night Out at the Arizona Science Center
When: Friday, October 4, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Arizona Science Center, Phoenix
The night will include "Fear the Beer" beer garden (not free) with fun, tasty and scary beers, DJ Dragon playing your favorite haunting and thriller hits and free general admission to all four floors of hands-on science. Biochemist and Physicist Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA will present "Forensic DNA; The Truth Behind the CSI TV" in the IMAX® Theater. Bring brain food for St. Mary's food drive for a chance to see Face-Off Season Three winner, Nicole Chilelli turn an innocent being into one of the walking dead. Explore the Center's exhibit galleries from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Ages 18+ only. Lecture presentation at 7 p.m. (free). (IMAX film, planetarium, special exhibitions are not free during this event.) RSVP online for quicker admission.

What: Live Music at Desert Ridge Marketplace
When: Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5, 2013 starting at 7 p.m.
Where: Desert Ridge Marketplace
On Friday, Southwest Surfers (Beach Boys Tribute Band) on the District Stage; Grady Soine' (Easy Listening Keyboard Player) at the AMC Fountain. On Saturday, Ratio (Funk, Soul, Jazz and R&B Band) on the District Stage; Dani Zubia (Continuing in the Zubia tradition Guitarist & Vocalist) at the AMC Fountain.

What: Arizona Opera Center Grand Opening
When: Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5, 2013
Where: Arizona Opera Center, 1636 N. central Ave., Phoenix
The Grand Opening Weekend will allow visitors to explore the Center, experience a variety of free performances and learn about the Arizona Opera's season which opens the following weekend with Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in Symphony Hall. On First Friday activities include: Ghouly Makeup Demonstration 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.; HMS Pinafore Rehearsals 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.; "Craigslistlieder" (21+ only) 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Arizona Opera Center Tours Every ˝ hour 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. On Saturday, The Secrets of Steinway at 11 a.m., tours from noon to 3 p.m., every hour on the hour; Phoenix Youth Symphony Performance at 12:30 p.m.; Arizona Opera Season Preview at 1:30 p.m.; Arizona School for the Arts Middle School Chorusat 2:30 p.m.; Season Preview Performance at 3:30 p.m. HMS Pinafore Preview at 6:30 p.m. Food trucks will be available each day for snack and beverage purchase.

What: Native American Children's Pageant
When: Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Metrocenter Mall, Phoenix (Lower level, Dillard's Court)
Join Metrocenter Mall and Native Health at the fourth annual Native American Children's Pageant (a Native American Recognition Days event). It is a multi-category pageant, where Native youth from around the community wear traditional dress and share a traditional activity as part of their pageant performances. Pageant participation is broken down into three age categories: birth to three years (non-comptitive), four to six years (competitive), and seven to ten years (competitive). All participants will be judged by Tribal Royalty.

What: Sanderson Ford All Ford Show
When: Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Sanderson Ford, 6400 N. 51 Ave., Glendale
Expect over 200 hundred cars entered and thousands of spectators. This fundraiser benefits four local charities: St. Mary's Food Bank; Military Assistance Mission AZ (which assists local military families in crisis); Ronald McDonald House AZ (which provides living arrangements to families who are seeking medical treatment for children); SARRC, Southern Autism Research and Resource Center (which assists families affected by autism). Trophies, prizes, and entertainment for the whole family. Free for spectators, exhibitors had to pay a fee to display vehicles.

What: Phoenix GAIN "Kick Off" Eve
When: Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Metrocenter Mall, Phoenix (Lower Level, Sears Court)
Gain stands for Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods. The Phoenix Police Department and Metrocenter Mall welcome the public to join more than 300 block watches and neighborhood groups as community officers offer planning tips, "goodie bags" and suggestions on how to host a successful "National Night Out" event in their neighborhood. The event is the biggest crime prevention event of the year and features Precinct Program Officers, Community Action Officers, Phoenix Police's Special Assignment Unit, and other City department and local businesses. Raffles, an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog, and the EZ Child Identification System offering fingerprinting of children and seniors.

What: Scottsdale Water Conservation Fall Landscape Workshop
When: Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Via Linda Senior Center, 10440 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale
Topic: Desert plant care. Advanced registration is required either online or by phone to 480-312-5690.

What: Movies in the Park
When: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Where: Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix
Showing "The Princess Bride". Bring blanket or lawn chairs. Food available to purchase.

What: ParkFest!
When: Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Country Meadows Park, 11098 W. Butler Drive, Peoria
Bring a blanket and/or chairs to watch Disney's "Wreck It Ralph" on a large screen. All activities are free, including interactive bouncy houses; sports; face painting; and food plus drink (while supplies last).

What: Bank of America presents Museums on Us
When: Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, 2013
Where: Phoenix Art Museum and Children's Museum of Phoenix
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get a free admission to the two 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: 2013 Women's Economic Forum
When: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Phoenix College, John Paul Theatre, 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix
A forum for women of all ages to learn about personal and professional growth and development. Panelists will offer presentations on career planning, personal safety, health and financial literacy. The panel discussion will be from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The discussion will begin with remarks from former Secretary of State of Arizona Betsey Bayless and will include presentations from Lt. Jacqui MacConnell, Phoenix Police Department; Dr. Sharon Thompson, Central Phoenix Obstetrics and Gynecology; Donna Brown, Brown Consultants; Paula Koroso, State Farm; and Rena Huber, director, APS Academy for the Advancement of Small, Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises. Seating is limited. For more information or reservations, call 602-534-1279 by Oct. 10.

What: Legal Clinic for U.S. Veterans
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 9 a.m.
Where: DAV Chapter 20, 8447 North 61st Avenue, Glendale
The clinics, sponsored by Arizona Disabled Veteran Foundation, will address several of the greatest current legal issues facing veterans. These include basic estate planning, social security, divorce or child custody and adoption. The free services are provided to all veterans and their spouses, regardless of whether they are disabled or not. Veterans who wish to take advantage of the free legal services are asked to schedule a time by contacting Norman Fulton, legal clinic manager, at 303-249-5827. Once a time is scheduled, the necessary forms will be provided to each veteran.

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.

Dollar bill photo credit: Getty

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