December is here, and so is the end of the semester. Whether you’re just trying to keep your spirits up through finals week or plan on sticking around during break, here are a few things to check out in Tucson to make the most of this month.
Brew Lights 2017
For those 21 and up, Reid Park Zoo offers a twist on Zoo Lights, pairing the familiar dazzling light display with craft beer tasting at Brew Lights. There will be local breweries at the Dec. 2 event, including Barrio Brewing Co., the Grand Canyon Brewing Company, Borderlands Brewing Co. and Catalina Brewing Company, among others. With a $35 VIP ticket, attendees get four tastings of beer and a Brew Lights tasting glass. If you’re under 21, don’t fret. There’s still plenty to check out, like the falling snow, s’mores stations, carousel rides and, of course, the lights. Tickets cost $10 for adults not doing beer tasting, $30 for VIP members doing beer tasting and $6 for children with members getting $2 off zoo admission.
Winterhaven Festival of Lights
This Tucson winter classic is celebrating its 68th year with a run from Dec. 9–26. Visitors to Winterhaven can opt to take in the sights on foot, hayride, trolley limo or Arizona party bike from 6–10 p.m. each day of the festival. Although the festival is free, visitors are encouraged to bring donations for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Visitors can enter the festival through Fort Lowell Road, Tucson Boulevard, Prince Road and Country Club Road, though there are no official parking areas for the festival.
Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair
Over half a million people are expected to attend this year’s fair, which stretches from East University Boulevard down to East Eighth Street along Fourth Avenue. The fair offers a variety of food options, crafts and goods to scope out, and music by local entertainers who will perform at the fair. Produced by the North Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, Inc., the fair raises funds to invest in nonprofits, local neighborhoods and avenue infrastructure. VIP Taxi will provide a free shuttle from the Tyndall Avenue Garage and the Pennington Street Garage. This year’s fair will be held the weekend of Dec. 8–10.
13th Annual Tamal Festival
Held at AVA Amphitheater, this Tucson tradition celebrates the variation of tamales in the Tucson region, the Southwest and Mexico. The Dec. 2 event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a tamale contest and live entertainment, with ample time to explore its collection of food and artisan vendors. Plan to come hungry to this free event, which features both sweet and savory tamales.
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“A Southwest Nutcracker”
The Tucson Regional Ballet presents its original classical ballet with three performances at Tucson Convention Center Music Hall on Dec. 9 and 10. The full-length ballet puts a twist on the classic “Nutcracker” by setting the story in Tucson in the 1880s. The show gets some Southwestern spirit with coyotes and rattlesnakes, and the performance is made complete with music from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Tickets can be purchased online and range from $16 to $36.
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