Queen of the Night. She's also called La Reina de La Noche, or the Night Blooming Cereus, or in Latin, Peniocereus greggii. This cactus looks like a sad, dead stick all year long, and then bursts into beautiful bloom in the early months of summer. With 400 of them onsite, Tohono Chul possesses the largest private collection of this plant in the world—some of which were growing in the area already and some which were donated over the years. And they're part of such a cool little ecosystem, too, sustained by tuberous roots below and pollinated by Hawk Moths above. Tohono Chul's current entry gallery is focused completely an artwork related to this gorgeous little lady. On display through July 25, so don't miss it! Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. $15 adults, with discounts for seniors, military, students and children.
Discovery Night at the Children's Museum. Seeing a kid's face light up at the Children's Museum is one of the great joys of summer. The fact that kiddos get the summer off while many grownups need to keep working is not one of the great joys of summer. So we're glad the Children's Museum Tucson offers these monthly events, featuring extended hours, half-price admission, bilingual programming and cooler weather. Head downtown to check out the hands-on STEM activities, the miniature indoor tour of Tucson and an exhibit where kids can paint on the wall. Best to get that out of their systems here, right? 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 15. Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. $4.50.
The Things We Keep. What are some of the things you keep? The objects that have made it through spring cleaning, moves, you reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," and everything in-between? The newest exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art features selections from Swiss-born, Tucson-based artist Olivier Mosset. Artworks, books and other ephemera from his globetrotting career invite us to think about the emotional reasons behind the items we hold onto. The North Galleries hold books, brochures, invitations and posters, while the South Gallery features monochrome paintings and prints. Audio pieces play throughout. On display through Sept. 5 at MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is currently free!
Once Upon This Time. So, fairy tales are unrealistic for a lot of reasons, right? Like, how did Rapunzel's hair get that long when her mean witch guardian probably wasn't even providing her with any sulfate-free shampoo or leave-in conditioner? Cinderella seriously had no qualms about wearing a shoe made of GLASS to a late-night dance party? But what if fairy tales took place in the modern world of cellphones and social media? They'd likely be even more untenable. That's the premise of this show at Live Theatre Workshop, the first show for children and children at heart to open in the new dedicated indoor Children's Theatre! You'll be cracking up at this tale, featuring six actors playing more than 40 roles. 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays from July 16 to Aug. 1. Live Theatre Workshop, 3322 E. Fort Lowell Road. $12 adults, $10 kids.
Doodle With Me. Also at MOCA this week is this event with artists Ryan Hill, Mark Mitchell and Sara Hubbs. Doodle with Me is a social art project designed to give people a low-risk space to express themselves and have a nice chat. Draw with other artists, talk with other artists, and defy your capitalist conditioning by making something just for the sake of making it (not for being productive or generating economic gain). Basic drawing materials are provided, but you can bring your own if you want! Masks are required. 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Free.
Si Charro Summer Celebrations. Did you know that our beloved El Charro Café is celebrating 99 years in business this summer? To celebrate, they're offering a special summer menu that is sure to get your mouth watering. The charros and camarones specials—just $9.99 each—include the shrimp poblano enchilada, grilled shrimp fajita lettuce cups, and mojo de ajo shrimp tamales (gluten free). They've also got a beautiful selection of "Margs and Ritas," including sips like Watermelon Fresca, Charro Island Tropical and Mangopeño. And, just in case you've forgotten or didn't know, El Charro also has an extensive vegan menu. Plus so much more. Go, and bring everyone you know. Just writing about it is making me hungry. Summer menu is available through Aug. 15 at all three locations: 311 N. Court, 7725 N. Oracle Road #101, and 6910 E. Sunrise Drive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. See you there!
Tucson Metaphysics Fair. Are you looking for a sign? Or something new? Or are you specifically looking for a crystal intuitive, a tarot reader or a shaman? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you should stop by the Tucson Metaphysics Fair over on Oracle—which is great, because the group calls themselves the "Oracles on Oracle." From Reiki sessions, palmistry and astrodice to dream interpretation, lyra qyantuc healing and candle readings... there are so many different ways to dive into a spiritual journey, or to just get a handful of insight into the great beyond. At the very least, you will have an interesting time, right? 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 18. Best Western, 6201 N. Oracle Road.
Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store Grand Opening Event. Oh, bless the abundance of thrift stores in Tucson. We're very excited for the HSSA thrift store, which is moving to its permanent home this weekend! Head over for a day full of games, giveaways, mariachi music, adorable animals and (obviously) shopping! Those who thrift regularly know it to be a top-notch experience, but there's something extra special about knowing your money is going to such a good, local cause. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17. 1010 S. Wilmot Road. Free.
Summer Safari Nights. Speaking of animals, don't forget about this week's opportunity to hang out with some at the Reid Park Zoo. This week's theme? Rad Reptiles! Snakes, lizards, turtles and alligators might have cold blood, but learning about how neat they are will warm your heart. Councilman Steve Kozachik is this evening's musical guest, and Dusty from the Tucson Roadrunners will also be making a special appearance from 6 to 7 p.m. This evening also features a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., featuring the Moderna, Pfizer and J&J vaccines. As always, games, food and carousel rides abound. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 for kids 2 to 14.
Cupcake Decorating Class for Children. Got a young aspiring baker in your life? They will love this class hosted by Tamara from Chantilly Tea. (I, personally, would have killed for this class as a child.) It's an hour of creating fondant flowers and leaves to decorate cupcakes, specifically geared toward 8-to-12-year-olds. Each child learns how to do it, then gets five cupcakes to frost and decorate with their creations. Then your kid brings you home cupcakes! Sounds like a win-win to us. Masks are required. 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, July 17. SAACA Kitchen in Tucson Mall (first floor, by Sears), 4500 N. Oracle Road, suite 110. $35 per child.