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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Your to-do list for this year’s University of Arizona Family Weekend

Gracie Sleeman
University of Arizona celebrates its annual parents weekend this week Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Wildcat families can do many activities including, shopping or go to sporting events.

Macy Jump’s family loves exploring Tucson over Family Weekend. 

“My parents just love walking around down here,” the University of Arizona sophomore from Washington said, while strolling University Boulevard. “We always go up to Mount Lemmon, […] the Cookie Cabin […] and we usually go to good restaurants.” 

The Jumps will be among hundreds of families attending UA’s Family Weekend from Friday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 1. It’s one of the UA’s largest events, with parents from around the country coming to campus to visit their students.

With everything Tucson has to offer, here is a quick guide to make the most of their visit.

A sunset view of Saguaro National Park during monsoon season. Saguaro National Park is home to the Saguaro cactuses which is the biggest cactus in the nation. (Gracie Sleeman )

Get outside

Hiking is a great outdoor activity in Tucson, because of the many hiking trails all around town. One popular spot is Sabino Canyon, home to over 30 miles of trails, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Sabino Canyon Recreation Area offers paved and natural trails and even a trail leading to waterfalls at Seven Falls

The recreation area is located at 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road.

Day passes are $8 per vehicle and weekly passes are $10 per vehicle and can be purchased at or on site.

Sabino Canyon is part of Saguaro National Park, which is home of the nation’s largest cacti. The saguaro cactus is protected within the park, which surrounds the east and west sides of Tucson. The National Park Service refers to the giant saguaro as “the universal symbol of the American West.” For families not from the Southwest, Saguaro National Park is a popular destination to see the natural desert landscape. 

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is another place to see the local landscapes and learn more about local wildlife. 

The museum is part zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum and aquarium, so there is something for everyone. 

It is located at 2021 N. Kinney Road and the hours vary based on the season. 

7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. June-September and 8:30 a.m . – 5 p.m. October – May.

Tickets can be purchased in person or at their website.

Tucson is also famous for its stunning sunsets and there is no better place to see them than Mount Lemmon, the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It sits at an elevation of 9,159 feet. One popular sunset spot is Windy Point Vista, which sits a little over halfway to the summit at 930 Catalina Highway.

<p>An Arizona men's swimmer competes in the freestyle event on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The Arizona men's swim and dive team won against Grand Canyon University 204-90. </p>
An Arizona men’s swimmer competes in the freestyle event on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The Arizona men’s swim and dive team won against Grand Canyon University 204-90. (Nathanial Stenchever)

Cheer on the Wildcats

Arizona Wildcats football takes on the University of Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, Arizona Stadium. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at the website or at the game.

If you’re into all UA sports, you can also catch Arizona Cross Country compete in the Dave Murray Invitational Friday, Sept. 29, at Randolph Golf Course, 602 S. Alvernon Way. The men race an 8k at 7 a.m. and the women race a 6k at 7:45 a.m. The invite is free to attend and spectator areas will be designated by officials.

Arizona’s Swimming and Diving team kick off its season with the Red and Blue Intrasquad meet at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, 1827 E. Enke Drive. 

Check out our craft beers

Barrio Brewing Company is one of Arizona’s oldest and first employee-owned breweries. It opened in 1991 and hosts brews unique to Tucson. The taproom serves 13 beers on tap. If you are not quite old enough for beer, Barrio at 800 E. 16th St. also serves a variety of food on their menu. 

Another option is Dragoon Brewing Company. Founded in Tucson in 2011, Dragoon typically brews around 30 beers each year, but serves 11 on tap. Their taproom is right at the brewery at 1859 W. Grant Road No. 111, they do not serve food, but welcome outside food and often have a food truck outside. This means the back, where the beer is brewed, is often open for the public to see. 

A look inside Dragoon Brewing’s brewery located at 1859 W Grant Rd. #111. Dragoon Brewery does not serve food but you are aloud to bring your own into the shop.
(Gracie Sleeman)

Borderlands Brewing Company has been downtown at 119 E. Toole Ave. for the last 12 years and recently opened a second location at 2500 E. Sixth St. in the Sam Hughes neighborhood. The new location hosts a menu curated by BOCA by Maria Mazon. 

If you’re a fan of Tucson craft beer and you like a little pickleball with your pint, check out Tucson’s first pickleball restaurant downtown. Corbett’s is a bar and restaurant with five pickleball courts including two inside one of the most historic buildings in Tucson at 340 N. Sixth Ave. The three other courts are outside and there is a small stage for live performances and a restaurant with a spacious patio. 

Corbett’s serves a variety of local Tucson brews from Barrio, MotoSonora, Pueblo Vida, Crooked Tooth, Dragoon, Ranch Hand, 1912 and Dillinger. 

Dining and pickleball court reservations can be made on their website.

Go Shopping

University Blvd’s Main Gate Square and historic Fourth Ave. are home to great shopping. Main Gate has Urban Outfitters, Pitaya, Colette Clothing and more. Fourth Ave shows off more of Tucson’s local makers and culture including Antigone Books, Sky and Sand, Aquamarine Daydream, ZT Boutique and Pop-Cycle. 

Both areas are along the SunLink, which runs from the UA to West Congress’s Mercado District.

*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

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