Cheap Thrills

FREE FOR ALLS. Bookman's has two great events to keep the most active kids busy while you relax in the quiet, cool company of books.

Bring the kids down to join the creepy crawlies of the puppet world Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon for It's a Really Bug Show with a special quiz show, What Bugs You, and the Mother Nature Fashion Show, presented by New Kiva Motions Puppet Theatre.

And on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. Mike Schwartz of Tucson Arts Brigade will help organize kids in the design and creation of a community mural for Tucson. The theme of the mural is the celebration of spring in the desert.

Bookman's Used Books at 1930 E. Grant Road is the host of both events. Call 325-5767 with questions.

WHERE'S WALDO. Tucson is the meeting point of many a nomad. Coming for the mystery of the desert, escaping from its brutality, returning for the comfort, travelers have long tried to make a semblance of a home here in the old pueblo.

This Saturday, Reader's Oasis hosts some of our more experienced travel writers for an afternoon of discussion, reminiscing and braggery.

Tom Miller recently edited Travelers' Tales: Cuba, a collection of adventures of various travelers (read an excerpt on page X); Gregory McNamee signs copies of his photographic essay Open Range & Parking Lots, produced with Virgil Hancock; Edie Jarolim, former Arizona Daily Star travel editor, pumped out the latest in the "For Dummies" series, Arizona and New Mexico for Dummies; Rob Rachowiecki contributes the latest Lonely Planet Guide: Ecuador; and Doris Evans appeals to the whole family with Let's Explore the Desert: Family Go Guide!, published by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Take the afternoon off and travel through the Southwest, down to the enchanting island of Cuba and off to South America. The authors will touch down from 2 to 4 p.m. at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd., No. 114. Call 319-7887 if you need a more detailed itinerary.

HOP 'TIL YOU DROP: Roll down your socks, loosen up your limbs and hop down to the cleanest evening of fun in town.

The swing and lindy dance this Saturday will bring you back to a more innocent, if jittery, America. Originating in Harlem, the lindy hop follows a basic pattern of 8-count steps and can include a number of Charleston, tap and jazz dance steps. It is traditionally danced to live music--jazz, big band, jump blues or rockabilly.

This Saturday night from 8 to midnight the International Arts Center (Sixth Street and Fifth Avenue) plays host to the dance. All ages, all levels are welcome, and best of all, no partner is required. Admission is $6. Visit with questions.