Biosphere 2. Biosphere 2 has reopened! Maybe that means someday we'll get to reopen more stuff here in the Biosphere 1 sometime soon. But until then, this sure is a cool way to pass the time. Download their app to explore the facility at your own pace while also keeping distance between you and other visitors. The app also provides lots of historical context, as well as archival photos and videos that you can't find anywhere else. The trail is modified to be one-way for safety, and the 16 stops along the way all provide great views, either from inside or outside the dome. Masks are required, of course. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Creative Energy. There's still time to see the November exhibit at the Wilde Meyer Gallery. This month's show includes art by Connie Townsend, Jim Nelson, Nancy Pendleton and Peggy McGivern, as well as sculptors Adam Thomas Rees, Larelea Kim and many more. The gallery is following COVID-19 guidelines, so you can feel safe as you enjoy the art—or even stake some out to buy. There's a wine reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, with a performance by harpist Vanessa Myers. But the show is open through Nov. 30. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, suite 170.
Mosaic Ornaments. If you're like us, maybe you picked up some sort of artsy hobby toward the beginning of quarantine and thought, "Ah, now that I'm settling in as a knitter/painter/master chef/macrame artist/jewelry maker/basket weaver/whatever, I can hand make gifts this holiday season for all of my family members and friends! If you are like us, that also means your artsy hobby may not have lasted as long as you were hoping. No worries! Just head on over to Tohono Chul for this workshop on how to make Western-themed mosaic ornaments with glass tiles. You'll end this class with three unique ornaments you can gift (or keep)! Please bring a lunch. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. $80 GA, $70 members.
Firehouse Artisan's Market. Would it really be the holiday season in Tucson without an array of artisan markets where you could get your gift shopping done? This one has watercolor art, jewelry, paintings, hand-sewn goods, masks, locally made jam and plenty more. Be sure to grab an infused craft lemonade while you're shopping so you can power through the festivities. While festivity is a close second, safety is definitely first at this event, so masks are required, booths are socially distanced and capacity is limited. They even have some safe kids activities sponsored by Iskashita's GAP program. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Tucson's Historic Firehouse, 1030 N. Fourth Ave.
Outdoor Concerts at Little Anthony's Diner. In 2020, maybe more than ever, aren't we all longing to return to simpler times? Times when couples shared a milkshake from across the table at the town diner? When social media hadn't taken over our lives? When there wasn't a global pandemic? Ahh, those sure were the days, weren't they? Well, these shows give you an opportunity to hearken back to the days of yore. Call ahead to reserve a reservation, then pull up to enjoy the classic car hop, live music and some good old fashioned diner food. This week's performance is by RAW Band. Let's boogie! 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. Little Anthony's Diner, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Free.
Say it! Sing it! Play it! In Cherokee. Valley of the Moon Tucson often hosts fun singalong events for kids. But this event is extra special because it gives participants a chance to help, in some small way, keep an endangered language alive. At this event with Chris Griffith, enrolled tribal member of the Cherokee Nation, and Z Puppets' collaborator Shari Aronson, kids will sing along to songs in Cherokee! Learn how to count to three, say "hello" and "thank you" and make the basic sounds of the language along with your little one, if you'd like. Recommended for ages 3 and up. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Valley of the Moon Tucson. $25 per family, $10 per individual, 50 percent off for tribal members.
Thanksgiving Blessings to Go. Gospel Rescue Mission has hosted a traditional sit-down Thanksgiving banquet for those in need for more than 30 years. This year, they're doing the event COVID-19-style, with a drive-through outreach event. Anyone is welcome to drive up and get a Thanksgiving meal at this safe handout the day before the holiday. So attend if you're interested, or spread the word, or visit their website to register as a volunteer for the event. Cheers to a safe and happy Turkey Day. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. Gospel Rescue Mission, 450 S. Palo Verde Road. http://grmtucson.com/holiday
Fall Ikebana Floral Festival. We're having a hard time even coming up with a phrase as peaceful and soothing as the "Japanese art of flower arranging," which is just what Ikebana is. So if the stressors and pressures of this year are getting you down, this opportunity to stroll through Yume Japanese Gardens and marvel at dozens of signature floral compositions is probably just what you need. You'll see a variety of styles, and even if you know nothing about Ikebana, you'll see lots of beautiful flowers in a serene environment. Hightail it over there to get some peace of mind, stat! 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 29. Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $16 GA, $5 for kids under 15, $10 for members. Includes entry to the whole garden.
Wee Winter Wonderland at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. Physicists have been trying to solve this conundrum for years: How is it that the miniature versions of things, though they take up less space, somehow contain more cuteness? Think of a Christmas tree? Cute, right? Now think of a tiny little two-inch tall Christmas tree, all decorated and lit up? SO CUTE. Lucky for us that our local miniature museum goes so big for the holidays, by going so small. The exhibit depicts holiday traditions from across the world and throughout history every year, and this year they've added a "Home for the Holidays" section to their website too, complete with crafts, recipes and holiday playlists. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays starting Nov. 25. Bring your mask and make reservations in advance. Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $7 students and youth ages 4 to 17. Free for kids 3 and under.
Gaslight Porch Concerts. The Gaslight Theatre has done an amazing job adapting to the times, offering all sorts of virtual and outdoor events to keep the people of Tucson entertained. And they're not letting up! They've got several outdoor concerts on the schedule this week, all from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday is the Backroads Country Band, Sunday is The Best of Simon and Garfunkel, and Monday is You're Lookin' at Country. Order some food in advance when you make your reservation to make it a real night out on the town. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. $35 to $40.
The Realness. Next up in Arizona Theatre Company's digital season is this show about T.O., who moves from the suburbs to the big city to immerse himself in authentic hip hop culture. Along the way, he falls in love with Prima, an MC who's supporting her family and, to T.O., is pretty much the definition of authentic hip hop culture. Of course, he learns some big lessons along this way in this show that takes on tough questions with humor, heart and some killer rhymes. Available on the ATC website, Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo from 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, through 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. Free.