guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
It's mid December, which means holiday themed events abound. Here's everything you need to know to get your festive cheer on this year.
Holiday Express with Santa at Historic Train Depot
Meet the Clauses
: For all the Christmas lovers out there, what is the holiday season without a picture with Santa? Join the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum as the put on an afternoon full of Christmas cheer. With holiday music, a showing of the Polar Express, and Santa himself, what could be better? Don't miss out on this event that is perfect for the whole family. Noon - 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. 414 N. Toole. Free.
Storytime with Mrs. Claus at The Carriage House
: As everyone knows, Santa Claus is nothing without the Mrs. The Carriage House has taken note of that and is hosting an afternoon full of Mrs. Claus herself. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as Mrs. Claus shares her favorite holiday stories. 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave. $20.
Take in a show
: If you're dying to see the holiday movie that somehow managed to make Will Ferrell likeable, you’re in luck. Elf is the story of a baby named Buddy who crawled into Santa's sack and was taken back to the North Pole where he is raised as an elf. Once he is an adult, he decides to make the adventure back to his hometown of New York City to find his father, sing with Zooey Deschanel in the shower and discover the wonder of the mailroom. 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20. The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Adults: $7, Students/Military/Seniors: $5, Children 12 and under get in free.
: Get ready for a holiday music party with The Loft Cinema. The theater will host its annual party with the best holiday music moments from classic movies, T.V. shows and music videos. Admission comes with one goodie bag filled with props to use during the show. If you bring an unwrapped toy for donation to Casa De Los Ninos, admission price is half-off. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. General Admission: $10. Members and kids under 12: $8.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
: If you like the holiday season but have a gory way of showing it, The Loft Cinema has got you covered with a screening of this cult classic. The story follows the tragic life of a young boy through his manhood and the killing sprees he partakes in one holiday season while dressed as Santa Claus. Back in it early release days, the film was so controversial advertisements and the films itself was taken out of circulation. 10 p.m. Friday, Dec 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. General Admission: $6. Members: $5.
Star Wars - A Holiday Special
: Come the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special on the big screen at The Loft Cinema and celebrate the season with the best space series ever. But what's better than space-themed holiday bash? The fact that said holiday bash is free. The Loft wants the Tucson community to enjoy a free evening of Star Wars. If you dress up as your favorite Star Wars character, you could win a super cool prize from The Loft. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22 The Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd free, bring money for candy and popcorn.
Ballet Tucson's The Nutcracker
: See the holiday classic that will enchant lovers of dance and laymen alike. Tucson's own professional ballet company will perform its annual production of "The Nutcracker" for three days only. With the spectacular scenes and dance ability, you don't have be a ballet enthusiast to appreciate this dance classic. 1 p.m.; 3 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22 - 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 23 - 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 24 - 1 p.m. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $28 - $56.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Choir
: Tap & Bottle is hosting a song-along with the choir from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Come celebrate the holiday season with this boozy, and yet, family-friendly musical event. 6 - 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. Tap & Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free, bring money for drinks.
Tucson Boys Holiday Chorus
: As the holiday season is upon us, it is finally time once again for the annual Tucson Boys Holiday Chorus. Join these young men as they sing holiday classics celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Crowder Hall; 1017 N. Olive Rd. Reserved seats: $20. General admission: $15. Children under 12: $8.
The Sounds of Winter
: Listen to the lovely voices of the Tucson Girls Chorus at its annual holiday musical event featuring your favorite holiday tunes directed by Marcela Molina and Chris Fresolone. 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $8 - $18 music, community, holidays
Miscellaneous Holiday Festivities
Santa Adoption Party
: Come celebrate the gift of animals at the Pima Animal Care Center and Tucson Electric Power with this holiday-themed adoption party. Enjoy free photos with Santa, cookies, hot cocoa, crafts and adoption gifts. Make sure to bring an item from PACC's pet wish list and your adoption will be free. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 - Sunday, Dec. 18. Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 N. Silverbell Road. Free to attend.
Girls Pint Out Holiday Cookie Swap
: Doing some holiday baking this year? Widen your cookie selection and drink some winter beers with Tucson's most beer happy women. Bring two dozen cookies and something to bring your finds home in. 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. Tucson Hop Shop, 3230 N. Dodge Blvd. Free to attend, but don't forget your cookies and some cash for beers.
Tucson's Holiday Light Spectacular
: Enjoy the lights of Winterhaven, a holiday light extraveganza that's now in its 67th year of festive fun, with friends and family until just after Christmas. This family-friendly event can be seen on foot or by Winterhaven hayrides. The festival is also raising funds and food for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona at every entrance to the neighborhood. 6 - 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec 15 - Monday, Dec. 26. Entrances for the Festival are on Ft. Lowell, Tucson, Country Club, and Prince. Free to attend, bring food or money for the Food Bank and cash for parking.
International Wildlife Museum-Winter Wonderland
: Enjoy a magical night in a Winter Wonderland with your family this holiday season at the International Wildlife Museum. There will be crafts, games, and best of all the jolliest of them all, Santa Clause. 5 - 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road. Adults: $9. Children 4-12: $4. Seniors 62 and over: $7.
'90s Christmas Eve Dance Party
: Dance your little heart out at The Flycatcher for its Christmas Eve dance party with the hits from the 90s spun up by DJ Plastic Disease and E_Rupt. Don't forget to dress up in your favorite 90s fashion. 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24 The Flycatcher, 340 E. Sixth St. freee, bring money for drinks drinks, dance, music, holidays
Fun in General
Syian Sweets Exchange
: Celebrate the sweets from the Middle East with Tucson's newly arrived Syrian families. Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church will host a sale of homemade goodies from Tucson's Syrian community. All donations will benefit local Syiran families. 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Grace St. Paul's Espicopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Free to attend, bring money for sweets.
Say Goodbye to Romo Tonight Live
: Earlier this year, Steven Romo announced he’d be putting his variety show on hold for an indefinite amount of time. We’re going to miss this regular access to one of Tucson’s best comedians, but at least we get to say goodbye! Details on this final show are still spotty, but it’s an event you won’t want to miss. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. The Flycatcher, 340. E. Sixth Street.
: Kick back and relax with Exo Roast Co. and Tap & Bottle in the latest installment of analog hour. Enjoy two hours of a tech free and stress free environment with a book, a friend or a refreshing drink. 1 - 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Tap & Bottle and Exo Roast Co., 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free, bring money for drinks, food and coffee.
Elisabeth Geel CD Release Party
: Tucson resident Elisabeth Geel has simply mastered smooth, acoustic-driven jazz and folk with Judee Sill-like vocals that lift and soothe. She could lull even a screaming baby to quiet. This singer/songwriter, a Dutch-born daughter of a musician father and painter mother—spent many years living in Italy, and all parts Europe—is celebrating the release of her third expansive album, the jazzy, folk-tinged Lookin’ In from the Outside
. This show will see Geel backed by renowned area instrumentalists including violinist/composer Nick Coventry, bassist/composer Mike Levy and keyboardist Doug Martin. It’ll be a rewarding show for fans of late-night cool and early ’70s-styled West Coast folk, and gentle epistles to memories and melancholies fading in the rearview. Really engaging stuff by a tremendously skilled songwriting chanteuse. Saturday, Dec. 17 at Galactic Center, 35 E. Toole Ave. 8 p.m. 21+. Free.
Billy Sedlmayr & The Mother Higgins Children’s Band
: Billy Sedlmayr pens frighteningly lovely glimpses into the lives of the horribly addicted, and the stalled existences of flawed dreamers. His are folk-rock-country tunes that most often brim with truth and tender regrets. There’s a heady sense of locale in his work too, to the point of mythology. In fact, his debut album, 2014’s Charmed Life
—produced by golden-eared Gabe Sullivan—features “Tucson Kills,” an Old Pueblo anthem for the ages. The song’s replete with mournful Mexican brass and haunting wordplay that takes us from fading 6th Avenue whores and local drug barrios to the fire at the Pioneer Hotel that killed 29 people and “going crazy” in Florence prison yards. Billy’s a genuine Tucson lucky charm (and now a regular Tucson Weekly
contributor) who starred in the area’s first punk band, The Pedestrians, and later co-founded Giant Sandworms. We here at the Weekly say that old Travis Edmonson—or Townes Van Zandt for that matter—ain’t got nothin’ on Sedlmayr. This show promises to be great: Sedlmayr’s performing with his complete backup combo The Mother Higgins Children’s Band (dedicated Tucsonans can’t miss the killer local reference in the band name). He’ll also be doing some songs from his forthcoming, Gabe Sullivan-helmed album Sophomore Slump. With Louise Le Hir, Friday, Dec. 16 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. $10-$12. 21+.
: This one-man ambient artist creates expansive sonic soundscapes that’d do old Eno proud. His hums and drones and cackles conjure the kind of mad mushroom dreams one might experience after an epic round of night tripping (listen to the wondrous “Cyanide Dreams in Scarlet Sleep,” or the lovely, timely “Fuck Music”). Other times it’s the aural equal of deep-rooted melancholy and sadness (but not depression). Some of his work would make a warming soundtrack for long silent nights and burnt-orange sunrises up in the Chiricahua Mountains (where Reid did actual field recording for some of his music). Here’s a rare chance to see this Tucson musician and producer in person. With Gentitals, and Sanctvs Mrtvm, Monday, Dec. 19 at the Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St. 9 p.m. 21+. Free.
: Staring drummer Alan Anderson, who pounded the skins in some of Tucson's greatest—from Greyhound Soul to Rich Hopkins' Luminarios—before cobbling together this crack outfit of vet players, who can all kick out the dusty jams on command. The songs canvas that all-too-rare heart-rate-elevating area between groove-thick funk and thundering, harmony-rich rock ’n’ roll—the kind lazy journalists have been known to call “desert rock.” It’s sturdy, quality stuff, many notches above simple Ryan/Bryan Adams-like soundtrack fodder for lonely pickups in midtown bars. The Jits are a true Tucson rock ’n’ roll combo with some dirt and rust under their nails, as heard on their woefully overlooked 2013 album Jittersweet
. With guests on Saturday, Dec. 17. Mr. Heads Art Gallery and Bar, 513 N. 4th Ave. 9 p.m. 21+. Free.