Editor's Note: As of the Weekly's print time, the Tucson City Council was considering implementing a nightly curfew, so we've included a mixture of virtual and in-person events so you can have something to do no matter their decision.
Native American Arts Fair. 'Tis certainly the season for local craft fairs, but this one is pretty special: It features all Native American artists selling their work at Mission Garden! Wares include baskets, paintings, gourds, carvings, clothing and jewelry, and there will be artists and storytellers speaking throughout the event as well. It's a great chance to learn more about traditional skills and gardening — including some of the items grown at Mission Garden — and to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane.
A Christmas Carol and Dickens Festival. Would it really be the holidays without a production of A Christmas Carol? This one, by local organization Arts Express, involves socially distanced tables, limited seating and a local cast. Not to mention, they're also hosting the Dickens Festival in conjunction, which is a whole immersive (though still safe and socially distanced) experience with caroling, old-fashioned vendors and treats, and Victorian-era characters. Show starts Friday, Dec. 4, and tickets are $40 per person, $75 for two people, $105 for three people and more discounts the more tickets you buy. Park Place Mall Suite 214, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd.
Music of Dreams - An Evening of Japanese Flute. Considering what a horrific nightmare most of this year has been, I think we could all use a dreamy evening of Japanese flute soundscapes, could we not? At this event, Paul Amiel of Tucson's Empty Bamboo Shakuhachi Circle will be performing on the shakuhachi, or the Japanese bamboo flute. Because shakuhachi are made out of hollow pieces of bamboo, and every piece of bamboo is unique, these babies can't be mass produced. It can literally take years for craftspeople to find the exact right shape of bamboo, cure it and then start shaping the instrument. Talk about a lesson in patience! 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $25 tickets must be purchased in advance. tickettailor.com.
Best of the Gaslight Christmas Spectacular. Have you had a chance to catch any of the Gaslight Theatre's porch performances? You sit in your car and stuff yourself silly on pizza and popcorn while the cast of the theater cracks you up with their jokes and blows you away with their talent. This month, they're doing some of their favorite holiday tunes from the past 43 years! You can bring chairs or get out of your car to dance along, but be sure to maintain social distancing. And don't forget to place your food order in advance, either! Get ready to get in the spirit. Runs on select dates through Wednesday, Dec. 23. 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. time slots. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. $40 per parking spot.
Taco Tuesday featuring Sweet Ghosts. Thanks to Rhythm & Roots and Hotel Congress, we all have an awesome chance to celebrate the holidays Tucson style, by chowing down on some tacos while keeping warm. Shows are outdoors, with limited capacity for safety and hot drinks and heaters for warmth. This week's performance is by Katherine Byrnes, Ryan Alfred and a full band! COVID-19 protocols are strictly enforced so that you can kick back, relax and enjoy. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8. Club Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St. $8 tickets at the door only.
Wanderland: A Holiday Garden Stroll. The Tucson Botanical Gardens usually hosts the Luminaria Nights event during the holidays, a gorgeous and cozy experience that involves wandering through the gardens among thousands of luminaria lights. This year, they've modified things a bit so you can still get your Christmas fix. They've still got 3,000 luminaria lights, more than a dozen Korean lanterns, 400+ poinsettias and Santa's mailbox, but capacity is limited and they have other safety measures in place. They've even added a colorful array of new LED lighting! 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Dec. 3 to Jan. 3. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. $15 adults, $8 kids 4 to 17. Discounts available for members, seniors, students and military.
Peter Frampton and Luis Alberto Urrea. There's a lot to keep track of this year, so we don't blame you if you missed it. But did you know that, in lieu of its traditional format, the Tucson Festival of Books has been hosting individual events throughout the year? At this one, author and Grammy-winning guitarist Peter Frampton will be talking about his life, his career and his new book, Do You Feel Like I Do. He'll be in conversation with Luis Alberto Urrea, best-selling author and festival favorite. Noon to 12:40 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Register for virtual event at tucsonfestivalofbooks.org. Registration is $45 and includes a copy of Frampton's new book.
Zoo Lights: Holiday Magic. We made it to Zoo Lights season! Thank goodness we survived enough of 2020 to finally make it to an event as fun and sparkly as this one. The Reid Park Zoo will be decked out with holiday lights and cheer, so you can wander around and sip hot cocoa in total bliss. Stop by for a socially distanced meeting with Santa Claus and get yourself into the spirit of the season. They even have cute little festive displays where you can take holiday photos. And the cherry on top of everything? (Or should we say the powdered sugar on top of everything?): Snow! Tickets are available for 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. entry times. Friday, Dec. 4 through Wednesday, Dec. 23, with encore nights Saturday, Dec. 26 through Wednesday, Dec. 30. (Santa won't be present at the encore nights). Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court. $11 adults, $9 seniors, $7 kids.
Adventures in Birding: Winter Raptors. Birding, or at least taking the time to learn more about birds, is one of those hobbies that would be perfect to take up, considering where we live, but many of us haven't had the time to get around to. Hey, until now, though! In this installment of the Adventures in Birding series, hosted by Pima County Parks & Rec, you'll learn about how to identify the hawks and falcons that spend their winter in Southern Arizona by their size, shape and behavior. Pima County naturalist Jeff Babson, who got his start in birding at age 6, leads the virtual talk. Stay tuned into the series for more info about everything from the best places to go birding to how to level up your skills. 11 a.m. to noon. Thursday, Dec 3. Online event. Free. winter_raptors.eventbrite.com
Oro Valley Virtual Festival of the Arts & Tree Lighting. Watching the lighting of a big ol' honkin' Christmas tree while you hold a mittened hand and sip hot chocolate is truly a magical experience. Though it looks different this year, Oro Valley is doing their darndest to provide it for you. This Saturday, whip up some hot chocolate at home and tune in for the tree lighting and special guests that range from Mayor Winfield to OV police chief and firefighters to SANTA HIMSELF. You'll also see Rowby the Space Puppet with Red Herring Puppets and live music performances. Check out other events going on Thursday and Friday evening, and visit saaca.org to look for some local makers to shop from as well. The main event is 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Virtual. Tune in at saaca.org/holidayfestival.html