The cultural traditions of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have enlivened Tucson for more than a quarter century thanks to the Tucson Celtic Festival & Scottish Highland Games. Along with traditional music, dancing, and food, guests can also witness feats of athletic prowess during the internationally sanctioned Scottish Highland Games. The traditional event features activities such as a caber toss, which consists of participants lifting and throwing gargantuan wooden poles so that they land parallel to the thrower but not touching any of their vital organs, and Highland croquet, substituting the usual equipment with bowling balls and sledgehammers. If any questions as to the event?s authenticity remain, one need only look to the audience for confirmation: each year sees 30 to 40 Scottish clans come together to celebrate their heritage.
CYT Tucson immerses kids in a supportive environment that nurtures discipline and self-confidence while instructing the future thespians in the arts of the stage. Their introductory Rising Stars program acquaints children aged 5–7 to the magic of drama through games, dance, and the lesson that emotions can be faked to influence people other than relatives and mall Santas. Older students can enroll in specialized classes and devote their attention to the triple-threat disciplines of singing, dancing, and acting. They may also branch out into specialty courses on such topics as improv and stage fighting. Leading its charges through the production of a fully realized musical, the center also stages several shows, including past productions of Pocahontas and Annie in recent years.
After joining the National League's West Division in 1998, it only took four seasons for the Arizona Diamondbacks to become World Series champions, making them the fastest expansion team to win it all in MLB history. Since then, the D-backs faithful continue to fill the stands of Chase Field, a 48,000-seat retractable-roof ballpark constructed for the team's inaugural season. The widest LED board in Major League Baseball replays crucial saves and high-flying hits in 136'x46' of high-definition glory, and just beyond the fence in right-center field, a swimming pool allows fans armed with foam noodles to whack opponents' home runs back into play. During the fourth inning of every game, kids can interact with D. Baxter the Bobcat in his upper-concourse Den equipped with slides and batting cages.
Christopher Goodwill and Michael Makoid met while diving in the Sea of Cortez. The duo?s shared passion for scuba led them to found Planet Scuba; nowadays, they lead fellow divers on trips to the sea where they first met, as well as to Key Largo, St. Croix, and other exotic locales.
The shop arms patrons for independent dive trips as well with open-water certification courses. During 22 hours of coursework that combine classroom instruction and pool lessons, students learn basic diving techniques, such as removing the helium balloons tied to their wrists. Classes close with an optional overnight dive trip, on which students earn their certification. The gear store?which stocks equipment for snorkeling and swimming as well as diving?can equip aquatic explorers for any kind of expedition.
Saguaro Aquatics' indoor and outdoor swimming pools double as recreational venues and classrooms. Instructors guide swimmers 6 months and older in group or private swimming lessons that cover the techniques for mastering strokes and growing gills. The noncompetitive synchronized-swimming club practices their aquatic art form twice weekly, and boot camp participants jump in and out of the pool for boxing, cardio, and swimming exercises. During Kids' Night Out, little ones enjoy themed games, crafts, and snacks while a projector showcases a kid-appropriate movie on a 15-foot screen. The club recently expanded its portfolio to include the landsport tennis.
High above the Sonoran desert, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, the Kitt Peak National Observatory keeps track of the night sky with the world's largest collection of independent telescopes. Throughout the day, guides lead tours of three of the behemoths, including the world's largest solar telescope and a historic gazing dome built in 1973 to broadcast the moon explorers’ games of golf. On those chilly desert evenings, visitors can take part in the nightly observing program and view distant planets and far-off galaxies through 20- and 16-inch telescopes. Reservations are recommended; the program is quite popular and stars tend to shyly hide behind comets around large groups.