This Week in Scottsdale, 26 September to 2 October

Help Wanted! It takes a fair amount of time to compile this weekly list. We could use some help. If you are willing to work for glory and food (and the occasional age-appropriate beverage), please let us know! Also, please email your event info as early as possible, including Date, Time, Description, Location, Website Link, and Email/Phone Contact Info. Thanks!


There’s always something happening in Scottsdale! However, the end of September marks a change in the weather with leave-the-windows-open cooler nights and the return of more pleasant daytime temps, as well. It also marks a resurgence of “the season” of activity in Scottsdale, with both outdoor and indoor events.

Here are a few Scottsdale activities events (and occasionally an event from a neighboring city). This list focuses on inexpensive (or FREE) events and activities, and those that offer unique experiences and good value. If you are interested in participating, please check information links or call to confirm, as dates/times are subject to change:


Monday 26 September

Tuesday 27 September

Wednesday 28 September

  • 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Horn player John Ericson from the ASU School of Music presents a complimentary performance of musical interludes on the French horn, Wagner tuba, and other alto-range brass instruments. FREE admission, The Musical Instrument Museum, 480-478-6000.
  • 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Brown Bag Lunch with a Tortoise! Bring a bag lunch and eat with the tortoises! Meet our new, adorable BABY tortoises, and watch them eat their lunches, as we eat ours. Learn all about these slow-moving native reptiles, such as where you can find them in the park, how you can apply to adopt one, and why you should never pick up a wild tortoise. Meet out back of the Visitor Center under our picnic ramadas. McDowell Mountain Regional Park, 16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr. Fountain Hills, AZ  85268. Ranger Amy Ford (480) 471-0173 x201.
  • 2 p.m. Behind the Scenes Tour at Pueblo Grande. Join Holly Young, curator of collections, for a “behind the scenes” tour of the museum. Typically less than 5 percent of a museums’ collection is on display in the public galleries. Learn about the artifacts that are not on display at the museum and to see how museums care for the collections. Free with general admission, which is $6, $5 for seniors age 55 and older, $3 for children ages 6-17, and free for children age 5 and younger. Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, 4619 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ, 85034. 602-495-0901.
  • 4 p.m. Get Over It. Through 5 October. Kids 9-12 work with Dana Sherman, the school program director at Scottsdale Prevention Institute, to help overcome anxiety and fear, solve problems, and build trust, empathy and coping skills through the use of rock climbing as a metaphor for challenges in life. A different topic is covered each week. Registration required. AZ On the Rocks, 16447 N. 91st St., Suite 105 Scottsdale, AZ, 85260. 480-502-9777.
  • 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.See In The Dark!– Night Vision Program. Ever wanted to see in the dark like a bobcat? Thanks to the Park’s new night vision goggles, now you can! We’ll take a walk to Nursery Tank Pond and try out this cool new technology for ourselves. Bring water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. This is a flat hike, less than ½ a mile in length. All ages welcome, but must be able to walk quietly and act respectfully in a group. Park entry fee $6 per vehicle. Meet at the Nursery Tank Trailhead. McDowell Mountain Regional Park, 16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr., Fountain Hills, AZ  85268. Ranger Amy Ford (480) 471-0173 x201

Thursday 29 September

  • 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. through October 5, Scottsdale Classic Futurity & Quarter Horse Show/Southwestern NRHA Affiliate Finals at WestWorld. $2,000 in cash and prizes as well as parties, activities and a silent auction benefiting charities, free, , 480-860-1544.
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free SMOCA Thursdays, Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s five-gallery minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) includes a public “skyspace” by the acclaimed artist James Turrell (one of only a handful in the world), where visitors can experience the ever-changing light of the desert sky. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, (480) 874-4666.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Official naming of the future “Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center.” Public welcome, complimentary lunch for all, at WestWorld.
  • 6 p.m. Free Flow Yoga every Thursday through October 27. 8-week series of FREE classes for everyone, including those new to yoga. On the WET Deck near SWEAT Fitness Center for vinyasa flow and power yoga. Extended happy hour at Shade Lounge follows from 7 to 9 p.m. with such drink offerings as $3 beers, $5 well drinks and select wines, plus half-off food items. Bring your own mat. Presented by W Scottsdale and Lululemon Athletica AZ.
  • 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, Art Walk, Scottsdale Arts District, just west of Scottsdale Road along Main Street and on Marshall Way north of Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue.

Friday 30 September

  • Noon to midnight, 11th Annual Scottsdale International Film Festival, through October 4, Harkins Camelview 5 Luxury Cinema and Harkins Fashion Square. Outstanding international and domestic cinema with celebrity-attended parties, $10-160, 602-410-1074.
  • Coronado High School 50th Anniversary Homecoming Game/Weekend, through Sunday.  All former members of the marching band and the Donettes dance team are invited to participate in the homecoming game. See also Facebook page.
  • 6 – 10 p.m. Moonlight Masquerade, Spend a masked evening under starry skies at Moonlight Masquerade, a celebration of David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit. Dress the part and wear bug or butterfly themed masks to this enchanting evening. Enjoy entertainment, cocktails and cuisine in the masked evening under the starry skies at the Desert Botanical Garden. General Admission: $60 Members: $55, (480) 481-8188.

Saturday 1 October

  • 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.Walk, Run & Roll Family Fun Day, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. This featured activity of MSC’s 20th anniversary includes a 5K course along trails in the DC Ranch community. Families can walk, run, or bike ride while MSC volunteer stewards provide information and support a desert scavenger hunt along the way. Interactive desert games and activities include: Desert Trivia game with prizes, a Mesquite painting station, a desert origami station, interactive wildlife display, face painting, and wildland safety rides with the Scottsdale Fire Department. Styles your Spokes bike decorating begins at 10:00 a.m. Market Street at DC Ranch, 20645 N. Pima Road (at Thompson Peak Parkway). Donations of $20 per family to the Conservancy are encouraged. For more information and to register, please contact Molly at (480) 998-7971 extension 102,
  • 4pm – 8pm, McDonald’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Classic Car Show – Every Saturday night for over 20 years! Classic cars and motorcycles in a free open air event complete with 50’s era music provided by “Party Time DJ’s. An average night showcases anywhere from 250 to 500 cars and up to 150 motorcycles. FREE admission. The Pavilions at Talking Stick.
  • 5:30-11 p.m. Coronado High School 50th Anniversary Reunion for the “early years,” classes of 1962 through 1976. Tickets are $50 and include dinner and one cocktail. Deadline to register is Friday 1 October. Contact Nancy Gaphardt Vance, Class of 1971. See also Facebook page. Rustler’s Rooste, 8383 S. 48th St., Phoenix.
  • Coronado 50th anniversary/homecoming  reunion/celebration at Flicka’s on Scottsdale Road. It’s a fundraiser for the upcoming choir/orchestra trip to New York this spring, and should be fun, with Flicka’s providing food, lots of raffles, Coronado memorobilia, etc.
  • 7 – 9 p.m. Big Bugs Movie Nights. Have you dusted off those lawn chairs? We’ll be showing Antz.  Space is limited, reserve your spot now. Admission: Included with paid Garden admission or Membership (must show Member ID to be admitted). (480) 481-8188. Desert Botanical Garden.

Sunday 2 October

  • 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 8th Annual Tour de Scottsdale Bicycle Race. 70-mile ride benefiting the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, plus a 30-mile course for novice cyclists. Both courses include multiple elevation changes and wind through Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree and Fountain Hills. Spectacular views of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve underscore to riders that they are contributing to a great cause. Market Street at DC Ranch, 20645 N. Pima Road (at Thompson Peak Parkway). Register to compete.
  • 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fall Wine and Jazz Festival at el Pedregal. A live concert by R&B artist and winner of the Phoenix Music Awards, Mother’s Favorite Child. Free admission; food and wine tasting tickets are available for purchase. El Pedregal encompasses 80,000 square feet of space filled with fascinating boutiques, intriguing art galleries, and fun and casual dining. Over 15 shops surround an enticing courtyard and amphitheater. (480) 488-1072.
  • 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 6th Annual Dine Out with the Chefs. In its 6th year with 20 of the Valley’s premier chefs, live entertainment and other surprises. Guests mingle with the chefs and sample their culinary creations, from tantalizing soups, salads and appetizers to some of their signature dishes and most decadent desserts. Tickets: $60 (in advance), $70 (at the door). Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251, Box Office: (480) 994-ARTS (2787), ext. 2,
  • 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Tractor Pull Divas (American Rock) are this week’s act for Sundays LIVE at the Quarter (every Sunday in October). After leisurely Sunday shopping head over to *The Quad  and enjoy live music by local favorites. Scottsdale Quarter, The Quad is located near True Foods.

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