Summer 2016 is six weekends away from being a memory.
So rather than cry in your iced tea while sitting poolside with the sun beating down, here are a few ideas to make the most of each remaining weekend.
Wish Martina McBride happy birthday — in person: The multiplatinum-selling, multiple award-winning country singer is pulling into Desert Diamond Casino on Friday, July 29 — her big 5-0 birthday. We get her as part of her “Reckless” tour promoting her 13th album in a career that started while minding the store at Garth Brooks merch tent in the late 1980s. Friday’s show starts at 8 p.m. at Desert Diamond Casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road. Tickets are $27 to $67.50 through startickets.com
Catch a blockbuster film: Two of the summer’s biggest movies open this weekend: the comedy “Bad Moms” with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Christina Applegate as overstressed mothers who take a trip on the wild side; and the latest installment of the Bourne film series starring Matt Damon. “Jason Bourne” has the title character — an amnesiac CIA operative and assassin — remembering who he is and who put him in his dangerous predicament.
Celebrate Children’s Museum Tucson’s 30th anniversary: The downtown museum celebrates on Saturday, July 30. See related story. Details: childrensmuseumtucson.org
Aug. 5-7 weekend:
Don’t miss Kurt Vile: He’s the act you’re going to tell your friends that you saw back when Vile and the Violators were being touted by the New York Times as being at the “forefront of what you might call indie rock’s D.I.Y. renaissance.” They play the Rialto Theatre on Aug. 6. Tickets start at $25 at ticketfly.com
KXCI rockin’ the house: KXCI’s 5th Annual House Rockin’ Blues Review brings us Little Charlie Baty, Mark Hummel and Anson Funderburgh joining voices as The Golden State-Lonestar Blues Revue. They take the stage at the historic El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St., at 8 p.m. Aug. 5. Cost: $20, $15 for KXCI and Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation members in advance at Bookman’s and KXCI; $5 more at the door.
Dog days with Three Dog Night: The nearly 50-year-old iconic rock band slips into Desert Diamond Casino for an 8 p.m. show Friday, Aug. 5. Only one founding member, lead vocalist Danny Hutton, remains. Guitarist Michael Allsup, whose history with the band started a year after it formed in 1967 and has been a steady member since 1991, is also on the six-man roster. Tickets: $25-$45 through startickets.com or the casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road.
Aug. 12-14 weekend.
Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower: Anywhere between 150 to 200 meteors per hour are expected to shower down during the phenomenon’s peak, Aug. 12-13. The Perseid showers are active through Aug. 26.
Return of the Mermaids: On Aug. 13, from noon to 11 p.m., mermaids, mermen, jellyfish and other sea folk will flood the streets during the North Fourth Avenue event inspired by the famous Coney Island Mermaid Parade. The Tucson version was dreamed up by David Aguirre — known for the local Food Truck Roundups and other arts events around town — and Lizzie Mead, owner of Silver Sea Jewelry and a board member of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. Parts of North Fourth Avenue and downtown will resemble an ocean once again as mermaids strut their tail fins and seashells in the sidewalk parade and arts event, which will include a mermaid costume contest, live music, a DJ, dance performances, food trucks and art vendors.
Aug. 19-21 weekend:
Happy birthday, Old Pueblo: Celebrate Tucson’s birthday and our favorite pachyderm, Nandi, on Aug. 20. Tucson turns 241 — Capt. Hugo O’Conor established the Presidio de San Augustín del Tucson on Aug. 20, 1775, in what is today downtown Tucson — and Nandi turns 2 at the Reid Park Zoo.
Bad decisions, good wine: The annual Bad Decisions Campout at Arizona Hops and Vines winery in Sonoita comes with a warning: “There will be regrets, hilarious, well-documented regrets.” Bad Decisions is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 13; camping is all night. Cost: $30 for daytime, $80 for day and camping. Details and tickets: azhopsandvines.com/baddecisions2016
Get lost in the ’80s: Men Without Hats, A Flock of Seagulls, Farrington and Mann the original When In Rome UK, Modern English, Gene Loves Jezebel, Naked Eyes, Dramarama, and the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey comprise the awesome ’80s-themed lineup at the AVA at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, on Aug. 19. Tickets are $25 to $65 at tickets.solcasinos.com
Aug. 26-28 weekend:
Spend a night out with Alice Cooper: OK so this sounds intriguing and weird, but the Arizona shock rocker is bringing his “Spend the Night with Alice Cooper” show to the AVA. Plenty of tickets available at $35 to $75; you can also get VIP packages that includes exclusive meet-and-greet options at tickets.solcasinos.com
Cruising down the river: It’s the ultimate Arizona summertime rite of passage, hopping on an inner tube and floating down the cool, winding Salt River. Salt River Tubing & Recreation, 9200 N. Bush Highway in Mesa, runs from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily until September. The cost is $17 with tube rental, and $14 without. If you’re going with 30 of your closest friends, reservations and discounts are available. The latest you can rent a tube is 2 p.m. Details: saltrivertubing.com
Cruise downtown Tucson: It’s the first weekend since the UA rang the bell on the fall semester. Time to hop on the streetcar and check out the downtown nightlife. Michael Franti & Spearhead play a show at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m. Aug. 27 ($35-$43 at ticketfly.com). Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears are across the street at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., for a 7:30 p.m. show ($15-$17 at ticketfly.com)
Sept. 2-4 weekend:
Road-trip home game Sept. 3: The Wildcats open their 2016-17 season at a neutral site, the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. For opponent BYU, it will be a road game; for us, it’s just a hop-skip-and-cruise down Interstate 10, and it will feel every bit like a home game. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
A Labor Day tradition: One sure sign that’s summer’s on its way out is the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler & 5K Walk/Run on Sept. 5. It’s in its 47th year, which, in our book, qualifies it to be called a Tucson tradition. To register and learn more, visit azroadrunners.org