City Week

An Oasis of Tranquility

Yume Japanese Garden Opening

Saturday, Jan. 19

2130 N. Alvernon Way


It has been Patricia Deridder's dream to bring Japanese culture to Tucson ever since she lived in Japan for 15 years as a young woman. Through the Yume Japanese Gardens, opening on Saturday, she has achieved her goal.

"I am hoping to make as many people as possible aware of the Japanese culture as well as enjoy a very peaceful setting where someone can get in touch with themselves," said Deridder, executive director of the gardens.

According to Deridder, Yume means dream in Japanese. She thought it would be a fitting name for the gardens because not only have they always been a dream of hers, but the word also has a significant meaning in the Buddhist culture.

The gardens are spread over three-quarters of an acre, and Deridder says they are the southernmost Japanese gardens in the West.

 "I was trying to, in this little area, express all the types of gardens you can find in Japan," Deridder said.

Yume consists of five traditional gardens, including a Zen contemplative and strolling-pond garden. There is also a modern garden and a sculpture garden, both of which complement the traditional gardens, as is now being seen in Japan, Deridder said. 

Deridder wants to expand the gardens and incorporate other attributes from Japanese culture. Plans call for a small house on the grounds that will feature workshops on the different cultures of Japan. She also hopes to hold yoga and meditation classes at the site.

Admission to the gardens is $9 for adults; $7 for seniors; $6 for students and military; and $5 for children ages 3 to 15.

— M.M.

Small Soldiers

Opening of Small Scale Skirmishes: Battles from Imagination and Reality

Tuesday, Jan. 22

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive


The new exhibit at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, Small Scale Skirmishes: Battles From Imagination and Reality, highlights how toy soldiers, other war-games figures and dioramas are used in military re-enactments.

The, exhibit, which opens Tuesday, includes work from 10 Tucsonans who range from war-games enthusiasts to model builders to artists who specialize in miniatures. Lectures, demonstrations and classes related to the exhibit will also be offered.

"I think it will provide an interesting perspective on the subject matter of war, and it will introduce a lot of people to war-gaming," said Lisa Hastreiter-Lamb, associate director and director of education at the museum.

War-gaming came into its own after Little Wars, a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers written by H.G. Wells, was published in 1913. It sparked interest in the subject and transformed an activity for children into an adult game with strategy, rules and a referee. War-gaming has expanded since the 1970s to include both historic battles and imaginary ones. The exhibit examines both aspects of war-gaming.

"We thought it would be interesting to present war-themed miniatures on both traditional historic battles and fantasy-themed subjects," Hastreiter-Lamb said.

The nonprofit Museum of Miniatures began as a way for one collector to share her miniatures with the community in an interactive and educational way. The museum has more than 275 miniature houses and rooms in its permanent collection and has hosted several themed exhibits of miniatures over the years.

The exhibit will be on display through Sunday, April 7. Admission is $9, with a $1 discount for seniors and military members, and $6 for children ages 4 to 17. 

— M.M.

The Danish are Coming

Danes in the Desert

Tuesday, Jan. 22 through Wednesday, Feb. 6 Various locations


If your experience with Danish culture extends only as far as the pastry occasionally paired with your morning cup of coffee, Tucson's resident Danes want to change that.

The Danish Club of Tucson is hosting Danes in the Desert, a series of lectures, exhibits and sporting events aimed at introducing attendees to the heritage of Danes and their ties to Southern Arizona.

The series began to take shape after FC Tucson, a soccer team in the Premier Development League, announced that Denmark and Canada's international soccer teams would play Jan. 26 in Kino Stadium, according to Danish Club member Mia Hansen.

"It's a celebration, so of course there's a great pride in heritage," said Hansen, who organized the event. One of the highlights of Danes in the Desert is an appearance by Denmark's ambassador to the U.S., Peter Taksoe-Jensen. He will deliver the event's keynote speech on Jan. 25 at the Viscount Suite Hotel, 4855 E. Broadway Blvd. The topic is "Denmark's Green Agenda." The speech will be followed by a meet-and-greet with Taksoe-Jensen, Danish athletes and other speakers.

One goal of the series is to generate awareness for attendees' cultural backgrounds, whether they're of Danish heritage or are just "people who love Danes," according to Hansen.

Danes in the Desert will also feature a traditional, all-you-can-eat Danish smorgasbord from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Pavilions at Old Sabino, 3705 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road. Tickets are $30 and reservations can be made on the event website.

Sports fans can also watch gymnastics exhibitions by the National Danish Performance Team. Hansen's parents met on the team in 1946, and that has her excited to share the team's expertise with fellow Tucsonans.

"If it wasn't for Danish gymnastics, I wouldn't be here right now. ... this is a tradition I've known about all my life," she said.

— K.N.

Give a Dog a Good Home

Paws in the Plaza A Humane Society adoption event

11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19

Casa Adobes Plaza7001-7153 N. Oracle Road


The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is holding its sixth annual Paws in the Plaza adoption event at Casa Adobes Plaza on Saturday.The event includes lots of dogs available for adoption from the Humane Society, a raffle and live music performed by Amber Norgaard. "We are looking forward to bringing attention to the dogs that don't have any homes, because our purpose is to get them their forever homes," said Samantha Esquivel, a spokeswoman for the society. There will also be plenty of activities for those who already have a dog or aren't currently looking to adopt. They include sidewalk sales by pet-friendly vendors and interactive demonstrations from several animal-related businesses.Event organizers also plan to put lots of emphasis on the worldwide issue of animal overpopulation, and ways that pet owners can help solve the problem. "If you already have a dog and you're not ready to adopt, we hope that people will help to build awareness about animal overpopulation," Esquivel said. According to the Humane Society's website, "two uncontrolled dogs or cats and their offspring who have not been spayed or neutered can produce up to 12,680 offspring in five years."The event is free. Tickets for the raffle are $10 each, or $50 for six. The top prize is a $1,000 shopping spree at Casas Adobes stores. Raffle tickets are available on the website and will also be available at the event. The drawing will be held Jan. 22, and you do not need to be present to win. 

— M.M.