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10 Best Holiday Attractions in Tucson to Bask in Southwestern Glow

Winter is the high season in Tucson, thanks to the city's great weather and unique Southwestern cultural attractions. The city comes alive from November through January with seasonal events full of holiday cheer.

One of Tucson's biggest winter events is the Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair, which attracts thousands of holiday shoppers to the city's colorful Fourth Avenue District. More than 300 vendors set up shop on the avenue, with entertainment from street buskers and jugglers adding to the festivities.

For a uniquely Southwestern holiday light display, head over to Tohono Chul Park for Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul. For six special evenings, Tohono Chul is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with a million holiday lights and a special desert snowman.

Another great destination for holiday lights is the Tucson Botanical Garden, which hosts the annual Luminaria Nights at Tucson Botanical Garden. The garden grounds glow with the lights from traditional Southwestern paper lanterns. There are also twinkling lights, live music, and local food trucks dishing out holiday treats.

For a fun, family-friendly showcase of holiday spirit, head to downtown Tucson for the Annual Downtown Parade of Lights. The parade features a cavalcade of floats wrapped in twinkling holiday lights.

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HoCo Fest in Tucson

On Labor Day weekend, the historic Hotel Congress celebrates with over 40 national and regional acts bringing their sound to Tucson. HoCo Fest is Tucson's oldest indoor/outdoor solar-powered multi-media festival with good eats and great drinks, featuring a vanguard, genre-spanning musical lineup, guest lecturers and producer workshops, vintage clothing and vinyl record fairs, specialized menus from acclaimed local restaurants, and a series of wild experimental afterparties. The party takes place over five consecutive days.

Where: Hotel Congress

When: August 30, 2017 - September 3, 2017

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Showdown in Tombstone in Tucson

Authentic Arizona Wild West history comes to life in the streets of Tombstone, "the town too tough to die," with street entertainment at the actual O.K. Corral, the Infamous "Hanging Tree," 1880s fashion show, Steampunk costume contest, parade and an evening ball.

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Friday Night Live! At Main Gate Square in Tucson

Glen Gross & Raw Materials stages an exciting Summer Concert Series performance of contemporary jazz standards in the Geronimo Plaza Courtyard at Main Gate Square. Presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the free Friday Night Live! performances, coupled with delicious food from nearby local restaurants, provide a cool way to spend the summer evenings on alternating Fridays, from April 3 through August 21, 2015.

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2nd Saturdays Downtown in Tucson

2nd Saturdays is a family-friendly music festival held downtown every 2nd Saturday of every single month. Congress Street is full of activity from Toole Avenue & Congress west to Church Avenue & Congress. There is music, vendors, street performers and much more. This event is free to the whole family and every age. Some of the downtown businesses offer specials or may schedule their own entertainment. Many of the vendors and sponsors have drawings during the evening. The scene along the Sun Link Streetcar downtown route is always exciting. Hop on at any stop along the Sun Link corridor to be part of 2nd Saturdays, June 13.

The Kids' Area at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave., interactive fun for the kids and a free movie designed to delight all ages.

Venue: On Congress Street from Toole Avenue to Church Avenue

Time: From: 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Admission: Outdoor entertainment is free and most other shows are free. Those that cost are denoted on the entertainment webpage. Street parking is free on Saturdays or pay $3 to park in Pennington Street Garage
Phone: 520-545-1102

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Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

For two weeks near the start of every year, Tucson becomes playground the world of international gem and mineral trading, buying, and bargains. This international marketplace of gems, minerals, fossils, beads, and jewelry-making supplies as well as museum exhibits and other treasures includes 40 different sites at hotels, special venues, and tents located across town.

When: January 31, 2015 - February 15, 2015

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Born & Brewed: Tucson Beer Cup at Hotel Congress

Hotel Congress presents a the 3rd annual celebration of all-local brews featuring a "people's choice" vote for best brew in Tucson. Food catered by the Cup Café, lively entertainment, games, prizes, and of course BEER. Ages 21 and over.

Event Location: 311 E. Congress St., Tucson, AZ 85701
September 19, 2014

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Inside and Out: Plants as Art in Tucson

At Tucson Desert Art Museum several interior and exterior planted areas are sharing the "greening" process with our museum visitors. On any given day, visitors to the Museum will find us in another phase of this project. Stop in to learn about monsoon gardens, desert herb gardens, and interior planting.

Event Location: 7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd., Ste 11, Tucson, AZ 85715
Venue: Tucson Desert Art Museum
Time: Tuesday - Thursday: 10-4 Friday: 10-7 Saturday: 10-4 Sunday: 12-5 Closed Mondays and Major Holidays
Admission: $4-$10. We are a Blue Star Museum! Entrance is free for all active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day! We appreciate your ser
Recurring daily

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2nd Saturdays Downtown in Tucson

The eclectic lineup of bands at the 94.9 MIXfm Stage and the street scene create an urban street festival that has food to sample, vendors to check out, and magical street performers for entertainment. Some of the downtown businesses will offer specials or their own entertainment. It's family friendly and fun for all ages. Many of the vendors and sponsors have drawings during the evening.

August 09, 2014

Venue: On Congress St. from Toole Ave. to Church Ave.

Time: From: 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Admission: Outdoor entertainment is free and most other shows are free. Those that cost are denoted on the entertainment webpage. Street parking is free on Saturdays or pay $3 to park in Pennington Street Garage

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Meteor Mania at Kitt Peak in Tucson

Watch Mother Nature's summer fireworks show at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Travel far away from the city lights to view a Triple-Threat Version! with Delta Aquarids, Piscis Austrinids, and Alpha Capracornids.
Would you believe three meteor showers all peaking at right about the same date? Although these showers do not have high Zenith Hourly Rates (ZHR) individually, taken together we should get a plethora of meteors. And we'll have an opportunity to count meteors from three separate radiants at the same time. Festivities begin late and stretch into the wee hours of the morning to observe one of Nature's most spectacular cosmic shows. Learn about meteors, comets, meteor showers, and touch an actual piece of an asteroid. Refreshments will be provided. Adults and families with children 8 years or above are encouraged to attend. The weather will be a bit warmer this time of year (On the day of the program, Kitt Peak will make a "weather call" and determine if the program will proceed as scheduled).

July 28, 2014
Event Location: S. R. 86 (Ajo Way)/Junction 386,
Tucson, AZ 85726
Venue: Kitt Peak National Observatory
Time: From: 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM
Admission: Reservations required 520-318-8726. Adults $45, Kids (ages 8-16) $25, Tribal Members Free

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