The Nutcracker. If you’ve got nuts to crack, and if you’ve got love in your heart for this holiday classic, you’d better head over to go see Ballet Tucson’s production of this show. Among many, many other things, the show’s original score was notable for its use of the celesta, which is that twinkly, magical, jingle bell-y sounding instrument in the sugar plum fairy’s dance. Tchaikovsky discovered the instrument while he was in Paris and decided it was perfect for the show. Of course, it was. And now it’s almost difficult to imagine Christmas without the sweet sound of the celesta. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8. 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $30 to $58, with discounts for seniors, students, military and groups. Details here.
The Polar Express. The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is the sort of charming little place that feels like it’s right out of a children’s Christmas book, so it’s only fitting that they’d be hosting this reading of one of the best children’s Christmas books around. This family-friendly event also features arts and crafts, rides on the Fun Farm Choo Choo and a chance to ring the bell on Locomotive 1673. And it’s always fun to stroll through the museum itself, browsing the bilingual exhibits. Treat yourself to some holiday cheer and head on down! 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. AMTRAK Historic Depot, 400 N. Toole Ave. Free. Details here.
Rally for Vets. HERO Events & Management is putting on their first-ever veteran’s event designed to raise support and awareness for local nonprofits supporting veterans. And there’s plenty of ways for you to show your support. You could check out the yoga and meditation zone by Athleta, enjoy some live glass blowing demonstrations by the Sonoran Glass School, or if you are brave or young at heart, check out any of the 11 interactive inflatables. Enjoy music by local musicians Caiden Brewer, Andrew Daniel Cates, Clinton Wyatt Smith and Keila Womack. And check out the food and drinks from vendors like Jacki’s Food Court, Sarges Cheesecakes, Cupcake Queens and Smoothie Factory. Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Demeester Outdoor Performance Center, 900 S. Randolph Way, $5, or free for kids 10 and under.Details here.
Second SundAZe Family Day @ TMA. The Tucson Museum of Art always delivers, and it’s always especially awesome at Second Sunday events, but they’ve really stepped up their game for the holiday season. AZ Opera will be doing a special performance of The Magic Flute, and Santa himself will be visiting the museum’s Corbet house. Jewelry artist Julie Rose is holding a trunk show in the museum store as well. If taking in all of this art has you feeling inspired, you can jump into some of the art-making activities at the museum, including ornaments with Santa pictures, gingerbread houses and paper snowflakes. Fill your heart with art for the holidays! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free. Details here.
Sonoran Glass School Winter Open House. If you think looking at handcrafted glass art is exciting and impressive, wait until you see local glassblowers in the act, creating intricate sculptures, ornaments, houseware and jewelry right before your eyes. A narrated demonstration at 2 p.m. will walk you through what these masters are doing, and a series of holiday themed make-your-own experiences will show you how to become a master yourself. For $50, make your own glass ornament in a quick 15/20-minute introduction to the craft (this one gets busy, so try calling 884-7814 to reserve a time slot). Make a snow flurry drink stirrer on the torch at the flame shop for $10, or try out the new fused snowman experience ($15 or two for $25). Get your glass over here! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. 633 W. 18th St. Free. Details here.
Tucson Girls Chorus: Sounds of Winter. If you caught the Reveille Men’s Chorus concert last week, you probably got your fill of rich, low tones. This week, treat yourself to the lovely harmonies of the Tucson Girls Chorus, made up of young women all the way from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Over 200 young performers will be presenting a mix of folk, traditional, contemporary and seasonal music. With so much bad news in the world, their notes are sure to be a sound for sore ears, and the image of hundreds of the young women who represent a bright, beautiful, musical future is enough to make anyone feel hopeful. 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $15 to $18. Details here.
Holiday Memories. Desert Voices, Tucson’s premiere LGBTQA chorus, is celebrating 30 years of understanding, cooperation, peaceful coexistence and sweet, sweet music. And this is your chance to celebrate with them! Three nights of shows will feature holiday music sung by community members of all creeds, races, genders and gender identities, letting you sit back, enjoy and reflect on all there is to be grateful for. 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8. 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 3809 E. Third St. $15 for Friday show, $20 for Saturday and Sunday. Details here.
Monterey Court Artisans Holiday Fair. Maybe you’re the type of person who needs a full bar nearby to get through the stress of holiday shopping. If so, this might be the holiday artisan fair for you. Whether you need a hard drink to get you through, a brunch to kick off the shopping festivities or a spot to break for lunch, Monterey Court has what you need. They’ll have what you need as far as gifts go, too. With a selection of fabric, glass, jewelry, metal, pottery, wood and leather, you should be able to find the perfect gift. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Monterey Court Studio Galleries and Café, 505 W. Miracle Mile. Details here.
Weegee With a Side of Eegee. It was only a matter of time before this event happened in Tucson. It honors the photographer, photojournalist and Kubrick collaborator and his equal parts iconic and influential black-and-white photography. And it comes with a side of sandwiches and Tucson’s signature frozen drinks! Notorious erotica photographer Eric Kroll will be talking about Weegee’s time as the official photographer of a New Jersey nudist colony; Weegee’s longtime companion, Wilma Wilcox; and his work with Cass Carr and Bettie Page. Kroll will be selling distortion prints he printed from Weegee’s original negatives himself—signed by Wilcox and stamped by Kroll. Why would you miss this? 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. Free. Details here.
Santa Bar Crawl. For those wanting to be more festive during their night-outs, the Santa Bar crawl is the opportunity for that. Starting at Maloney’s, show up in your favorite seasoned clothing with your friends and hit the streets, jumping from bar to bar. Or just go downtown to see drunken Santas on the loose. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. 213 N. Fourth Ave. Details here.
Ignite at Night. The Ignite Sign Art Museum is inviting you to an evening to see all of their changes and new additions, with all historic signs supposed to be lighted. The event will include music, beer and wine tastings, holiday shopping, snacks and a game. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. 331 S. Olsen Ave. Regular admission prices apply. Details here.
Holiday Tree Lighting. Receive complimentary chestnuts, hot cocoa or cider, and holiday sugar cookies while watching the annual lighting of the tree at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. More holiday entertainment will feature while photos with Santa are also available, in this free and open to public event. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. 7000 N. Resort Drive. Details here.
Santa at Little Anthony’s Diner. Starting this Friday, Santa will be at Little Anthony’s Diner for the weekends leading up to Christmas. Before dining, get a free photo by bringing in a non-perishable food item. Each donation will go to benefitting the Tucson Community Food Bank. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Details here.
X-Mas Double Feature. Casa Film Bar is offering movie showings every Friday in December. First up? Elf and Jingle All the Way back to back. Grab Sonoran hot dogs from the You Sly Dog food truck, and watch Will Ferrell and Arnold Schwarzenegger take it away. 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Details here.