4 Tucson Events You Don’t Want to Miss this December

southwest nutcracker

We have some Tucson events you won’t want to miss this December! Tucson’s high season happens to be November through January for its pleasant, desert temperatures. This means the town caters to locals and visitors alike with incredible, outdoor (and indoor) activities for the holidays.

A Southwest Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker is translated to the Tucson of the 1880s for Tucson Regional Ballet’s unique presentation of A Southwest Nutcracker. The ballet retains the story and magical elements of the original but brings the tale to territorial Arizona. Can you imagine? Coyotes, rattlesnakes, and a Western cavalry take center stage in the classic Nutcracker! The company is joined by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for a night of beautifully costumed and distinctly Southern-flavoured fun.

Zoolights at Reid Park Zoo

The Reid Park Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with its annual holiday tradition, Zoolights. You’ll enjoy a beautiful display of lights as you wander through the zoo at night, along with live entertainment nightly through December 23rd. Enjoy cookies, hot cocoa and other holiday snacks as you walk through the zoo. Most animals won’t be visible during the event, but you can rest assured there will still be plenty to see and hear!

Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul Park

Imagine walking through a scenic desert with more than a million twinkling lights lighting the way. The scenic Sonoran Desert at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson is transformed into a winter wonderland every winter. Walk down illuminated pathways, enjoy live entertainment, and be dazzled by twinkling lights while musicians and artists perform throughout the gardens. Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul Park also feature holiday treats and shopping at the gift shop and art gallery. Tickets are available online or can be purchased at the admissions window.

Luminaria Nights at Tucson Botanical Garden

Tucson Botanical Gardens is transformed into a magical wonderland in December during its annual Luminaria Nights. 3,000 candle-lit luminarias and 22 Korean lanterns luminarias are set out on the grounds of the garden, transforming the garden into a unique and magical holiday display. There are also twinkling lights, live music, and local food trucks on hand to feed visitors. Luminaria Nights at Tucson Botanical Gardens has become an annual tradition for locals and out-of-town visitors looking for a truly Southwestern-style celebration of the holiday season.


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