NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. If you’re a football fan living in Tucson, you know about the extra holiday that happens in December: the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl! This nationally recognized college football competition features teams from the Mountain West and Sun Belt Conferences, and has been held since 2015. The Arizona Bowl is also a nonprofit that works to support local charities and inspire youth, so it’s an all-around feel-good event. This year, the Wyoming Cowboys face off against the Georgia State Panthers: 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. Arizona Stadium, 1 National Championship Dr. Tickets start at $15.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Colorado Eagles. Need a little pick me up to keep your excitement levels high between Christmas and New Year’s Eve? It’s time for some hockey! The Colorado Eagles are coming to town for two games this week. On Saturday, fans ages 16 and under are invited to come down onto the ice for a post-game puck shot. Sunday is Family Night, with a special early start time and a sweet deal: four side tickets and four Roadrunners hats or beanies for just $80. Two hockey games means your weekend will be twice as nice with twice the ice. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. $12 to $61, or see tucsonroadrunners.com for more information on the Family Night deal.
Catalina State Park First Day Hike. Happy New Year! Unless you’ve broken a body part, been attacked by an animal or gotten seriously lost, have you ever regretted going on a hike? There’s nothing like connecting with nature, breathing in some fresh air and getting that heart rate up all at the same time. State parks throughout Arizona are hosting these hikes to kick off the new year and this is the one closest to us. Assistant manager Jack McCabe will lead a tour of the Romero Ruins Trail, and the whole family can learn about the history and mystery of the Hohokam’s largest ruin site in Catalina State Park. 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Romero Ruins Ramada in Catalina State Park, 11570 N. Oracle Road. Park entrance fee is $7 per vehicle.
Sixth Annual Hot Cocoa 5K Run/Walk. Happy new year! If you want to start the new year off right, but not, like, right away, this race, which starts later in the morning, might be your saving grace. Whether you’re walking to kickstart a new fitness routine or shooting for one of the overall or age-group categories in this professionally timed race, it’s going to be a good time for all. The race includes snacks, water and—of course—hot cocoa. T-shirts will be available as well. Proceeds benefit Oro Valley’s Round Up for Youth Recreation Scholarship Program! 11:20 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road. $20 in advance, $25 on race day.
Hands-on Archaeology at Mission Garden. There’s a lot of talk these days about how much technology has changed our lives. But (though in different ways and maybe to different extents), technology has been changing people’s lives for thousands of years. In this program, ancient technologies expert Allen Denoyer will talk about some of the tech of times gone by, and you can explore the replica pithouse. It’s common to reflect on the past year as we approach a new one. While you’re at it, why not reflect on the past several thousand? 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. Mission Garden: Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, 946 W. Mission Lane.
Meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen. The hype for the first “Frozen” never even seemed to die down before “Frozen 2” was upon us. But, if we had to spend the last few years, and have to spend the next few years, surrounded by an animated cultural sensation, at least it’s one featuring two powerful women and an admittedly hilarious snowman. The sisters will be hosting story time and a mini photo session, and there will also be Anna- and Elsa-themed donuts and drinks. Kiddos are encouraged to dress up! And, if you’re feeling adventurous, RSVP in advance to decorate some donuts for just $10. 10 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 28. Irene’s Donuts Tucson, 340 N. Fourth Ave. Free.