Campus Still Has Life, Even During Winter Break
There's probably no quieter time at the University of Arizona than during the year-end break between semesters. True, most everyone is busy with holiday plans that may or may not include Tucson. But if you're staying in town, there are things to do right here on campus.
The big news for UA sports fans, of course, is the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl rematch between Arizona and Nebraska, who faced off at the 1998 bowl, with the Wildcats winning 23-20.
But if you're not headed to San Diego for the game, you can catch the men's basketball team, which has three home games in McKale Memorial Center during the holidays. The team takes on the North Carolina State Wolfpack tonight, followed by a matchup against Brigham Young University at the Fiesta Bowl Classic on Monday.
The Cats will open their Pac-10 season on the road in Los Angeles against USC on New Year's Eve and then face UCLA on Jan. 2.
The UA women's basketball team plays three games at home starting Tuesday with a match against Alabama A&M on Tuesday. Then they'll take on Pac-10 opponents UCLA on New Year's Day and USC on Jan. 3.
If outdoor activities are more appealing, consider a trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, which will be part of the Audubon Society's 110th annual Christmas bird count on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you know Sonoran birds, then you can join a Christmas Bird Count team.Â
Cynthia Donald coordinates Audubon's bird count for the arboretum region, which includes the Oak Flat campground, the town of Superior, Queen Creek upstream of the arboretum, Picketpost Mountain, Hewitt Station Road and Whitlow Dam near Queen Valley, the westernmost edge of the census circle.
The Tucson Audubon Society and the national Audubon Society also have information on several bird counts. Volunteers are needed across the state. To participate in the Boyce Thompson part of the census, contact Donald at 480-283-4515 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The arboretum also has a variety of guided tours of the grounds, lectures, workshops and gallery displays. For details, check the events section of the arboretum's Web site.
The Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is open every day except Christmas. Winter hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the admissions office closing at 4 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $3 for ages 5-12 and free for children under 5.
Several campus museums also will be open during the holidays.
The Arizona State Museum is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1. The current exhibition is "Mexico, the Revolution and Beyond," dozens of photographs of early 20th century Mexico taken by AgustÃn Victor Casasola that will be on display through Jan. 16.
The Museum Store: Native Goods at ASM also is offering a 35 percent discount on everything during the entire month of December. Be sure to ask for the Christmas discount. (The normal 10 percent discount for UA employees and ASM members will not apply.) The store helps support American Indian artists through the sale of artwork, books and other educational materials.
Flandrau: The UA Science Center, located at Cherry Avenue and the Mall, houses one of the oldest and largest mineral museums in the country. The museum is open on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
Admission is $4 for adults, free for children under 5 years old and $1 for anyone with a CatCard.
Flandrau's observatory is open Thursday through Saturday, 7-10 p.m., year-round, weather permitting, and closed on Christmas and New Year's Day. There's no charge, although donations are accepted.
The UA Museum of Art will remain open during the break, save again for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The exhibits include "Entering the Mainstream," an exhibit of 20th century lithographs that runs through January.
UAMA is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and closed on Monday and University holidays. Admission is $4, but free for children and CatCard holders. The museum is located south of Speedway near Park Avenue.
Across from UAMA is the Center for Creative Photography, which is currently exhibiting the works of John Gutmann. The center is open during its regular hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m., except for Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1. Admission is free but donations are welcome.