City Week: Weekly Picks

Editor’s Note: While we are delighted to see Tucsonans once again gathering for fun events, we are also aware that the Delta variant is in widespread circulation. Please consider getting vaccinated against COVID if you haven’t yet

Sim Shalom, Grant Peace. The Arizona Repertory Singers are back to treating us to holiday cheer in the form of live music, and they’re really bringing their A-game. The title of the show takes its name from a Hebrew prayer, set to music composed by Jennaya Robison. Hebrew will be one of the seven languages sung during the concert, along with Norwegian, Spanish, Irish, Latin, Italian and English. But eight languages if you count the universal language of music! They’ll perform works by composers including Benjamin Britten, Ørjan Matr, David Mooney and Francis Poulenc. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2311 E. Adams St. and Saturday, Dec. 12, at Christ the King Episcopal Church, 2800 W. Ina Road. $18 in advance or $20 at the door.

Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair. Look, if you want to do your holiday shopping with local and small businesses this holiday season, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to do it than the Fourth Avenue Street Fair. In case you’re new to Tucson or live under a rock, the street fair is an incredible, multi-block affair that brings hundreds of thousands of people to the Old Pueblo every year. (Well, you know, except last year.) There are hundreds of booths with artisans selling their wares, including textiles, edible delicacies, home and outdoor goods and dozens of different kinds of art. There’s also fair food, musicians, and Santa himself (appearing 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday). 10 a.m. to dusk. Friday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 12. Fourth Avenue. (You can shuttle from the Pennington Street Garage or take the Sun Link if you park along the Modern Streetcar Line).

Flaundrau Holiday Shows. Our friendly local planetarium is bringing the holiday cheer with two special shows starting this week. The Season of Light Show celebrates different festivals of light honoring the Winter Solstice across many cultures. From Christmas to Hanukkah to ancient Hopi and Roman festivals of light, this show is a touching—and beautiful!—reminder of our shared humanity. Laser Holiday Magic is a laser light show musical, featuring popular Christmas and seasonal songs that will have you humming along. Holiday shows are showing through Dec. 31 at Flaundrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. See website for information on showtimes and buy tickets in advance if you can—they often sell out. $9 adults, $8 seniors/military, $7 kids 4 to 17 and college ID holders.

Holiday Mercado Flea. If you celebrate Christmas, or buy gifts for people to do, then it’s prime time for shopping for gifts. And, actually, if you are a human being who has spent the last year and a half trying to cope with a global pandemic and who hasn’t fully relaxed their shoulders since, like, February 2020, then you could probably use a little bit of retail therapy for yourself too. This is a great, open-air chance to shop local, pick up vintage and collectible items, and enjoy some yummy food while you’re in the area. The holiday edition of the flea features more than 45 vendors. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. Avenida Del Convento, between Congress and Cushing streets in the Mercado District.

Free Admission + Vaccine Clinic at Children’s Museum Tucson. Wow, what better way to make the process of getting a shot more palatable for a child (or an adult, for that matter) than by making it into a museum day! Staff from El Rio Health will be administering Pfizer COVID-19 and flu vaccines for anyone age 5 and older. Those receiving second vaccines or booster shots should bring their vaccination cards. El Rio and Pima County Health Department staff will be on site to answer your family’s questions about COVID-19 and the vaccines, and Pima County will distribute free at-home rapid self tests. Then you can go do some exploring in the museum! 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.

Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul. There’s really nothing like the magical feeling of strolling down paths garlanded with millions of twinkly lights, accompanied by live music, hot chocolate, the stars above you and the warm feeling of holiday cheer all around you. This event at Tohono Chul lasts for two weekends. On Friday, Dec. 10, Joe Bourne, Gabriel Ayala and Domingo DeGrazia provide the music, and on Saturday, it’s Rene Taylor, Magic Mr. B and Tucson Jazz Institute. Both nights feature vendors Jose’s Kettle Corn, Reflections in Granite, Mini Hobo Bags, True Candles and Mano y Metate Spices. Even Santa will be zooming in for virtual visits. You can also get some shopping done in the gift shop. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11. Tohono Chul, 7266 N. Paseo Del Norte. $17 GA, $13 members, $5 kids 5 to 12. Masks required.

Rockin’ 4 Heroes: Leonid & Friends in Concert. Leonid & Friends are a Chicago tribute band who do their job so well that they’ve gone on multiple sold-out tours in the United States. With members from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, they replicate Chicago’s complex arrangements even though they’ve never seen the band play live. While we love any reason to see an internationally acclaimed band, we especially appreciate one that’s designed as an opportunity to thank our first responders, active-duty military, veterans and Gold Star families. Sponsorships by rock star local businesses mean these heroes, their families and the public all get in free. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, and chow down at the food trucks—all event proceeds benefit Veterans/First Responders Living Memorial. 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. James D. Kriegh Park, 23 W. Calle Concordia, Oro Valley. Free.

Pints & Pups. This is the kind of event title that gets your attention, and then doesn’t disappoint. Head over to Westbound at the MSA Annex for an event supporting HOPE Animal Shelter, the first no-kill dog and cat shelter and sanctuary in Tucson. There’s a puppy Christmas sweater contest, pet photos with Santa, a raffle and plenty of adoptable shelter pets! If you bring a monetary donation or dog toys, treats, food (unopened), bedding, newspaper, bowls, collars or blankets, you get $1 off all drinks. HOPE takes fantastic care of its animals, so there will be no fuh-leas on the dogs, but it will be a very Feliz Navidad of a night. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Westbound at the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida Del Convento. 

Zoo Lights. The holiday magic at Reid Park Zoo continues this week. As usual, there will be falling snow, visits with Santa, hot cocoa (with or without booze) and thousands of glowing lights and lighted animal displays to see as you wander around the zoo grounds. This week in particular, they’ve got entertainment by groups like Roskruge K-8 Bilingual School Mariachi and Ballet Folklorico, Mariachi Allegre, Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene, the Desert Sky Middle School Choir and the Catalina Foothills High School Choir. On Wednesday, Dec. 15, there will also be a holiday shopping bazaar. 6 to 8 p.m. every night through Dec. 23, and Dec. 26-30. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $11 adults, $9 seniors, $7 kids 2 to 14. Bring donations for the Community Food Bank or the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for discounted admission.