Free Movies! (May-October)

Cinema La Placita
La Placita Plaza, 110 S Church St (Broadway Ave and Church St)

Cinema La PlacitaThat's right! Free movies, and good ones, too. Every Thursday at 7:30pm you can catch a flick. While these are technically free, donations are accepted at the popcorn stand. So do your part, and hand over five bucks to keep the outdoor cinema going, otherwise the Local Couple might think you're a cheapskate. No one wants that, right?

So bring your lawnchair, or a blanket (there is a grassy section complete with gazebo), and get there a bit early because it fills up. Or make an evening of it, dinner at El Minuto (south on Church, east on Cushing to Main), a movie, and a stop in for a nightcap at Cushing Street Bar and Grill (south on Church, east on Cushing 1 block). Both are within easy walking distance.

Our hats off to all the people that put these movies together. Thank you!

If you want to get updates on the movie schedule, check back here or send an e-mail to outdoormovies at hotmail dot com and you'll be put on the mailing list. If it looks like rain call (after 7pm) 326-5282 for the latest info.

Upcoming attractions (links take you to IMDB):

The Petrified Forest (1936)5 May 2011
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)12 May 2011
To Be or Not to Be (1942)19 May 2011
The Bad News Bears (1976) 26 May 2011
Special Event: RED RIVER (1948)Saturday 21 May 2011

Fox Summer Classic Movie Series

Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St (Congress and Stone Ave)

Yes! The Fox Theatre has finally re-opened, and it was well worth the wait. Now that summer is over, they will only have the occasional movie. But they should start up a new summer series next year, so watch for it. Tickets normally run $8.

Family Arts Festival (January)

Here's something we wouldn't have heard of if one-half of the Local Couple hadn't performed (along with a choir of which she is a member--The Tucson Arizona Mass Choir) at in 2005. It looks like a lot of fun for the whole family. Our advance schedule shows: Irish step dancing, Tohono Basket dancers, the Battle of the Bands, events for kids, all spread across six stages downtown and running from 10am to 6pm. And it's FREE! How can you pass this up? Free entertainment, free parking, just plain free fun. (Of course, any food you purchase while there is going to cost you).

So just head on down to either El Presidio Park (behind the courthouse) or La Placita Village. To remove the last possibility of an excuse, here's a map of available parking in the downtown area. See you there!

La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros aka Rodeo Days (February)

Here's a question for you. How many places in the world have school holidays for the rodeo? Only one that I know of: Tucson. Rodeo Days started way back when (2004 was the 79th annual rodeo), and are still going strong, with several days of rodeo events and a non-motorized parade in February of each year. To tell the truth, neither of us has been down to see either (our workplaces aren't as keen on recognizing rodeo days as official holidays), but maybe some year.

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (Jan. - Feb.)

Taking place in early to mid February, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows (there are a couple dozen different ones taking place at the same time) are the largest in the world. You can buy practically anything here that's even remotely related to gems or minerals. One year there was even a dinosaur skeleton for sale! A word of warning for those heading here from out of town. If the shows are going on, you'd better have reservations for any place you want to go, or stay, or eat. And everything books up early!

El Tour de Tucson (November)

Thinking about biking around Tucson? Well, have we got the "treat" for you. Join the Tour and get to see Tucson on a 111-mile ride that goes all around Tucson. Taking place in November (right around Turkey day, maybe it'll help burn off some calories), with competition that ranges from the fierce to those just wanting to survive. People come from all over just to compete in this. One year, 2001, we had a friend who came from Albuquerque, NM, to participate (he was riding to raise funds for The Leukemia Society). But that was small potatoes (eat your heart out, Danforth Quayle) compared to some. There were riders from Hawaii, Alaska, New York, you name it.
If you really are considering the tour, you can find more information at Perimeter Bicycling Association of America.

The Monsoons (Jul.-Sep.)

Generally, the monsoon season starts right around the fourth of July and continues through early September. So what are the monsoons? Technically, they indicate a shift in the seasonal winds, normally bringing rains to an area. Now this might not sound like much to those of you who live outside the desert. But when you've gone through numerous weeks with the temperatures surpassing 100 degrees, the monsoons provide a welcome relief, to say the least. With a sudden downpour in the afternoon, the temperature can easily drop 20 degrees or more. In minutes. So imagine if you will, a scorching afternoon, of say, 108 degrees in the shade (not uncommon). You smell the rains coming from miles away. The downpour begins, and 15 minutes later it stops; it's 80 degrees, where it'll stay for the rest of the evening. As if it were icing on the cake, the sunsets after the monsoon rains are the best Tucson has to offer. Now you know why true "desert rats" love the summers in Tucson.

Tucson Meet Yourself (October)

The Tucson Meet Yourself festival is a celebration of the cultures that go into making Tucson a great place. Taking place over two days downtown in the shadow of the Pima County Courthouse, everyone is invited to share in food, fun, music, and dance. The food is one of the main attractions, with over 40 vendors selling everything from Pad Thai to Fry Bread, making this a nibbler's paradise. After loading up a plate a food, take a stroll over to one of the stages, where you'll get the opportunity to hear African drumming, Gospel singing, or watch traditional Swedish dance. How could it get better? Well, several of the nearby parking garages are free for these two days, allowing you to check out the fun, gratis.

Plant Sales (Mar. & Oct.)

If you're just coming into town for a visit this might not interest you, but for those who live here, the biannual plant sales held across the city are a gardener's dream. Hosted by Tohono Chul, Tucson Botanical Gardens, and Desert Survivors, these allow people to pick from quite a selection of wonderful desert adapted plants, many of which have already been acclimated to the Tucson sun (not a trivial matter), and are ready to go right into the ground.