Wednesday Night Cruise-in. Looking for something laid back to do now that the holiday season is winding down (and if you're perhaps nursing a hangover from New Year's Eve celebrations)? Head over to Hot Rods Old Vail Restaurant and Bar for this cruise-in, which happens every Wednesday night. Local cars, good food and cold beer will be there to stimulate all of your senses. That's really all there is to say about it, but what more do you need to hear? 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Hot Rods Old Vail Restaurant and Bar, 10500 E. Old Vail Road. Free.
Sixth Annual Hot Cocoa 5K Run/Walk. Happy new year! If you want to start the new year off right, but not, like, right away, this race, which starts later in the morning, might be your saving grace. Whether you're walking it to kickstart a new fitness routine or shooting for one of the overall or age-group categories in this professionally timed race, it's going to be a good time for all. The race includes snacks, water and—of course—hot cocoa. T-shirts will be available as well. And proceeds benefit Oro Valley's Round Up for Youth Recreation Scholarship Program! 11:20 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road. $20 in advance, $25 on race day.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Colorado Eagles. Need a little pick me up to keep your excitement levels high between Christmas and New Year's Eve? It's time for some hockey! The Colorado Eagles are coming to town for two games this week. On Saturday, fans ages 16 and under are invited to come down onto the ice for a post-game puck shot. Sunday is Family Night, with a special early start time and a sweet deal: four side tickets and four Roadrunners hats or beanies for just $80. Two hockey games means your weekend will be twice as nice with twice the ice. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. $12 to $61, or see tucsonroadrunners.com for more information on the Family Night deal.
STEAMsational Mondays! It's always nice to fit in a little bit of something unexpected during the holiday season. This week, why not an educational activity focused on art, science and movement at the library? It's the final installment in this December series at the Santa Rosa Library, and you'll get to make snowman crafts. We love an event where a group manages to combine education with holiday cheer. It sure is lovely weather for some snowman crafts together with you! Suitable for kids and teenagers ages 6 and up. 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30. Santa Rosa Library, 1075 S. Tenth Ave. Free.
New Year's Day
Catalina State Park First Day Hike. Happy New Year! Unless you've broken a body part, been attacked by an animal or gotten seriously lost, have you ever regretted going on a hike? There's nothing like connecting with nature, breathing in some fresh air and getting that heartrate up all at the same time. State parks throughout Arizona are hosting these hikes to kick off the new year, and this is the one closest to us. Assistant manager Jack McCabe will lead a tour of the Romero Ruins Trail, and the whole family can learn about the history and mystery of the Hohokam's largest ruin site in Catalina State Park. 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Romero Ruins Ramada in Catalina State Park, 11570 N. Oracle Road. Park entrance fee is $7 per vehicle.
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. If you're a football fan living in Tucson, you know about the extra holiday that happens in December: the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl! This nationally recognized college football competition features teams from the Mountain West and Sun Belt Conferences, and has been held since 2015. The Arizona Bowl is also a nonprofit that works to support local charities and inspire youth, so it's an all-around feel-good event. This year, the Wyoming Cowboys face off against the Georgia State Panthers. 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. Arizona Stadium, 1 National Championship Drive. Tickets start at $15.
Learn Something New
Mystery of the Flame Intention and Clearing Circle. The Web of Life, your local group of intuitive shamanic animists, is really embracing the eerie feeling that sometimes sets in on the stretch between Christmas and New Year's Eve, where the nights are long and the hectic nature of the previous few months has slowed down. This circle is a chance to sit together and meditate over a candle while eating a vegetarian soup. Warm up your insides and get in tune with your spiritual self to end this year and start the new one off right. All are welcome. 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. 2016 E. Broadway Blvd. Requested donation is $5 to $20. Bring a drum rattle if you have one, but there are some available to share.
Hands-on Archaeology at Mission Garden. There's a lot of talk these days about how much technology has changed our lives. But (though in different ways and maybe to different extents), technology has been changing people's lives for thousands of years. In this program, ancient technologies expert Allen Denoyer will talk about some of the tech of times gone by, and you can explore the replica pithouse. It's common to reflect on the past year as we approach a new one. While you're at it, why not reflect on the past several thousand? 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. Mission Garden: Friends of Tucson's Birthplace, 946 W. Mission Lane.
Tucson Mountain Park Ironwood Picnic Area Star Party. Have you ever taken time to look up at the night sky and regretted doing it? Didn't think so. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation are setting up telescopes for you to view not just stars, but deep-sky objects like planets, galaxies, star clusters and nebulae. It's a special way to spend a long winter night, and, with it getting dark so early, you can hit this event and get back home in time for a movie and some hot cocoa—or maybe just some reflection on our place in the cosmos. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. 7300 W. Hal Gras Road. Free.
Essentrics Stretch & Tone Class. Ready to get a head start on your New Year's resolution to start doing yoga? Just wanting to limber up for a night of wild fun on New Year's Eve? Whatever your reasoning, this class hosted by Essentrics with Mary is designed to strengthen your muscles, unlock your joints, improve your posture and rebalance your body. Who couldn't use a little bit of rebalancing? All levels are welcome, and modifications are offered. You'll walk out feeling energized and healthy—you know, the opposite of how you felt walking out of Thanksgiving dinner. Bring a yoga mat or towel and some water! 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30. The Hoff Studio, 215 N. Hoff Ave, #107. $8 drop in or $35 for five classes.
Meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen. The hype for the first Frozen never even seemed to die down before Frozen 2 was upon us. But, if we had to spend the last few years, and have to spend the next few years, surrounded by an animated cultural sensation, at least it's one featuring two powerful women and an admittedly hilarious snowman. The sisters will be hosting story time and a mini photo session, and there will also be Anna- and Elsa-themed donuts and drinks. Kiddos are encouraged to dress up! And, if you're feeling adventurous, RSVP in advance to decorate some donuts for just $10. 10 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 28. Irene's Donuts Tucson, 340 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
Holiday Skate Night. If you celebrate Christmas, you might be familiar with the experience of a little post-Christmas blues. But nothing chases the blues away quite like some time gliding around a skating rink with your pals, right? Whether you're the type of person doing tricks out in the middle or clinging to the side and laughing at yourself as you try to figure out life on wheels, skating really does have something to offer everyone. And this night has games, prizes, food and drinks thrown in as well. CU L8R SK8R. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27. Tucson Indoor Sports Center, 1065 W. Grant Road.
Sunday Nights at Tanque Verde Swap Meet. There's something oddly relaxing about the first time you go shopping after Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas. Suddenly, you're not Christmas shopping. You're just... shopping. You can buy stuff for yourself. You can buy nothing. You can decide to come back later if you're not sure about an object. The frantic pressure to find just the right gift is gone. Do your first non-holiday shopping of the year in style this Sunday night, with food, live music and plenty of entertainment (and if you're not done with your Christmas shopping, no judgment here—you can get some of that done too). 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. Tanque Verde Swap Meet, 4100 S. Palo Verde Road.
Tumamoc Year-End Hike. I've always found that my new year's resolutions go best when I get a little bit of a head start. Whether it's exercising, starting a new hobby or giving up a certain kind of food, starting cold turkey on Jan. 1, when you're probably feeling hungover and at the very least bewildered, isn't always a recipe for success. So, if your new year's resolution for 2020 is to get more exercise, or to spend more time outdoors, or to do more Tucson-centric stuff, why not get started early with this hike up the Old Pueblo's favorite hill? 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. Base of Tumamoc Hill hiking trail. Free.
Fun in General
Russian Christmas! So, technically, Christmas in the Russian Orthodox Church is celebrated in January, but it's a real party. There's traditional cuisine, a decorated tree and the gift-bearing Grandfather Frost. Come celebrate Russian New Year early at the Clifton, with the Gipsy Pirate Octopi Band and a shot or two or three of vodka. They'll be playing both Russian and non-Russian music, Michael Martinez is on piano, and a few more musicians should be stopping by too. Get ready to dance the night away! 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. The Downtown Clifton, 485 S. Stone Ave. Free.
Wil Taylor: Pearls of Eden. Have you checked out the art at the Tucson Botanical Gardens lately? One of the displaying artists is Tucson-based Wil Taylor, who received his master's degree in art education at the UA. He taught for 15 years before pursuing full-time studio work, and now you get to admire the results. His pieces heavily feature his love of nature, as well as themes that are resonant on both personal and universal levels. If you're into design, visual patterns and the natural world, make sure you get in to see his work before his exhibit is over on Jan. 5. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday (closed on New Year's Day). Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. $15 GA, $13 students/seniors/military, $8 kids 4 to 17, free for members and kids under 4.
Last Friday, Last Laugh: Decade Wrap Up. Hooray! We've almost survived the whole holiday season! And the whole decade! Now it's time for the existential dread to set in as you reflect on all of the things you meant to do this year and this decade that you didn't get around to. Hey! Take a deep breath. 2020 is going to be your year. In the meantime, grab a drink at Hotel McCoy and have a well-deserved laugh at this monthly comedy showcase, featuring Autumn Horvat, Dom DiTolla, Noah Copfer, Paul Fox, Monte Benjamin and plenty more. Pinches food truck is onsite too! 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27. Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road. Free, 18+. Seating is first-come, first-serve.
Adult Coloring Afternoon. The holidays are the perfect time for you to revive your childlike sense of wonder and channel it into things you used to enjoy as a kid. The thing is, you'd probably still enjoy a lot of the things you used to do as a kid, but you just sorta stopped doing them at some point. So! Let's color! Head over to Mostly Books for the afternoon, where they'll have crayons, colored pencils and markers on hand for you to relive the glory days. Bring your own coloring book or purchase one (they have tons of cool ones available). 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. Mostly Books, 6208 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. 14+.