Zoo Lights

Check the trains, shopping, light displays, beer events, festivals, movies, freebies and more happening in Tucson, Oro Valley and Marana this weekend! 

Everyone 🎉

Luminaria Nights at Tucson Botanical Gardens

Experience the most magical Luminaria Nights with new experiences added this year. Don't miss the poinsettia pavilion featuring a 10-foot poinsettia tree, an enhanced garden snowfall experience, 3,500 luminarias, 24 Korean lanterns, the Grinch and Santa’s mailbox.

Where: Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way

When: Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 13-15, 5:30-8:30 p.m. 

Cost: $6-$18

More information here

Cultivate Tucson: Holiday Pop-Up Market

Shop local and meet Tucson’s independent designers, makers and shops. This is a one-day pop-up market consisting of local goods, plants,  food, coffee, and music. A percentage of all sales go to local non-profits.

When:  Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for shopping

More information here

Jesus Christ Superstar at Centennial Hall (Sponsored)

Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production is touring North America. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.

With music and lyrics by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. 

When: Dec. 3-8

Where: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 

Find more info here.

Holiday Lights at Tohono Chul

Holiday Nights is fun for everyone! Stroll along paths garlanded with over a million twinkling lights while musicians and artists perform throughout the gardens. There will be different entertainment each night with Santa too!

Where: Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte

When: Fridays-Saturdays, Dec. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $5-$16; ages 5 and under are free

More information here

Zoo Lights: Holiday Magic

Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the twinkling lights at one of Tucson’s favorite holiday traditions. Over one million twinkling lights illuminate the beautiful zoo grounds with sounds of the season, snow, pictures with Santa, live music and treats.

Where: Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court

When: Members-only night on Dec. 4 and then opens to the public from Dec. 5-23 with Encore Nights Dec. 26-30.

Cost: $10 for Adults; $6 for children 2-14; children 1 or younger are free; members get $3 off admission

More information here

Upgrade to cute boots for the desert winter with this $20-off coupon (Sponsored)

Locally-owned Foster’s Shoes has the best styles, including comfy-cute boots and booties — so you can dress like it's winter even if it doesn't feel like it outside. Get a special offer for $20 any regularly-priced shoes of $80 or more at Foster's Shoes. Click or tap here for the coupon.

Where: Foster's Shoes, 4811 E. Grant Rd.

Hours: Open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Find more info here.

 

Santa's Extravaganza

Enjoy everything you love about a carnival and enjoy everything you love about Christmas at this event. Hang out with Elsa and OIaf, take a picture with Santa. Check out the tree lighting, fun jumpers, obstacle course, cookie decorating, reindeer games, prizes, kids crafts, Christmas movies, train rides, snowball fight, food, hot cocoa and more. Plus, help collect new clothes for our Cool Kids Clothes Drive.

Where: Hotel Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 4-9 p.m.

Cost: $10

More information here

Ritz-Carlton Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

Get a warm welcome by the resort’s Ranger Ainsley Labrador retriever, photos with Santa, live music from the Tucson Boys Chorus, a snow machine, DIY stuffed animal fun at the Recruit A Ranger station, complimentary refreshments and the tree lighting. 

Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 5-7 p.m.

Cost: $5

More information here

Lights of the World Tucson

Visit more than 11 exhibits, 75 stunning displays and 6 million lights at Kino Sports Complex. Lights of the World features carnival rides, games, acrobatics, dance, and music concerts.

Where: Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way (in the east parking lot)

When: Now through Jan. 5, 2020, Tuesday-Sunday, 5-10 p.m. 

Cost: $10.50-$12.60 adults, $10.50 ages 3-12. Parking is $6 and unlimited rides $15.

More information here

Tucson Marathon, Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay

Give your legs a break and enjoy some of these downhill courses. The course winds through the desert on paved roads and finishes at the Golder Ranch Fire Station on Golder Ranch Road in the Town of Catalina. You’ll drop 2,200 feet in elevation as you run the course along the beautiful Santa Catalina mountain range.

Where: Course information here

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $99-$114, register here

More information here

24th Annual BICAS Art Auction

Join BICAS for bicycle art, local brew and local entertainment this weekend. Browse and bid on bicycle inspired art and art made from bicycle parts. There will be a "kid’s corner" for youth and beverages for adults.

Where: Steinfeld Warehouse, 101 W. Sixth St.

When: Preview party Friday, Dec. 6, 6-10 p.m.; silent bidding Saturday, Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend. Attendees must register for a bid number in order to participate in our silent auction. You can register at the event or register early here

More information here

Tucson Lights

Step into a magical winter wonderland of lights with over 250,000 spectacular dancing LED lights. Begin your enchanted journey and tour more than 100 individual sets in unique themed sections. Find a Christmas village and Santa's Workshop where you can get your photo with Santa. Also enjoy the petting zoo, pony rides, winter wonderland inflatables, a kiddie train and more.

When: Starting Friday, Dec. 6

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 5-10 p.m.

Mondays-Thursdays, 6-9 pm

Cost: $7 per person and $5 ages 4 and under Monday through Thursday. $10 per person and $5 ages 5 and under Friday through Sunday.  

More information here

15th Annual Tucson Tamal and Heritage Festival

The Festival celebrates the rich tastes, smells and variation of tamales from the Southwest and Mexico. Festivities include a tamale contest, live local entertainment, food vendors, artisan vendors and farmers market vendors.

Where: AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

Tucson Holiday Ice on Fifth Avenue

Skate on Tucson's first-ever outdoor ice rink over the holidays. Ice skates are included with the cost of all-day admission.

Where: 45 N. Fifth Ave. (next to the MLK apartments). 

When: Nov. 29 through Jan. 5, 2020, check here for hours

Cost: $15 adults, $10 ages 12 and under

More information here

5th Annual Leman Academy Winter Bazaar & Festival

Leman Academy is throwing a family festival for all to enjoy. Festivities include family activities, Santa, shopping and tasty food.

Where: Leman Academy of Excellence, 7720 N. Silverbell Road

When: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend , but bring some money for activities and shopping

More information here

Christmas at Canoa

Celebrate the holiday season with food, music, art-crafts, carolers, vendors, horse wagon rides, and tree lighting! Come and visit Santa!  

Where: Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. I-19 Frontage Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-6 p.m.

Cost: $5 for adults and free for kiddos

More information here

Marana Holiday Festival & Christmas Tree Lighting

Kick off the holiday season and celebrate on Main Street in Marana with live performances, Santa, activities for the kids, and a show-stopping Christmas tree light show.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 3-8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here.  

Holiday Festival of the Arts & Town of Oro Valley Tree Lighting

This two-day festival is one of Southern Arizona’s largest community arts celebrations, with over 150 artisans, over 30 performances by student and local musicians, family arts activities, food trucks, tree lighting and more. 

Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money if you want to shop  

More information here.  

Miracle on Congress Street

Santa and his elves will be downtown on Congress just west of Hub. In addition to Santa, the Miracle on Congress Street features free photos, free arts and crafts activities, Christmas music, live performances, free sugar-cookie and adult drinks, hot cocoa and coffee will be available for purchase.

When: Starts Friday, Nov. 29 to Dec. 22

Fridays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20, 4-10 p.m. 

Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sundays, Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Miracle on Congress St., 300 E. Congress St.

Cost: Free

More information here

Holiday Archery Shoot

Join in holiday fun at the Naranja Park Archery Range where there will be holiday-themed games including snowman shaped targets, a Nightmare before Christmas archery zone, and a 14 target 3D fun shoot on the west walking course. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free, ages 8 and up. Bring your own bows and arrows. Raffles tickets available for purchase to raise funds for the archery range and Oro Valley Junior Olympic Archery Development.

More information here

Santa at Little Anthony's Diner 

He's making a list and checking it twice at Little Anthony's Diner all month long. Get a free photo with Santa when you bring in a non-perishable food item to donate to Tucson Community Food Bank.

Where: Little Anthony's Diner, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

When: Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here.

 

Valencia Library Block Party: Winter Extravaganza

Celebrate the winter season at this free family-friendly event. Join story time, winter-themed crafts, snow games, tasty food, parenting resources and free books for ages 0-5.

Where: Valencia Library, 202 W. Valencia Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

La Fiesta de Guadalupe

This festival honors Mexico’s patron saint with music, dancing and performances including mariachi bands, folklorico dancers, and Yaqui Deer Dancers. Local food and art vendors will be selling tasty treats and trinkets, so remember your shopping bags. 

Where: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum, 6300 N. Swan Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Family Day at Tucson Museum of Art

Explore the galleries and enjoy holiday-themed activities, like button ornaments, popsicle-stick snowflakes, cookies, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more.

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

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Shopping 🛍️

Holiday Open House at Philabaum Glass Gallery

Shop around for unique glass sculptures, ornaments, menorahs, jewelry, wall art and more at the gallery. 

Where: Philabaum Glass Gallery, 711 S. Sixth Ave.

When: Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for shopping 

More information here

Magical Market at Valley of the Moon

Shop for magical things at Valley of the Moon. This event has 20 vendors, tarot readers, costume contest, face painting, wand duels, food trucks, warm cider and live music.

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

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend 

More information here

2nd Sunday Vintage Market

Browse through 60 vendors for vintage, antique and collectible items at this northwest-side market. 


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Weekend Planner: This Tucson Newsletter


Where: 4075 W. Ina Road (Lowes parking lot)

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, collecting usable donations for Cherished Tails & HOPE Animal Shelter

More information here

Mercado Flea

Spend your afternoon rummaging for treasure, sipping on specialty cocktails, listening to tunes and brunching at the Mercado District.

Where: Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

Mata Ortiz Trunk Show

Mata Ortiz recreates Mogollon pottery found in and around the archaeological site of Casas Grandes. Come see the amazing Mata Ortiz pottery, and make your holiday purchases easy. 

Where: Tucson Desert Art Museum, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here.

Locally Made Tucson Flea

Dig through vintage, collectables and trinkets to complete your holiday shopping list at The Tucson Flea.  

Where: The Tucson Flea, 236 S. Scott Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring your shopping bags

More information here. 

Kids 🎈

Polar Express Night at the train museum

The movie will start as the sun goes down. The museum will be open, and all trains will be running, including the free ride-on train circling the museum and visiting a wonderland of its own! We’ll have free hot chocolate, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will be on hand to hear holiday wish lists. And there’ll be lots of other activities for families to enjoy. 

Where: Gadsden Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum, 3975 N. Miller Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 5-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Storytime and Activities Featuring The Polar Express at Barnes & Noble

Come in your PJs and join us for a magical evening as we host the annual storytime of the beloved holiday favorite, The Polar Express. Don't forget the hot chocolate and cookies!

Where: Barnes and Noble, 5130 E. Broadway and 7325 N. La Cholla Blvd.

When: Friday Dec. 6, 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information for the eastside store here and the northwest store here

Free Kids Concert: Nutcracker Story

Hear the story of the Nutcracker with a interactive twist! The instrumental trio will perform dance favorites from this ballet, while telling the enchanting holiday tale. Concert goers will be guided and transformed into toy soldiers, candy canes, snowflakes, Russian soldiers and more, becoming the dancers in this classic holiday tradition. 

Where: Oro Valley Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada Drive

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Christmas Countdown Calendar at Home Depot

Kids get to use hammers and screwdrivers to build their craft. Paint, stickers and other tools are included too. All kids attending the workshop must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a  certificate of achievement, a workshop apron and a commemorative pin. 

Where: Local Home Depot

When: Saturday Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free, get there early before they run out of kits

More information here

Photos with Santa at the Tucson Mall

Get last-minute holiday shopping and photos with Santa done in one spot at the Tucson Mall. 

When: 

Through Dec. 24

Photos with Santa: Monday-Saturday, through Nov. 27, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Pet Pictures: Mondays, through Dec. 16, 5-8 p.m.

Find extended hours here

Where: Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road

Cost: Visiting Santa is free, but the price of photos varies. 

More information here.

BFF 💃 

Brew Lights at the zoo

Reid Park Zoo is rolling out another Brew Lights. Enjoy samples of your favorite craft beer from local breweries under the twinkling lights of Tucson’s favorite holiday tradition, Zoo Lights, presented by Tucson Electric Power.

Where: Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m.

Cost: $30-$35

More information here

Rescuing Rudolph Room

Join a Christmas-themed escape room with hidden keys and clues to help you rescue Santa's reindeer. Private events available. 

Where: Ace of Escape Room, 406 N. Church Ave.

When: Now through Dec. 31, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cost: $24-$30

More information here

Pictures With Santa

Santa paws is coming to town! Get your pup's picture with Santa at this fund raising event for RAD Rescue. 

Where: The Complete Canine, 4767 N. First Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 8 a.m. to noon

Cost: $10

More information here

2019 World Ax Throwing League Championship

At this event, 64 champion ax throwers from around the world will compete live for prize money. Check out the celebratory kick-off event and parade on Dec. 7 featuring the ax throwers, UA pep band and spirit squads and Santa visits as well as the food truck rally and beer garden all weekend.  

Where: Splitting Timber Axe Range at Tucson Premium Outlets, 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd.

When: Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-8, hours

Cost: Parade and activities are free.

More information here.