Happy Hour Hobble at Caps & Corks.
Caps & Corks is celebrating their final "Happy Hour Hobble" of the year. What does this mean? It means they're getting together to run a "fun" three miles, and then are hanging out after to get some drinks and food. If you ever feel guilty about loading up with a few too many calories at a brewery, this is the event for you. Check-in begins at 5:30, beers at 6:30. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. 3830 W. River Road. Details here.
Breakfast & Brunch with Desert Island Eatery and Love In A Cup.
Desert Island Eatery is hosting a selection of vegan meals, plus teas created by Tiffany from Love In A Cup. Sure, it's a little difficult to cultivate a lush backyard in the Sonoran desert, so have the closest thing you can to a garden party at Desert Island Eatery. RSVP with firstname.lastname@example.org. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. 2513 N. Campbell Ave. Details here.
Civano December Food Truck Roundup.
What a magical city and time we live in: a whole fleet of local food trucks converge for wondrous smorgasbords, and you're invited! At this round up: Fiesta Filipina, Meatball Madness, The Curry Pot, Pasha Kebab and Grill, Jackie's Food Court, Tacoqueta, Don Pedro's Peruvian Bistro, Hott Bunns and more! 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Civano Park, 5241 Richard Ashley Way. Details here.
Lessons & Carols by Candlelight.
True Concord works hard every year to put on a holiday show that will leave you with a warm glow inside. There's going to be the glimmer of candlelight. There's going to be some of the most nostalgia-inducing Christmas tunes around. There's going to be organs and harps. And it's all going to go down in some of the prettiest churches in town. A mid-December meditative moment is probably just what you need to remember what this season is really all about. 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, at St. Francis in the Valley Episcopal Church, 1902, 600 S. La Canada Drive, Green Valley. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road. $25 to $40. Details here.
Carols of Triumphant Joy!
The Arizona Repertory Singers have been performing both classic and new music since 1984, and they've always made sounding great a priority: Their singers, who work as everything from lawyers to engineers to artists, all go through a rigorous audition process. At their holiday show, you'll hear brand new choral music by Thomas Juneau, as well as Jonathan Dove's "Seek him that maketh the seven stars." They'll also be delivering some seasonal faves like "Lo, how a rose e'er blooming" and "What sweeter music" by John Rutter. Let's hear it for some holiday high notes! 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Christ Church United Methodist, 655 N. Craycroft Road. $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Details here.
If you think you don't know Handel's Messiah, you're probably at least partially wrong. Because that's where the incredibly famous Hallelujah chorus came from. And hearing this pulse-pounding masterpiece in Arizona's most outstanding acoustical venue is something everyone should experience at least once. Bruce Chamberlain conducts, Kathryn Mueller is soprano, Sarah Barber is alto, Richard Trey Smagur is tenor and Troy Cook is baritone. Last year's performance sold out, so grab your tickets fast! 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. $22 to $55. Details here.
Tucson Boys Chorus Holiday Concert.
If you've seen the classic Christmas short film The Snowman
, then you know there's an irresistibly Christmasy charm to the sound of a young boy's choral singing. Well, your halls are about to get seriously decked, because this concert is bringing together all of Boys Chorus choirs (Cadet, Training, TowneSingers, Touring, Young Men's Ensemble, Vail Voices, Sahuarita Singers and Northwest Voices) to all perform together. Spend a peaceful afternoon listening to some holiday classics, and maybe even tearing up a little bit. (We won't tell.) 2 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. UA Crowder Hall, 1017 N Olive Road. $20 premium seating, $15 GA, $8 for kids under 12. Details here.
Christmas in America.
This touring show full of song, dance and traditional Irish tales is in its 14th year now, so if you were waiting for the run to get past that unlucky Year 13, now's your chance. Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada is producing the show, and this year's tour features special guest singer Niamh Farrell, West Kerry singer Séamus Begley and Irish dancing by Samantha Harvey. With names like that, you know the show is authentic! Let these artists and the sounds of the fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp bring you stories about some of Ireland's rich historical traditions this holiday season. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Gregory School Auditorium, 3231 N. Craycroft Road. $23 to $25. Details here.
Mister Bing's Happy Holidays Supper Club.
Let's take a step back to yesteryear for the evening. To a time when dinner came with a side of sophisticated cabaret entertainment. To a time when meals were so artfully composed that they were a part of the performance themselves. This night full of fine dining features vocalists Brian Lavario, Crystal Stark and Katherine Byrnes, as well as a spotlight on show club dancing and performances by magicians Norm Marina and Steve Ehlers. On the menu: a strawberry salad, a choice of tiger prawns or chicken breast, and a white velvet cake with peppermint buttercream. Cocktail dance hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 5:45 and show at 6:45. Sunday, Dec. 16. Hacienda del Sol, 5501 N Hacienda del Sol Road. $39 for show only or $99 for show and dinner (including tax & tip). Details here.
A Southwest Nutcracker.
Even the most die-hard Nutcracker fans have got to admit that the ballet sure gets put on a lot. Of course, there's a reason for that: It's a fantastic ballet that people love. But it's also what makes the Tucson Regional Ballet's take on the show so refreshing. The show takes place in Tucson in the 1800s! We're talking coyotes, rattlesnakes and a full cavalry. Professionally designed sets, gorgeous costumes, live music by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and (obviously) impressive dancing make this a show you don't want to miss. The fact that there's a character called the Prickly Pear Fairy means it's a show you really can't miss in good conscience. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $26 to $38. Details here.
A Come Unity Sing
. If you've never heard of The Little Chapel of All Nations, it's a delightful concept. It's a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization founded 60 years ago by a Tucson writer and feminist named Ada Peirce McCormick. It exists to give your soul a break from the craziness of everyday life, and to help you find your way to your own beliefs. At their come-unity/community sing events, all are welcome to come together and sing: old songs, new songs, some the size of your head. You don't need an instrument, any singing experience or to stay for the whole event. But if you just need a break, this might be the event for you. Come enjoy some snacks and make some light. 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Little Chapel of All Nations Library, 1401 E. First St. Free. Details here.
Holiday Express at the Historic Depot
. There's something inexplicably Christmas-y about trains. Maybe it's because both Christmas and trains make us feel nostalgic for simpler times. Maybe it's because "There's a train here" rhymes with "There's a reindeer." Maybe it's just because of The Polar Express. Anyway, head over to the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum for their 14th annual holiday event. Take a picture with Santa, write a letter to him with more detail about exactly what you want, and sing some holiday music. Plus, an arts and crafts show, a live reading of The Polar Express, and chances to check out the museum exhibits and gift show. You can even climb into the cab of steam Locomotive 1673! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Historic AMTRAK Tucson Train Depot, 400 N. Toole Ave. Free. Details here.
OV Friday FUNDays at the Children's Museum.
Sure, it's the winter season, and the holiday season. But it's also that year-round season of "the time of year where we need to find something fun to do with the kids." Luckily, the Children's Museum Oro Valley is hosting Friday morning and afternoon events with special guests through Jan. 4. This week, the UA Museum of Art Sprouts Program, a story time and art-making event, is on deck to keep little ones entertained! And stay tuned for the other Friday events, for which times vary: a holiday party, a face painting and a presentation by the Planetary Science Institute. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Oro Valley Children's Museum, 11015 N. Oracle Road. $6, or free for infants younger than 1. Details here.
Mercado Holiday Bazaar.
If you've been holding out on your holiday shopping because you want to get your loved ones something really, really good this year, it's time to head over to the Mercado District, where they'll have plenty of goods that are really, really good. More than 60 makers, artists and collectors will be around at this family-friendly holiday shopping event, so you'll have an array of options. And, hey, while you're there, you might just spot the perfect item to reward yourself for getting some holiday shopping done. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Mercado District, 100 S. Avenida del Convento. Details here.
24th Annual Parade of Lights & Festival Downtown.
It's hard not to be in the holiday spirit when you spend the day buying gifts for loved ones and visiting local restaurants and museums, only to cap it off with a parade of floats, twinkly light-adorned Baile Folklorico dancers, marching mariachis and parading pups. So if you're still not in the holiday spirit by mid-December, this is just what the doctor ordered. (If you are in the holiday spirit, it is still just what the doctor ordered). Over in Jacome Plaza, there's going to be live entertainment, tons of food and even snow! Magic all around. And Pima Community College is sponsoring free Tucson Streetcar rides all day long! Festival in the plaza begins at 3 p.m. and parade beings at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Parade starts at the intersection of Church Avenue and Alameda Street and winds through downtown. Free. Details here.
Christmas Tree Ornaments in the Garden.
One of the coolest and most underrated things about nature is that it's constantly supplying us with art. And we don't just mean the inspiration to make art, because nature is so beautiful (though that's of course true, too). We mean literally supplying us with the supplies to make art. For example, at this event at Mission Garden, you'll be making ornaments out of materials like dried devil's claw pods, okra pods and painted dipper gourds. What a perfect gift for a nature lover, and a lovely addition to any tree! 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 15. Mission Gardens, 946 W Mission Lane. Free. Details here.
Mariachis and Tequila. To warm up on these winter evenings, Nana's Kitchen is pouring tequila and inviting the mariachis to play. Featuring Mi Campo tequila and giveaways! If eggnog just isn't doing it for you, this event is sure to get you festive and moving. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. 8225 N. Courtney Page Way. Details here.
Holiday Puppet Show: Fun Frosty & Friends.
If there's anything more kid-friendly than the spirit of the whole holiday season, it's puppet shows! Dreams will come true for holiday-loving little ones when they get to see this show featuring Frosty, Santa, the Grinch, reindeers and elves. Midtown Mercantile Merchants and The Junk Society #138 are hosting this event, which will feature refreshments for the body as well as the puppet show, which many consider a type of refreshment for the soul. Call 777-7275 to reserve a spot. 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Midtown Mercantile Merchants, 4443 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. Details here.
Chateau Chateau. Describing themselves as a "riff-playing, synth-loving indie-pop band from Tucson, AZ," Chateau Chateau certainly hits the nail on the head. However, they do themselves the injustice of not commenting on their lyrics. Their debut single "Crisis Party" features bumping synths like bubblegum popping and the jerky guitars you'd expect out of a quirky, summertime anthem, but there is poetic depth as well. "How can it be that everyday and everything's changin' / blame it on me at last you'll see that nothin's worth savin'," sings vocalist Blake Milliser. Applause is due to the band who can get a crowd cheerfully hopping and singing along to a mental collapse.See Chateau Chateau's holiday party at Club Congress. w/ Spider Cider and Crooked Saintz. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Free. 21+. Details here.
(aka Damian Higgins) has been the most technically precise drum and bass DJ for 20 years straight. Dude's a live sensation—his vinyl beat matching is peerless and he can create cinematic four deck mixes on the fly. In the rare category of DJs who own labels (Human Imprint), played the big three fests—Bassrush, Bonnaroo and EDC—and toured internationally, Higgins secured his place atop the sonic chain in EDM's evolution. His sets, often sci-fi or post-apocalyptic in theme, weave past greats in dubstep, electro and trap into mad blends that please both ravers and metalheads. (He's toured with both Moby and Disturbed!) Ably named "The Destroyer" for his soul-crushing breaks, Higgins aims for sonic mind-fuck of "heaven crashing into hell." Intelligent and self-aware, his intro to "Wake the Dead" is a thinly veiled reference to death of the art of DJing. So meta! Friday, Dec. 14, 191 Toole. Doors at 10 p.m. $12. Details here.
channels his surroundings into music. This psych folk singer-songwriter from Sedona, Decker has tripped the mystic fantastic through red rock country, unironically opening his heart to the cycle of life—from the death of his beloved grandmother to the birth of his son, on his brand new album, Born to Wake Up. From the invocation to the outro, Decker orchestrates a John Cage-like symphony of chirping, howling, and native chant that forms a desert wall of sound to underscore his plainspoken, Tom Petty-inspired melodies. And it works! Tackling topics like Eden without pretension, Decker muses, "I like it better when you still pretended you were whole." His clang-jangle guitars insert meditative breaks between verses and recall The Church. "Burnin Grass" sends up anyone seeking answers in nature, while the innocently inspired title tune is gentle list song for his newborn, "You were born to move mountains/You were born to save." With Tucson's mighty Carlos Arzate & the Kind Souls, and Keli Carpenter. Friday, Dec.14, Club Congress, 311 East Congress St., $5. 21+. Details here.
Fill the Streetcar With Toys.
Ramon's Miracle on 31st Street, the local grassroots charity that provides holiday kindness and cheer to disadvantaged children in the Tucson area, has its 48th annual Christmas celebration coming up. They're expecting more than 15,000 children to attend the celebration, and the idea is for them each to leave with a new toy in hand. The Regional Transportation Authority is trying to collect 1,200 toys, filling the streetcar up with tokens of goodwill. You're probably out Christmas shopping anyway, so, while you're at it, just bring a new, unwrapped toy over to the streetcar, just west of Fourth Avenue on Eighth Street downtown. The easy curbside drop-off is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 14, but you can also stick around to see Santa, performances by local school music groups and a life-size pink Barbie jeep.
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Events compiled by Tirion Morris, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.