A youngster watches the show of lights, music and fountains at the corner of Treat Circle and Farr St. one of the most elaborate displays at the 69th Annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights , Wednesday, December 19, 2018, Tucson, Ariz.

December is full of freebies! Check out local free events in Tucson, Oro Valley and Marana. Save your money during the holidays with local festivals, light displays, holiday events, movies and more.

Jácome Plaza lights and movies

Visit Jácome Plaza downtown for the ultimate photo op. Thousands of lights adorning the trees in the park, along with a giant lit ornament you can walk through! In addition, visit the giant community Christmas Tree. And Friday Food, Fun and Flix is back! Come to the park for free holiday movies outdoors on a giant inflatable screen.


Dec. 6 : "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

Dec. 13 : "Elf"

Dec. 20 : "Home Alone 2 Lost in New York"

Where: Jácome Plaza (outside the main library), 101 N. Stone Ave.

When: Fridays, Dec. 6, 13 and 207 p.m.

Cost: Free, food vendors will be serving up hot chocolate and popcorn. You are also welcome to bring your own food. Games such as life-size chess, connect four, corn hole, foosball and checkers will be available all day in Jácome.

More information here

15th Annual Tucson Tamal and Heritage Festival

The Festival celebrates the rich tastes, smells and variation of tamales from the Southwest and Mexico. Festivities include a tamale contest, live local entertainment, food vendors, artisan vendors and farmers market vendors.

Where: AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here

Hot Chocolate 10K/5K/1K Fun Run (Sponsored)

Start the holidays off right with some exercise... and a treat at the end!

Bring the family to The J on Sunday, Dec. 15 to participate in a 10K, 5K or 1K Run/Walk. The 10K/5K will be a timed run/walk, while the 1K is a non-timed fun event that you can run or walk, starting in the sculpture garden. Every finisher will receive a custom local HF Coors mug.

The event is FREE for kids 6 and under with registered parent (shirt not included, but available for an additional charge). 

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 6:30-10 a.m.

Where: Tucson JCC, 3800 E. River Road

Cost: Online registration closes at 5 p.m. on Dec. 14. After that, participants can still register race morning starting at 6:30 a.m. at the JCC. Go here for pricing.

More info here or call 520-299-3000 ext. 255 or email sports@tucsonjcc.org

Tucson Village Farm’s Holiday Market will have a number of gifts for sale, like homemade soaps and lotions. All proceeds support the farm’s educational programming.

Holiday Market at Tucson Village Farm

Enjoy holiday treats like hot cocoa, soup, and cider or sit by the fire with friends while roasting marshmallows. Don't miss the hand crafted items like soaps, creosote bundles, salves, and many more for sale at the market. 

Where: Tucson Village Farm, 4210 N. Campbell Ave.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 4-8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for shopping

More information here

Christmas Countdown Calendar at Home Depot

Kids get to use hammers and screwdrivers to build their craft. Paint, stickers and other tools are included too. All kids attending the workshop must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a  certificate of achievement, a workshop apron and a commemorative pin. 

Where: Local Home Depot

When: Saturday Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free, get there early before they run out of kits

More information here

Teen Tinker Tuesdays 

Join the library every Tuesday for an afternoon of making weird things and leveling up your DIY skills. This week's workshop is candle labels.

Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. (101 Space is located in the main library on the second floor)

When: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 3-5 p.m.

Cost: Free, teens only event

More information here

Free Fit First Saturday

Join The Garden Kitchen for a morning full of fun activities. Stroll through south Tucson and check out the beautiful murals. Then stop by the food demonstration and learn how to make simple holiday sides.

Where: The Garden Kitchen, 2205 S. Fourth Ave.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here.

Free Kids Concert: Nutcracker Story

Hear the story of the Nutcracker with a interactive twist! The instrumental trio will perform dance favorites from this ballet, while telling the enchanting holiday tale. Concert goers will be guided and transformed into toy soldiers, candy canes, snowflakes, Russian soldiers and more, becoming the dancers in this classic holiday tradition. 

Where: Oro Valley Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada Drive

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

"Worse? How can things get any worse? Take a look around you, Ellen!"

Christmas isn't complete without the Griswolds. Grab a friend and some free popcorn and watch this hilarious holiday movie. 

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

When: Friday, Dec. 6, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here.  

Marana Holiday Festival & Christmas Tree Lighting

Kick off the holiday season and celebrate on Main Street in Marana with live performances, Santa, activities for the kids, and a show-stopping Christmas tree light show.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 3-8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

More information here.  

Holiday Festival of the Arts & Town of Oro Valley Tree Lighting

This two-day festival is one of Southern Arizona’s largest community arts celebrations, with over 150 artisans, over 30 performances by student and local musicians, family arts activities, food trucks, tree lighting and more. 

Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money if you want to shop  

More information here.  

2019 World Ax Throwing League Championship

At this event, 64 champion ax throwers from around the world will compete live for prize money. Check out the celebratory kick-off event and parade on Dec. 7 featuring the ax throwers, UA pep band and spirit squads and Santa visits as well as the food truck rally and beer garden all weekend.  

Where: Splitting Timber Axe Range at Tucson Premium Outlets, 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd.

When: Dec. 7-8

Cost: Parade and activities are free.

More info here

Holiday Archery Shoot

Join in holiday fun at the Naranja Park Archery Range where there will be holiday-themed games including snowman shaped targets, a Nightmare before Christmas archery zone, and a 14 target 3D fun shoot on the west walking course. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free, ages 8 and up. Bring your own bows and arrows. Raffles tickets available for purchase to raise funds for the archery range and Oro Valley Junior Olympic Archery Development.

More information here


Valencia Library Block Party: Winter Extravaganza

Celebrate the winter season at this free family-friendly event. Join story time, winter-themed crafts, snow games, tasty food, parenting resources and free books for ages 0-5.

Where: Valencia Library, 202 W. Valencia Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

La Fiesta de Guadalupe

This festival honors Mexico’s patron saint with music, dancing and performances including mariachi bands, folklorico dancers, and Yaqui Deer Dancers. Local food and art vendors will be selling tasty treats and trinkets, so remember your shopping bags. 

Where: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum, 6300 N. Swan Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Family Day at Tucson Museum of Art

Explore the galleries and enjoy holiday-themed activities, like button ornaments, popsicle-stick snowflakes, cookies, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more.

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

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Magical Market at Valley of the Moon

Shop for magical things at Valley of the Moon. This event has 20 vendors, tarot readers, costume contest, face painting, wand duels, food trucks, warm cider and live music.

Where: Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend 

More information here

Meet Me at Maynards Mural Walk

Bring your strollers, friends or a well-behaved pup for a colorful walk. Maynards has two different routes mapped out. You can walk/run 1.85 miles and see 13 murals or a 3-mile route with 21 murals. 

Where: Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave.

When: Monday, Dec. 9, 5 p.m.

Cost: Free, wear comfortable shoes.

More information here


Watch this '80s take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," with some cheesy comedy from Bill Murray.

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

When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Star Wars Trivia

This trivia covers all the Star Wars films. Bring a team because, well you will need it. Prizes are awarded to the smartest Jedi. 

Where: Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St.

When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for brews

More information here

Winterhaven Festival of Lights Opening Night

Celebrate the season with by walking the streets of Winterhaven. Bring a donation for the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank (canned food and cash donations are always accepted). 

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:30-10 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

The Muppets Christmas Carol

Take the kids to an outdoor screening at the Children’s Museum. Bring your own seating and dress warmly.

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

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: Free, all adults must be accompanied by a child.

More information here

Oro Valley Concert Series

Listen to the genre-crossing southwestern folk stylings of P.D. Ronstadt & Co. at Oro Valley Marketplace. Remember to bring your own chairs. 

Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road

When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, bring a chair.

More information here.

Holiday Movie Trivia

It's holiday movie binge time! Start brushing up on your favorite holiday movies for a chance to win a Topgolf gift card.

Where: Topgolf, 4050 W. Costco Pl.

When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Classic Car Show

Take a break from the holiday rush and walk through some beauties, while you listen to old school tunes.  

Where: The Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Holidays at the Rincon Farmers Market

This holiday event will have something for everyone, including live music, vendor holiday deals, kids activities, a free Heirloom raffle, and plenty of holiday gift ideas.

Where: Rincon Valley Farmers & Artisans Market, 12500 E. Old Spanish Trail

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Rise of the Guardians

Watch Jack Frost, Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and the Sandman save the children of the world from the Boogieman. Pre-show activities hosted by Mildred & Dildred Toy Store starting at 9:15 a.m.

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

When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. 

Cost: Free

More information here

Sunday Stroll and Roll

Take a three mile walk, jog or ride and connect with community members on the way to St. Philip's Plaza and Heirloom Farmers Markets. Longer distances are available and strollers are welcome. 

Where: St Philip's Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free

More information here

Mercado District Holiday Bazaar

This event is packed with family-friendly shopping and activities like puppet shows by a local puppet troupe, local shopping vendors, holiday window installations, shops, restaurants, photo booths, mariachis, folklorico and more. 

Where: Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento


Friday, Dec. 20-21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring some money for shopping

More information here

Classic Car Show at Little Anthony's Diner

Cruise down to a family-friendly event and walk along classic cars and listen to some popping music from the diner. 

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

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Oro Valley Yoga

Clear your mind and burn some holiday calories at the Summit Hut. Bring your mat!

Where: Summit Hut, 7745 N. Oracle Road

When: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 9-10:30 a.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

MOCA Campfire and Holiday Sale

Join MOCA as they say goodbye to 2019 with a peaceful campfire and whimsical holiday sale. Shop with local artists and stop by the campfire to roast marshmallows, drink warm cider and listen to Celtic holiday music.

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

When: Thursday, Dec. 19, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

A Christmas Story 

Will Ralphie get his Red Ryder air rifle? Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift.

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

When: Friday, Dec. 20, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Holiday Parade at Tanque Verde Swap Meet

The swap meet is hosting a merry event. Festivities include decorated floats, Santa Claus, Santa's helpers, shopping, and family fun.

Where: Tanque Verde Swap Meet, 4100 S. Palo Verde Road

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: Free, but bring money if you want to shop

More information here

Drive-in Movie: Elf

Add to your holiday season with this extra special drive-in movie at the Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center. The movie will begin at sundown (approx. 5:45 p.m.) with heaters and hot cocoa. Plus, you might see Buddy the Elf himself! 

Where: Oro Valley Community Center, 10555 N. La Cañada Drive

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 5:30-8 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend.

More information here

Open Forge at Desert Metal Craft

Join Desert Metal Craft for an all-ages open house to try your hand at blacksmithing. Bring your own projects to work on, or let us suggest something. 

Where: Desert Metal Craft, 544 E. 24th St.

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free

More information here

Princesses at Winterhaven Festival of Lights 

Take your little ones to go visit with their favorite princesses at the Disney House in Winterhaven.

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 6-8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Read to a Dog

Keep your kids busy over the holidays by reading to therapy dog. These pups love to have books read to them and they never criticize your reading skills. 

Where: Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, 8959 E. Tanque Verde Road

When: Monday, Dec. 23, 6-7 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

Speedway Yoga

Keep your life in balance over the holidays with free yoga. Bring your mat!

Where: Summit Hut, 5251 E. Speedway Blvd.

When: Friday, Dec. 27, 9-10:30 a.m.

Cost: Free

More information here

My Time at The Mini

My Time at The Mini is a program offering exclusive time at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures for children and adults with diverse learning needs. These private events will provide a museum experience that is comfortable and inclusive, while allowing guests to connect with other families. Admission is free to pre-registered guests.

Where: The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr.

When: Monday, Dec. 30, 10 a.m to noon

Cost: Free

More information here

Tucson Premium Outlets Concert 

Listen to Black Cat Bones with their signature mix of classic blues and rock with R&B, featuring smooth vocals and blues jams.

Where: Tucson Premium Outlets, 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd.

When: Saturday, Dec. 28, 5-8 p.m

Cost: Free

More information here

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