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What to do in Tucson during those lazy-crazy-hazy days of summer

What to do in Tucson during those lazy-crazy-hazy days of summer

  • Peach picking at Apple Annie's Orchard begins July 11.
    Apple Annie's OrchardPeach picking at Apple Annie's Orchard begins July 11.

There's tons of fun to be had in Tucson this summer. For those who are over 21, there are bars and lounges with fruity and tangy cocktails. There are burlesque shows at the Surly Wench on 4th and dancing over at Hotel Congress.

While it may be a bit too hot to head outside as the sun blazes down, early morning and evening hikes and biking can be enjoyable. Some may be planning trips to the Grand Canyon or the vortexes in Sedona.

Whatever summer might look like to you, here are some events happening around town you might enjoy.

Pima Air & Space Museum: Night Wings

When: July 9 & July 23, 5 - 8:30 p.m.

Where: Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Rd.

What: The museum will be hosting evening aviation talks and activities for children. There will be tram tours at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. for $8. Attendees will be able to purchase tickets on arrival and it's first come first serve. The Flight Grill will be open for dinner and refreshments as well. Plus, on July 9 throughout Hangar 1, attendees can enjoy the "Vettes and Jets" Corvette Car Show. Entry for Night Wings is free for children under 11 and $10 for ages 12 and older. If you visit the museum before 5 p.m., you'll be charged regular admission but you'll be able to stay for the evening without an additional cost.

Summer Safari Nights

When: Saturdays through Aug. 13 from 5:30 - 8: 30 p.m.

Where: Reid Park Zoo, 1100 S. Randolph Way

What: Each themed Saturday night, there will be zoo keeper chats, artifact stations, animal encounters, entertainment and activities. The Zoofari Market will be open for business, so be sure to grab some food or a cool drink before heading over to watch local bands take the stage. The Cox Jungle Carousel will be up and running as well. Plus, Tucson Parks and Recreation's "Ready, Set, Rec!" will have all sorts of games available. Admission is $10.50 for visitors ages 15-61, $8.50 for seniors aged 62 and older, $6.50 children two to 14, and children under two and zoo members get in for free. Check out the zoo's website for the schedule for the live performances.

Los Desconocidos: The Migrant Quilt Project

When: Through Feb. 25, 2023, Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Arizona History Museum, 949 E. 2nd St.
What: "Los Desconocidos: The Migrant Quilt Project" is an exhibition of handmade quilts created to memorialize migrants who have died seeking refuge in the United States. General admission is $12 but prices vary. All options are listed at the Arizona History Museum's website.

Friday Night Live 2022 Concert Series

When: Every other Friday through August, 7:30 - 9 p.m.

Where: Main Gate Square - 814 E. University Blvd. (Between Park and Euclid Avenues)

What: Come out and enjoy live music by Tucson artists at this free Friday night event. Cool Breeze with Homero Ceron will perform Latin-American music July 15, Dr. Mojo and The Zydeco Cannibals will perform '60s soul, R&B, funk & Americana on July 29, Little House of Funk will perform funk, soul and R&B August 12, and Vox Urbana will perform authentic cumbia sound on August 26.

Southeast Arizona Birding Festival

When: August 10-14

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Tucson, Reid Park 445 S. Alvernon Way

What: These four days will be full of talks, birding field trips, workshops, a nature expo, and more - and it's all about birds. There's a $30 fee required when you register online. However, there's no need to register to access the vendor area. On August 13, there's an event from 9 - 11 a.m. perfect for families. The Family Birding Day is a free event over at Gene C. Reid Park, Ramada 4. Be sure to register online under the "Saturday" tab.

Loft Kids Fest

When: Every Saturday and Sunday morning in July

Where: The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

What: Each day of the Fest, children and their parents will experience big screen presentations of some of the best family-friendly films of all-time, along with fun games, interactive activities, great giveaways, tons-o-free-popcorn, free prize raffles and more. Each screening also includes an animated short film from around the world. Daily pre-show activities will be hosted the staff of Mildred & Dildred Toy Store, and best of all, everything is free! Doors open and activities begin each day at 9:15am, and films begin at 10:00am.

In the mood for a day trip? How about a drive to Willcox?

Peach Mania

When: July 23-24, 30-31 & August 6-7, 13-14

Where: Apple Annie's Orchard: 2081 W. Hardy Rd, Willcox

What: A celebration of Willcox Peaches, featuring sweet & juicy tree-ripened peaches! The annual event starts with a delicious Peaches & Pancakes breakfast served from 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. each Saturday and Sunday at the Orchard Grill. Take a walk in the orchard and pick your perfect peach, then enjoy a slice of homemade peach pie. Apple-smoked burger lunches will be served daily from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Orchard Grill.

Bianca Morales is’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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