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Eleanore Arismendez, 1, checks out a “customer” in an exhibit at the Children’s Museum in downtown Tucson, which reopens Thursday, March 25.

From concerts to free museum days to kid-friendly activities, you don't have to break the bank to enjoy local events in Tucson.

Here are 46 events that are free to attend!

Visitors look over the art displayed on multiple levels at the Tucson Museum of Art where ramps lead to the lowermost galleries located below ground level.

First Thursday at Tucson Museum of Art

Visit the Tucson Museum of Art every first Thursday of the month for pay-what-you-wish admission. There will be art and gallery activities, live music and a cash bar. You can check out new exhibit "Monica Aissa Martinez: Nothing in Stasis." A keynote interview will take place between the artist and the curator Dr. Julie Sasse at 5:30 p.m. 

When: 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1

Where: Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

Cost: Pay what you wish, reserve tickets in advance

Visit the event page for more information. 

Rooted Heritage Garden Launch

The Children’s Museum is opening a new, interactive exhibit that features the flora, fauna and people of the Sonoran Desert. Admission will be free.

When: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1

Where: Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Chillin at the Chul

It's the last weekend for Tohono Chul's summer series! Check out music, spirits and bites. On Saturday night, Tohono Chul has partnered with Children's Museum Oro Valley to provide family-friendly nature play.

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 2-3

Where: Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Art Corner with BICAS

Get free access to recycled bike art parts, tools and other materials and get creative! Once you're finished, you can donate your creation to BICAS or give a suggested donation to the nonprofit, if you're able to. Check in at the front counter before heading to the art area.

When: 4-6 p.m. Fridays

Where: BICAS, 2001 N. Seventh Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, donation suggested 

Visit the event page for more information.

Movies with Nightjar

Head to Nightjar, the sister bar of The Coronet and Meyer Avenue Cafe, for drinks, late-night bites and a movie — ones that "couldn’t either get on or stay on the public’s radar" — on the patio on most Fridays.

When: 10 p.m. Fridays in September, except Sept. 23

Where: Nightjar, 347 S. Meyer Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, happy hour specials available

Visit the event page for more information.

Live music at Steam Pump Ranch

Enjoy a night of live music from the Craig Green Band at Steam Pump Ranch. There will be food trucks on-site, plus beer and wine available for purchase. Bring your own chair or blanket!

When: 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2

Where: Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road

Cost: Free to attend, food and drinks available for purchase

Visit the event page for more information.

Nine-year-old Esperanza Parker, center, and siblings play with Uncle Dusty Cline at the Marana Public Pool in 2019.

Pool Party to Dive For

Close out summer with one last pool party at the Marana Pool. There will be a poolside movie and games!

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3

Where: Marana Pool at Ora Mae Harn District Park, 13250 N. Lon Adams Road

Cost: Free to attend 

Visit the event page for more information. 

Teacher Appreciation Night at the Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is celebrating Tucson's teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers and support staff will receive free museum admission with current ID. They'll also get free fountain drinks, member discounts and deals in the gift shop.

When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 3-4

Where: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road

Cost: Free admission for teachers. This event is open to the public — if you're not a teacher, general admission is $29.95 for ages 13-64 and $19.95 for kids ages 3-12. Arizona and Sonora residents ages 13 and up can get in for $24.95.

Visit the event page for more information.

Beer + Bikes

This bike ride goes along The Loop to 1912 Brewing Co. for a beer or two, followed by a bike ride back to Button Brew House for food truck bites.

When: 5-8 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 3 and Sept. 17

Where: Button Brew House, 6800 N. Camino Martin

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for brews and food

Visit the event page for more information.

Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Ariz. on January 10, 2022.

Guided look at the night sky

Volunteer astronomers at Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium will guide guests through points in the night sky with a 16-inch telescope at the observatory. 

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. Dates are subject to change due to staffing and weather.

Where: Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend, donations accepted

Visit the event page for more information.

Free First Saturday at Valley of the Moon

Take a morning walk through the quirky Valley of the Moon. Walk the paths, bring a picnic breakfast and spend time in the butterfly garden.

When: 8-9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3

Where: Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Cars and Coffee

Head to Topgolf early Saturday morning for a casual car meet. There will be free coffee and free golf for attendees 8-10 a.m.

When: 7-9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3

Where: Topgolf, 4050 W. Costco Dr.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Puppy Pool Party

Your pup can go for a swim at this party hosted by The Downtown Clifton Hotel. There will be snacks for the pups and drink specials for the humans!

When: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4

Where: The Downtown Clifton Hotel, 485 S. Stone Ave.

Cost: Open to the public and free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Santa Marana Farm Fair

Summer break is over and the Santa Marana Farm Fair is back. Shop from vendors, enjoy fair foods, check out the petting zoo and listen to live music. 

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4

Where: Santa Marana Xmas Tree Ranch, 13645 W. Sagebrush Road

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping and food

Visit the event page for more information.

Labor Day at the J 

The Tucson Jewish Community Center is hosting a packed day of activities this Labor Day. The day's schedule includes games of Taki (Israeli-style Uno), treats, a scavenger hunt through the sculpture garden, access for kids to the splash pad, a bounce house, story time, a sing-along with local musician Curt Beall, fitness classes and pickup sports games.

When: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. Check out the schedule of activities here.

Where: Tucson J, 3800 E. River Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

24th Annual Labor Day Picnic

The Pima Area Labor Federation is hosting their 24th annual Labor Day picnic where you’ll find free food and live music. Guests will hear from local unions about “worker victories and about the fights ahead.” 

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5

Where: Kennedy Park Stage Arena, 3357 S. La Cholla Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Women, Wine and Winning Wednesday

Women-owned small businesses will be at this networking event, presented by Elle Boutique, that features wine and cocktails, appetizers, giveaways and a DJ.

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7 at Sky Bar; 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 at The L Offices North.

Where: Sky Bar, 536 N. Fourth Ave.; The L Offices North, 1860 E. River Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.


Discovery Nights at Children's Museum Tucson

Visit Children's Museum Tucson for a free night of science and art, including story times and pop-up science experiments. 

When: 5-7 p.m. Thursdays

Where: Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Selling your artwork: Roundtable discussion and pop-up market

If you're an artist who wants to sell your artwork but you don't know where to start, this event might be for you. Several creatives will be at The Citizen Hotel for a roundtable discussion about how to sell your artwork through wholesale, consignment, art shows and more. Following the discussion, order a glass of wine and check out a pop-up market.

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9

Where: The Citizen Hotel, 82 S. Stone Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping and wine

Visit the event page for more information.

Family Fun Night

Tucson Parks and Recreation is hosting a free family fun night, complete with games, food and raffle prizes. 

When: 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9

Where: Marty Birdman Center, 2536 N. Castro Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, call 520-791-3247 to register. Spots are limited.

Visit the event page for more information.

Mission Garden is located at the base of A Mountain, at 946 W. Mission Lane.

Autumn Moon Celebration at Mission Garden

Mission Garden will decorate its Chinese Garden with Chinese lanterns and will have traditional mooncakes for sale at this Autumn Moon Celebration. At 10:30 a.m., you'll be able to listen to pipa music.

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

Cost: Free to attend with a $5 suggested donation

Visit the event page for more information.

2nd Saturdays

Downtown's 2nd Saturdays are back! Check out food trucks, live music and local makers during this monthly outdoor street festival.

When: 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Downtown Tucson along East Congress Street

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping and food

Visit the event page for more information. 

Tucson Repair Cafe

Need something fixed? Bring it to the Tucson Repair Cafe to be fixed for free! All items are welcome.

When: 4:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Xerocraft Makerspace, 101 W. Sixth St.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Analog Photography Exhibition at Decode Gallery

Analog photography, aka film photography, is the focus of this exhibition at Decode Gallery. The exhibit celebrates the “craft and tradition of film and alternative process photography.” 

When: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Decode Gallery, 320 S. Convent Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Art after Dark at Children's Museum Tucson

Each month, Children's Museum Tucson hosts local arts groups and offers free admission. This month's guest is Odaiko Sonora!

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Tucson Cars and Coffee

Head to this show centered around GM cars, hosted by Obsessions Car Club. 

When: 7-10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Lowe's, 4075 W. Ina Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Second SundAZe at TMA 

Visit the Tucson Museum of Art every second Sunday for pay-what-you-wish admission. Check out art-making activities and performances.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11

Where: Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

Cost: Pay what you wish, reserve tickets in advance.

Visit the event page for more information. 

Ride with FUGA

Take a bike ride with organization FUGA, which advocates for mobility, accessibility and representation for Tucson's south-side and west-side communities. 

When: 8-10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11; 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30

Where: Ward 1 City Council Office, 940 W. Alameda St. on Sept. 11; El Pueblo Center, 101 W. Irvington Road on Sept. 30.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the Sept. 11 event page or the Sept. 30 event page for more information.

Maestro László Veres conducts during his final concert with the Tucson Pops Orchestra at George DeMeester Performance Center at Reid Park on June 12. After 30 years with the Tucson Pops Orchestra, Veres has retired.

Music under the Stars 

Tucson Pops Orchestra is performing a series of Music under the Stars events, this time with special guests.

When: 7 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 11-25

Where: DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park, 800 S. Concert Place

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

"Lord of the Rings" Trivia

Test your knowledge in all things "Lord of the Rings" at this trivia night where you could win a gift card to Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. Teams can have as many as five people!

When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13. Teams are signed up on a first come, first served basis. It's suggested to get there by 6 p.m. to secure your spot.

Where: Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St.

Cost: Free to attend, recommended to buy a drink or two!

Visit the event page for more information.

Free Third Thursdays at MOCA

Third Thursday at Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art is a party. The art museum is open late with free admission — and free beer from Barrio Brewing Co. KXCI will be DJing! 

When: 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, 265 S. Church Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food

Visit the event site for more information.

Concerts in the Courtyard

Head to Marana for this concert series. This month, enjoy music from ROH Band. There will also be live painting with artist Victor Navarro, plus food trucks onsite. Bring your own chair or blanket!

When: 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15

Where: Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Center Dr.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

As part of Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, two local museums will open their doors for free. They include Arizona History Museum and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. Several other museums across the state will participate in Museum Day too.

When: Saturday, Sept. 17. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Arizona History Museum. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for DeGrazia.

Where: Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St.; DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Road.

Cost: Free to attend, get your ticket here.

Visit the event page for more information.

Love of Literacy

Celebrate your love of reading with this Love of Literacy event at Children's Museum Tucson. You'll be able to make your own bookmarks, write poetry, create a storybook and watch performances of stories written by kids. Plus, there will be book giveaways!

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17

Where: Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Family Saturdays with Watershed Management Group

Head to Watershed Management Group for Family Saturdays! Learn about rain gardens and how to plant one of your own. There will also be story time and kid-friendly activities, plus you can take home a free rain garden kit.

When: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17

Where: Watershed Management Group, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information. 

Bike Event and Bike Blessing

This motorcycle event combines faith and a love of riding. This annual fundraiser for riders and their families after a motorcycle accident will feature biker games, a bike show and games for kids, along with a bike blessing.

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17

Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1825 N. Alvernon Way

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Traditional O'odham Agriculture at Mission Garden

Attend this event to learn about Tohono O'odham agricultural practices. Through talks and demonstrations, learn about Native American crops like corn, beans and squash.

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 17

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

Cost: Free to attend with a $5 suggested donation

Visit the event page for more information.

Crooked Tooth Brewing is hosting a trivia night that will test your knowledge of "Spongebob."

"Spongebob" Trivia

Test your knowledge in all things "Spongebob" at this trivia night where you could win a gift card to Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. Teams can have as many as five people!

When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20. Teams are signed up on a first come, first served basis. It's suggested to get there by 6 p.m. to secure your spot.

Where: Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St.

Cost: Free to attend, recommended to buy a drink or two!

Visit the event page for more information.

Urban Hike with Bawker Bawker

Arizona Trail Association and Bawker Bawker Cider House are hosting an urban hike around downtown Tucson. Afterwards, hikers will receive a discount on their first round of cider!

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22

Where: Bawker Bawker Cider House, 400 N. Fourth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for cider

Visit the event page for more information.

South Tucson Family Festival

For two days this month, a street festival will take place in South Tucson, featuring a car show, concerts, garden games, puppet shows, lotería, demonstrations from exhibitors, a taco eating contest and more. It's a weekend where "diverse cultures come to connect, celebrate, collaborate, and create," organizers say.

When: 11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 24-25

Where: Greyhound Park, 2601 S. Third Ave.

Cost: Free to attend. VIP options are available for a cost. 

Visit the event page for more information.

Rosh Hashanah Fall Festival for Families

Tucson’s Jewish Community Center is throwing a family fall festival to celebrate the New Year. The celebration will have activities geared towards kids ages 4-10, including bounce houses, face painting, a petting zoo, and crafts. All activities are Shabbat-friendly, including a Havdalah. Bring your own picnic dinner and share in their kosher, dairy apple dessert bar!

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24

Where: Tucson JCC, 3800 E. River Road

Cost: Free and open to all, with registration

Visit the event page for more information.

Cabins appear through trees along a mountain side as seen from North Phoenix Avenue in Summerhaven on July 20.

Art Hike on Mount Lemmon 

Local artist Stephanie Daniels, of Brushes and Boots, is leading a Mount Lemmon art hike with company Kula Cloth. Bring your art supplies of choice and hike Leopold Point, stopping to draw surrounding scenery. Daniels will provide some artistic guidance.

When: 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24

Where: San Pedro Vista parking lot, see driving directions on the event page

Cost: Free to attend, register online

Visit the event page for more information.

Mission Garden Archaeology Day

Every fourth Saturday of the month, Mission Garden will host Archaeology Days, featuring interactive activities for kids, such as painting with natural pigments or etching shell. There will be programs from Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, in addition to local rock art expert John Palacio who will showcase rock art reproductions. 

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 24

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

Cost: Free to attend with a $5 suggested donation

Visit the event page for more information.

Reception for Graciela Iturbide at Etherton Gallery

Photgrapher Graciela Iturbide’s new exhibit, "Sueños, Símbolos y Narración (Dreams, Symbols, and Storytelling)," is opening at the Etherton Gallery. Graciela Iturbide will attend the opening night reception and give a talk at the Center for Creative Photography the night before.

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24

Where: Etherton Gallery, 340 S. Convent Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Witch Talk Wednesdays

The Ninth House metaphysical shop hosts a monthly Witch Talk Wednesday. They compare the event to their other salons, where you can discuss tarot and astrology with like-minded individuals. There’s no instructor, but instead a community gathering to discuss chosen topics around witchcraft.

When: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28

Where: The Ninth House, 2563 E. Fort Lowell Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Falls Prevention Fair 2022

Hosted by Banner - University Medicine and the University of Arizona Health Sciences, this fair “empowers older adults with the tools they need to live happy, healthy lives free from the fear of falling.” There will be educational sessions from university experts, interactive workshops in balance and tai chi, food and refreshments, and a vendor fair.

When: 4:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29

Where: Health Sciences Innovation Building, 1670 E. Drachman St.

Cost: Free to attend, register online

Visit the event page for more information.


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