The Tucson J's Second Annual Elder Camp. Many people look back on summer camp as one of their fondest memories. So it doesn't seem right that there isn't a summer camp for the elderly—a group who spends a lot of time looking back on its fondest memories. But now there is! After a banner first-year experiment, the Tucson Jewish Community Center is offering Elder Camp on four consecutive Sunday afternoons. Each three-hour session features an hour of arts and crafts, an hour of Zumba and either a nature program presented by Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists, interactive bingo, carnival games or singalong with piano accompaniment and lyrics projected on a screen. Snacks and beverages are provided. Participants must be ambulatory (cane or walker okay) and continent of bowel (Depends are okay). Accompanied memory-challenged participants are also welcome. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 23 and 30 and July 7. Tucson J, 3800 E. River Road. $150 for all four sessions or $40 each. Call Sharon Arkin at 603-2912 to reserve a spot.
Tucson's 244th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Tucson! The Tucson Historic Depot is celebrating the city with a well-deserved birthday party. (Almost anything that sticks around for 244 years deserves a party, in our opinion.) So head on over for some free family fun, mariachi music, a mayoral proclamation and—of course—birthday cake! There will also be a Chinese Lion Dance performance, because our beautiful city deserves it! Noon. Sunday, Aug. 18. AMTRAK Depot Lobby, 400 N. Toole. Free.
The Pima County Home & Garden Show. There's no place like home. Especially when you get your home all decked out and beautified after attending a home show. And boy, is this home show going to deliver. Your landscaping, contracting, design, entertainment and remodeling dreams will all come true. Get new, energy-efficient windows and doors! Win a barbecue island! Look into solar panels, like you've been meaning to for years! Take a "how-to" seminar on anything from cooking to construction to finance. You'll go home inspired. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $8, or free for kids 16 and under.
National Trails Day. The American Hiking Society has declared June 1 National Trails Day, a day to get out, give back and advocate for public lands and trails. The Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, REI and Pima County are hosting a morning full of trail building in the Tucson Mountains to celebrate. They need your help with the Painted Hills trail system, a new multi-use trail network between Speedway and Anklam. No experience necessary, and a light breakfast and all tools will be provided. Bring sunscreen, gloves, closed-toed shoes and plenty of water—it's summer, for Pete's sake! 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1. Painted Hills Trailhead, 3590 W. Anklam Road.
Library Writing Workshops. The Pima County Public Library's newest writer in residence, J.M. Hayes, is the author of several critically acclaimed books, and he's going to be offering tips to improve your own writing throughout the summer. From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, he'll go over to hook your readers with solid opening lines and paragraphs at the Dusenberry-River Library, 5605 E. River Road. At 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, he'll talk about how to combine humor and suspense in your writing at the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive. And a 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, he'll lead an advanced workshop on how to stretch your writing skills at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Check out the library website for info on his office hours, too!
BT2 Performance. Ballet Tucson's youth company (and Tucson's premier youth ballet), is closing out their season with this concert, featuring the pieces Paquita and Patchwork, as well as the premiere of Mozart Melange. They'll plie, jete and pique across the stage, and you'll be saying "hooray, hooray, hooray!" from the audience. Support local art, especially a kind that takes so much discipline to look so effortless. 2 p.m. Sunday, June 9. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd. $25 GA.
Madaras Gallery. Our local Madaras Gallery is celebrating 25 years this year with a different theme of art every month. Don't miss gate month in June, Western month in July, abstract month in August or the Christmas in August party in August! And on July 11, they'll be partying like its 1999 at their birthday party, complete with a 5 p.m. ribbon cutting by the Tucson Metro Chamber. Come for the art, stay for the reception and snacks, and maybe leave with the Madaras original you've been meaning to treat yourself to for the last 20 years. Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Ave.
Summer Safari Saturday
- Logan Burtch-Buus
- Learn about animals at Reid Park Zoo’s Summer Safari Nights.
Nights at Reid Park Zoo. The zoo is a summer go-to, of course, but make sure you don't miss their special Saturday night events. Each week has its own theme, but every week will have live music, games and activities, food and drink specials, animal encounters and keeper chats and tons of fun. Just note that on June 15, the event will be replaced with the zoo's annual Brew at the Zoo event, which is an equally fun (but 21+) event. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday nights through Aug. 17. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 kids 2 to 14 and free for members.
Brew at the Zoo 2019. Who doesn't love supporting education programs, improvements and conservation efforts at the local zoo? Maybe people who think supporting all of that has to involve putting in work. But no! Just drinking and games! Attend Brew at the Zoo for an evening of sampling local craft beer; enjoying music by Dos Suenos, Rarity Rock Radio and Paul Jenkins; painting a glass with Creative Juice; playing games; and meeting the zoo's animal ambassadors. Possibly the best part? It's a 21+ event, so you can't bring the impatient kids who have an annoying habit of making you move on from the giraffe exhibit when you're not done marveling at the giraffes. 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Reid Park Zoo. $45 or $40 for members in advance (or $55/$50 for members at the gate unless sold out), $20 for designated drivers (includes souvenir cup and $8 food voucher), $120 VIP package (includes early admission, two extra tickets, a souvenir T-shirt and a $10 food voucher).
Fathers' Day Weekend & Classic Car Show. There ain't enough room in Old Tucson for the two of us, unless the two of us are a father and a son, because men and boys of all ages get into Old Tucson for free on Fathers' Day weekend, June 15 to 16. Plus, there will be a classic car show and whiskey tastings at Old Tucson—truly a dad's dream. Look no "father" than this event for the perfect way to spend Dad's Day. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. Free admission for men and boys, $19.95 adults 12 to 64, $10.95 for kids 4 to 11, $17.95 for seniors 65+ and military, $16.95 for Pima County adult residents, $8.95 for Pima County child residents.
Spacefest. Do you like outer space? Sure you do! Whether you're into robotic space exploration, commercial space development, astronomy, space history or just staring up at the sky and trying to find constellations, SpaceFest is for you! This year's special guests include Franklin Chang Diaz, space shuttle mission specialist and CEO of AD Astra Rocket Company; Manfred "Dutch" Von Ehrenfried, NASA flight controller; Andrew Chaikin, author, science journalist and space historian; and Abby Garrett, author, artist and spaceflight communicator. This event is produced by NovaSpace, a Tucson space art gallery and memorabilia dealer, and with the goal of reaching out to anyone who "likes space, but just doesn't know it yet." Thursday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Aug. 11. JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. $10 Thursday or Sunday admission, $30 Friday and Saturday admission. Free for kids 12 and under every day. Special packages available.
Apple Annie's. You're going to want to be spending a lot of time at Apple Annie's this summer, for events like their My-Oh-My Apple Pie Weekend, their corn maze, their apple harvest celebration and their green chili roast. Just one example: Peach Mania! Five weekends full of all-you-can-eat peaches and pancakes breakfasts, peach picking, peach ice cream, peach pie and wagon rides. To peach his own! Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Apple Annie's Fruit Orchards, 2081 W. Hardy Road. July 20, 21, 27 and 28. Aug. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. Peaches are $2.09 a pound already picked or $1.79 a pound if you pick them yourself.
American Pole League Championships. If you're in the mood to be impressed, this is quite the event. Seriously: The core strength and upper body strength it takes to be a pole athlete is off the charts. And this sport has been around in some cultures for hundreds and hundreds of calorie-burning, washboard-ab-rocking years. Come watch some of the best of the best contort and compete to qualify in the world pole sports championships. 9 a.m. Saturday, July 27. Sporting Chance Center, 2100 W. Curtis Road. $20, or free for kids 10 and under.
49th Annual Juneteenth Festival. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. It's celebrated June 19, 1965, the day the Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the war was over and the slaves were free. And if that's not worth celebrating, what is? This family-friendly festival features storytelling, shopping and plenty of food vendors, plus plenty of educational opportunities to learn more about the reason for the celebrating. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.
Tucson Museum of Art SUMMERpass. Have you ever thought about getting a membership to the local art museum but haven't been ready to make the commitment? Well, this summer, membership from May 1 all the way to Sept. 2 at TMA is just 30 bucks. They've got weekly activities, special events and air conditioning that will have you getting your money's worth for sure. Access to members-only events, free admission to TMALearn! Lectures, participation in Member Appreciation Days with refreshments and special one-day-only discounts in the museum's store are like a whole handful of cherries on top. Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.
Cool Summer Nights at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Not only is the Desert Museum way cooler at night, temperature-wise, but it's also really cool at night in that it comes alive with lots of nocturnal animals. Acrobatic bats, splashing beavers and glowing scorpions are just some of the fun stuff you can check out. Plus, give your kids a chance to check out the Packrat Playhouse or touch a stingray. Each week has a theme, like "pollinator party" or "astronomy night," but you can bring a flashlight, grab a beer and explore the museum during these special late hours any Saturday through Aug. 31. Museum open until 10 p.m. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. $21.95 GA, $19.95 seniors 65+, $8.95 for kids 3 to 12, free for kids under 3, $17.95 for active or retired military, $16.95 for Arizona/Sonora residents.
Apollo Remembered. Can you believe it's been 50 years since the first manned lunar landing? Oro Valley-based White Eagle Aerospace, LLC. is offering six opportunities to see this audiovisual presentation by aerospace historian and company CEO, J Terry White. He'll be talking about the people and events of the Apollo Program, showing a model display, and answering plenty of questions. Come see it on one of the following days: 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at the Pima Air & Space Museum, Hangar 1, 6000 E. Valencia Road. Children 12 and under are free, while all other ages pay $10 per person; 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 28 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fairmount Building, 6150 E. Fairmount St.; 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, North Stake Center, 939 W. Chapala Drive; 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Murphy-Wilmot Public Library, 530 N. Wilmot Road; 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive; and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Joyner-Green Valley Public Library, 601 N. La Cañada Drive, Green Valley.
Central Tucson Gallery Association Summer Art Cruise. Why spend thousands of dollars on a cruise on the ocean when you could just head downtown? There's all sorts of artisan food and drink you can enjoy, plus you can celebrate and support local artists at the Saturday night event. Stroll through galleries like the Andrew Smith Gallery (439 N. Sixth Ave., Ste. 179), the Contreras Gallery and Jewelry (110 E. Sixth St.) and the Davis Dominguez Gallery (154 E. Sixth St.), all holding receptions from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. (Contreras is actually open from 6 to 9 p.m.) To complete the cruise experience, let the inspiration you get from all this art carry you through the process of folding one of your towels into the shape of a cuddly animal and leaving it on your bed when you get home. Who's cruisin' now?
Chubasco: A Monsoon Exhibition. One of the things that makes summers in Tucson not only bearable, but actually kind of wonderful, of course, are the roaring, raging, remarkable thunder and lightning storms we know as monsoons. In honor of this, the Raices Taller Gallery is having an exhibit all about the monsoon, or chubasco. What's more universal than water, and what's more symbolic than the way the sun peeks through the clouds after a storm? Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and by appointment. Saturday, June 15 to Saturday, July 27. Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop, 218 E. Sixth St. Free.
Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. Your favorite museum of all things tiny has two special exhibits this summer. On display from June 4 to Sept. 15 is "Borrowed Time / Borrowed Books," featuring six miniature libraries inspired by the libraries in All the Presidents Men, Fahrenheit 451, Wings of Desire, The Time Machine, The Breakfast Club and Time Enough at Last (that heartbreaking Twilight Zone episode about the guy with the glasses). And on display from June 4 all the way to May 31, 2020, is "Miniature Silver," a collection of pieces that belonged to Helen Goodman Luria that date to as early as the 1600s. A total of 150 pieces are on display, some with specific functions, most just designed to delight. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. $10.50 GA, $8.50 senior 65+/military, $7 student/youth 4 to 17, free for kids 3 and under.
Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival. Not only is this Arizona's oldest birding festival, having started in 1991, but it's also consistently voted as one of the top five birding and nature festivals in the country. So if you like looking at birds (and who doesn't like looking at birds?!) you're not going to want to miss this bird bash, right down the road in Sierra Vista. There are all sorts of half-day, full-day, night and overnight field trips, plus a keynote by motivational speaker Helen Thayer, so you can really personalize this festival to be exactly what you want it to be. Wednesday, July 31 through Saturday, Aug. 3. Cochise College Campus Library, 901 Colombo Ave., Sierra Vista. Field trip costs (which include transportation and meals) range from $45 to $250.
49th Annual Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler & 5K Walk/Run. This iconic Tucson event, which takes you through some lovely rolling hills of saguaros in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains, is celebrating its 49th year, which means this could be your last chance to run this race before it has a full-blown midlife crisis. This is one of the few races produced on National Park lands, and we get to have it right near home! A man who breaks the course PR of 42:48 will get $424.80, and a woman who breaks the age-graded equivalent of 47:48 will receive $474.80. Motivated yet? 8-miler starts at 6:25 a.m. 5K starts at 6:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2. Saguaro National Park East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Road. $50 for 8-miler and $40 for 5K. National Park Service members get a $5 discount, and Southern Arizona Roadrunner members get a 10 percent discount (but you can only use one discount).
MegaMania. The Pima County Public Library is wrapping up its summer reading event—which includes book giveaways, a summer reading kickoff and an event at the Fox Theater—with this chance to celebrate all things geekery, from cosplay to gaming to crafts to fantasy books. Represent your favorite fandom, meet local authors and artists, play video games and tabletop games, enjoy a photobooth and escape rooms, make crafts and chow down on some snacks. All fandoms and all ages are welcome! 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 13. Pima Community College Downtown Campus, 1255 N. Stone Ave. Free.
Tucson Pops. The Tucson Pops Orchestra was founded by violinist Georges DeMeester back in 1955 to spread the joy of music to all. This season, they've got several treats in store for you to experience the joys of music. On Sunday, June 2, Jonathan Merrill is guest conducting pieces like "Moon River" and the William Tell Overture, and guitarist Ryan Chen is the featured artist. On Sunday, June 9, Toru Tagawa is guest conducting pieces including selections from Man of La Mancha and West Side Story, and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, and the featured artist is Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School. And on Sunday, June 16, guest conductor David Hernandez Breton is conducting some highlights form The Producers and Jurassic Park, while young conductors take the stage to direct a few pieces on their own. All concerts are at 7 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.