guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
. It’ll be a battle of the Aggies at Arizona Stadium on Dec. 29, as New Mexico State and Utah State meet for the third-annual Arizona Bowl. The headline of the event has to be New Mexico State (6-6) making its first postseason appearance in 57 years—defeating, you guessed it, Utah State 20-13 in the Sun Bowl. Utah State also enters Friday’s game at 6-6, with an offense that ranks in the Top 50 in points per game (31.0), while New Mexico State boasts a pass-heavy offense led by Peoria native Tyler Rogers at quarterback, who’s thrown for 3,825 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. The Aggies will meet at 3:30 p.m. at Arizona Stadium, with CBS Sports Network showing the action live on TV.
UA Downtown Block Party
. If you find yourself getting blue between all of the Christmas celebration hubbub and the New Year’s Eve madness, be grateful you live in a town that’s added a whole other holiday right in the middle. Head over to Armory Park to enjoy live music from 80’s and Gentlemen, stuff your face and—most importantly—scream “Bear Down” at everyone you see in the true spirit of Tucson. Not to mention there will be carnival rides, a beer garden and something called human foosball, which is apparently not just soccer. 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Armory Park, 221 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
Yoga and Meditation
108 Sun Salutations
. Alright, here we go. It’s the first day of a new year and your chance to kick off your resolution feeling strong, confident and committed. And you know what? Even if you just force yourself to go to this one yoga event this one time, you’ll probably end up feeling real good, and you’ll earn a glass of champagne with dinner. (You’re sure to have some leftover from the night before.) So enjoy a brief meditation followed by 108 sun salutations. (108 is a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga, not just an arbitrarily high number chosen to get you fully exhausted). 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1 Om Yoga, 5961 N. Oracle Road. $7 nonmembers ($5 cash).
Full Moon Shambhala Sadhana
. The Tucson Shambhala Meditation Center has a refreshing faith in the goodness and dignity of humanity—their meditation practices are designed to inspire sustainability, compassion and justice in both individuals and society. While you still share some of that “new year, new me” optimism, head over to the center for this full-moon ritual complete with meditation, chanting and visualization. After all, we can’t have world peace without individuals who have peace of mind. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. Tucson Shambhala Meditation Center, 3250 N. Tucson Blvd. Free.
New Year’s Day Open House at Kadampa Meditaton Center
. If you’ve ever driven past this building on Craycroft—it’s the mostly unassuming white building with the shiny gold statues on top—you’ve probably been at least a little curious about what they have to offer. Besides an array of classes and retreats centered around Buddhist meditation, they also offer an open house for beginners on the first Monday of every month. The first Monday of January just happens to be the first day of the whole year, so take a chance to satisfy your curiosity in the new year, and maybe even center yourself in the process. 2 to 4 p.m., with 15-minute meditations held at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1. Kadampa Meditation Center, 5326 E. Pima St. Free.
Performances and Art
Wooden Ball 25th Anniversary
. This annual, acoustic and altogether awesome event at Club Congress is celebrating 25 years. Let this cluster of local musicians and singer-songwriter duos be an Arial black exclamation point at the end of this comic sans sentence of a year. There’s shoegaze band Mute Swan, the honestly indescribable Howe Gelb, the alt rock River Roses, the Tom Waits-y, Neil Young-ish Greyhound Soul and many more bands. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $5. 21+
Ugly Sweater Improv Comedy Show
. Did you wait to open the big box last on Christmas morning (hoping it would be a special show by the Tucson Improv Movement folks) only to find that it was something less exciting, like a carpet shampooer or a big block of concrete? You just got Ralphied! Because they were just hiding their present behind the desk until a few days after Christmas, so the surprise would be extra special. Hooray! 9 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. Tucson Improv Movement, 329 E. Seventh St. $5 show, $1 to $2 snacks and drinks, free compliments on ugly sweaters.
Casa Libre Presents: Peregrinas, CA Women Poets in the Southwest
. Ain’t no new year like a Casa Libre new year! In part because this celebration isn’t necessarily a New Year’s Eve or Day celebration, and isn’t necessarily a party. It’s just a fantastic way to kick off the year. Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, author of Beat Meridian
and many other works; Marisol Baca, author of Tremor
and Robert Chasen poetry award recipient; Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge
and cofounder of Women who Submit
; and Yaccaira Salvatierra, Dorrit Sibley Award and Puerto del Sol Poetry Prize recipient, are gracing us with a visit and some readings. 7 to 9 p.m., doors at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. Casa Libre, 228 N. Fourth Ave. $5 suggested donation.
Monsoon Collective Group Show Opening Reception
. The pop-up art project’s newest exhibition features art from more than two dozen local artists, in mediums ranging from photography to digital to performance to interactive to sound. Enjoy vinyl vibes by Halsero, conversations with the people around you and a veritable downpour of art. In fact, some might even call it monsoon-like. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31. (New Year’s Eve). Monsoon Collective, 127 S. Fifth Ave.
Coloring Day at Pueblo Vida
. Sometimes a cold craft beer, an empty canvas and a fistful of crayons is just what the doctor ordered. Here to fill your prescription is Pueblo Vida, with the return of this lovely event. They’ve worked with Saywells Design Co. to create beer-specific coloring sheets and, if nothing else, you have to go to find out what that means. Are you coloring in a drawing of beer? Is it a coloring book that’s really easy to fill out even when you’ve had too much beer? Is it edible paper that pairs well with beer? Only one way to find out. 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Pueblo Vida Brewing Company, 115 E. Broadway Blvd. Free entry.
Holiday Sparklers at Maynards
. What’s more classically festive than popping open a bottle of bubbly on a special occasion? In honor of the holiday season, which is pretty much one big special occasion, Steve Berger at Maynards has selected an affordable and tasty set of options, both familiar and exotic, for a wine tasting that will have you wanting to buy a bottle just so you can pop the top off to celebrate how good it is. Maynard Market happy hour will be in full swing during the tasting. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29. Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave. $10.
Lord of the Rings Trivia
. On a scale of “What is Frodo’s uncle’s name?” to “What marked the start of the third fog?” what kind of LOTR trivia do you think you can handle? The questions at this Crooked Tooth event are based on the film trilogy, but you might have a little bit of an advantage if you’d read the books, so it can’t hurt to give them a quick reread the morning of the event. Winning team gets a $40 gift certificate and runner up gets a $20 gift certificate. Get there early to be sure you get a spot! 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St. Free entry.
New Year’s Eve Party at Espresso Art Cafe
What Are Ya Doin’ New Year’s Eve?
. There’s really only one thing you need to know about this event, and that’s the phrase “$15 bottomless mimosas.” Dress and your swankiest and raise a glass to the end of one of the jankiest years in recent history. And, hey, enjoying champagne mixed with orange juice is the perfect way to start your transition into doing more juicing in 2018. 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day. Espresso Art Cafe, 942 E. University Blvd. Free entry, but, you know, buy something.
New Year’s Eve at Casa Video
. It’s the fulfillment of John Carpenter’s longtime dream to make a martial arts film. It’s the perfect example of a box-office bomb evolving into a beloved cult classic. It’s a celebration of green eyes, giant insects and a really ripped Kurt Russell. It is: Big Trouble in Little China
. Say goodbye to this ridiculous year with this ridiculous(ly good?) film, and enjoy some warm mulled wine, spiced cider, craft beer, champagne and/or sparkling wine while you’re at it. 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day. Casa Video and Casa Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Free entry.
The Most Chill New Year’s Eve
. Are you excited about 2018, but, like, low-key excited? Looking for some mood lighting, some dream pop and a place where you can take a deep breath? R Bar has got you covered, with music by local band Mute Swan, champagne cocktails and a whisper countdown to the new year. Because maybe if we welcome 2018 quietly and peacefully, it will reciprocate by being a quiet, peaceful year. Free champagne for anyone present at midnight! 9 p.m. to midnight. New Year’s Eve. R Bar, 350 E. Congress St. Free entry.
Winter Freecycle Swap
. Do you have a couple of items that you don’t need anymore and are looking to donate, but don’t want to make a special trip to the Goodwill to drop off? Are you looking for a used pair of garden shears or a set of coasters? Try visiting the Quincie Douglas Library’s annual swap extravaganza! Just leave something on the table near the front desk and—if you’re so inclined—take something else home with you. Get started on your new year’s resolution to save money early. Or, if you’re leaving and not taking, get started on you “become a minimalist” resolution early. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec 28 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 31. Quincie Douglas Library, 1585 E. 36th St. Free.
. There’s lots of great things about living in Tucson, and the fact that the city has a whole program dedicated to helping us recycle our Christmas trees is one of them. Take off all of your un-mulchable ornaments, garland, tinsel and tree stands (as in, take everything off the tree), coordinate a “tree pool” with the neighbors to reduce the number of trips and head over to one of Tucson or Oro Valley’s TreeCycle sites. After Jan. 4, bring your own container and pick up some free wood chips from the upcycled trees. If you want a large amount of chips, you’ll want to go to the Los Reales Landfill at 5300 E. Los Reales Road. Wednesday, Dec. 26 through Monday, Jan. 15. There are eight locations throughout Tucson and Oro Valley, and most are open 24 hours. See tucsonaz.gov/treecycle for more info.
Fun in General
Holiday Family Storytime: Fairy Tale Fun
. The Woods Memorial Library took a hiatus from story time at the end of December (library workers frequently get called in to help at the North Pole around this time of year), but they’ve brought it back for one last time in 2017. Bring your whole family to enjoy stories, songs, crafts and other fun and games. All ages are welcome, because reading is good, old-fashioned fun for everyone! 11 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 30. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Ave. Free.
. Looking to land the perfect job? Looking to land literally any job? The Woods Memorial Library has got you covered with a program instructor who can help with everything from putting together a resume to understanding an application to creating an email account. Just be sure to bring some proposed topics for your resume, like your contact information and job experience details. If nothing else, this will be an opportunity to finally sit down and apply to a job you’ve been meaning to get around to. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Ave. Free.
Loft Cinema Movie Poster Sale
. Quick! It’s your last chance to pick up an artsy-ass movie poster from your favorite artsy-ass cinema. For real though, this event is a perfect, absurdly affordable opportunity to pick up some new decor that will show everyone what a cinephile you are. All 450+ posters, covering 250+ films, are just five bucks. Don’t miss it! 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.
Arizona State Parks First Day Hikes
. If your New Year’s Resolution is to hike more, Arizona State Parks have got you covered, with hosted hikes all over the state, and plenty around Tucson at varying times. There’s a guided short trails loop hike at Catalina State Park at 8 a.m. (call 628-5798 for more information), a 9 a.m. hike on Guindani Trail and a 3 p.m. hike on Foothill Loop Trail at Kartchner Caverns State Park (call 586-2283) and a 10 a.m., ranger-led hike at Oracle State Park (call 896-2425). Check out azstateparks.com/fdh for more detailed info on these hikes and more, if you’ll be ringing in the new year somewhere else in Arizona.