Save your money and entertain your family and friends with free activities this month. Check out open-air events, drive-thru events, virtual tutorials, art shows, car shows and more free events happening in the Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita areas.

Virtual Free Events 📲

Holiday Cooking Class with Chef Todd Siccolo

Take your holiday meal to a new level with Chef Todd and his virtual cooking class. Chef Todd will take you through steps to create a pomegranate and cinnamon braised pork shank with butternut squash and currant hash.

When: Any time

Cost: Free

Santa's Calling with Tucson Parks and Recreation

Would your child love a call from Santa? Tucson Parks and Recreation has a direct line. Santa will give your kiddos a call to check in on them, make sure they're being nice and confirm their wish lists. Be sure to sign up on the Tucson Parks and Recreation website by Dec. 7 to add your child to Santa's phone call list. 

When: Calls will be made between 5:30-8 p.m. on Dec. 8-9

Cost: Free

Visit the Tucson Parks and Recreation website for more information.

December Naturalist Fireside Chat

Calling all nature lovers! This monthly series of online presentations begin with a look at observations, news and notes on the natural world. Then the floor is open to all who want to ask questions, share observations and connect with other nature lovers. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, 7-8 p.m.

Cost: Free, donation appreciated

Mistletoe Misunderstood 

During this time of year we hear a lot about mistletoe. Learn the fascinating biology, common misconceptions and importance of these remarkable plants.

When: Monday, Dec. 14, 10-11 a.m.

Cost: Free, donations accepted

Chef Spotlight: Wild Arizona Cuisine with Brett Vibber

Tune in to Facebook Live for an interview and virtual cooking adventure with Arizona Chef Brett Vibber, founder of Cartwright's Modern Cuisine and new restaurant, WILD. If you miss the livetream, the event will also be available for viewing later on the AARP and SAACA Facebook pages.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 6-7 p.m.

Cost: Free

AARP Weekly Virtual Concerts: Freddy Parish and the Old Town String Band

Enjoy some classic country and old-time music with Freddy Parish and the Old Town String Band! This virtual event can be viewed on YouTube and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance Facebook page.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6-7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Coloring fun with #ThisIsTucson 

De-stress with #ThisisTucson coloring pages made by illustrator Chiara Bautista! Use the links below to download the free pages for printing and coloring fun. 

Color with Fitz from the Arizona Daily Star 

Break out the gel pens, markers and watercolors! Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons and illustrator Chiara Bautista made a collection of 12 coloring pages to keep you busy and entertained. Download the pages here.  

Cost: Free

Mildred & Dildred Free Downloads

Bored? Head to Mildred & Dildred's website for some free downloads, including a fun cactus paper doll!

Free Coloring Pages with PACC Pets

Download free coloring pages from Pima Animal Care Center for the kids. The pets featured on these coloring pages were helped by our local community donations.

Cost: Free

Visit the Friends of Pima Animal Care Center event page for more information.

Baking Tutorial with Sahuarita Parks and Rec

Follow along with a 4-minute video and learn how to bake sugar-free blueberry muffins with the friendly staff of Sahuarita Parks and Rec.

Cost: Free

Visit the Sahuarita Parks and Rec Facebook event page for more information.

Sips with Scientists: Let’s Talk Camera Traps

Join Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for a laugh and learn at this virtual and educational happy hour. This week you will meet two passionate scientists who utilize trail cameras to study wildlife in the US-Mexico borderlands.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Best FotoFauna Photographs of 2020 Virtual Event

Join Sky Island Alliance to see the many candid and beautiful wildlife photos contributed to Sky Island FotoFauna in 2020 by volunteers and partners across the region. During this virtual event you will cast votes for the best photos of the year.

When: Thursday, Dec. 17, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Cost: Free, registration required

Visit Sky Island Alliance Facebook event page for more information.

November Tarot Salon 

Learn and practice your tarot reading skills on Zoom with people at all skill levels. Remember to have a notebook and pen handy before the gathering.

When: Friday, Dec. 18, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Visit the Ninth House Facebook event page for more information.

Ugly Sweater Improv Show and Harold Team Alpha

Join a virtual performance on Facebook Live event with Tucson Improv Movement. The all-star cast will don their worst ugly sweaters and warm you up with funnies and spiced improv.

Where: Tucson Improv Movement, 414 E. Ninth St. 

When: Friday, Dec. 18, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Visit Tucson Improv Movement Facebook event page for more information.

Virtual Desert Drawing with Jesús García

Grab your crayons, pencils and paper kiddos! In this interactive class, Jesús García will teach you how to draw desert life. Kids get to draw and create, while learning about rattlesnakes!

When: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 12-12:30 p.m.

AARP Artist Spotlight: Arizona Mural Tour with Isaac Caruso

Enjoy a special documentary and mural excursion with award winning artist, Isaac Caruso. This event is free to stream, and will be available after the live broadcast on the AARP and SAACA Facebook pages.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 6-7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Meet Me at Maynards Virtual Walk

Thanks to TMC Healthcare and El Rio Health, the Meet Me at Maynards mural walk has gone virtual! Get outside and walk around the neighborhood, take a picture or a selfie and post it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheGreatGetOut2020.

Cost: Free

Visit the Meet Me at Maynards website for more information.

Open Air Events  😷

Desert Nights Downtown Lights

Five weeks of dancing lights! Stroll through 60 illuminated buildings, over 150 street trees tightly wrapped with lights and dozens of decorated storefronts in downtown Tucson.

When: Nightly through Dec. 31

Cost: Free 

Visit the Downtown Tucson Partnership website for more information.

Sahuarita Lights Walk Through

Sahuarita Town Hall put up their holiday lights! Stroll through the warm glowing lights in the open-air and take family selfies for the holidays.

When: Nightly through Dec. 31

Cost: Free

Visit the Town of Sahuarita Facebook event page for more information.

Snow Globe Santa at the Oro Valley Marketplace 

Visit for twelve days of holiday cheer at the Oro Valley Marketplace. You can take selfies with the Snow Globe Santa and visit the warm glow of the holiday tree.

Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road

When: Wednesdays, Dec. 9, 16, 23, 4-6 p.m.

Cost: Free

Backroads Duo at Noble Hops

Cruise over to Noble Hops and enjoy some great food, drinks and music. Steak night starts at 5 p.m.

Where: Noble Hops Gastropub, 1335 W. Lambert Lane

When: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6-9 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for drinks and tasty bites

Visit Noble Hops Facebook event page for more information.

Holiday Boogie Woogie at the Oro Valley Marketplace

Join Boogie Woogie, Diane and Lisa for a holiday musical performance at Charred Pie outdoor patio. Attendees are asked to make a reservation for a table by calling 520-395-2232. If you're not eating at Charred Pie, face masks and social distancing are required during the holiday performance.

Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road

When: Thursday, Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

Painted Hills Hike

Take a break from the holidays and go on a hike! Remember to bring water, wear some comfy clothes and get ready for some fun trails and scenic views. Face masks and social distancing are required for this event.

Where: Painted Hills Trailhead, 3590 W. Anklam Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, 9-11:30 a.m.

Cost: Registration required, limited spots available

Visit Beyond-Tucson Facebook event page for more information.

Crown Cars and Coffee

Rev up your engines! Take a drive over to Crown Concepts for a free casual car meet. Free coffee will be provided or bring your own.

Where: Lowe's Home Improvement, 4075 W. Ina Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, 7-10 a.m.

Cost: Free

Visit the event Facebook event page for more information.

Free, Physically Distant Sculpture Garden and Fine Art Gallery Walk-Through

The Sculpture Garden features art from established and emerging artists. Stroll through the Garden and Fine Art Gallery exhibit featuring works by artist Curt Brill. This open air event will be limiting their capacity to 35 people per hour to allow for safe social distancing. Entry times are 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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

When: Sunday, Dec. 13, 9-11 a.m.

Cost: Free

Visit Tucson Jewish Community Center website for more information.

Classic Car Shows at Little Anthony's Diner

Join Little Anthony's Diner for a classic car show with DJ John. Diner treats are available at Little Anthony's Diner and at their outdoor grill. Face masks and social distancing are required at this event.  

Where: Little Anthony's Diner, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

Visit Little Anthony's Diner Facebook event page for more information.

Pop-up Playground Jam Session at Crossroads Silverbell District Park

Listen to some up-beat music with Marana Parks and Recreation at this pop-up playground event. Enjoy the park and playground with tunes and on-site activities. Peanut butter or jelly donations for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona are greatly appreciated during this event.

Where: Gladden Farms Community Park, 12205 N. Tangerine Farms Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free to attend, drop-off a peanut butter or jelly donation to receive a fun prize

Visit Marana Parks & Recreation website for more information.

Sunday Stroll and Roll 

The walk begins at the Beyond-Tucson booth located near the restrooms. Attendees will have an opportunity to shop around the St. Philip's Plaza Farmer's Market before turning back for the completion of the 2-mile walk.

Where: Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. First Ave.

When: Sundays, Dec. 13, 20, 27 at 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Cost: Free, on your fifth time participating in the Sunday Stroll and Roll, you receive a $5 token that can be used at the Heirloom Farmers Market

Visit the Beyond-Tucson Facebook event page for more information. 

The Loop 

The Chuck Huckelberry Loop extends 130 miles through Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson and South Tucson. The Loop is made up of paved, shared-use paths and short segments of buffered bike lanes connecting the Cañada del Oro, Rillito, Santa Cruz and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Road Greenway. Take a walk or ride as the weather cools down.

Cost: Free

Visit Pima County website for more information and safety guidelines

Drive-thru events 🚗

Drive-thru Holiday Lights Parade

The winter holidays will be celebrated a little differently this year. Families will have the opportunity to experience the holiday festival, safely in your vehicle as a drive-thru experience. Enjoy a the soft glow of the holiday lights, visual entertainment, dazzling ice sculptures and reverse parade, where the displays are stationery you drive through. 

Where: Sahuarita Municipal Complex, 375 W. Sahuarita Center Way

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, 6-9 p.m.

Visit the Sahuarita Parks and Recreation Facebook event page for more information.

Sculpture Scavenger Hunt Drive 

Get out of the house and explore local art around Tucson. You don't even have to get out of your car to see many of these sculptures.

Cost: Free

Check out this list of public art for more information.

Local Murals Scavenger Hunt 

Drive or bike around Tucson to discover 21 beautiful murals from the street.

Cost: Free

Check out this story for more information.

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