With the suspension of large events and many of our favorite venues shut down until further notice, it’s time to get creative when it comes to things to do. Here are five virtual and socially distant activities to enjoy this weekend.
Check out the Picasso of Pumpkin Carvings
Internationally acclaimed sculptor, pumpkin carver and creative installation designer Ray Villafane’s Strange Encounters exhibition takes over downtown Mesa, Oct. 17-Nov. 8. The display features Halloween carvings, humorous vignettes and creepy characters in 15 installations throughout downtown Mesa, all visible in store windows and in outdoor locations. A map to the spooky works is available online, and includes a scavenger hunt with clues for identifying items in the displays. An online instructional video created by Villafane also is featured, with carving tips for elevating your own jack-o-lantern to a work of art, plus how to use natural and recycled materials to create fun Halloween yard installations. Learn more at mesaartscenter.com/strangeencounters.
Pink Out at Serrano’s
Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants hosts a “Pink Out” from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 in memory of former co-owner Stephanie Serrano, who passed away last year following a six-year battle with breast cancer. Guests are encouraged to wear pink as all five locations raise funds for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center. A portion of the proceeds from Stephanie’s favorite Stacked Enchiladas – available only on Oct. 17, for $10.99 – will go to the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center. Stephanie grew up in the family business working first at Serrano’s Department Stores and later at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. She also served as a Chandler City Council member and on the Chandler Chamber of Commerce board of directors. To find a location, visit serranosaz.com.
Pick the Perfect Pumpkin Keepsake
More than 1,000 whimsical, vibrantly colored glass pumpkins handmade by local artist Gregory Tomb highlight the Glass Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 16-18. Masks are required for the outdoors event, which benefits Desert Foothills Theater. Glassblowing classes also are planned, offering insight into the craft. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Holland Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale, hollandcenter.org, 480-488-1090.
Appreciate the Little Things in Life at GP Courtyard Theatre
Greasepaint has constructed a new stage in its courtyard that allows for social distancing for its youth theater performances. It’s the perfect setting for Our Town, Oct. 16-18. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Thornton Wilder takes guests to the small town of Grover’s Corners in the early 1900s as its inhabitants grow up, get married and discover the beauty of life. Call for times and ticket prices. Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale, greasepaint.org, 480-949-7529.
Spook Yourself Silly with Tales of Fright
Rest in peace from the comfort of your couch as performers from the Arizona theater community share terrifying ghost stories, haunting short plays, mysterious monologues, eerie poetry and original Halloween themed works in Classic Tales of Fright! A Virtual Halloween Series. Next up is By the Pale Moonlight on Oct. 17. $7.99 per episode or $27.99 for the series of four. For details, visit virtualhalloweenseries.com.