In the Cool of the Evening
Summer Safari Nights at Reid Park Zoo. If the kids are complaining about how, at summer's end, they'll have to go back to school, this is your chance to show them that even animals in the zoo spend their time learning. And they have to do it during the summer! Animal Enrichment Night will feature animals like the grizzly bear, lion, otter, goat, anteater, giraffe and tiger, and will demonstrate how the zoo keepers provide mental and physical activities for the animals to do every day. The best part? You'll basically be tricking your kids into learning over summer vacation too. As usual, live music, food and drink specials and local vendors abound. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 27. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 children ages 2 to 14. Half off for zoo members.
Cool Summer Nights at the Desert Museum. Over in the jungle (the mighty jungle), the lion is sleeping tonight. But here in the desert (the Sonoran Desert), bats, owls and kangaroo rats are just a few of the animals that are out and about after dark. This week's "Creatures of the Night" theme features two 30-minute "Fur, Feathers and Fans" presentations by keepers about what it's like working with animals, as well as a 45-minute class on how to take great photos with any camera led by Jay Pierstorff. As usual, the Packrat Playhouse, the Stingray Touch Exhibit, family art activities, the art exhibit "Becoming Animal" and plenty of docent stations will be on hand as well. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 28. 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.
Night Wings at the Pima Air and Space Museum. It really is fascinating learning about the history of aviation by looking at all sorts of different planes. But lately, it's been too hot to do pretty much anything, let alone find the brainpower to go learn about the history of aviation. Never fear! Now's your chance to explore the local air and space museum in the cool of the evening. In addition to the usual museum offerings, they'll also be showing screenings of the short film Earthrise. The Flight Grill will be open to fuel your learning! 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 28. Pima Air and Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road. $10 adults and free for kids 12 and under!
MSA Annex Summer Night Market. Let's get vintage! Let's get artisan! Let's get handmade! And let's do it all in the evening, so it will be less hot. Mercado San Agustin and the MSA Annex are hosting all of your favorite vendors, and your new favorite MSA Annex shops will be open as well. Grab a drink at Westbound's outdoor bar and treat yourself—and the local artists you're supporting—to a moonlit shopping spree. This is the second of three summer night markets, so keep an eye out for the next one in August! 6 p.m. Friday, July 27. MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento. Free entry.
Mars Magnified. Tuesday, July 31 is a special day, and not just because it's Harry Potter's birthday. Cosmically speaking, Mars is going to be closer to Earth on this day than it has been in many years, and Flandrau and the Steward Observatory are celebrating by pointing their telescopes up to the Red Planet and opening up to the public. Planetary scientist Steve Kortenkamp will start off the night with a "Mars Madness" presentation, explaining why Mars is so close right now, and what other planets you can look out for in the night sky. After his talk, there will be planetarium shows every hour. There will also be telescopes pointed up at the other planets, so you can get a planet fix even if Mars doesn't do it for you. Fair warning, the telescope viewing is weather permitting, because there's hardly a point in staring up at the clouds through a telescope. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday, July 31. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, Steward Observatory, UA Mall. Telescope viewing is free, and the "Mars Madness" presentation, planetarium shows and laser music shows are $5.
Get Outta Town
Breeze in the Trees 5K. Green Valley is continuing its series of fun runs with the eighth annual iteration of this 5K through the Green Valley Pecan Farm, at which all ages are welcome (provided they're human—no dogs allowed on the course). All runners and their guests get a complimentary pancake breakfast served by the Green Valley Firefighter's Association, and runners get a 10 percent discount at the pecan store for the weekend. Beat the heat at this early race, and support a good cause: Proceeds benefit the Men's Active 20-30 Club of Tucson, a service organization of men and women in their 20s and 30s who work to improve the lives of children in the Tucson area. 6:30 a.m. start. Saturday, July 28. Green Valley Pecan Company, 1625 E. Sahuarita Road, on the north side of Sahuarita Road, on the east side of the Pecan Store building. $35.
Peach Mania at Apple Annie's. There's lots to celebrate about peaches! For one, they're versatile—put 'em in a pie! Eat one for lunch! Have peach-flavored iced tea! For another thing, they don't actually grow as large as that peach in James and the Giant Peach, so eating one doesn't send you off on a horrifying adventure with giant spiders. Anyway, the 18th annual Peach Mania starts with an all-you-can-eat peaches and pancakes breakfast in the mornings, free wagon rides, free samples of peaches and peach products (if you still have room after breakfast), homemade peach pie and peach ice cream (if you somehow still have room?) and apple-smoked burger lunches (seriously, it would be wild if you still had room at this point). 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday July 28 and 29, and Aug. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19. Apple Annie's Fruit Orchard, 2081 W. Hardy Road, Willcox.
National Day of the Cowboy at Empire Ranch. Put on your cowboy boots! Shine your spurs! Get on a horse and say "yee-haw!" Because it's National Day of the Cowboy down in Vail, and they're celebrating with the whole enchilada.... Or should we say the whole beef jerky, or whatever cowboys eat? We're talking leather making, mule packing, saddle making, blacksmithing, regatta braiding, roping, horse demos and a raffle. They'll also be playing western pilot movies, doing a reenactment of the story of Walter Vail, offering docent-led tours and hosting a talk by Ian and Addie Tomlinson about multi-generational ranching. Giddyup! 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28. East Empire Ranch Road, Vail, AZ. Free entry.
Southwest Wings Summer 2018. Did you know that the Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival is the oldest birding festival in Arizona? Pop over to Sierra Vista to check out free programs, wildlife exhibits, vendors and a keynote buffet. There are about 200 species per festival, on average, and you can see them on guided field trips through areas like Carr Canyon, Ramsey Canyon, Cave Creek and all over the Huachuca Mountains. Rick Taylor, founder and director of Borderland Tours, is the keynote (which is only $35, and includes dinner). 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 through Saturday, Aug. 4. Cochise College, 901 Colombo Ave. Sierra Vista. Prices vary widely. Some events are free, while an overnight field trip is $250 (including transportation and meals).
Shows and Spectacles
The Effect. Ah, there's nothing quite like the feeling of new love: Pounding heart, sweaty palms, libido through the roof, thinking for the first time in a long while that maybe the world's not all that bad. You know the drill. Unfortunately, the lead characters and lovers in this show, Connie and Tristan, aren't totally confident that all of these symptoms aren't just side effects of the antidepressants they're taking as clinical trial participants. This clever look at love, attraction and all the mysteries that come with them is the second show in Live Theatre Workshop's 2018 to 2019 season. Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, Aug. 25. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and 3 p.m. on Saturdays. $15 to $20.
Christmas in July at Hotel Congress. It's a sentiment shared by Americans everywhere on Christmas morning: "What a wonderful day. If only it were 105 degrees outside, then it would be perfect." Well, at long last, HoCo is making all of our dreams come true. Holiday drink specials! Sexy elves! Mistletoe! There's even going to be a snowball fight hosted by Santa Claus himself. Summer Christmas attire is not required, but is heavily encouraged (a Hawaiian shirt with reindeer on it? A red and white pool cover up? Flip flops decked out with jingle bells? It's up to you to decide). 9 p.m. Thursday, July 26. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Free.
- Judy Choate
- Windy Pass
The Western Attraction. The Wilde Meyer Gallery is hosting a monthlong group show featuring artwork that's all about the West and why we love it. From contemporary cowboy and Native American interpretations to western landscapes to some of the area's most iconic features, you'll walk through the gallery and be reminded of why we love where we live, even in the heat of summer. With artists like Karen Bezuidenhout, Judy Choate, Ka Fisher and Jim Nelson, there will also be plenty of variety. Head down this weekend! Through the month of August. Gallery summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, when there is a weekly art walk from 5 to 7 p.m., and 1 to 4 p.m. on
Sundays. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 170.
Shinrin Yoku "Forest Bathing" Walk. Join integrative health and wellness coach Carol Roberge on this twilit walk atop Mount Lemmon. These walks, in which you observe and experience the transition from day to night, have become a trend around the world. And it makes sense. Can you imagine a more peaceful or tranquil way to end the day than to head up to the forest and be as present as possible for the sunset? A tea ceremony and snacks will be included on this non-strenuous walk. 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 27. Call Carol at 206-714-0544 to RSVP and receive directions. $30.
Yoga in the Park with Live DJ. You've been meaning to get into yoga, so now's a pretty good chance. This fun (but challenging!) yoga flow class is held outdoors at Reid Park, and everyone is welcome. Bring a mat or a towel, as well as some water and even a friend if you want. This is a recurring Sunday event that goes through the end of September, and on the last day of class there will be locally sourced vegan donuts and coffee. If that isn't a good incentive to at least stick with yoga for a few weeks, then I don't know what is. 8 a.m. Sunday, July 29. Reid Park, 3400 E. Zoo Court, near ramada 18. Donation is recommended, please pay what you can.
The Second Annual Harry Potter Charity Ball. Sometimes being a good person is a real drag. But sometimes being a good person means you get to dress up as your favorite Harry Potter character, hang out downtown and play Wizard's Chess and Quidditch cornhole (the closest we're going to get to real Quidditch, being Muggles and all). They're also raffling off lots of cool prizes, like a Harry Potter gift bag from Bookman's and tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood (trust us when we urge you to please try the butterbeer). There'll also be food from places like Sweet Tomatoes, the Orowheat Bake Shop and the Gypsy Caravan Generations of Flavor food truck. And there's an open bar. Accio cocktail! Proceeds go to at least four local charities, including Literacy Connects and Youth on Their Own. 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28. Tucson Scottish Rite, 160 S. Scott Ave. $15 GA, $50 VIP (early entry, VIP parking, and a special gift).
Make it Mondays! Another Monday, another visit to the Tucson Children's Museum, where this week's theme is "Schoolhouse of Rock–We've Got the Beat!" We're assuming there's going to be some Schoolhouse Rock involved, so kids can learn all about how a bill becomes a law (or at least how it's supposed to work). But hey, based on the title, maybe the Go-Go's are going to get involved too. Regardless, you've gotta love the extended hours and reduced admission prices! 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, July 30. Tucson Children's Museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave. $3.
Fun in General
Monsoon Madness Plant Sale. The old saying is that April showers bring May flowers, but in Tucson, summer monsoon showers bring much a much wider, weirder and more wondrous selection of desert-friendly plants. Local growers and nationally-renowned plant owners alike will be at this annual Tohono Chul event, which will be enjoyable for both botany nerds and people who can't keep houseplants alive. In fact, it's not just a sale—you can also learn about plant care from the professionals. So this event might just be extra beneficial for the succulent-over waterers of the world (like us). 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 27 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. Admissions to the gardens are FREE during the sale.
Speakeasy: Live at the KAT Club. If you haven't checked out Kinetic Arts Tucson yet, now is your perfect chance to head over to this safe, loving and inclusive environment for anyone who's ever been interested in pole, dance or acrobatics. This variety show will have a 1920s theme (and audience members are encouraged to dress accordingly!), and will include pole dancing, vaudeville acts and other forms of dance. There will also be a cake walk, a tarot card reader, a raffle, live music, food and beverages AND it's kid friendly, making this an event literally anyone can enjoy. This is just the first in a community performance series KAT plans to host. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 28. Kinetic Arts Tucson, 17 E. Toole Ave. $10 includes a raffle ticket, entertainment, tapas and treats.
Round Up at the Ranch 5K. Head over to Oro Valley to participate in this third annual summer fun run along the multi-use path, beginning at Steam Pump Ranch. If running isn't your thing, then consider the run (or walk) as the appetizer, and the watermelon, water balloon toss and snacks as the main course. Runners, walkers and strollers are all welcome on this course, which will head east toward Catalina State Park and feature prizes for overall male and female winners and for five-year age groups. Socks will also be on sale both onsite and during online registration. Proceeds benefit the town's Round Up For Youth Recreation Scholarship Program. 6 to 8 a.m. Sunday, July 29. Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road. $20 prior to race day or $25 on race day.