The University of Arizona

UA Activities Abound Despite Winter Closure

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, University Communications | December 22, 2011

Exhibits, holiday shows, star gazing, science tours and basketball games are a few on and off campus offerings hosted by UA Dec. 23- Jan. 2.

Much of the UA officially closes Dec. 23, though divisions across campus will continue to host a range of events that are open to the public (Photo credit: Rebecca Ruiz McGill/UANews)
Much of the UA officially closes Dec. 23, though divisions across campus will continue to host a range of events that are open to the public (Photo credit: Rebecca Ruiz McGill/UANews)

While much of the University of Arizona will be closed for winter break Dec. 23, reopening Jan. 3., the calendar does boast some activities during the down time. 

While you can keep abreast of UA activities by visiting the UA Master Calendar, here are some key events to consider.

UA Flandrau Science Center will host two shows, "Laser Holidays" and "Holiday of Lights," at the planetarium. Both shows, along with other exhibits, are presented daily through Jan. 8, except Dec. 25. 

"Laser Holidays" is a laser light show set to pop and classic holiday recordings by the likes of Nat King Cole, the Eurythmics and others. "Holiday of Lights" offers a look at how winter solstice has influenced seasonal celebrations across time and cultures, from the Saturnalia celebrations in Ancient Rome to kiva ceremonies of Hopi tribal members in the American Southwest.

And weather permitting, evenings filled with stargazing opportunities are being offered by the UA's Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter.

The SkyNights Stargazing Program is a unique awe-inspiring opportunity to peer beyond the blue horizons of the southwestern skies and explore the astronomical wonders of the universe from the summit of Mt. Lemmon, a scenic sky island and at 9,200 feet Tucson's highest peak.

The program is closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31. Visit the SkyCenter website for availability and hours.

Also, the UA's Biosphere 2 is offering daily tours, with the exception of Dec. 25.  

Biosphere 2 is located just north of Tucson in the middle of a magnificent natural desert preserve at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet. Time Life Books recently named Biosphere 2 one of the 50 must-see "Wonders of the World." The visitor center houses exhibits and multimedia displays along with a bookstore and cafe.

Other events include Science Downtown, which offers stunning space imagery from the UA College of Science's trove of photos, along with videos of its exploratory missions to Mars and the greater solar system. Science Downtown is located at Tucson's Historic Rialto Block Exhibition Hall, 300 E. Congress St. The exhibit is open daily, except Dec. 25. 

From Dec. 15-30, the UA Museum of Art will hold its "ART 4 FOOD" food drive, offering one free admission in exchange for a donation of at least two cans of food.

During the break, UA Museum of Art visitors will be treated to an exhibit in honor of Arizona's Statehood Centennial Celebration (1912-2012) called "The Border Project." The exhibit includes art, music, performance, film and photography examining historical and contemporary life in the U.S./Mexico borderlands region.  

The Arizona State Museum and UA Libraries each will be closed Dec. 24-27 and Jan. 1-2 but will remain open all other days.

Among several exhibitions now open is the Pottery Project, one that showcases the art of the potter and the science of the archaeologist as Arizona State Museum celebrates 2,000 years of Native pottery-making traditions in the Southwest.

The UA Libraries and the Special Collections are celebrating100 years of Arizona statehood with "Becoming Arizona: The Valentine State." Exhibit hours are available via the Special Collections website.   

Also, the UA Center for Creative Photography, with 40 photographs and supporting documents from the Ansel Adams Archive, "Ansel Adams: The View From Here," will be open for regular hours all days except Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1.

And Arizona Athletics also has a few events taking place during the closure. 

The women's basketball team will take on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. The men's basketball team will take on Arizona State University Dec. 31 at 3:30 p.m. Both games will be held at McKale Memorial Center, and tickets are still available.

And don't forget about the Student Union Memorial Center.

The Student Union will have varied hours during the break, but Starbucks and U-Mart, the campus market, will be open every day except Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The UA BookStores in the Student Union will close Dec. 25 and 31 but will be open during all other Winter Closure days.