Party Ideas in Tucson That Will Save You Money | Arts and theater


A lack of money due to high gas prices can put a damper on social life, especially when it comes to dating.

You want to take your honey bunny to the best spots, but those spots are on the other side of town, and choosing between refueling and having a great night out can be a real buzzkill.

Gas prices are falling, but in the meantime, here are some ideas for parties where everything you need to have a good time is within walking distance.

park square

5870 E. Broadway

We agree. The mall doesn’t exactly scream romance. Try kissing in front of Wetzel’s pretzels, and security might kick you out.

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But a mall like Park Place on the east side of Tucson offers the opportunity for two single souls to meet for the first time to get to know each other better.

You can start to court house and talk about your shared interests and life goals over the California-based chain’s extensive beer selection and a plate of nacho poke.

Prefer local? The mall’s food court offers several local concepts, including Fiesta Filipina (, Square pizza ( and Street Taco and Beer Co. (

If you find out that you really like each other, maybe play a few video games or go bowling in the first round (, located in the former Park Place Sears; or watch the latest romantic comedy together at the Cinemark in-house cinema (, where security is much less likely to kick you out if you steal a kiss or two.

The mall even has live theater, from the Arts Express Theater (, which currently features a stage adaptation of the cheerleading film franchise, “Bring It On”.

Best of all, everything is air-conditioned, which will keep your palms from sweating when you first hold hands.

Live on the west side of town? The Tucson Mall ( does not have a Round 1 or movie theater, but it does have the Arizona Rose Theater (, an escape room ( and a fantastic bar hidden behind a game store ( Tavern).


While Park Place is a solid pick for first-timers, downtown Tucson’s date destination options satisfy all levels of romance, and it’s only about a 20-minute walk from one end. to the other.

Its two main arteries, East Congress Street and East Broadway, are full of restaurants, bars and music venues. Congress Hotel (, on the east end of downtown at 311 E. Congress, is equipped with all three.

For a truly classy evening guaranteed to impress your date, whether you’ve just met or been married for 40 years, start with craft cocktails at the Century Room, the Congress Hotel’s brand new jazz club. , followed by an upscale dinner of original and innovative dishes at BATA (, at 35 E. Toole Ave. Think plates of butter-poached San Diego halibut, smoked tomato tartlets and cucumber sorbet.

If you’re looking for more traditional dishes, Charro Steak & Del Rey ( offers fine dining from the Flores family of fame, El Charro, at 188 E. Broadway. Enjoy lobster tamales while your partner tears up a thick sirloin steak.

Some other dining establishments include, Penca (, 50 E. Broadway; Hub Restaurant and Ice Cream Shop (, 266 E. Congress; and Perche’ No Italian Bistro (, 46 W. Congress, which offers an extensive selection of dishes from all over Italy.

After dinner, if you’ve planned ahead, you’ll know who’s playing at all the concert halls downtown. The options are usually very varied. You can catch Emmy-nominated stand-up comedian Nimesh Patel at 191 Toole ( on August 28 or go for singer-songwriter Andy Grammer the same day at The Fox (, 17 W. Congress.

Catch a show or head to the Citizen Hotel (, 82 S. Stone Ave., for an after-dinner drink and then maybe a room for the night.

The Sun Link streetcar, which offers free rides until the end of the year, runs on both Congress and Broadway and can take you to North Fourth Avenue (, place of the main gate ( and the Mercado district (, if you are looking for more stimulation.

The University of Arizona

Add some culture to your date by taking a Saturday to explore the University of Arizona museums.

You can collectively marvel at early Native artifacts, pottery, baskets and more, found in the Arizona State Museum (, 1013 E. University Blvd.; or admire the works of Tucson-based photographer Alanna Airitam as she captures inspiring images of Black Americans in her exhibit, “Alanna Airitam: The Golden Age,” on view through Oct. 29, at the Center for Creative Photography (, 1030 N. Olive Road.

Check out highlights from the permanent collection at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road, with its summer “Vault Show” through September 22 (, then step outside the college grounds for some local history at the Arizona History Museum (, 949 E. Second St.

Wear suitable footwear (and advise your date to do the same). The AU is a great place. Sneakers are recommended.

We also recommend heading to Main Gate Square on East University Boulevard after touring the museum for its selection of mostly college-style restaurants, with a touch of finer fare. Options include FullyLove (, Frog & Tree ( and Gentle Ben’s (

Take a trip to the top floor of the Graduate Tucson Hotel, 930 E. Second St., after dinner for tasty drinks and great views of Tucson at The Moonstone Bar (

Trail dust town

Although more touristy than chic, Trail Dust Town (, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, offers an entire evening of onsite nighttime activities.

There’s a chocolate factory, regular stunt shows, a shooting gallery, and a studio where you and your date can take silly photos in Old West attire.

Stroll through its spacious courtyard before heading to Pinnacle Peak, Trail Dust Town’s steakhouse since 1962, where you can share a Big Cowboy steak with all the trimmings, or opt for a strip or New York’s filet mignon. York.

Once you’re done with Trail Dust Town, proceed to Golf N’ Stuff (, 6503 E. Tanque Verde Road next door, for a lively round of putt putt.

Looking for something with a little more punch? The Maverick, King of Clubs (, is a six-minute walk east at 6622 E. Tanque Verde Road, and has all the line-dancing, two-step, and country tunes you’ll need for the evening.


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