One Week of Free Classes at Circus Sanctuary.
First, let's just take a minute to reflect on how wacky and wonderful of a town Tucson is to have MORE THAN ONE circus school. Now, let's move on to celebrating that the newest one, Circus Sanctuary, has been in business for a whole year now! Their philosophy is to teach students to play like children, train like athletes and perform like artists. And if that's not just a damn good philosophy, we don't know what is. They're celebrating one year with a whole week of free conditioning classes, from Sunday, Dec. 30, through Saturday, Jan. 5. Everything from pole to aerial silks to trapeze to flexibility to beginning contortion will be offered, as well as open studio times and a family circus class. Circus Sanctuary, 3113 E. Columbia St. Free. Check out the Facebook event page for specific class times. Details here.
The Snowman Factory.
As of the time this issue is going to print, it does not look like a white Christmas is in the forecast for Tucson this year. But Little Cardboard Rocket is going to help you make it up to your little ones, and teach them a little bit about science to boot! Head on over to make a snow-like substance out of only two ingredients, and then create a snowman with your child. There's also several other activities that everyone can work through at their own pace, a healthy snack and plenty of take-home resources. This is designed for kids ages 3 to 5, but younger scientists are welcome as well! 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Little Cardboard Rocket, LLC, 5630 E. Pima St. $8. Details here.
A Night of Tucson Salvage.
If you don't know and love Brian Smith already, where have you been? The award-winning journalist, former alcohol and crystal meth addict, one-time rock 'n' roll front man for bands like the Beat Angels and Gentleman After Dark, and Tucson Salvage columnist is well-loved around these parts. His Tucson Salvage columns and essays have been gathered into a book, and at this event, we're celebrating with all sorts of art! Poet Maggie Golston is doing a reading, Billy Sedlymayr and Kaia Lacy are making music, filmmaker Maggie Smith is showing some of her work and (of course), Brian is doing a reading from his new book. A Q&A and book signing follow. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Exo Roast Co. 403 N. Sixth Ave. $5 to benefit Youth on Their Own, but no one will be turned away at the door for lack of money. Details here.
Tucson Repertory Orchestra Concert.
The Tucson Repertory Orchestra was created to bring skilled musicians together for a chance to play some classical standards. That's exactly what they're doing at this show, and you get to watch! Music director Toru Tagawa will conduct and violinist Michelle Abraham is the performance's featured musician. 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Admission by donation. Details here.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Stockton Heat.
If we can get through these hockey game without a team literally called "heat" melting the ice, then they're definitely a fun way to spend your Friday or Saturday night. And hey, you have to admit that if the ice melts during the game, it would still make for an interesting time. If you're looking for an especially nerdy experience, go to Star Wars Night on Saturday, where you can meet your favorite characters form the franchise and participate in a costume contest to win some cool prizes. 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28, and Saturday, Dec. 29. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $11 to $61+. Details here.
Goal Post Party!
Even if you're not a sports person, you might enjoy a free concert by Everclear, lots of fun and games, food and beverages for all ages and a charity village where you can really get in the holiday spirit. It's important to pack as much living as you possibly can into these last few days of the year, and this event full of things to do and see is a perfect opportunity. 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. UA Mall. Free. Details here.
Cuban Night at Crooked Tooth.
It's getting lively at Crooked Tooth Brewing Co! The funky tropical Cuban trio Acerekó—Enrique Feldman, Doug Davis and Bubba Fass—is performing. Food will be provided by Cuban Twist Cafè, with a special menu of bean and rice bowls, special Cuban sandwiches and more. Plus, there are always plenty of great in-house drinks from Crooked Tooth! 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. 228 E. Sixth Street. Details here.
Succulents & Sangria.
What a glorious pair of words. If you want to enjoy the look and taste of wonderful vegetation, Green Things has your back. At this event, you'll get step-by-step directions on how to plant your very own succulent bowl. And at the same time, you get to drink sangria. What more is there to say? Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. 3384 E. River Road. $5 plus supplies. 21+ for sangria. Details here.
Bacon Day at 1912 Brewing
. Back by popular demand, 1912 Brewing is combining mead and bacon for one super-special flight. The mead is made by Superstition Meadery and the bacon is by Daniela's Cooking. And as an extra bonus, they will be adding bacon as an extra for micheladas. If you're the kind of person who likes maple syrup on their bacon, the flavors of mead and bacon are close enough...right? 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. 2045 N. Forbes Blvd. Details here.
St. Philip's Plaza Classic Market.
In the quiet lull between Christmas and New Year's Day, take a morning to enjoy the simple things, such as locally made food and crafts. The St. Philips's farmers market is both a great place to shop and relax, and it's an even better place to eat. This market will include some awesome local bakers, such as the Bakehouse Bread Company and A Simple Cookie. 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Dec. 30. 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Details here.
Winter Break STEAM.
Maybe your kid doesn't think he or she's interested in STEAM. But maybe he's wondered just a little bit about how electrical circuits light up the house, the Christmas tree and every electrical appliance they need. Or maybe she'd be interested to learn you can manipulate static electricity to make objects move without touching them. (Wingardium leviosa, anyone?) First through fifth graders who have ever wanted to learn a little bit more about how things work will love this activity at the library. 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, and Friday, Dec. 28, as well as Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 2-4. Quincie Douglas Library, 1585 E. 36th St. Free. Details here.
Last Fridays at MSA Annex.
It's the last Friday of the month. Hell, it's the last Friday of the whole year! How are you going to spend it? One great option is a low-key night of shopping under the stars at some of the merchants' stores in the MSA Annex. This family-friendly event also features live music, food trucks to supplement the usual on-site restaurants and other libations by Westbound Bar. In this few-day lull between Christmas and New Year's Day, a nice stroll with your family and a chance to support local artisans might be just what you need. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28. MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento. Details here.
The HugTrain Stops in Tucson.
Loneliness is bad for your health—some studies are showing it can lead to anxiety, depression, reduced cardiovascular health and weakened immune systems. But you know what's good for your health? Hugs! They're a small, powerful way to let another human know they're not alone. The HugTrain founder, a guy named Arie, has been traveling through Canada in the United States during the holiday season since 2009, giving out free hugs to whoever wants them in an effort to make the world just a little bit better. He'll be around for a few days, with his train arriving at the Tucson Amtrak, 400 E. Toole Ave., at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, and leaving at 8:35 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30. So keep an eye out! Details here.
Tucson Garden Railway Society Holiday Train Display.
Wait, you're telling me it's almost the end of the year—almost the end of the holiday season—and you still haven't seen any model train displays? You'd better hurry on over to the VA for this sweet little display, featuring mountains, buildings, picturesque scenes and—of course—a big ol' miniature train. Members of the Garden Railway Society will be around to explain the display and answer questions. It's a great way to give your kids taste of the holidays of yesteryear, or to give yourself a refresher on the holidays of yesteryear. Stop in any time from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 28. Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, 3601 S. Sixth Ave. Free. Details here.
Settle This Thing
. Ever had an argument with your partner, or even with a friend, that you needed to bring in a third party to resolve? Ever had to bring in an entire audience full of people to be the third party? Married comedians Tamara Bick & Drew Antzis (they're comedy writers/directors for Funny or Die, Comedy Central, Second City and HBO) are doing just that, and if you like having fun and laughing, you should be in the audience. The couple will be going over everything from sex to parenting to dealing with the in-laws. "Should a man be allowed to fart freely in his own home?" Drew might ask. "Should your partner have to agree to go on a diet with you? Especially if you're cooking the food all the time?" Tamara might counter. It's up to you to settle this thing. 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Unscrewed Theater, 4500 E. Speedway. $15 one ticket, $25 for two tickets (couples only). Details here.
Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion.
The band name tells you a lot of what you need to know: Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion are a music outfit without borders. Fronted by singer/songwriter Katie Wise, this band sidesteps being simple folk musicians with lush, meditative infusions of Hindustani music. It's partially New Age, but Wise keeps the style grounded with positive, conscious lyrics: "Thank you almighty, for every damn thing." Certain to get you whirling in weird, worldly sonic wonder. Catch Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion at Galactic Center. 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. 35 E. Toole Ave. $10-$30. Details here.