guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Día de los Muertos Opening Reception
. Tohono Chul’s next exhibit honors and remembers the dead in a celebration that is full of color and joy. Pieces by local artists will be displayed until the exhibit ends on Nov. 8, and artists whose work is on display will be present at the opening night reception. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. 7366 Paseo del Norte. Free.
Closing Reception and Sewing Circle
. Bordando por la Paz y la Memoria is a group made of citizens from Mexico and other cities abroad who embroider the names of victims of Mexico’s War Against Drug Trafficking onto white handkerchiefs. These stitched stories are a beautiful and sobering visualization of the suffering real people face in the reality of war. Handkerchiefs will be displayed in the café area, and, while supplies last, materials for visitors to embroider their own tributes and testimonies will be provided. 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Joel D. Valdez Main Library 101 N. Stone Ave. Free.
Space Night 2017
. Sleepovers at friends’ houses are fun, but are they educational? Are there opportunities to use state-of-the-art telescopes? Are there real meteorites available to be touched? We didn’t think so. The Children’s Museum Tucson will be showing sleepover guests how to get a party started with pizza, pajamas, binoculars, thermal cameras, and even meteorite-touching ops. Families are welcome to pitch tents in designated areas in the museum and in the main courtyard, for that highly sought after “pitch-a-tent-in-the-living-room-or-backyard-but-still-be-surrounded-by-fascinating-artifacts-and-unique-educational-opportunites” feel that many a sleepover party host has strived for and not attained. 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 to Sunday, Aug. 27. Children's Museum Tucson 200 South Sixth Ave. $50, $45 for museum members.
Sensory Safari by Flashlight
. Maybe you’ve attended Flashlight Night at the International Wildlife Museum before, but having been to that but not the upcoming Sensory Safari by Flashlight is like saying you’ve already tried Oreos, so you don’t need to try Double Stuf Oreos. Why wouldn't you want even more of what made the original great? More creme filling. Or, to bring this analogy back around, more touchable animals than ever before. Like the original Flashlight Night, at this event, the museum lights will switch off at 6 p.m., and a scavenger hunt, the chance to meet live animals and hands-on crafts will commence. The museum will be open with the lights on all day, so feel free to come early, get your bearings and enjoy some of the exhibits. Lights go out at 6 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. 4800 W. Gates Pass Road. Entrance included with museum admission ($9 for adults, $4 for kids 4-12, free for kids 3 and under, free for members).
Achievement Unlocked: 3D Printing
Learn Something New!
. You’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it, maybe you’ve even seen some of its results firsthand. But still… what is 3D printing, really? What are potential applications and uses for the average, non-engineering-degree holder? Head over to the Oro Valley Public Library for this beginner class that lays out the possibilities for this cutting-edge tech. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Oro Valley Public Library 1305 W. Naranja Drive, Oro Valley. Free.
. Whether you’re a naturalist, a vegetarian or just running really short on grocery money, it never hurts to have a good set of foraging skills. John Slattery, author, herbalist and forager extraordinaire will lead this hike, along with the identification and discussion of plants along the trail. Enjoy an edible treat made from foraged foods at the end of the two-hour program. If you really get the foraging bug, you can even pick up a copy of Slattery’s book, “Southwest Foraging.” 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 25. Oracle State Park, 3820 Wildlife Drive, Oracle. $10 plus park entry, reservation required.
. A-Long’s Kung Fu Academy presents this event for children 5 and up to learn about the beauty of discipline without throwing any punches or waxing any cars. The Chinese word for calligraphy is Shufa, which translates to “The way/method/law of writing.” Much like the martial arts (or the marital arts, for that matter), the art of Shufa requires focus, tranquility and precision. Kids will learn about basic Shufa writing methods and how to write several Chinese characters. 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Quincie Douglas Library 1585 E. 36th St. Free.
Indoor Tin-smithing Demo and Craft Activity
. In today’s world, where no one is sure of anything and college tuition costs are so high, it’s never to early to teach a child some valuable trade skills, like blacksmithing. The blacksmiths of the Presidio Museum will be demonstrating how to construct luminaria lanterns, and will also show kids how to make their own take-home tin crafts. Participants are free to come and go at any time during the program, so once your kid has demonstrated that they’ve mastered enough skills to be able to support themselves if need be, they can take their handiwork and head out. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Presidio Museum, 186 North Court. Included with museum admission: $5 for adults, $1 for kids ages 6 to 14, free for kids 5 and under.
Composition in the Field
. If you’ve ever spent a day at the zoo, your phone or camera is probably full of not-quite-perfect photos of elephants who turned away from the camera at the last second, blurry frames of birds taking off and half sunny/half shadowy zebra shots that make the zebras even more disorienting to look at. The Digital Photo Academy is hosting this class at the Reid Park Zoo to teach would-be photographers about depth of field, shot composition, and, most importantly, the art of waiting. You'll have your portfolio National Geographic-ready in no time. 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 26. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court. $60 with promo code AZ5107F.
Angel’s Place for Girls Grand Opening
. The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona are opening a girl-power headquarters where girls and young women of the area can bust stereotypes by doing “just girly things” like summiting a bouldering wall and conducting STEM experiments. The opening serves as a celebration of the new space where women can come to explore, learn and grow. This means music, games, food trucks and of course (what would any grand opening be without one?) a water slide. 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. 4300 E. Broadway Blvd. Free.
Bookmans Midtown Block Party
. This event is going to be lit, fam. And when we say lit, we mean full of literature. But—just like the neighborhood block party where if you’re not into Willard-from-across-the-street-and-two-doors-down’s potato salad, you can just move onto the next dish—if literature isn’t your thing, there will still be something for you here. An outdoor barbecue by Whole Foods, face painting and balloon animals by Silly Tassie, a Stories that Soar program and a movie in the parking lot presented by The Loft. Go get your party pants on and hightail it over to Bookmans! 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Bookmans Midtown 3330 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.
Free Family Fun Day
. It’s time to wax up your bowling ball and slip into your most stylish shoes, because Vantage Bowling Centers is kicking off its Fall Youth Bowling program by offering free bowling to Tusconans who may or may have any change to spare. The event is a promotion for the Fall Youth Bowling program, but the bowling is free to for bowling enthusiasts of all ages, from potty trainees to pensioners. 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 26. Tucson Bowl, 7020 E 21st St. Free.
Trivia & Competitions
Sixth Annual EFF Spelling Bee at the Rialto Theatre
. Gone are the days when spelling was a subject that you did your best on up until maybe sixth grade, at which point you were allowed to stop trying and start self-identifying as a bad speller. Because at this event, notable Tucsonans face-off with their spelling skills in order to benefit the Educational Enrichment Foundation, and the competition has already started to heat up. Competitors include Curtis McCrary of the Rialto Theater, who has a pretty intimidating video of his training efforts up on his Facebook page, and the captain at the helm of the Weekly ship, Jim Nintzel, who tells us that he’s pretty sure he’s going to get tripped up by the word
privilege. 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. Rialto Theater 318 E. Congress St. $20.
Friends Trivia Night
. You have an impeccable memory for the name of that UFC fighter Monica dated in season three, you know Gunther’s entire backstory, and you have the lyrics to “Smelly Cat” down pat. What you don’t realize is that, this whole time, you’ve been training. Whether you watched the series week-by-week through the ’90s, had the VHS box set or treat yourself to a little Netflix binge every night, every episode has been in preparation for this night. The winner will receive a $50 gift card, and the runner-up will receive a $25 gift card at this event hosted by Trivia Master Pablo Sandoval. 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31. Crooked Tooth Brewing Company, 228. E. 6th St. Free.
Old Folk’s Home Bingo!
Face it. Bingo is thrilling. All you have to work with are the numbers in front of you, the numbers announced by the caller and your ability to scan your card as quickly as you can before the next number is called. And all that hangs in the balance is your very fate. Old Pueblo Lightning Women’s Rugby is hosting this fundraiser with 12 rounds of bingo, a game for gamblers, a game for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, and most popularly known as a game played by older generations. In honor of this, the theme of the fundraise is “Old Folk’s Home,” and the best costume will win a prize. Entry includes five bingo cards and a Lightning memorabilia cup, and additional bingo cards are $1. 7 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Kappy's Bar and Sandwich Place, 2190 N. Wilmot Road.
The Riveters + 401 Comedy School Showcase
Fun in General
. Anyone who has ever even thought the phrase “women aren’t funny” is in for a sidesplitting awakening with this show by Tucson Improv Movement’s all-female house team The Riveters. This show comes in two parts: the first half, in which the Riveters perform, and the second, in which the 401 level Comedy School will perform a “Harold”: a type of long-form improv comedy in which a series of scenes and a whole world are built around an audience suggestion. Be laughing and there or be solemn and square. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. Tucson Improv Movement 329 E Seventh St. $5.
Loft Cinema Movie Poster Sale
. How do you make it clear to your friends that you’re a cinephile without having to bring up Andrei Tarkovsky in every conversation? Is it getting exhausting to have to verbally remind your friends that you’ve seen 2001: A Space Odyssey
27 times? Just cover your walls in movie posters (preferably framed) so that people will know without you having to say a thing. Even if you just want a poster from The Dark Knight
or something less obscure, this is definitely going to be a cool way to spend your Saturday. They’ve got over 700 posters and 375 titles, and they’re all just five bucks. 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. Free admission, $5 posters.
Bench & Brew!
It turns out that bench pressing doesn’t just mean pushing off of the bench you’re sitting on so that you can stand up and get another beer. It’s also a form of exercise (who knew?) that’s actually good for you, and there are a lot of technicalities. While both include having some form of buddy (a DD or a spotter), they’re more dissimilar than you might expect. This event has found the middle ground between the common man’s bench pressing and the sweaty man’s bench pressing by offering tips and coaching on how to reach your goals through strength training, then moving the party next door to Borderlands Brewing Company. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. The Nerd Gym, 15 E. Toole Ave. Free with RSVP.
If you’re working to hone your artistic sensibilities, but still want to keep things laid back and fluffy, The Contreras Art Gallery has just the exhibit for you. The gallery celebrates the opening of its new exhibit, which is dedicated to pets and animals, at a Saturday evening reception that is sure to have something for everypawdy. See the art of artists like Gene Hall, Margot Huntington and Marcy Miranda Janes, who is known for her intricate paper-cutting art. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2. Contreras Gallery 110 E. Sixth St. Free.
Dog Days of Summer.
DockDogs and Old Tucson are teaming up to host farewell to the most canine time of year. There will be competitions for aquatic dog sports! There will be dogs demonstrating their abilities to seiff out specific scents! There will be pet adoptions! There will be vendors! And there will be dogs! And really, what better reason could there be to attend any event than the presence of dogs, let alone a theme revolving around dogs? 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Rd. 18.95 for adults, free for kids 11 and under.
. A lonely, dusky drive through the desert, nothing and no one in sight. As darkness descends, the comfort and relief comes from the lines of clouds, way up there, reflecting that last fading light. Pelican sort of evokes that, with their aching blend of strangely aggressive pop, and their extended instrumental, post-metal themes. From Illinois, this original, heavy band has been crafting sonic landscapes evoking exquisite desolation since 2000. Listen to them when you’re low and you’ve got talented musical soldiers battling your worst fears and depression with every low, repeated guitar riff, every deep, driving kickdrum. Less based on classical music than early, worthwhile Metallica, Pelican can be seen as having roots in hardcore or post-punk, spun out and textured, with wide-open, cymbal-crashing climaxes, similar to Trail of the Dead. Their singer shortage further engages the listener’s imagination. It’s darkly beautiful stuff. With Inter Arma on Thursday, Aug. 24. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 p.m. 21+ $15.
. Twenty-two years ago in Portland, Oregon, a 12-piece band hatched, put together with the idea of being “the house band for the United Nations.” With styles and influences spanning eight languages (on the last record alone—what?), and more than two decades of international, touring, Pink Martini has more than achieved their goals. The skilled musos and vocalists, equally versed in classical, jazz and big-band pop, play with orchestras and contemporary stars like Rufus Wainwright with equal confidence and flair. This band is pure joy, evoking and reveling in the warmth and nostalgia of by-gone eras, while remaining unafraid to tackle modern political topics like worker’s strikes and civil rights. Their shows stir up spirits of Old Hollywood musicals, hummers for the way home. This is flamenco-inspired dresses and top-hat-and-tails stuff, y’all. Tuesday, Aug. 29 Centennial Hall. 7 p.m. All Ages. $40-95.