To celebrate the rodeo, most of Tucson's kids have a long weekend this week, starting Thursday.

So, I put together a list of free and cheap things to do around town to help keep them busy. 


Pan for garnets at Sabino Canyon, 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road. Participants get to search for garnets in the creek. Check for location at the visitor center. 11:45 to 3 p.m. The event is free, but it's $5 to park. 749-8700.

Youth Lib Crib at Woods Branch Library, 3455 N. First Ave. Kids and teens can use laptops, play video games, board games, read books, watch movies and make crafts. 2 to 5 p.m. Free. 594-5445.


Teen gaming day at Himmel Park Public Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Teens and tweens ages 11 to 18 can play Wii, PS3, Rock Band, Minecraft, online games and board games. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free. 594-5305.


Hats & Cats, a Dr. Seuss celebration at Bookmans, 6230 E. Speedway. To celebrate Love of Reading month, Cat will be at Bookmans to read stories, sing songs and host a cat craft. 10 to 11 a.m. Free. 748-9555.

Peace fair and music festival at DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, Country Club, north of 22nd Street. Peace, justice and environmental groups, live music, food, entertainment and children's activities. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 445-4110.

Oro Valley Classic Car Show at Oro Valley Marketplace on the southwest corner of Tangerine and Oracle Roads. There will be more than 50 classes of antique, classic, muscle cars and trucks with awards. DJs and live music. Jumping castles and art activities for the kids. Food will be available for purchase.  Benefits Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance's arts programs in community and local schools. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5; free for ages 10 and under. 797-3959.


Tangerine Crossing Art Market at the Shoppes at Tangerine Crossing, 12100 N. Thornydale Road, Marana. There will be more than 50 vendors, live music and food. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 401-1290.

Rodeo Days Arts Celebration at Plaza Palomino, 2960 N. Swan Road. More than 40 artists display their work. Tucson celebrity quick draw with David Fitzsimmons. Ruben Moreno's Mariachi Herradura and Arizona Dance Hands and the Sonoran Dogs. Beer garden and food available. Carriage rides from 1 to 7 p.m. Event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free. 907-7325.

Toy Train Museum open house at Gadsden Pacific Toy Train Museum, 3975 N. Miller Ave. Toy trains of all sizes run the tracks. Interactive exhibits. 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free. 888-2222.

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at 573-4137 or Follow her on Twitter @CentsibleMama or on Facebook at

Families and schools reporter for #ThisIsTucson. Artist, photographer, mother of one.