Nightfall at Old Tucson. You're running out of opportunities to see Old Tucson at its very spookiest, and that's certainly not something you want to miss! This year, they've got four unique haunt experiences, including the Happy Clown Snack Factory, the Nightmare Infirmary and a family-friendly Silverlake haunted attraction. There are also live shows that range from musical mystery to seriously, intensely scary. Do you not enjoy the feeling of panicked terror, but don't want to miss out on this fun night with friends? Grab a scare-me-not stick, to alert the monsters that you're not in the mood. Open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays and 6 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays throughout October (plus 5 to 10 p.m. on Halloween). Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $29.50 adults, $22 kids 9 to 11, free for kids 8 and under.
The Gonzo Hour. Have you heard of Live Theatre Workshop's Etcetera Series? It gives new and seasoned local theater artists the chance to put on super original performances with the goal of unifying us through shared experiences. The Gonzo Hour, an interactive, musical, physical theater show with a time traveler, a crash landing and your own imagination helping direct the plot, does just that. Created by Leora Sapon-Shevin, the show won "Best Local Show" and "Spirit of the Fringe" when it debuted at the Tucson Fringe Festival earlier this year. 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Nov. 3. Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. $10, recommended for ages 6 and up.
Boo at the Zoo. Are you dressing up as a spooky bat this year? A cute little cat? Are you pregnant and doing that cute thing where you dress up as a kangaroo with a baby in its pouch? Whatever you are, why not join some real animals by spending your weekend at the Reid Park Zoo? Meet the Dread Fleet and Mermaid Odette when you walk through Pirates of the Scare-ibbean, play cornhole and hang out in a hay maze, take a photo with your favorite frozen princess, and gear up for some time traveling with the Tucson Steam Punk Society. You can also ride a zombie zebra on the scare-ousel and get snacks at the Zoofari market! 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 to Sunday, Oct. 27. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $11, or $9 for zoo members. Be sure to get tickets in advance!
Beeston Competition. The Twelfth Annual Thomas H. Beeston Guitar Competition is part of the Tucson Guitar Society's annual International Guitar Festival. Beeston played a big part in making Tucson an international center for classical guitar, including serving as an adviser to the UA guitar program up until his death in 1999. In honor of a man who believed firmly in the power of music to heal and who had immeasurable impact on the local scene, this competition includes nearly $15,000 in prizes. At the finals, you'll see four finalist perform for 20 minutes each and be completely blown away at the sounds guitars can make. 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Holsclaw Hall, 1017 N. Olive Road. $10 GA, $7 TGS members, $5 students.
Pahko'ora/Pahko'ola: Mayo and Yaqui Masks from the James S. Griffith Collection. Did you know that the United Nations declared 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages, to raise awareness of the importance of these language to our world's cultural diversity? The Arizona State Museum's new exhibit will feature Yaqui and Mayo languages in both written and spoken form. This celebration will give you a chance to meet the curators, Santiago Benton (Mayo) and Daniel Vega (Yaqui), watch Yaqui Pascola dances and do some dancing yourself. You can also talk with artisans, watch demonstrations, purchase traditional Yaqui crafts and even make a tissue paper flower and try your hand at other activities. 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Arizona State Museum, 1013 E. University Blvd. Free.
The Dead of Downtown Tucson. The Tucson Presidio Museum always has something fun up its sleeve. This week, they pulled in the extra long, baggy sleeve of the grim reaper! Well, OK, maybe that's an overstatement in terms of how spooky this event is. This event is really a walking history tour with Homer Thiel, but it's all about where old cemeteries were once located, and what buildings are there today. So, hey, maybe you'll see a ghost if you look hard enough! Thiel will be telling you all about characters from the past who were buried—and sometimes reburies. 10 a.m. to noon. Sunday, Oct. 27. Tucson Presidio, 196 N. Court Ave. $35, or $25 for Presidio Museum members.
Halloween Party at Kartchner Caverns. What's spookier and more Halloween-y than a cavern? Now that we think about it, Kartchner Caverns really is the perfect place to celebrate this holiday. If you're not into the spooky scene, don't worry. This event is actually full of games, fun, crafts and a donation drive for the Benson Food Bank (pay $7 per vehicle to get in, or bring one item of non-perishable food for each member of your party). It just happens to be in this geological gem of a setting. Meet at the group Ramada to let the celebration begin! 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Kartchner Caverns State Park.
Night of Fright. Normally, you head to the Pima Air and Space Museum to learn about the history of flight. But tonight, you can head over to learn about the nature of fright! (Again, this kid-friendly event isn't too terribly spooky, so don't be too frightened to come on down.) Come in costume and trick or treat through the museum, play games, win prizes and check out the hundreds of planes. Dinner and treats are available for purchase too. And don't miss a special appearance by the Pima County Sheriff's Department, who will be bringing the Air Unit with a helicopter, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the SWAT and Bomb Units. 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Pima Air and Space, 6000 E. Valencia Road. $10, or free for members and kids 12 and under.
Nightmare on Congress Street Block Party. Holidays in Tucson are best celebrated Tucson-style. And what could be more Tucson than a block party on Congress Street? In the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, all the characters live in fear of falling asleep and being murdered by Freddy Krueger. But at Nightmare on Congress Street, the only thing you should be afraid of is not entering the two costume contests and missing out on the opportunity to win a chunk of the $3,000 worth of prizes they're giving out. There are three stages with bands and DJs, food and drink, and opportunities galore to kick off Halloweek right! 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 to 2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $10 to $30. 21+.
Oro Valley Halloween Spooktacular. If you're not in the mood for something that's just moderately spooky, or even slightly spookier than average, then what you need is the Oro Valley Spooktacular. With food options, themed activities and a live DJ, it's a great place to spend this Friday evening as you wait impatiently for Halloween next week. More than 25 organizations will be handing out candy in Candy Cart Lane, and you can even take a hay ride for $2. If you get hungry, there is food and drink (including alcohol!) for purchase. 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Oro Valley Community Center, 10555 N. La Canada Drive. Free.
Spooky Kids Halloween. Don't let the name fool you. Even if your kid doesn't have telekinesis, or isn't part spider, or doesn't have the ability to transport people who upset him to a corn field in another dimension, like the kid in that Twilight Zone episode, they're still welcome at this event—it's not just for spooky kids. It's really the night that's spooky, not the guests. This family-friendly, dog-friendly event hosted by the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, is a trick-or-treat extravaganza on Fourth Avenue, complete with a DJ. Come one, come all! 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Haggerty Plaza, 316 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
Take to the Streets
TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon, 5K and FitKidz Mile. Tucson's most popular urban half marathon is back! Why is it the most popular? Maybe it's the big party afterward with vendors, jumping castles, food trucks and activities for kids? Maybe it's the route through the heart of downtown, and, for the half marathoners, up the A-Mountain loop. Maybe it's because there's a fun mile-long run for kids or for families in costume. Maybe it's that it benefits local organizations like Cox Charities, Team Hoyt Arizona, the BEYOND-Tucson Foundation and the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. Whatever it is, you don't wanna miss it. 6:15 a.m. half marathon start and 7:45 a.m. 5K start. Sunday, Oct. 27. 8115 N. Church St. Half marathon, $40 5K, free for FitKidz one mile walk/run for kids 12 and under.
Cyclovia Tucson. Cyclovia is a Spanish word for the temporary closure of streets to cars to keep them open for biking, walking, skating and other community fun. Cyclovia Tucson, which has been around since 2010, is a program of the Living Streets Alliance, invites us to imagine our streets in a different way. It also includes things like demonstration projects and street murals. This year's route down 12th Avenue has activity hubs featuring teats like live music, vendors, a zip line and even free bike helmets. Why miss an opportunity to roam the streets safely, and maybe to get to know your neighbors? 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. S. Twelfth Avenue. Free.
Art and Performances
Hello, Dolly! Look, if you love musical theater, then you probably know all about Hello, Dolly! And if you love musical theater and don't know all about it, it's about time you do. The show about matchmaker on a mission to find a match for a miserly rich guy has had four Broadway revivals, won several Tony Awards and is one of the best-loved musicals ever. And this performance is by Broadway in Tucson, so you know you'll be seeing a world-class version of the show that will leave you not wanting to say "Goodbye, Dolly" when the night is over. This week Thursday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 27 with shows at various times. Centennial Hall UA, 1020 E. University Blvd. $35 to $125.
Adventures in Birding with Eric Scheuering. Maybe you've never tried birding before. Or maybe it's one of your favorite pastimes, but you never really thought about how it's a hobby that's natural, cultural and social all at once. And hey, we live in one of the birding hotspots of the world! So wherever you fall in the birding community, it's always valuable to learn a little bit more about our feathered friends, how you can get to know them better and where you fit into the scene. You'd be abs-bird to miss this! 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Oro Valley Community Center, 10555 N. La Canada Drive. Free.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Iowa. Hockey season is back! And Friday night of this special kids weekend has a Fortnite theme! Floss the night away and search for special chests for your chance to win prizes while the Roadrunners play their hearts out. Friday is also Teacher Appreciation Night, so educators get a special buy one, get one offer. AND be sure you come hungry, because it's also the first Coors Light 1-2-3 Night of the season ($1 soft drinks, $2 hot dogs, $3 beers). Saturday is prince and princess night, featuring characters from Frozen. There's so much going on at these games. that you'll have a ton of fun even if you hate hockey. (And who hates hockey?) 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $12 to $61.
The '90s R Dead. Were you more of a raver or a grunge kid in the '90s? Maybe you evolved from one into the other? Whether you're nostalgic for those tiny oval sunglasses, for your favorite colorful bucket hat, or for the naïve feeling of hope we all had looking ahead to the 2000s, this party might be just what you need. Zone out to live music and DJ tunes, snap pics in a photo booth, check out the art installations and popups, and be sure to enter the costume contest. Welcome Diner created a special '90s menu, too! This is the Museum of Contemporary Art's fifth annual fall fundraiser, so you also get to feel good about supporting a local space. 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. $75 regular, $100 VIP.
Free Star Party and Science Lecture. There's no party like a party under the stars, especially when the whole party is centered around looking up at the stars. Amy C. Oliver, the public affairs officer for the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, as well as the visitor & science center manager for the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, will be talking about some of astronomy's recent discoveries, including perturbations in stellar streams, a pair of Hot Jupiters and a supernova so big it effectively "ate" its own star." Afterward, join the Sonora Astronomical Society for stargazing. 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. 1-19 Frontage Road in Green Valley. Free, but a $5 donation would go a long way to support restoration efforts at Historic Canoa Ranch.