25 Amazing Ways To Have Fun in Tucson This Weekend

click to enlarge 25 Amazing Ways To Have Fun in Tucson This Weekend
Legendary local glass artist Tom Philabaum will make one last go at the furnace this Saturday, Feb. 3.

Want to have fun this weekend? The Weekly has 25 recommendations for you. Surely there's something for you on this list!

American Flying Buffalo Pho Special. American Flying Buffalo will be at Button Brew House with a pho-nomenal surprise: A brand new pho menu! Get all the spicy, soupy goodness you can. And if you’re feeling pho-rugal, bring your own bowl and get $1 off. Apologies for all these aw-pho-l puns. 4-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. 6800 N Camino Martin, suite 160.

The Loft Cinema First Friday Shorts. If you attended last month’s contest, you know what to expect, and if you didn’t, you better show up to this. This is an opportunity to see Tucson’s best and weirdest local shorts: horror, animation, comedy, documentary, a phallically murderous grizzly bear. See the true face of your city. 9-11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. $6. 3233 East Speedway Blvd.

The Flame Off. It’s called the Flame Off, but it’s game on for the 18 glass artists who will race against the clock to create the best masterpiece out of molten glass this year. The artists come from all over the country, except for one international competitor, and have 90 minutes to create their entry pieces (which will be auctioned off the day after the competition) in front of an audience. For the 17th year of the annual festival, onlookers can enjoy the spectacle, along with Thunder Canyon Brewery beer, wine, live auctions, raffle prizes and food trucks. 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. 633 W. 18th St. $20 will call, $50 VIP, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Sonoran Glass School.

World Premiere Meteorite & Laser Gem Show. It doesn’t seem like a talk by Geoff Notkin (one of the most popular live speakers in the world), an actual T-Rex skeleton and a light show done by Pink Floyd’s former laser designer should even be allowed to be in one place. Isn’t there some sort of safety regulation for having so much cool stuff in one place? Minds will be blown, heads could explode, you may be swept off your feet. Notkin’s talk will be called “Space Rocks, Nuts and Bolts: The Secret Science of Meteorites” and accompanying dino/laser extravaganza will take place in a 3,200 square foot exhibit space. BRING POPCORN. And bring the kids. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. 22nd Street Show, 600 W. 22nd St. Free!

Ballet Tucson Winter Concert. You have four chances to see this performance by some of Tucson’s most talented movers. Because the performance is in collaboration with the Tucson Desert Song Festival, the company will be premiering A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein, featuring selections from West Side Story and Mass, as well as guest vocalists and alumni from Ravinia’s Sterns Music Institute, as well as the pianist Michael Dauphinais. They’ll also be premiering Divertimento in D, set to the music of the “Bel Canto Quintet,” and performing Graduation Ball, a historic ballet in which the headmistress of a 19th century Viennese finishing school invites cadets from the military academy to the school’s graduation ball. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3 and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1717 E. University Blvd. $45 GA, $40 seniors/students/military.

Stomp. This one goes out to the kids who used to stomp out of the room when their mom told them to do their chores, and who maybe still stomp out of the room sometimes when they don’t like what they’re hearing. Because, for two days at Centennial Hall, stomping is okay. Stomping is celebrated. This musical theatre/dance performance will fill the stage with matchboxes, garbage cans, brooms and Zippo lighters to make some joyful, rhythmic, riotous noise. 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $19 to $60+. $5 off for seniors, $10 off for students.

First Fridays at the Arizona History Museum. Somehow, we’re already heading into the second month of 2018, when it still feels like it’s about 2011. To make yourself feel less old, go learn about some really old stuff at the Arizona History Museum’s special, where admission is two for one, and includes admission to “Dude Ranching in Arizona,” a program where author Russell True will discuss his book about dude ranches in Arizona history. 4 to 8 p.m., with program at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St. Regular admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors 65+, $5 students, $4 kids 7 to 17 and free for kids 6 and under, members and veterans. Two for one today!

Biocosmos: Our Sense of Place, Our Sense of Life in the Universe. If the name of this event doesn’t already have you hooked, knowing that you can spend the day at the Biosphere learning about how space science breakthroughs affect the human race should. Dean Joaquin Ruiz of the Biosphere 2 kicks the day off, and you’ll also hear from Valerie Olson of UC Irvine; Dante Lauretta and Chris Impey of the UA’s own Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Lab; Marcia Rieke from the UA astronomy department; Istvan Praet of the University of London at Roehampton and Lisa Messeri from Yale. Lectures will be followed by interactive discussions where you can ask space questions to your heart’s content.9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. Biosphere 2 Lower Habitat, 32540 S. Biosphere Road, Oracle. Included with Biosphere 2 admission, or free for members. $20 adults, $18 seniors and military, $13 for kids 6 to 12, $10 with CatCard, $15 other college students.

The Art of Planetary Science. We all know science is cool, but the data and numbers and statistics aren’t always super beautiful. The UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is remedying this with their annual exhibition and satellite events where scientists and artists both create artwork to give the audience a new perspective on the work they’re doing. Last year, they displayed nearly 250 pieces of art from 120 artists and scientists and attracted more than 800 guests. This year, make it “more than 801 guests.” 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3 and Sunday, Feb. 4. Kuiper Space Sciences Building, 1629 E. University Blvd. Free.

Philabaum’s Furnace. Master glass artist Tom Philabaum is quenching the flames. For 47 years, Tucson's Mr. Glass has been working with molten glass, thrusting it into the dangerous “glory hole,” the white-hot glass furnace at his studio. No more. Now dealing with Parkinson's, Philabaum is giving up the heat required for glassblowing, but he has no intention of giving up glass: he'll continue making painted and fused glass works. The artist's formidable command of glass styles will be showcased in The Flame: Tom Philabaum, a five-decade retrospective opening with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 3, and continuing through April at Philabaum Glass Gallery, 711 S. Sixth Ave., 884-7404; philabaumglass.com. The artist gives a talk at the gallery at 5 p.m. Saturday. It's free but seating is limited. If you miss it, you can catch his lecture at Tucson Museum of Art on March 31.

Ned and the Dirt. Hailing from Los Angeles by way of the Dirty South, Ned and the Dirt are unapologetic in their liberal use of “Whoahs” and “ahs.” But don’t hold that against them. Their post-grunge guitar-heroics channel worries, fears and sadnesses, the likes of which we’ve not heard since early My Morning Jacket. Even the drums evolve from pounding heartbeats into ethereal sizzles. Yes, their requisite pain of sentience scratches through heavy pop tones. They’re all about the build-up—across single songs and entire albums. Their 2016 EP begins as a search for cheap thrills, examines and registers casualties and loss along the way, “When I last saw Mikey he wouldn’t stop pretending he was fine and in love/When I last saw Steph he died,” before ending with, “Stay open, stay forgiving and you’ll be fine.” Post-Mumford and Sons rousing choruses, post-Everclear slam, this is the sound of honest struggle born of men trapped under the same sun, and it simmers and rocks, sometimes in the same tune. With Dirt Friends and Half-Broke Town. Saturday, Feb. 3. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 p.m. Free. 21+.

Rezz: Melding gut-punch sonics like Skrillex and head-trips that’d do DJ Shadow proud, Rezz excels at building on that which has come before her. Like any brilliant student, she’s bores holes through hardened traditions. Her EDM compositions rise on tension that teases the brain and body like rare sex—that yearning for the rarified moment of release. “Relax,” one track commands, and the hypnotic beat is almost too much, the ornamentation almost too rich and dreamy. She’s good. Friday, Feb. 2. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. Doors at 7 p.m. $35-$45. All ages.

Day in the Desert. Get your creative juices flowing with Creative Juice, a local art bar that serves up casual art lessons and “creative juice,” if you know what I mean. (I mean alcohol.) And instructor will walk you through a painting—in this case, a colorful desert scene, and you can paint along. And drink along if you so choose. We find it really helps us to get in the art-making zone. Saturday, Feb. 3. Creative Juice, 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road. $29/painter, drinks not included. $4 beer and $5 to $7 for wine.

We Love Dinosaurs! Little Cardboard Rocket, which provides classes in caregiving for parents of young (think pre-preschool) children, is hosting this pop-up event. Work with your little Dino lovers and archeologists to measure a T-Rex food, excavate a “dinosaur egg,” build a volcano and use your imaginations to turn into dinosaurs yourselves! Everyone gets a dino kit to take home so they can keep the magic alive. Can you say, “tyrannosaurus yes”? 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Little Cardboard Rocket, LLC. 5360 E. Pima St. $10, with 65 percent sibling discount.

TAWN Imbolc Public Ritual. Calling all Pagans! In case you don’t already know, the Tucson Area Wiccan/Pagan Network exists, and they hold events like this one to bring members of the community together. This non-denominationally Pagan celebration is for Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day, a Gaelic festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring, and held right around the halfway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Bring a potluck dish, bring (non-alcoholic) drinks, bring seating if you want it and bring a sweater if you’re gonna need it. Kids welcome! Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Hippie Hill at Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd. Free.

SAVOR: Southern AZ Food & Wine Festival. We all know the local Tucson food scene is awesome, so why not celebrate it? The Tucson Botanical Gardens are hosting this year’s Food and Wine festival. You’ll get samples from local wineries, breweries, restaurants and chefs. Over 75 of the best local menus are at your disposal. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. $75 online / $85 day of. 2150 N Alvernon Way.

Fourth Avenue/Main Gate Square Food Tour. Sometimes the food scene here can be so great you don’t even know where to start. Well, don’t worry: Tucson Food Tours has you covered. They’re taking a trip around one of the best places to eat in town, and showing you the best-of-the-best to be found there. This is a recurring event, so if you can’t make it this week, be sure to keep your eyes open for future tours. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. $55 online. Starts at East Congress Street and Fifth Avenue.

Ten Fifty-Five Brewing Fifth Anniversary Party. Every night is a party at a brewery, so when there’s an official party happening, you know it’s going to be great. Ten Fifty-Five Brewing is cooking up some awesome festivities in celebration of their birthday, including resurrecting some old-time favorite brews. Get your party hats, streamers, and champagne (or in this case, beer) poppers ready! 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. 3810 E 44th St.

Crooked Yoga. When it comes to good deals, Crooked Tooth Brewing knows what’s up. Often, you could spend more than $5 on a beer or a yoga session, but they’re offering $5 for yoga and a pint! Get zen, and then get zen-er by combining their yoga and craft brews for a truly enlightening experience. Starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. $5. 228 E. Sixth St.

Onesie Bar Crawl. Generally, you finish a bar crawl passed-out, snuggled up, or in some other way, asleep. So why not cut the crap and just go in your pajamas? Participating bars include The Hut, Mr. Heads, Bar Passe, Sky Bar and more. There are even prizes for the funniest or uh, the most erotic outfits. For all of you who’ve ever fallen asleep in some dingy corner of Fourth Ave, prepare to be vindicated. 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. $15 (tickets online). 21+.

City Slickers. This week, Woods Memorial Library’s movie of the month is City Slickers. Don’t miss Hollywood classics like Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, and even a very young Jake Gyllenhaal in one of the great ’90s comedy classics. A New York businessman somehow winds up helping two friends run a cattle drive in the West, that’s something we can all relate to. 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. 3455 N. 1st Ave.

Art Safari. The Central Tucson Gallery Association is hosting this opportunity to visit seven different galleries in one night. At the Davis Dominguez Gallery, see abstract paintings by Josh Goldberg and color field woven linen by Claire Campbell Park. See a Trans-Atlantic Fusion exhibit at PCC’s Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery. And see a New Year’s resolution-themed exhibit at the Raices Taller 222 Gallery. Most will have special reception hours during the Art Safari, but exact times and, of course, locations vary. The Art Safari begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Kartchner Caverns Cave Fest. Caves are already fascinating, especially for kids—as anyone who’s ever been to the Desert Museum with kids would know. But at this two-day celebration at Arizona’s most cavernous state park, there will be even more than just caves. Check out the live animal and natural resource presentations, a caving obstacle course and special guests from the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. You can also go online to reserve a guided tour through the caves for an additional fee. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3 and Sunday, Feb. 4. Kartchner Caverns State Park, 2980 Arizona 90, Benson. $7 park entrance fee.

Build-A-Gin Workshop. Feeling uninspired or uncreative lately? We bet making something—like your own gin, for example—would lift your spirits. Three Wells Distilling Company’s co-founders, Matt Montgomery and Chris Dudding, will discuss the science of distilling, what gin is made of, and then help you pick your own selection of botanicals to infuse into your unique create-gin. Plus, there’ll be cocktails (first one’s complimentary!) and spirits sampling. Don’t miss it. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Three Wells Distilling Company, 3780 E. 44th St., suite 120. $60. $21+

Mean Mary: Few artists can sneak descriptors into their names—but Mean Mary James surely deserves hers. Since she was 5 years old, Mary’s been spinning yarns of tall Texans and iron horses and all of the love won and lost across ramshackle landscapes of American music. As gifted a banjo and guitar player as she is a singer-songwriter, Mary’s mad skill is a novelist’s ability to channel the character she is serving, in melody and words. “I was tired of taking hard knocks and locking my dreams in a drawer,” is plainspoken, huskily unadorned—like ’60s-era Cher meets Karen Dalton—and after one verse we know “Sweet Jezebel” well enough to understand why she’d walk toward the man with “the eyes of a shark.” Whether ably tackling country standards or offering original, bitter-pill love songs, each measure is crammed with heart and the feeling the songs are written and performed because they had to be. Sunday, Feb. 4. Monterey Court (Courtyard Stage), 505 Miracle Mile. 6 p.m. $10. All ages.

Compiled by Emily Dieckman, Jeff Gardner, B.S. Eliot and Margaret Regan.