Summer survival sometimes means embracing nocturnal living. At least a little bit.
Our native neighbors know this well — come dusk, the desert seems to take a deep breath. And then life unfolds. Teach us your ways, desert critters.
To avoid getting scorched during hot summer days, tap into your inner night owl.
There's plenty to do.
Catch a dive-in movie
Marana hosts monthly dive-in movies, free at the Marana Public Pool, 13250 N. Lon Adams Road. You and the kiddos can watch "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, July 21. Check out the Facebook event here.
Shop at the Mercado
Grab a bite to eat at the Mercado San Agustin or the MSA Annex, and then explore the new shipping container shopping center. On the last Friday of each summer month (June 29, July 27 and August 31), the MSA Annex will host a Summer Night Market from 6-10 p.m. For more information, go here.
See all the wildlife
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, extends its hours until 10 p.m. each Saturday so you can get a glimpse of what it really means to live the nocturnal life. The museum's Cool Summer Nights revolve around a new theme each week: This week (June 23), it's a Pollinator Party. June 30 is Dino Night. Here is the complete schedule. See the animals out and about. General admission rates apply: $16.95 for Arizona and Sonora residents 13 and older and $8.95 for children 3 to 12. Kids younger than 3 are free.
Get more information at desertmuseum.org.
Listen to a concert under the stars
Catalina State Park in Oro Valley organizes monthly, free concerts around dusk. Catch blues artist Tommy Tucker 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 7. The park's entrance fee is $7 per vehicle or $3 per individual on foot or bike. Go here for more information.
Splurge a bit and head up to Mount Lemmon for an evening of marveling at the wonders of the universe. The University of Arizona's Mount Lemmon SkyCenter will let you peer at the heavens through 32-inch Schulman and 24-inch Phillips telescopes. They're BIG. You'll learn about astronomy and then get to stare at galaxies and nebula. The five-hour program costs $65 for adults. During the summer, you sign up for a wait list and they contact you the morning of to let you know if the program is a go or not. Gotta account for monsoons and all of that.
Visit skycenter.arizona.edu for more information.
Wander through gardens
The Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, stay open late on Thursdays and Fridays until 8 p.m. Spend a few hours in this garden oasis and remember June is almost over. Garden admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children 4 to 17. Kids 3 and younger are free.
Visit tucsonbotanical.org for more information.
Watch a movie
Every summer the Cinema La Placita outdoor film series transforms a downtown plaza into a theater. This year, you can catch monthly films outside at the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave. It only costs $3 per person and includes popcorn. Catch a film each Thursday — this week, you can watch "Born Yesterday" starting 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21. Maybe don't bring the kids to this one.
For more information, visit cinemalaplacita.com.
Party like a cowgirl
Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, stays open in the evenings, with most of its attractions and shops closing around 9 p.m. most days (many of the attractions are closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Never mind that it's down the street from a McDonald's and Target, this little plaza will transport you back to the Wild West. There are stunt shows, a mini Ferris wheel, a carousel, shops and more. Pricing varies for each attraction. While you're there, grab dinner and drinks at Pinnacle Peak, the venue's steakhouse.
For more information on attraction hours and pricing, visit traildusttown.com.
Take a bike ride
Go solo through your neighborhood or join the Tuesday Night Bike Rides. These guys attract dozens of riders on Tuesdays and meet around 8:30 p.m. (show up a tad earlier) at the flag pole west of Old Main at the University of Arizona. Explore Tucson, meet new friends and get some exercise without getting a sunburn.
Check out their Facebook page for more information.
Go on a safari
Every Friday through August 3, the Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court, hosts Summer Safari Friday Nights with live music, animal encounters and fun facts from 6-8 p.m. through August 3. This week's theme on June 22 is Protecting the Sounds of the Wild. Tickets cost $10.50 for adults and $6.50 for children ages 2 to 14.
For more information, go here.
Because sometimes there's nothing better than 18 holes of fun. Tucson has two good options for your mini golf needs. Check out Funtasticks Family Fun Park, 221 E. Wetmore Road, which has mini golf open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday. Mini golf here costs $7.99 for adults and $6.99 for kids 3 to 11. Visit funtasticks.com for more information.