Holidaze 2021: Season’s Meetings: Holiday events abound across the community

Winterhaven Festival of Lights. After a dark and quiet 2020, the beloved Winterhaven Festival of Lights is back on this year. For the holidays, Tucson’s coziest neighborhood fills itself with lights, festivities and plenty of holiday cheer. The public can stroll through the Winterhaven neighborhood and enjoy a major amount of Christmas lights, as well as caroling, hot chocolate, hay rides and letters to Santa. “Although it is still possible that our local government may restrict events such as these in the future, at this time, we are going ahead with all planning for the event,” wrote festival chair John Lansdale. Really, no Christmas in Tucson is complete without the Winterhaven Festival of Lights. 6 to 10 p.m. every day from Saturday, Dec. 11 to Sunday, Dec. 26. Based around Christmas Ave. 

Thanksgiving at Charro Restaurants. Tucson’s favorite family of Mexican-inspired restaurants are hosting a variety of options for Thanksgiving feasts across town. First, you can pick up a whole Thanksgiving feast from Barrio Charro (3669 N. Campbell Ave.) which includes turkey, tamal stuffing, poblano mashed potatoes, nopalitos and pumpkin tamales. Or, you can dine-in at Charro Steak & Del Rey (188 E. Broadway) where they’re serving up many of the same dishes, plus prime rib, Mexican street corn, and a special pumpkin tres leches cake. For the vegetarians, Charro Vida (7109 N. Oracle Road) is offering a “Plantsgiving” dinner special from November 23 through 27, where you can pick up an entree, two sides and a dessert, all for $23. sicharro.com

Thanksgiving Buffet at El Conquistador. You can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner beneath Pusch Ridge at Hilton El Conquistador. Their Thanksgiving buffet features far too much to list here, but standouts include turkey with orange cranberry drizzle, roasted ham with cherry pineapple salsa, Southwestern cornbread, brown sugar and pecan yams, roasted garlic mashed potato with chives, stuffed poblano peppers and much more. 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 10000 N. Oracle Road. $65 for adults. $25 for children. Call 520-544-1124 for reservations.

Roadrunners’ Thanksgiving Dinner Donation Program. Through Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Tucson Roadrunners hockey team is hosting a new dinner donation program. The Roadrunners are working with the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson to provide Title I families with a complete Thanksgiving Dinner. For $100 donations, the Roadrunners will provide another dinner. Every donor will receive a puck signed by Roadrunners Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov and the opportunity for a group photo with all other fans who donated at the game on Nov. 26. Tucsonroadrunners.com

Hanksgiving. Hotel Congress is hosting a benefit show/dance party the day after Thanksgiving with multiple electronic musicians. The lineup includes Kid Violet, Glacier Wav and Dayak, plus a tattoo and skate shop pop-up. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Sonoran Prevention Works, which advocates for people in Arizona affected by drug abuse. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. 311 E. Congress St. $15.

Holiday shows at the Fox Theatre. The “crown jewel of downtown” is hosting everything from a Hawaiian to an Irish holiday show this November and December. They’re kicking things off with singer/songwriter Sara Evans’ Blue Christmas Tour on Friday, Nov. 26. On Saturday, Nov. 27, ukulele master and “jolly ambassador of Aloha” Jake Shimbukuro will bring joy to the world with his Jake Shimabukaroo Christmas in Hawaii event. Thursday, Dec. 9, will feature Mariachi Sol De Mexico presenting Jose Hernandez’s “Merry-Achi Christmas” with a tribute to the traditions of Christmas in Mexico. On Friday, Dec. 10, An Irish Christmas will blend old ways and new with dancing, singing, and traditional Irish music. Finally, on Saturday, Dec. 18, the Fox is hosting a holiday music spectacular. “In the Christmas Mood” features Tucson’s top performers including Katherine Byrnes, Brian Levario, Chach Snook and Crystal Stark. 17 W. Congress St. foxtucson.com

December events at Tucson Museum of Art. Downtown’s Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block is keeping a busy schedule throughout December, starting with their free first Thursday on Dec. 2, where the public can enjoy music, artmaking, a bar and take a look at what’s to come at the museum. TMA is also hosting two “trunk shows” on Dec. 4 and 12 with artists making and selling their crafts right in the museum. Finally, Sunday, Dec. 12, is Family Day at TMA. There will be children’s activities, a holiday performance and a special visit from Santa. 140 N. Main Avenue. TucsonMuseumOfArt.org

Downtown ice rink. Ice skating in Tucson is no longer just a wild fantasy! Rio Nuevo and the City of Tucson are re-opening their outdoor ice rink downtown from Saturday, Nov. 20, through Sunday, Jan. 9. Tickets can be purchased online and at the Tucson Convention Center ticket office. Each session will start at a designated time and last for 90 minutes. Skates are included with the ticket price and begin at size 8 for children and run as large as men’s size 15. Socks are required, and gloves are highly recommended. 260 S. Church Ave. $17 for adults, $12 for children. tucsonaz.gov/tucsonholidayice

Elf’d. Eastside Tucson’s beloved Gaslight Theatre is getting into the holiday spirit with a parody musical of the Christmas film “Elf.” If you’ve never been to the Gaslight Theatre, here’s what to expect: parodies of classic songs, corny jokes, family friendly fun, endearing costumes and props, and a generally great time. Plus, diner food and drinks to enjoy while you watch the show. It’ll have holiday jokes, candy cane colors, fake snow and—just taking a guess here—Santa himself! The show is running most days of the week through the new year. 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. thegaslighttheatre.com

Marana Holiday Festival & Christmas Tree Lighting. The Town of Marana is kicking off the holiday season with a variety of events in the town center. In addition to Santa and Mrs. Claus saying hi to the kids and a 25-foot Christmas tree lighting, there will be singing, dancing, country music and more. The performance schedule includes the Marana Children’s Choir, Desert Dance Collective, Kevin Pakulis and his Band, Marana High School Chamber Orchestra, Mountain View High School Dance and more. The festival will also include more than 40 food trucks and a holiday artisan market. 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. 11555 W. Civic Center Drive.

Tchaikovsky and Carols. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is celebrating the holidays with a pair of themed events. On Friday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 12, they will be performing music from Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer famous for his Nutcracker Suite. Then, on Saturday, Dec. 18, and Sunday, Dec. 19, at Catalina Foothills High School, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra will host a “Messiah, Carols and Songs” performance, featuring the music of Bach, Handel and traditional carols. www.tucsonsymphony.org

Jonathan’s Cork Food Drive. Jonathan’s Cork is launching a food drive for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to give the community plenty of time to contribute. Last year, the drive brought in 2,000 pounds of food and more than $500 in cash donations in just over a month, and they’re looking forward to beating that this year, with an effort that runs all the way through Dec. 22. Canned and dry goods are welcome, and envelopes for cash donations will be available as well. Items can be dropped off Mondays through Thursdays from 3 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. (P.S.: They’ve got special cocktail pricing for those who bring food donations throughout the campaign.) 6320 E. Tanque Verde Road.

Country-Fried Christmas. Downtown’s Hotel Congress is gathering a whole slew of country western musicians to belt out themed holiday tunes. The lineup includes SouthWestern Stars, Mamma Coal, Steff Koeppen, Hans Hutchison, Alvin Blaine, Thøger Lund and Les Merrihew. The event will be held outdoors on the Congress plaza (or indoors if it’s too cold!) 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23. 311 E. Congress St. $15. 

Wanderland. One of our favorite holiday events around town, the Tucson Botanical Gardens’ Wanderland (formerly Luminaria Nights) lights up the garden with thousands of lanterns and lights. Take an evening stroll through the plants while enjoying festive holiday music, hundreds of poinsettias, and plenty of colorful arrays. It’s easily one of the most photogenic events in Tucson every holiday season. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Dec. 3 through Jan. 2. 2150 N. Alvernon Way. $15. Tucsonbotanical.org

Victorian Christmas at the Lavender Farm. Talk about a pleasant-sounding time! Life Under the Oaks Lavender Farm in Oracle is hosting a unique way to celebrate the holidays. You’re invited to don your best Victorian attire and enjoy a three-course holiday dinner complete with the Scottsdale Dickens Carolers performing traditional holiday songs. 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. 1221 N. Rancho Robles Road. $75. lifeundertheoakslavenderfarm.com

About The Author

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment