There’s always something happening in Scottsdale!
Here are a few Scottsdale activities & events (and occasionally an event from a neighboring city). This list focuses on free or inexpensive events, activities, & unique experiences, as well as links to important City government meetings. If you are interested in participating, please check information links or call to confirm info, as dates/times are subject to change.
Also check our Great Links page.
- Celebration of Fine Art, January 14 through March 25, 2012, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Big white tents southwest of Hayden Road and the Loop 101 at Exit 35, Watch art as it’s being created as more than 100 artists set up working studios, Adults/$10, Military and Seniors/$8, and children under 12/Free, call (480) 443-7695.
- Exhibits at SMoCA, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, FREE every Thursday from 10-5, 480-874-4654.
- Scottsdale’s Downtown Trolley is a free ride to anywhere you want to go Downtown. Ride around in environmentally friendly bio-diesel shuttles complete with air conditioned comfort during warm weather and fresh air during cooler temperatures. The Downtown trolleys run daily, every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Thursdays until 9 p.m. for ArtWalk. The Downtown trolleys connect with Scottsdale’s free Neighborhood Trolley, Tempe’s Orbit trolley system, the Valley Metro bus system and even Light Rail. More information on the Scottsdale’s trolley routes can be found here or by calling (480) 312-3111.
Tuesday 17 January
- 6:45 p.m., Scottsdale Civil War Roundtable, Scottsdale Civic Center Library. This month’s featured speaker is Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, speaking about Raising the Cairo, long-lost Union gunboat.
Wednesday 18 January
- 9:30am and 10:30am, Architecture Tour of Low Compound with architect Eddie Jones, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Tour the rammed earth residence in Cave Creek known as the ‘Low Compound’ with architect Eddie Jones on January 18th. A bus picks up from the front parking lot next to SMoCA. The Low Compound highlight is part of a selection of artists’ and architects’ studio visits led by Ace Bailey of Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours. (480) 874-4654.
- Noon, “Competitive Geniuses: The Renaissance,” Lunchtime Lecture Series, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in the SMoCA Lounge, Come eat your lunch at the Museum while you enjoy an exciting presentation about art! Bring a sack lunch.
Thursday 19 January
- 10 a.m. to 8 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.
- Noon – 1:30 p.m. Native Trails, performances take place from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. 10th anniversary season of free outdoor festivals celebrating the Native American cultures of the Southwest through song and dance; artisans selling specialty items like jewelry, baskets, flutes and paintings; local merchants who will sell fresh and packaged items indigenous to the area; home bread, muffins, and soup mixes that combine staple ingredients used by Hopi, Diné and Zuni tribes; and food vendors offering local culinary delights that you can enjoy on the spot for a picnic in Scottsdale’s sunny winter weather. Bring your blanket or lawn chair to Civic Center Park and enjoy idyllic weather and exciting performances that will take you on a journey to the first Nations of Arizona and North America.
- 6 – 10 p.m. every Thursday, ArtBridge Thursdays, Featuring painters, sculptors, illustrators, wood carvers, metal smiths, weavers, and other artists. Live Music and artistic demonstrations. Marshall Way Pedestrian Bridge. Free.
- 6 – 9 p.m. Avant Garden: China at the Desert Botanical Garden, Prepare for the Chinese New Year with spectacles of traditional celebrations, music, and dance. Gen Adm $18, members $12. No children for Avant Garden events. Fabulous Food Fine Catering and Events will be available for an additional charge. A full cash bar and $6 glasses of house wine.
- 7 – 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. This week Taste of Art Walk features restaurant samples!
- Free horse-drawn carriage or horse-drawn trolley rides are available every Thursday during ArtWalk 7-9 p.m. along Main Street and every Saturday from 1-4 on Brown and Main Street.
Friday 20 January
- 8 p.m., “Black and Green: A Blues (RBGB),” Marc Bamuthi Josephred, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. With a stage set by artist Theaster Gates, this exciting new kinetic performance mixes hip-hop music, poetry and movement to jumpstart a conversation about environmental justice, social ecology and collective responsibility in the climate-change era. Admission: $29 – $39. (480) 499-8587
Saturday 21 January
- 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Old Town Farmer’s Market features local growers and specialty food producers. Wide variety of organic and pesticide free produce, seasonal specialities, natural meats, free range eggs, artisan breads, local cheeses, jams, tamales, and more. 3802 N. Brown Avenue. Free.
- 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., McDonald’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Classic Car Show – Every Saturday night for over 20 years! The Pavilions at Talking Stick. FREE admission. 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.
Sunday 22 January
- 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. SouthBridge SunDays . Artisan Foods, arts and crafts, live art performances. Live music on the patio of the adjacent restaurant, The Herb Box. Southbridge on the Canal, 7135 E. Camelback Rd. Free.
- Noon to 4 p.m., Sunday A’Fair, Scottsdale Civic Center Mall in Old Town Scottsdale, outdoor concerts by Arizona’s top musicians. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for the grass, relax and enjoy the music. Browse the fine arts and crafts or shop outside the box at the Store @ Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. There are fun, hands-on activities for children and families. Delicious food and beverages are available for purchase and picnic baskets are also welcome. FREE