Especially for Kids
Second SundAZe Family Day at the Tucson Museum of Art. Hooray for the Stonewall Foundation, which is giving Arizona, Sonora and Mexico residents free admission to TMA on the second Sunday of each month. This week, the museum is kicking off its celebration of the Arizona biennial with a focus on art-making activities. Try printmaking in the Margaret E. Mooney Hall, making cyanotypes in the upper plaza and the hall, and making a contribution to a collaborative mural on the upper plaza. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 8. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
Summer Camp at the Tucson Petting Zoo. Face it: Petting zoos are fantastic. And face an even more specific truth: The Funny Foot Farm and Tucson Petting Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with everything from capybara to porcupines to turkeys to emu, is even better than your average petting zoo. At this camp open to K-5th graders, future zookeepers can play games, make crafts and enjoy hands-on learning adventures with all of the animals mentioned above, all of the animals you see in normal petting zoos, and even more animals than that. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 13. Tucson Petting Zoo, 2405 W. Wetmore Road. $189.
Summer Safari Nights at Reid Park Zoo Let your hair down at the zoo, where the theme of this week's program is "Explore Your Wild Side." If you have anything in common with goats, snakes, bearded dragons, giraffes, rhinos, otters or ferrets, it's that you all like to play. Connect with all of these animals over your common interest and learn a little more about what makes them tick. The Just Intervals provide the live entertainment, and as always, there'll be food and drink specials, animal biofacts and local vendors onsite. In celebration of Independence Day, all military (with ID) will receive free admission. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 6. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 children 2 to 14 and half off for zoo members.
Cool Summer Nights. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is keeping this week's theme simple, with a focus on the creatures of the night, like bats, owls, kangaroo rats and Whitney Houston, the Queen of the Night. Becoming Animal, the black-and-white photography exhibit, gives you a chance to explore the similarities between animals and humans, while the Packrat Playhouse will let your kids do the same thing. The stingray touch exhibit will also be open, and staff members from the Herpetology Department will be doing two live animal presentations with venomous reptiles. As always, Museum Docents will be roaming the grounds ready to drop some knowledge on you at every turn—so watch out! 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 7. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. $22 GA, $20 seniors 65 and up, $9 kids 2 to 12, $18 military, $17 Arizona/Sonora resident.
Preschool of Rock. Do you have a 2- to 5-year-old who's demonstrating the qualities of a budding musician? Give your child a fun head start to his or her music career with this class taught by Paulina Kervran. (Don't worry, you're not leaving your kids with Jack Black.) They'll have the chance to try out guitars, drums, keyboards and more, and even to try out rhythm exercises and participate in sing-alongs. Special guest presenters (oh, maybe you are leaving your kids with Jack Black) are on deck to make the experience as engaging and fun as possible. It's a perfect way to prepare your child for music lessons in the future. 10:15 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 7. Drum & Drummer School of Music, 210 S. Plumer Ave., suite 150. Free. $7.
Music and Theater
Sizzling Summer Sounds. We know it's tempting to do everything you can to ignore how hot it's getting, but we also know from experience that method is pretty ineffective. So why not focus on things that are better when they're hot, like mashed potatoes, movie stars and jazz? As part of the Invisible Theatre's two-week program, enjoy music by the likes of musical pairs Lerner and Lowe, Rodgers and Hart and the Gershwins, performed by Katherine Byrnes and musical director Jeffrey Haskell ("Mr. Jazz.") It's too darn hot, so you might as well snap your fingers and go with it. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. Janos Downtown Kitchen/Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave. $35 GA.
Murder at Cactus Casino. We don't know what it is about murder, but for some reason it's not fun when it happens to you, but true crime television shows and musical murder mystery dinners are some of the best ways there are to spend time. You can watch Forensic Files anytime, so if you're looking for something a little more special, head over to the Gaslight for this interactive murder mystery wrapped around a multi-course meal. Guests in the audience will be given new identities for the evening, and are welcome to interrogate the suspects. (If they're not too busy eating, that is. You can choose roast chicken, halibut or pasta primavera for your entrée, and there's a salad and dessert as well.) The person who comes closest to solving the mystery gets a prize! 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 9 through Monday, Sept. 24. Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley. $39 includes dinner. Discounts available for students/seniors/military.
Lovers: Part One. Talk about tension. In this play by Brian Friel, two teenagers in 1966 Ireland meet up on a hilltop to study for their exams. As if that's not stressful and high-stakes enough, they're also there to discuss their unplanned pregnancy. As Joe, who is studious but not ready to be an adult and Maggie, whose free spirit is getting little anxious about the idea of motherhood, figure out what to do, they talk about all of the things any parties to an unplanned pregnancy would: Family, religion, cultural expectation and their changing feelings. Holly Griffith directs this play, one of Friel's lesser-known productions that's almost as full as witticisms as it is wistfulness. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 6; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 7; 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. Scoundrel and Scamp MainStage Theater, 738 N. Fifth Ave., suite 131. $28 GA, $20 under 30 and $15 students and teachers.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged, Revised. It's never been done before, and we can't say for certain how it's going to be done now, but three actors are coming together to perform the complete works of William Shakespeare in just 97 minutes! Just kidding. It has been done before—it's actually one of the world's most frequently produced comedies, and with good reason. There's traditionally lots of improvisation, but, just to give you an idea, they do Titus Andronicus as a cooking show, Othello as a rap song and a big portion of the rest of the shows as a football game. Ah, the theater. 7 p.m. on Friday, July 6 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. Vail Theatre of the Arts, 10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way. $10 to $15.
First Fridays at the Arizona History Museum. For this week's first Friday, the Arizona Historical Society put together an exhibit called Todos Unidos: The Hispanic Experience in Flagstaff. Don't know much about Flagstaff's Hispanic community? Until recently, it was largely overlooked. Breann Velasco uses oral histories, photographs, newspapers, city documents and an array of other sources to chronicle the group's history—from immigration at the turn of the 20th century to the vibrant culture that exists there today. 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 6. Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St. Program included with museum admission, which is 2-for-1 on first Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. Regular admission prices are $10 adults, $8 65+, $5 students, $4 ages 7 to 17 and free for veterans, AHS members, kids 6 and under and—through Labor Day—active military.
First Friday Family Fundays at the Farmers Market. It's not just a tongue twister! It's also a summer tradition that's finally back. Heirloom Farmers Market and Trail Dust Town are teaming up for an event that has more than just 20 or so local produce, coffee, salsa, eggs, pastries, grass-fed meats and gluten-free goods vendors. There's also $6 wristbands for kids that give them unlimited access to the Ferris wheel, carousel and train at Trail Dust Town. This week also features a hula hoop area provided by Cirque Roots, a "Spin the Wheel" game, face painting and Spanish story time. While you're there, you can also check out the shops and enjoy the music of Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson. Put on your seatbelt and get ready for some fun coming your way! 8 a.m. to noon Friday, July 6. Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Free entry.
Summer Science Trivia. Borderlands Brewery and the March for Science Southern Arizona are teaming up again for the summer for these family friendly events that will feature all of the science—and all of the fun—that you could ever hope for. Plus, there's great local beer. The first hour of the event features an as-of-our-print-date unannounced speaker (but, for some context, past events have included PhDs speaking about everything from "the evolution of complexity" to mosquitos). Then, put your thinking cap on (and maybe put your growler down) for an hour of science trivia. 7 p.m. Monday, July 9. Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole Ave. Free.
Learn Something New
Spacefest IX. Do you like astronomy? Robotic space exploration? Commercial space development? Space history? Basically, are you at all interested in outer space, in any way? Of course you are. Outer space is crazy! Hear from speakers ranging from NASA life scientist John B. Charles to software developer and part time musician Rick Armstrong to space historian Jay Gallentine. Get autographs from the dozens of real, live astronauts who will be an attendance! Go to panels on Apollo, Neil Armstrong, space threats and space exploration! Space is the Place, of course, but if you can't be up there, you might as well learn as much as you can about it from down here. Thursday, July 5 to Sunday, July 8. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. Daily admission is $30, Sunday admission is $12, kids 12 and under are free, and the STEAM portion of the conference is free and open to the public. VIP packages that include food and other special perks are also available.
JourneyDance First Saturdays. What is a JourneyDance? Well, first of all, it's the kind of dance you don't need any dance training to do, so you can start by breathing a sigh of relief. All bodies are welcome! Instructor Joanna Carichner is both a yoga teacher and a certified JourneyDance facilitator, if that gives you an idea of what to expect. More specifically, it's a dance form that combines freestyle and structured movement to help you get out of your mind and really inhabit your body and the moment. We think it's safe to say everyone could stand to do a little more living in the moment, so why not give it a try? 4 p.m. Saturday, July 7. Tucson Yoga Studio, 150 S Fourth Ave. $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Senior Pride Speakers Series. While this monthly event is hosted by Southern Arizona Senior Pride, which celebrates and supports LGBTQ+ seniors in our community, all are welcome. This month, guests will hear from Beth Fuller, owner of TLC Coordination and Advocacy, an organization that advocates for seniors and individuals with disabilities or serious mental illness by doing everything from accompanying clients to appointments and taking notes to making sure their concerns are addressed by healthcare professionals. She'll be speaking about how she does this work with coordination and compassion, and about the benefits her work provides. 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, with a different speaker the second Tuesday of every month except August. Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Free.
Board Game Night. Amazing Discoveries hosts this event every week, giving everyone in Tucson the perfect opportunity to try out a new board game, and maybe even make some new friends. It's a different game every week, and players can get 10 percent off the featured game if they decide they want to take it home to play some more. There's also a raffle with promo items at the end of the night. Look, if you don't branch out now, you're just going to be playing Monopoly for the rest of your life. And probably the same game of Monopoly. 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 7. Amazing Discoveries, 2410 E. Broadway Blvd. Free.
Fun in General
Sweet Corn Extravaganza. It's summer, which means it's time to head back to Apple Annie's for all of their fresh produce. First up: The self-proclaimed "Best sweet corn in Southern Arizona." You can buy fresh picked sweet corn, try a sample of it and even take home some recipes for how to properly freeze and cook the armful of corn you buy. Of course, there will also be fresh roasted sweet corn on the cob, which you can dip into warm butter and all the seasonings you can think of. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8. Apple Annie's Produce and Pumpkin Patch, 6405 W. Williams Road. Free entry.
Run with the Roosters Kinney Road 5-miler. No one wants to run five miles in the middle of the summer. UNLESS it's at the crack of dawn, before it gets too hot. If you're not a runner, this might sound crazy, but there's something truly incredible about starting a run at 5 a.m. and being done by 6 or 7. Most people haven't even started their days, and you're already off the hook for doing anything the whole rest of the day! Everyone Runs, Everyone Walks is hosting this run at Old Tucson, and they make the deal even better by providing custom shirts, a Mexica breakfast, photos, a slip 'n slide (!!!), overall and 5-year age group roster trophy awards. 5:05 a.m. or first light on Sunday, July 8 (but get there early! They have to close the road at 4:40 a.m. for runners' safety). Packet pick-up times, dates and locations are available at everyoneruns.net. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $35+.
2018 Old Pueblo Jiu-Jitsu Open. If you've ever met anyone who's into Jiu-Jitsu, you probably know that, like most people who are into Jiu-Jitsu, they're not just sort of into it—they're REALLY into it. If you're a person who does Jiu-Jitsu, then you, of course, know this better than anyone. Go check out a bunch of people doing what they love, and see if you don't get sucked into the world of this martial art yourself. There are divisions for kids, men and women, as well as go and no-go divisions. There are also prizes ranging from $200 to $400 for division winners. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 7. Pueblo High School, 3500 S. 12th Ave. $10 entry.
Desert Sun. In the heat of the summer, when you might be wondering why exactly you still live in Tucson anyway, there's nothing like a desert sunset to remind you that we actually live in a pretty beautiful, wonderful place. Unfortunately, it's about a million degrees at sunset, so driving to the edge of town or hiking up A Mountain to get that perfect view isn't as fun as it is in the fall. Enter the Madaras Gallery: Throughout the month, they'll be featuring Southwest and desert sunset paintings by Diana Madaras herself. Throughout July. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road. Free entry.