The Museum of Contemporary Art, 265 S. Church Ave., in Tucson, Ariz. pictured on August 12, 2020. 

From movie screenings to free museum days to kid-friendly activities, you don't have to break the bank to enjoy local events in Tucson.

Here are 33 events that are free to attend!

Matthew Buck takes a picture of his children Aiden Buck, 3, and Athena Buck, 9, before they begin decorating their sugar skulls during the Children's Museum Tucson's Discovery Nights at the Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. on Oct. 28, 2021. 

Discovery Nights at Children's Museum Tucson

Visit Children's Museum Tucson for a free night of science and art, including story times and pop-up science experiments. 

When: 5-7 p.m. Thursdays

Where: Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Spaghetti Club

For this summer only, a pop-up nightclub is taking over the MSA Annex. Find vinyl DJ sets, cocktails and the energy of a disco living room through August. The music includes throwbacks, often ranging from the '60s to the '80s.

When: 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday through the end of August

Where: MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for drinks

Visit the event page for more information.

Critter Night

Learn all about desert animals from wildlife agencies, local nonprofits and the University of Arizona at Mission Garden's Critter Night. Some organizations may even bring live animals!

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

Cost: Free to attend with a $5 suggested donation

Visit the event page for more information.

Chillin at the Chul

Every Friday and Saturday night through Sept. 3, you can visit Tohono Chul for its summer series with music, spirits and bites. On Saturday nights, Tohono Chul has partnered with Children's Museum Oro Valley to provide family-friendly nature play!

When: 5-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 3

Where: Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Concert Series at Main Gate Square

Head to Main Gate Square and enjoy a free concert by Little House of Funk. The venue is subject to change depending on the weather, so check the Facebook page before heading out!

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12

Where: Geronimo Plaza in Main Gate Square, 814 E. University Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Art Corner with BICAS

Get free access to recycled bike art parts, tools and other materials and get creative! Once you're finished, you can donate your creation to BICAS or give a suggested donation to the nonprofit, if you're able to. Check in at the front counter before heading to the art area.

When: 4-6 p.m. Fridays

Where: BICAS, 2001 N. Seventh Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, donation suggested 

Visit the event page for more information.

Movies with Nightjar

Head to Nightjar, the sister bar of The Coronet and Meyer Avenue Cafe, for drinks, late-night bites and a movie — ones that "couldn’t either get on or stay on the public’s radar" — on the patio on Fridays.

When: 10 p.m. Fridays

Where: Nightjar, 347 S. Meyer Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, happy hour specials available for purchase

Visit the event page for more information.

In this 2013 photo, a couple walk around Sahuarita Lake Park, 15466 S. Rancho Sahuarita Blvd.

Lakeside Live

Visit Sahuarita Lake Park for an evening of live music from Split Decision and The George Howard Band. There will be food trucks at the event and you can bring your own drinks!

When: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12

Where: Sahuarita Lake Park, 15466 S. Rancho Sahuarita Blvd., Sahuarita

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food trucks

Visit the event page for more information.

Guadalajara's Grill 20th Anniversary

Guadalajara's Grill will be hosting festivals in celebration of the restaurant's 20th birthday in August. There will be live music, jumping castles, giveaways and local vendors. 

When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Broadway location. 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Kolb location.

Where: Guadalajara's Grill locations, 4901 E. Broadway750 N. Kolb Road

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food and shopping

Visit the event page for more information.

Tucson Repair Cafe

Need something fixed? Bring it to the Tucson Repair Cafe to be fixed for free! All items are welcome.

When: 4:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13

Where: Xerocraft Makerspace, 101 W. Sixth St.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

2nd Saturdays

Downtown's 2nd Saturdays are back! Check out food trucks, live music and local makers during this monthly outdoor street festival.

When: 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13

Where: Downtown Tucson along East Congress Street

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping and food

Visit the event page for more information. 

Syrena Arevalo-Trujilo, owner of Barrio Books, sorts through children's books at Hotel McCoy on Dec. 22, 2020.

Barrio Books Author Series

Meet with Cynthia Harmony, author of children's book "Mi Ciudad Sings" about a vibrant Mexican neighborhood. Bring the kiddos for a morning of reading and pan dulce.

When: 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 13

Where: Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information. 

Guided look at the night sky

Volunteer astronomers at Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium will guide guests through points in the night sky with a 16-inch telescope at the observatory. 

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturdays, Aug. 13-20. Dates are subject to change due to staffing and weather.

Where: Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend, donations accepted

Visit the event page for more information.

Art after Dark at Children's Museum Tucson

Each month, Children's Museum Tucson hosts local arts groups and offers free admission. This month's guest is the Tucson Museum of Art!

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13

Where: Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Tucson Cars and Coffee

Head to this car show centered around Mopars, hosted by Obsessions Car Club. 

When: 7-10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13

Where: Lowe's, 4075 W. Ina Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Second SundAZe at TMA 

Visit the Tucson Museum of Art every second Sunday for pay-what-you-wish admission. Check out art-making activities and performances.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14

Where: Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

Cost: Pay what you wish, reserve tickets in advance

Visit the event page for more information. 

Ride with FUGA

Take a bike ride with organization FUGA, which advocates for mobility, accessibility and representation for Tucson's south-side and west-side communities. 

When: 8-10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14

Where: Ward 1 City Council Office, 940 W. Alameda St.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Sitcom Sunday at Casa Video and Film Bar

Get a dose of nostalgia with Casa Video and Film Bar's Sitcom Sunday events. This week's Sitcom Sunday features "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Of course, a food truck will be outside to satisfy your snacking needs.

When: 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14

Where: Casa Video and Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food and drinks

Visit the event page for more information.

Second Sunday Art Opening

This Sunday, the Tucson J is hosting an art opening to kick off the center's fine art gallery season. The exhibit celebrations the "diversity of the Sonoran Desert" and includes multiple mediums. There will be live music!

When: 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14

Where: Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road

Cost: Free to attend 

Visit the event page for more information.

Cabins appear through trees along a mountain side as seen from North Phoenix Avenue in Summerhaven on July 20.

Art Hike on Mount Lemmon 

Local artist Stephanie Daniels, of Brushes and Boots, is leading a Mount Lemmon art hike with company Kula Cloth. Bring your art supplies of choice and hike the Bigelow Trail, stopping to draw surrounding scenery. Daniels will provide some artistic guidance.

When: 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14

Where: Bigelow Trailhead parking lot, see directions on the event page

Cost: Free to attend, register online

Visit the event page for more information.

Virtual nature lectures

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation is hosting a number of virtual lectures, teaching community members topics ranging from bats, wrens and reptiles of the Sonoran Desert.

When: Varies based on lecture, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 16

Where: Virtual

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Women, Wine & Winning Wednesday

Hosted by Elle Boutique at The L Offices, this monthly event celebrates women through networking, wine, cocktails, appetizers, DJ music, local vendors and giveaways. Women get in for free and receive two free drink tickets and two free raffle tickets. You can also get a raffle ticket for each purchase you make with one of the event vendors!

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17

Where: The L Offices North, 1860 E. River Road

Cost: Free for women to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Free Third Thursdays at MOCA

Third Thursday at Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art is a party. The art museum is open late with free admission — and free beer from Barrio Brewing Co. Star Dog Hot Dogs will be catering. KXCI will be DJing! Join the party.

When: 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, 265 S. Church Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food

Visit the event site for more information.

Celebrate All Things S-cuk sọn/Tucson

Held on the day that Tucson was founded 247 years ago, this celebration includes mariachi and folklórico, Waila music, a Chinese lion dance and yo-yo presentation, plus more activities for the family.

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

Where: Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum, 196 N. Court Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food and drinks

Visit the event page for more information.

Family Saturdays with Watershed Management Group

Head to Watershed Management Group for Family Saturdays! Learn about composting and enjoy story time.

When: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

Where: Watershed Management Group, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information. 

Drag Queen Story Hour

Head to Bookmans for a children's Drag Queen Story Hour, where drag queens will read stories to "inspire us to be kind to one another." Afterwards, there will be an adult-only hour, with trivia and stories read by local drag queens.

When: 6-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 for kids. 7-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 for adults.

Where: Bookmans Midtown, 3330 E. Speedway

Cost: Free to attend. Reserve your seat for the adult-only story hour at midtownevents@bookmans.com.

Visit the kids' event page and the adults' event page for more information.

Traditional O'odham Agriculture at Mission Garden

Attend this event to learn about Tohono O'odham agricultural practices. This month's event centers O'odham 60-day corn that was planted in June and nearly ready to harvest. 

When: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

Cost: Free to attend with a $5 suggested donation

Visit the event page for more information.

Beer + Bikes

This bike ride goes along The Loop to 1912 Brewing Co. for a beer or two, followed by a bike ride back to Button Brew House for food truck bites.

When: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

Where: Button Brew House, 6800 N. Camino Martin

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food and drinks

Visit the event page for more information.

Flow Onda Flo Open Circus Jam

Tucson Circus Arts is collaborating with Flam Chen to host a circus jam and global music dance party. BYO toys and props to play around, share skills and learn from circus performers. All ages and skill levels are welcome, RSVP in the event page's comments!

When: 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21

Where: MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento

Cost: Free to attend with a $10 suggested donation

Visit the event page for more information.

Urban Hike with Bawker Bawker

Arizona Trail Association and Bawker Bawker Cider House are hosting an urban hike around downtown Tucson. Afterwards, hikers will receive a discount on their first round of cider!

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25

Where: Bawker Bawker Cider House, 400 N. Fourth Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for cider

Visit the event page for more information.

Get free help filing your taxes

United Way of Tucson is hosting a summer filing event for Tucson families and individuals who make less than $73,000 annually and are late on their taxes. They’ve enlisted the help of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) in both English and Spanish.

When: While walk-ins are welcome, use this link to make an appointment 2-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25.

Where: United Way of Tucson, 330 N. Commerce Park Loop

Cost: Free to attend. Pay special attention to the necessary documents you need to bring to file.

Visit the event page for more information.

Paul Joseph Kohler, Piano "Music of Joshua Daniel Nichols"

Pianist Paul Joseph Kohler, who graduated from the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona, is premiering the work of composer Joshua Daniel Nichols in a free recital. 

When: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27

Where: Holsclaw Hall, 1017 N. Olive Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit event page for more information.

Witch Talk Wednesdays

The Ninth House metaphysical shop hosts a monthly Witch Talk Wednesday. They compare the event to their other salons, where you can discuss tarot and astrology with like-minded individuals. There’s no instructor, but instead a community gathering to discuss chosen topics around witchcraft.

When: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31

Where: The Ninth House, 2563 E. Fort Lowell Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.


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