Friday, October 15, 2021


Fun, low-cost winter activities for RV Snowbirds in Tucson area

Sunset at Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Ariz. (Julianne G Crane)

In addition to the warm days, magnificent sunsets and free natural beauty surrounding Tucson, Arizona, there are numerous fun and low-cost activities that entice tens of thousands of RV Snowbirds to return each winter.

According to the folks at, this area “inspires a sense of freedom among all who visit. Freedom of thought and expression. Freedom to discover and explore. And the freedom to be yourself.”

“Tucson is calling you, the free thinker and the free at heart, to explore without boundaries. Our natural landscape draws visitors outdoors where there is plenty of room to roam.”

Along with all that personal freedom are a number of free and low cost events on the calendar this winter. Here are just a few:

– Yuma Japanese Gardens of Tucson

Yuma Japanese Gardens of Tucson

2130 N. Alvernon Way
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 303-3945

“Stroll beside a pond of flashing koi, contemplate a peaceful Zen garden, and absorb the beauty of intimate courtyard views of classical Japanese landscaping imagery. Five distinct garden styles, replica Japanese buildings, and tea ceremonies and other events immerse you in an ancient artistic heritage.”

Visit changing exhibits in the museum and art gallery, and browse unique items in the gift shop, imported from Japan. All just steps from the Tucson Botanical Garden,

Oct. – May 7: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.
Admission: Varies, click here

– Tumacacori National Historical Park

Looking for an afternoon drive,  travel a few miles south of Tucson toward Nogales and visit the humble Tumacacori National Historical Park.

 Tumacacori is considered the Mission to the Pimas. Made of adobe,
plaster and wood, “these ruins evoke tales of life and land transformed
by cultures meeting and mixing.”

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Entrance fee: $5 per person, age 16 or older, and is valid for seven days. Free to those with America the Beautiful or Golden Age passes.  For more on this historical park, click here.

– 2nd Saturdays Downtown Tucson


During the winter, RV Snowbirds can listen to music while they stroll and explore Downtown Tucson on the 2nd Saturday of each month. Street parking is free after 5 p.m.
The free event is full of activities from the (Grand)Kids’ Area at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum all the way down Congress Street to the Fox Tucson Theatre.  Entertainment is “totally family-friendly.”

Good Shepherd Ranch provides carriage rides at a minimal charge.

– Second Saturdays at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley

10901 N Oracle Road, (north of the Home Depot Retail Center)
Oro Valley, Ariz.

Take advantage of a Farmers Market, concert series, guest speakers and much more. Free admission. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs for the live music.

Nov. 11, 2017 – April 14, 2018 schedule
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open for tours; Farmer’s Market; Artisan and Antique Fair.
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Guest speakers.
10:30 a.m. – noon – Live Music (Country, Folk or Americana)
10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Heritage Garden demonstrations and a craft for children

*Ride your bike or walk to the Farmers Market and/or Second Saturdays at Steam Pump Ranch events, arriving via the bike path.

— For a complete list of all the fun evenings happening around Tucson … go to VisitTucson.Org

— For information on nearby RV camping at Catalina State Park, click here — on camping at Gilbert Ray Campground click here

Julianne G. Crane 
–To read more about the RV Lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane and Jimmy Smith, go to


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Dave in Mesa
3 years ago

Don't pass up the Pima Air & Space Museum, Titan Missile Site, Kitt Peak, Telescope Mirror Lab, Trolley Car museum, Etc…….

3 years ago

If you get mail at your snowbirds address, you can get a Pima County library card and use their cultural passes for free admission x2 to interesting venues.

Julianne G. Crane
3 years ago
Reply to  Unknown

Thank you, this is a great tip.

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