Summer's last hurrah (for the K-12 set)

2014-07-09T21:45:00Z Summer's last hurrah (for the K-12 set)Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

If your calendar marks off the seasons by your child’s school schedule, summer is three weeks from being over.

Southern Arizona’s largest school district, Tucson Unified School District, reconvenes July 31, with students at most of the other districts heading back the following week. 

That means you only have a few weeks to get in your summer-must-dos before it’s over.

Here are a few suggestions.

Breakers Water Park

8555 W. Tangerine Road, off Interstate 10 in Marana; 682-2530. 

Take a ride on the Riptide: Nothing like a heart-pounding plunge from 52 feet up on Breakers’ premier slide to cap off summer. You can ride lying on your back or sitting up; either way, hold on tight for Southern Arizona’s wildest water ride.

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays until Aug. 3; open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Aug. 10 to Sept. 1.

Cost: $23.95 for ages 12 and older, $17.95 for kids 4 to 11 years old. Discounts online at breakerswaterpark.com 

Reid Park Zoo

3400 E. Zoo Court in Reid Park, 791-4022, reidparkzoo.org

Get in on the final Summer Safari Friday Nights: It’s Friday and it’s all about “Amazing Africa,” focusing on the zoo favorites including the otter, giraffe, elephants, lions, lemurs, zebras, rhinoceroses and gazelles, among others. Activities including feeding the giraffes, checking out an otter training demo and chats with zoo keepers at the zebra, giraffe, otter, lion and rhino exhibits. The Barry James Orchestra also will perform.

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday. 

Cost: $9; discounts include $7 for seniors, $5 for ages 2-14.

Arizona-Sonora

Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road, 883-2702,

desertmuseum.org

Cool Summer Nights: Explore a new theme every Saturday. This Saturday’s Full Moon Festival offers an artistic point of view with music and art. There are also black-light art activities designed for kids. July 19 is Insect Insanity that promises to be an Arthro-Party. July 26 is Astronomy Night, with a star-studded adventure guided by experts from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Star-gaze through telescopes at several locations and meet creatures of the night unique to the Sonoran Desert. The Ocotillo Café is open for dinner (reservations at 883-5705), and there’s the Cottonwood Snack Shack and a build-your-own ice cream sandwich.

When: 6 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 30.

Cost: $19.50 adults, $15.50 kids 13 to 17, $6 kids 4 to 12

International Wildlife Museum

4800 W. Gates Pass Road, 629-0100, thewildlifemuseum.org

Penguin paradise in pictures: Wildlife artist and photographer J.J. L’Heureux’s brilliant photographs of penguins in the wild is on display Saturday through Dec. 31. L’Heureux will be at the museum Saturday for two presentations: at 1 p.m. for families and children, and at 4 p.m. for adults. She will sign copies of her book after each presentation.

When: The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 

Cost: $9; discounts include $4 for ages 4 to 12.

Fox Tucson Theatre

17 W. Congress St.;

547-3040.

Check out cartoons: Show the kids there was animation before “The Amazing World of Gumball” and “Teen Titans Go” with the Fox’s free cartoon weekend July 25-26. The theatre will show hours of programming — mainly Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies — in celebration of the SunLink Street Car launch.

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  July 25 and noon-6 p.m.  July 26.

Cost: Free.

The Loft Cinema

3233 E. Speedway; 795-0844, loftcinema.com

Attend a fest: The eighth annual Loft Kids Film Fest returns this month with nine days of movies ranging from “The Wizard of Oz” to “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” The event kicks off on July 18 at Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. The Loft’s festival partners up the fun with live music, entertainment and $8 wristbands for unlimited rides and stunt shows starting at 5:30 p.m. The free screenings start July 19 at 10 a.m. at The Loft. Word to the wise: get there early. Each show includes free popcorn, animated shorts and entertainment from the Mildred & Dildred toy store.

  • July 19 — “The Wizard of Oz”
  • July 20 — “The Last Unicorn”
  • July 21 — “Nocturna”
  • July 22 — “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”
  • July 23 — “National Velvet”
  • July 24 — “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West”
  • July 25 — “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”
  • July 26 — “Looney Tunes on the Big Screen”
  • July 27 — “How to Train Your Dragon”

Pima Air & Space Museum

6000 E. Valencia Road, 574-0462, pimaair.org

Soar with Night Wings: The museum is open late for a once-a-month program of hands-on aviation activities for kids, including building paper airplanes and gliders in the evening cool. Each hangar at the museum will feature different activities centered on science, technology, engineering and math.

When: 5-9 p.m. July 26 (Aug. 23, too) 

Cost: $10; free for ages 12 and under. 

Gerald M. Gay, Inger Sandal and Cathalena E. Burch

Gerald M. Gay, Inger Sandal and Cathalena E. Burch

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