13 December, 2019, 23:32

Things to do in Tucson this Holiday Season

A list of holiday events for the whole family.

Oh yes, the holiday season has come barreling into your December plans like the Polar Express in overdrive.

It’s not a bad thing, though. Tucson has plenty of events that are worth celebrating. The hot cocoa is waiting to warm you up at one of these things to do in Tucson this holiday season, so get your planner and prepare to make room for an adventurous month.


Under the title of each event listed below, we’ve created a banner. If you click on it, the event times and location will appear as well as the option to add it to your Google calendar.


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Friday, December 13 – Sunday, December 15

50th Annual Winter Street Fair on Historic Fourth Avenue

It happens twice a year, and it’s perfect if you’re looking for things to do this winter.

The Street Fair’s are used to support the Avenue’s infrastructure, invest in local neighborhoods, and other nonprofits, and to create free community events throughout the year on Historic Forth Avenue. read more.

Saturday, December 14

RAD Marketplace Winter Market

Here’s something to do if you’re free from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 14.

There’s going to be an awesome lineup of local vendors selling handmade artisan goods, vintage products for sale, live music, DJs, food trucks, and near the historic Warehouse Arts District.  read more.

Breakfast with Santa at El Conquistador

This is something for kids and adults to do.

From 9 – 11 a.m. on both of the dates, there will be a breakfast buffet and the opportunity to meet and interact with Santa. You can also create some art and crafts with St. Nick during the buffet that’s held in the Coronado Ballroom.

Tickets are $35 per person, kids 6 to 12 years old are $20 each, and those younger than that can get in for free.  Be sure to make reservations by calling (520) 544-1190. read more.

Holiday  Market at Cartel Coffee Lab

Chocolate chip cookie and cappuccino from Cartel Coffee Lab on Broadway in Tucson

This Holiday Market is happening from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  at the Campbell location.

It’s the perfect chance to warm up with a hot drink, listen to some music, do a little holiday shopping, and see their brand new Tucson roastery in action. There’s also rumors that Santa might be there, too.

Also, they’ll be serving apple cider, beer, and other alcoholic treats. read more.

Sunday, December 15

Mister Bing’s Happy Holidays Supper Club at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

(Photo courtesy of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort)

Things to do in Tucson this Holiday Season (Photo courtesy of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort)

This event spotlights dancing, dinner and floor show in the majestic Casa Luna ballroom.

The one-of-a-kind Happy Holidays celebration will feature vocals of American Idol contestant Crystal Stark, Katherine Byrnes, Chach Snook, and Brian Levario.

Cocktail Hour starts at 5 p.m., Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 6:45 p.m. If you’d like to attend the dinner and the show it’s $99 per person, or $39 if you’d just like to see the show.  read more.

Hot Chocolate 10K/5K/1K Fun Run at the JCC

Here’s a neat way to start the holidays off right with some exercise and a treat at the finish line.

The run is from 6:30 – 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 15.

The 10K/5K will be a timed run and walk, while the 1K is a non-timed fun event that you can run or walk. The course will run on the Rillito river path on the north and south banks between Alvernon and Swan. ...read more.

Friday, December 20 – Sunday, December 22

Mercado District Holiday Bazaar

Mercado San Agustin

Things to do in Tucson this Holiday Season (Photo courtesy of Mercado San Agustin on Facebook}

Here’s an event that’ll take the stress out of holiday shopping.

The Mercado District Holiday Bazaar is family-friendly with puppet shows by local puppet troupe In Shadows, holiday window installations by the MSA Annex shops and restaurants, photo booths, mariachis, folklorico, and more.

The Holiday Bazaar is taking place over the course of three days this year. …read more.

Saturday, December 21

The Office Christmas Episodes with Molecular Munchies at Casa Film Bar

The film bar will be blowing through all the Christmas episodes of The Office — that’s what she said.

On top of that, you can grab a beer from the multiple taps or fridges, and order a bite to eat from Molecular Munchies, which will be conveniently parked outside. read more.

Tuesday, December 24

Gingerbread Workshop at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

gingerbread house ritz carlton

Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Here’s an awesome thing to do right before Christmas.

Everyone’s to join the award-winning pastry team and create their own gingerbread house. Tickets are $50 per person, and it’s limit to four guests per house.

Also, you’ll need to make reservations by calling (520) 572-3401. read more.

Multiple Dates

“Miracle on Congress St.” brings Christmas cheer to downtown Tucson

Photo courtesy of Miracle on Congress St. on Facebook

Things to do in Tucson this Holiday Season (Photo courtesy of Miracle on Congress St. on Facebook)

Seasonal greetings to all Tucsonans as Miracle on Congress St. returns for another season of fun on Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 22.

While the rest of downtown continues its day to day hustle, the whimsical paradise of lights, jingle bells, festive songs, adoptable pets, and cocktails are brightening up the corner of Congress Street and Fifth Avenue. …read more.

Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul

The holiday season is in full swing at Tohono Chul from Friday, December 6 – Saturday, December 21.

Stroll along the paths of the park, which are garlanded with over a million twinkling lights. That’s not all, though. There’s going to be musicians and artists performing throughout the gardens.

Don’t forget to sip on some hot chocolate and enjoy the tasty treats, too.  …read more.

Luminaria Nights at Tucson Botanical Gardens

From Friday, December 6 – Sunday, December 15, the Tucson Botanical Gardens is hosting its Luminaria Nights.

If you decide to visit you’ll find a Poinsettia Pavilion featuring a 10-foot poinsettia tree, an enhanced Garden Snowfall Experience, more than 3,500 luminarias, Korean lanterns, the Grinch, and Santa’s Mailbox.

You’ll also find food and drinks and enjoy a musical lineup featuring the Manhattan Dolls and many more talented Tucson musicians. read more.

Marana Christmas Express

From Friday, December 6 – Monday, December 23, the Marana Christmas Express returns to 14901 N. Wentz Rd. in  Marana.

Enjoy a 20-minute train ride through amazing Christmas light displays, let the kids bounce on jumping pillows, hang out at the petting zoo, take pictures with Santa, and intake some hot chocolate and fresh baked treats. read more.

Holiday Cocoa & Cocktails at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

loews ventana cocoa and cocktail 01

Things to do in Tucson this Holiday Season: Photo courtesy of Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

The holiday season has arrived at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, and it has brought along specialty cocoa and cocktails from Sunday, December 1 – Wednesday, January 1.

The crew at the resort’s Cascade Lounge has put a creative spin on the classic drink that’s meant to warm you up and imitate jolly feelings deep down in your belly.

There’s going to be a few variations of cocoa for kids to enjoy, but adults will have the option to pick from one of the two locally-inspired cocktails — or both if you need some extra Holiday spirit. …read more.

Afternoon Holiday Tea at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Starting on Friday, December 6, you can taste different kinds of holiday tea at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, and it even comes with snacks.

In total, it’s a three-course tea service with champagne, loose leaf tea, finger sandwiches, scones, and a variety of delicious holiday pastries.

The tea services are every Friday and Saturday in the month of December. Seats are $45 per person and seating times are at noon and 2:30 p.m. read more.

Tapas & Tonics at the AC Hotel

Cantaloupe Collins and Margarita poolside at the AC Hotel Tucson Downtown (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cantaloupe Collins and Margarita poolside at the AC Hotel Tucson Downtown (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The downtown hotel is bring a taste of Spain this holiday season.

Starting on Thursday, December 5 from 5 – 7 p.m., you can relive your memories of a fall vacation to Madrid in with gintonics served in Spanish style and small tapas plates on the side.

There’s also going to be live music by AmandaRochelle and Natalie Pohanic, and the lineup will alternate each week. …read more.


Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo

Reid Park Zoo

Things to do in Tucson this Holiday Season (Photo courtesy of Reid Park Zoo)

The zoo is packing this year’s event with falling snow, live music, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, S’mores, sweet treats, hot cocoa, and more.

Admission is $10 per person, $6 for kids between the ages of 2 and 14 years old, and anyone younger can get in for free. read more.

There’s going to be a lot of great things to do and things to purchase from 4 – 8 p.m.

You can expect to find holiday treats like hot cocoa, soup, and cider or sit by the fire with friends while roasting marshmallows. In addition, there will be handcrafted items like soaps, creosote bundles, salves, and more. read more. 

Know of any other food-related events? Let us know in the comments.

Matt Sterner is a journalist, novelist, loves films, and would like to think he's a filmmaker. When he's eating, he likes to talk with his mouth full and write about it.