Catch a break during Thanksgiving weekend in Tucson

Thanksgiving can be overwhelming for many reasons – inexperience in roasting a turkey, ancestral wounds, extended periods of time with family and other stressors. 

Here are some things to do in Tucson to get a bit of a reprieve, without busting your wallet shopping too much and/or eating too many leftovers.

Native American Music and Arts Festival

  • When: Friday, Nov. 24 at 4 p.m.
  • Where: Hotel Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St.

The Native American Music and Arts Festival, organized by Yaqui musician Gabriel Ayala, will showcase Native American artists and musicians the day after Thanksgiving. Some of the artists that will be featured are the Sinquah World Champion Hoop Dancers, musician Randy Kemp, indie rock band One Way Sky among others. There will be food and vendors as well as performances. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the festival. 

Indigenous Takeover – Anti-Thanksgiving

  • When: Friday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave.

Bands Narbona, Dogyard, Tham Ju, and Six Million Dead will be performing in an Anti-Thanksgiving show. The doors for the concert open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

BOB Fest

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m.
  • Where: Hotel Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St./ 55 N. 5th St.

The 2nd Annual Black Owned Business Festival will be taking place on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. There will be over 50 vendors and live performers such as DJ Impeccable, Minnette Powell, Anthony Jenkins and more. It’s a free event and all ages are welcome.

Yuletide at Old Tucson

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday. Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Rd.

Old Tucson is decked out for the holidays with live shows, period costumes and other experiences for those who want to get a jumpstart in the Winter Holiday cheer with a Wild West flair. Tickets for adults are $39 and $24 for children.

Enchanted Snowfall

  • When: Friday, Nov. 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
  • Where: La Encantada Shopping Center, 2905 E. Skyline Dr.

The Enchanted Snowfall at la Encantada is a family friendly event. There will be “snow flurries” as well as live entertainment, hot chocolate for the children and a large Christmas tree. The event is free to attend.

Brewin’ at the Chul

  • When: Friday, Nov. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte

This one is ideal for those 21 and older. Tohono Chul Garden Bistro becomes home to a culinary experience with local brews and foods and live music.

Holidays Around the World and Through Time

  • When: Friday. Nov. 24, Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is hosting an exhibit of miniature builds featuring holiday traditions from different places and times such as a Victorian home, a Southwestern casita and more. Tickets for adults are $14, $12 for seniors, students and military, $8 for children and those younger than three-years-old enter for free.

LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
  • Where: Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way

The 2nd annual LightsUp! Festival of Illumination returns to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Displays include light tunnels, oversized props made by local artisans, light trees and choreographed light shows and more. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for children but children under four enter for free. Entry is sold per time slots.

Go for a hike

The weather is perfect for a day outdoors. State and national parks will be open for the weekend although visitor centers may be closed for Thanksgiving Day.