guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
World Elephant Day Celebration
. Join Reid Park Zoo African elephants Lungile, Semba, and Punga, Sundzu and Nandi at this event held in honor of nature’s most majestic matriarchs. Taking place at the seven-acre Expedition Tanzania exhibit, there will be elephant-themed activities and presentations, as well as treats for the elephants themselves on their special day. Save the date, because the elephants definitely aren’t going to forget. 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. Free with zoo admission.
Lizards are Hot, Lizards are Cool
. Do you ever look a lizard and wonder why it’s doing pushups, squirting blood out of its eye or incessantly trying to sell you car insurance? This talk may just be the answer to all of your questions. Check out the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park every Friday in August to refine your reptile knowledge bank. 3:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Saguaro National Park West: Tucson Mountain District (West District), 2700 N. Kinney Road. Free with park admission.
Read to a Dog!
Most people have had the feeling of liking dogs better than people at one point or another. There’s something about their soft fur, their loyal love and their inability to incessantly nag and criticize. Children who are struggling to learn how to read might know better than anyone that sometimes, the best thing to hear when you’re working through a new learning process is nothing. The loyal silence and comforting presence of a service dog provides the perfect audience for future bookworms to read to. 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17. Wheeler Taft Abbett S Library 7800 N. Schisler Drive. Free. Family Friendly.
Festivals/All day events
Southeast Arizona Birding Festival
. This four-day bird bonanza begins on Aug. 10 and doesn’t stop until the weekend is over. (In fact, with two post-festival trips being offered that begin on Monday, Aug. 14, the bonanza doesn’t really even stop when the weekend is over.) Learn how to capture the perfect bird photo with renowned wildlife photographer and keynote speaker Paul Bannick, get the lowdown on different avian species at free speaker events and pick up some native plants and optics gear at the Nature Expo. Begins at 8 a.m., but hike and event times vary. Thursday, Aug. 10 to Sunday, Aug. 13. Arizona Riverpark Inn, 777 W. Cushing Street. $15 and up.
Return of the Mermaids 2017
. Celebrate the annual mer-gration to warmer climes with this all-day event. The kid-friendly festivities start at Antigone Books, where mermaid raffles kick off at 10 a.m, They last for a full 12 hours, including everything from the chance to meet Ariel to a dance party to a mermaid fashion art market. (Thingamobs? They’ve got plenty.) If you’re a 21+ adult thinking to yourself, “But who cares? No big deal. I want moooooore,” head over to the Surly Wench, where drinks and dancing will go until 2 a.m. on Sunday. Raffles begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Downtown Tucson and Historic Fourth Avenue. Free, but individual event costs may vary.
Antique, Vintage and Collectible Book Fair
. There’s no such thing as too many books anyway, but if you ever feel like you need an excuse for filling up shelves of them in the age of the e-reader, just start calling them “collectibles.” Suddenly, you’re transformed from “a pack rat” into “a dedicated collector” who is displaying value artifacts. Tell Me a Good Story, a nonprofit that teaches people about the art of intentional, face-to-face communication, will host this book fair to help you curate your budding book museum. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 11-12; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday Aug. 13. Foothills Mall, 7401 N La Cholla Blvd. Free.
Rookie Meet & Greet!
If you feel like you’ve been resisting the allure of the great sport of rugby your whole life, if you were always too nervous to heed the call, and if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. The Old Pueblo Lighting Women’s Rugby Team is hosting an opportunity to learn more about the sport from some veteran players, and explain why it’s time to give rugby a chance. If you don’t decide to join the team, you’ll still have the chance to learn what everyone in Britain is doing all the time and eat some pizza. 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10. Magpies Gourmet Pizza Fourth Ave., 605 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
Barre & Bubbles
. Kick off your Saturday with a barre (as in ballet barre) workout to tone legs, improve posture and increase lean muscle (as in “ballerina body.”) The workout, which uses elements from ballet, pilates and yoga, is sure to leave participants tired, so $3 mimosas and $5 mimosas will be available afterwards at Whole Foods. Plié your way to perspiration, then sip your way to serenity. 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Whole Foods 5555 E River Road. Free.
Gilligan’s Island Revue
. There are three showings left of this musical revue at the Gaslight. Enjoy a hodgepodge of music, jokes and—if you come early enough—some award-winning Grandma Tony’s Pizza with Gilligan and the gang. The best part is, you get to leave the island as soon as the show is over, and you can enjoy the show from the comfort of the indoor theater. Thursday, Aug. 10 and Aug. 17 at 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. Gaslight Music Hall. 13005 N. Oracle Road. Kids $10, Adults $20, Members and Military $18.
Second SundAZe @ TMA
. Arizona and Sonora, Mexico residents have free admission and historic property access to the Tucson Museum of Art on the second Sunday of every month. August’s event will focus on the sights, sounds and feels that make the Sonoran Desert so unique. Artists David Adix and Craig Cully will discuss their mural “Portal” at TMA, then there will be collage, desert landscape and collaborative mural art activities inspired by their work. The day will also feature a dance performance by a UA ensemble member and alumna, then a music performance by Solidarte Sympa. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block 140 North Main Ave. Free.
Sizzling Summer Art Walk
: New Mexico Comes to Tucson. The Jane Hamilton Fine Art Gallery is displaying a series of impressionistic paintings by artist Pat Parkinson. Parkinson’s hazy style seems to capture summer in its essence: the way the heat rises off of the sidewalk, the sharp angles shadows make against pale buildings, and the way that plants seem to come alive and breathe a sigh of relief with every passing breeze. Take a little piece of Southwest summer with you wherever you go, or whatever season you are in, by hanging a piece on your wall. 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17. Jane Hamilton Fine Art 2890 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 180.
Fun in General
Neon Foam Party 2017
. An ancient proverb reads, “The weekdays are for working, but the weekends are for twerking.” And what better place to twerk than at Tucson’s premier glow-in-the-dark dance party? Foam cannons and glow-in-the-dark face painting will be set to the sounds of EDM, Moombahton, twerk, trap and house music. VIP guests will have access to an exclusive lounge area with appetizers and cocktail samples, as well as free face painting and glow-in-the-dark goodies. 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 18. 4340 N Campbell Ave, Suite 101 in St. Philip's Plaza. $10-$35. 18+
Game Nights at Casa Video and Casa Film Bar
. Should you ford the river or go around it? How many extra wagon wheels axles should you carry? Is it actually possible to not die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail? Play the card game version of the longest-running video game franchise and try to answer these questions at Casa Film Bar’s Wednesday night events. If you do die of dysentery (or if you topple the Jenga tower, get caught in checkmate or lose at a game you decide to bring), console yourself with one of the 20 beers currently on tap at Casa. 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16. Casa Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.
5th Annual AZNPS Monsoon Mixer
. The Tucson chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society will receive a portion of food and drink sales during this event at La Cocina. Have some chips and salsa to support the chollas and succulents, and enjoy a silent auction, art and some native plants themselves. If it wasn’t obvious from the “Monsoon Mixer” event title, the festivities will go on rain or shine. 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15. La Cocina Restaurant and Cantina, 201 N Court Ave. Free.
. Still struggling to find a publisher for your manuscript? Learn how to bind a book yourself! And not only that, but learn how to bind a book in several different ways. Even if you’re not an aspiring novelist, a hand-bound book makes for a meaningful gift to a loved one. (See if your significant other can outdo you with this one.) Each student leaves class with samples of hardcover bound, accordion-style bound, Japanese stab bound and pamphlet-stitched bound books. Materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring special papers to further customize their covers. No experience necessary. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. Tanline Printing 1537 S Fourth Ave. $80.
. Who knew back in ’04 that Chingy would forever change the game—furthering Snoop's word mush until nothing was rightly pronounced and e'ra-thing rhymed? You can bet Kap G took notes. Between the slurring and the autotune, Kap’s got an almost indecipherable, amazingly laid-back, multi-lingual robotic flow. A good sense of humor too, which goes a long way toward making his often cliché gangsta persona more likeable. On "(Fuck) La Policia" he's just "rolling with (his) Miggers" when he gets pulled over for too-dark window tint. The rest of the tune’s an apt callout on racial profiling and the grim reality of Trump’s anti-Mexican sentiment. ("And I know what you're thinkin'—I ain't got my green card.") Proudly repping La Raza, Kap true gift is off-kilter ear worms, as with the super-cracky chorus of "Don't Need Em." He's taken Warren G's post-Fabulous Dramatics singsong and shattered it, adding just enough dancehall to be aggressive and just enough Sean Paul to guarantee that paper and all those hits. Pretty brilliant, really. With JR Donato and Paper Paulk on Thursday, Aug. 10. 191 Toole. 7 p.m. $20-$40. All ages.
. “You said don't go changing, I'll re-arrange to let you in.” And who wouldn't want to let in this beautiful, grounded singer? Richmond, Virginia’s Lucy Dacus may be the best singer-songstress since Gillian Welch. Her crystal-clear, unaffected tone lifts like some ’40's radio chanteuse, and her straight-ahead prose is philosopher-thoughtful ("If past you were to meet future me, would you be holding me here and now?") She’s real, three dimensional, a less fucked-up Joni Mitchell who has found her true love and now wonders how to broach the topic of who’ll die first. On the poignant “I don't Wanna be Funny Anymore,” Dacus daydreams about wearing a short skirt to be the “pretty one” or carrying a book to appear the “smart one” and her honest yearning to be anything but who she is makes us ache. We see ourselves at tender ages, and so nostalgia weighs in, too. This is fantastic, unpretentious searching, crammed with heart and honesty. There is no need for angst when just being sentient and mindful is quite melancholy enough. With Molly Burch and Casey Golden on Friday, Aug. 11. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 p.m. $10. 16+.
. That raucous, ever-present afterglow when you're absolutely in love. Equal parts sweet (“Hate to wake you up but I can't wait to wake you up”) and carnal (“I'm the sunlight crawling for you”). The more frolicsome musings of Brighten Up the Corners
-era Pavement with the stunning harmony of lovers who can climb inside one another's voices and fit their instruments into a forward-thrusting down beat. This is Family Mansion, whose songs are musical fucking—hip, smart and fun. He's a drummer and singer and keyboardist. She's a cello and guitar and bass and backing vocalist. Always there is dynamic tension and often, in the repetition of a word or a phrase, there is climax and release. In “Solitary Art,” the Family Mansion remind us that, “It's never too late to let your ego die.” And why not when such beautiful music results from its surrender? With The Wanda June's, Ex-Cowboy, and STBWLIH on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. Free. 21+.
Wynonna and The Big Noise
. Once dubbed “the greatest country singer since Patsy Cline,” Wynonna and the Judd family's tabloid nonsense has too long overshadowed her skills. Shut your eyes and hear the pain and the sass, the damage and the perseverance, all in a single phrase. The emotional nuance and tonal complexity in each note can pretty much stun if you listen for it. She’s a living legend. Open your eyes and see the flaws and the frailty of a real human being, famous for directly addressing her audience, even after 33 years of superstardom—self-deprecating and aggrandizing at once. This tour is a blend of retrospective hits (Wynonna's sold 30 million records, yo) and her lesser known, but painfully personal recent sides. Dig this: “The shoulder of a man, steady and strong/12 steps and the 23rd psalm/These are the things that I lean on.” She mixes Big Book clichés with an unironic show of love and makes them her own. Her current stage presence, one part bad-ass Tina Turner, one part unrepentant Amy Winehouse and one part deeply troubled Cat Power, promises to inspire a nerve-wracking but wholly moving experience. Sunday, Aug. 13 at The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress. 6 p.m., $27-$92. All ages.