Winterhaven zoo

This weekend is full of festive activities!

Check out the donkey hayride, shopping, light displays, beer events, festivals, movies, freebies and more happening in Tucson, Oro Valley and Marana.

Holiday Hayrides

Take your friends and relatives on a mule-drawn hayride through the Meadowbrook subdivision near River and La Cholla while looking at festive holiday decorations.

Where: Holiday Hayrides, 2350 W. River Road

When: Dec. 13 and Dec. 15-26. Hayrides are hourly from 6-9 p.m.

Cost: $15 per person and ages 5 and under are free

More information here

Winterhaven Festival of Lights Opening Night

Celebrate the season by walking the streets of Winterhaven. Bring a donation for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (both canned food and cash donations are accepted). 

Where: The Winterhaven neighborhood is located near Fort Lowell and Country Club. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 6-10 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

10 Reasons to give to United Way of Tucson this holiday season (Sponsored)

1. United Way of Tucson helps more than 155,000 Tucsonans every year

2. The biggest ROI! Every $1 donated yields a $5 impact

3. Every Tucson child deserves a high quality education

4. My Summer Library! Students in low-income areas receive 12 free books every year for their personal libraries

5. Every adult in Tucson deserves to thrive financially and in the workplace

6. The VITA program! Free tax-prep for anyone earning up to $66,000 annually

7. Every older person in Tucson deserves to retire and age with dignity

8. Comprehensive support for Tucson residents from Birth to End of Life

9. Days of Caring! Arizona’s largest volunteer event that brings together thousands to improve Tucson one project at a time

10. You’ll feel good knowing 100% of your gift stays right here in Tucson and will go towards building a thriving community!

Get more info here.

50th Annual Winter Street Fair on Historic Fourth Avenue

This 50-year-old, family friendly fair hosts artists from around the world, food and local entertainment.

Where: Historic Fourth Avenue between East University Boulevard and East Eighth Street

When: Friday-Sunday, Dec. 13-15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

"Home Alone" film screening


Watch your favorite bratty little kid set a house full of booby traps for two troublesome con men. 

Where: Casa Video and Casa Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd.

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Broadway Princess Holiday Party (Sponsored)

Brush off your tiara and unleash your inner princess with Broadway's original Anastasia, Belle, and Jasmine as they celebrate the season in this hit concert, direct from NYC! Hosting the show are: Christy Altomare, Anastasia in Broadway's Anastasia; Courtney Reed, Jasmine in Broadway’s Aladdin; Susan Egan, Belle in Broadway’s Beauty And The Beast alongside their Fairy Godfairy (musical director extraordinaire), Benjamin Rauhala (Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof) and special guest prince Adam J. Levy (Waitress).

Your every dream will come true as they sing the petticoats off every princess and holiday song in the book, sharing hilarious and heartfelt stories of their royal antics backstage, on stage, and beyond. Dress in your best royal attire and you may even win a prize. 

Where: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.

Cost: Tickets start at $29

Find more info here.

"Elf" at Jácome Plaza 

Come to the park in front of the main library and see "Elf" on a giant inflatable screen along with thousands of lights adorning the trees in the park and a giant lit ornament you can walk through! In addition, visit the giant community Christmas tree. 

Where: Jácome Plaza (outside the main library), 101 N. Stone Ave.

When: Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

Cost: Free. Food vendors will be serving up hot chocolate and popcorn. You are also welcome to bring your own food. Games such as life-size chess, connect four, corn hole, foosball and checkers will be available all day in Jácome Plaza.

More information here

Oro Valley Concert Series

Listen to the genre-crossing southwestern folk stylings of P.D. Ronstadt & The Company at Oro Valley Marketplace. Remember to bring your own chairs. 

Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road

When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, bring a chair.

More information here.

Annual Live Nativity

Visit Redeemer's annual drive-through live nativity this weekend.  

Where: Redeemer Lutheran Church, 8845 N. Silverbell Road

When: Friday-Saturday, Dec. 13-14, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Bicycle Boulevard Community Input Event

Listen to the plans from City of Tucson for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The event will also have bike bingo, hot cocoa, a screening of the movie "Elf" and more.

Where: Cherry Avenue Recreation Center, 5085 S. Cherry Ave.

When: Friday, Dec. 13, 6-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here.

Holidays at the Rincon Farmers Market

This holiday event will have something for everyone including live music, vendor holiday deals, kids activities, a free raffle, and plenty of holiday gift ideas.

Where: Rincon Valley Farmers & Artisans Market, 12500 E. Old Spanish Trail

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Sunday Stroll and Roll

Take a three mile walk, jog or ride and connect with community members on on a walk from Heirloom Farmers Market at Rillito Park to the St. Philip's Plaza Farmers Market. Longer distances are available and strollers are welcome. 

Where: Meet at Heirloom Farmers Market at Rillito Park, 4502 N. First Ave.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free

More information here

Marana Christmas Express 

Enjoy a 20-minute train ride through amazing Christmas light displays, let the kids bounce on jumping pillows, visit the petting zoo, take pictures with Santa and listen to Christmas stories while sipping hot chocolate.

Where: Marana Christmas Express, 14901 N. Wentz Road

When: Fridays-Sundays, through Dec. 22 and Monday, Dec. 23, 5-9:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 per person at the gate; kids under 34" tall are free.

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: Every Friday and Saturday in December from 6-10 p.m; Sundays and some weekdays from 6-9 p.m.

Cost: $10 general admission on weekends, $7 general admission on weekdays, $5 for children ages 5 and under and free for children under 1.

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 and a free sugar cookie. Adult drinks, hot cocoa and coffee will be available for purchase.

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

When: Fridays, Dec. 13 and 20, 4-10 p.m.;  Saturdays, Dec. 14 and 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, Dec. 15 and 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

Cost: 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: Daily from 6-8 p.m. through Dec. 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

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: Daily through Dec. 24

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

Pet Pictures: 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.

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: Daily through Jan. 5, 2020, check here for hours. Closed on Christmas Day. 

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

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

Holiday Horns with the UA Horn Studio at Hotel Congress

Visit downtown for a horn-blowing experience this weekend. Listen to a family-friendly concert with local professional players, high school students and community enthusiasts with over 25 horns.

Where: Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 3-4:30 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend and free hot chocolate provided by Hotel Congress

More information here

Gather A Vintage Market

Enjoy this four-day market, which features vintage furniture and goodies for your home.

Where: Gather A Vintage Market, 657 W. St. Marys Road

When: Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 12-14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

RAD Marketplace Winter Market

Visit an amazing lineup of local vendors selling a variety of handmade artisan goods, vintage, and more. Plus live music, DJs and food trucks.

Where: RAD Marketplace, 439 N. Sixth Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

A Christmas Carol & Dickens Festival

See a timeless holiday classic on stage with a live musical orchestra and dazzling costumed characters. Your admission gets you access to explore the merry streets of London at the pre-show Dickens Festival which includes holiday amusement, merry merchants, jolly musicians, carolers, festive food, and roaming Victorian era characters.

Where: Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.

When: Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m.

Cost: $10-$29

More information here

Home For The Holidays

Help support pups in need with RAD Rescue at Harley Davidson of Tucson. There will be raffles, dogs, Santa, music, food and more.

Where: Harley-Davidson of Tucson, 7355 N. I-10 Frontage Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for activities 

More information here

The Spirit of Christmas

This very special holiday show will bring you both Broadway style fun and an inspirational experience.

Where: DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m.

Cost: $25-$30

More information here

Tucson Run Run Rudolph 

Help Rudolph and the gang get ready for Santa and the big night with a half marathon, quarter marathon, 5K and kids dash. Runners and walkers can enjoy a pre-race and post-race brunch. Strollers and leashed pets are welcome at the event. 

🏅 Swag skinny: Event medal and a dri-fit tech shirt

Where: Crossroads at Silverbell District Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: $20-$70, register here

More information here

Hanukkah Hot Chocolate 10K/5K/1K Fun Run

Celebrate the winter holiday by joining the Hanukkah Hot Chocolate 10K/5K/1K Fun Run/Walk. This is a non-timed event that you can run or walk, starting in the JCC sculpture garden. Event is free for kids ages 6 and under with registered parent.

Where: Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 6:30-10 a.m.

Cost: $10-$45, register here

More information here

Hanukkah Spectacular

The Kurn Religious School and the Strauss ECE will be singing, dancing, acting, and playing music in celebration of Hanukkah. Everyone from the Torah Tots to the Hebrew School students to the Madrichim will participate.

Where: Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m to noon

Cost: Free

More information here

Lights of the World Tucson

Visit more than 11 exhibits, 45 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: $17.99 adults, $14.99 ages 2-12. Parking is $6 and unlimited rides $25.

More information here

Freddie's Fun Zone grand opening at the swap meet

Get ready for new amusement rides at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet including the Scrambler, the Dragon Wagon, Freddie's Bumper Boats and more.

Where: Tanque Verde Swap Meet, 4100 S. Palo Verde Road

When: Friday, Dec. 13, 3-11 p.m.

More information here

Holidays at the Market at Udall Park

This holiday event will have something for everyone, including live music, vendor holiday deals, a free raffle and plenty of holiday gift ideas.

Where: Udall Park Farmers Market, 7202 N. Tanque Verde Road

When: Friday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker in Tucson

Step into a world filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. See world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds.

Where: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.

When: Monday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

Cost: $34-$54

More information here

Kids 🎈

PJ Library's Dreidel Mania

Hear "The Old Lady who Swallowed a Dreidel" at this fun-filled story time. Kids can also play with mini Lego dreidels, magic scratch art dreidels, 3D paper dreidels, CD dreidels, and suncatcher dreidels.

Where: Tucson Hebrew Academy, 3888 E. River Road

When: Dec. 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, RSVP requested.

More information here

"Rise of the Guardians" screening

Watch Jack Frost, Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and the Sandman save the children of the world from the Boogieman. Pre-show activities hosted by Mildred & Dildred Toy Store starting at 9:15 a.m.

Where: The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. 

Cost: Free

More information here

"The Muppets Christmas Carol" outdoor screening

Take the kids to an outdoor screening at the Children’s Museum. Please bring your own seating and dress warmly.

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

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: Free, all adults must be accompanied by a child.

More information here

Make Holiday Ornaments from Mission Garden Products

Okra pods, devil's claws, gourds, and many other things that grow in the garden can be made into ornaments for Christmas trees. Garden docents will guide you through the steps to craft your own ornament. 

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: $5 suggested donation

More information here

BFF 💃 

Tucson Storytellers: Holiday Stories

From funny mishaps to heartwarming memories, let's celebrate the holiday stories that unite our families and our communities.

Six community members will take the stage on Dec. 16 at Brother John's BBQ to share their true, first-person stories about the holidays.

Tucson Storytellers is a live storytelling event hosted by the Arizona Daily Star and This is Tucson.

Where: Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ, 1801 N. Stone Ave.

When: Monday, Dec. 16, 7-8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., stories start at 7 p.m.

Cost: $10 per person. get your tickets here

More information here.

Star Wars Trivia

This trivia covers all the Star Wars films. Bring a team because you'll need it. Prizes are awarded to the smartest Jedi. 

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

When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for brews

More information here

Winter saguaro painting

Take a step-by-step painting class while you sip some wine and create your own beautiful masterpiece.

Where: Creative Juice, 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road #160

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $29

More information here

"Gremlins" film screening

In Joe Dante’s wickedly funny, deliciously scary "Gremlins" a lovable, furry little Christmas gift multiplies into a horde of nasty, scaly little Christmas gifts, and the holidays will never be the same again! 

Where:  The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

When: Friday-Saturday, Dec. 13-14, 10 p.m.

Cost: $6-$8

More information here

Santa, Pups and Pints

Santa is coming to Crooked Tooth! Enjoy craft beer and bring your pup(s) for a photo shoot with Santa. Crooked Tooth will be donating 15 percent to No Kill Pima County.

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

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2-5 p.m.

Cost: $10

More information here.

Whiskey and Yoga

Join a yoga class followed by a tasting of Whiskey Del Bac and an included cocktail. Bring your yoga mat!

Where: Whiskey Del Bac Distillery, 2106 Forbes Boulevard, #103

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 4-7:30 p.m.

Cost: $20, bottles, merchandise, neat pours and cocktails will be available for purchase following the tasting.

More information here