Fun things to do that won't cost a fortune.

Cheap Thrills 

WORLD TRAVELERS. Take the kids to the Tucson Children's Museum this weekend for a trip around the world. Well, the world actually comes to them via three different cultural explorations.

On Friday, Feb. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., it's cowboy culture. Warren Miller, the Singing Cowboy Poet, croons and recites poems while the kids roast marshmallows on a campfire. On Saturday, Feb. 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., students from the UA's department of Russian and Slavic languages share Russian children's toys, stories, games, songs and dances with the kids. And on Sunday, Feb. 23, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., "meet" Thi Liên from Vietnam who wears beautiful batik clothes. The kids get to make a quick batik of their own.

Traveling is free with museum admission: $3.50 for kids, $4.50 for seniors and $5.50 general. Kids under 2 get in for free. The museum is located at 200 S. Sixth Ave. Call 792-9985 with questions.

PETER PIPER PICKED A PECK. While in Tucson, he would have picked a bunch of prickly pear cacti.

These common but often over-looked cacti yield plenty of fruit. You can make a variety of delectable and healthy foods from the harvest. Join Cheri Romanoski on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. to learn more about the prickly pear and what to do once you've figured out how not to get stuck in the finger.

The lecture takes place at the Sabino Canyon Visitors Center, located inside the park at 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road and is hosted by the Public Lands Interpretive Association. It's free with park admission. Call PLIA at 749-7711 for more information.

ART VACANCY. The folks at the Tucson Arts District Partnership like to sneak art into the vacant store windows that abound downtown to give slow-driving commuters or pedestrian strollers something to gaze at.

This month's Phantom Gallery exhibit features the work of Mary Kreuziger--acrylic paintings in earth tones and vivid bright colors with themes of humanity and spirituality. Her work is complex and abstract. "My paintings do have meaning behind them, but I spend far more time thinking about the design elements and composition. The mood it creates for someone is a highly personal thing," says Kreuziger of her work.

The artist taught herself airbrushing and mural-making by splashing paint on everything from buildings to semi-trailers. Her work can be seen in the vacant window of the old Thrifty Building on Congress Street between Scott and Stone avenues. If you like what you see or have questions, call 624-9977.

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