Beat the Heat

Heat-beating strategies for Tucson this summer

Cool treats

Cool off from the inside out with some of our favorite spots. Atomic Frog Ice Cream Parlor and Café, 9725 N. Thornydale Road, is a perfect example. While it specializes in “Parlor Tricks,” including ice cream, smoothies and sundaes, it’s more than just an ice cream parlor. The owners felt Tucson needed a place people could take kids to eat that was affordable, served a variety of quality food, had great service and was family friendly. Atomic Frog offers a value menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Selections include breakfast favorites, burgers and dogs, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and fish and chips. Customers can order online to pick up or to dine in, at Summer hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Blue Ice Gelato, at Sunrise and Kolb, is one of Tucson’s best gelatarias. It’s consistently rated five-star on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google and Facebook for the courteous staff, generous samples and service — not to mention the unique, fresh flavor selection, including lemon ginger, chocolate jalapeno, coffee caramel pecan, and blueberry white chocolate cardamom. There are several dairy free sorbets and a vegan coconut sweet potato as well as some low sugar flavors. Reviewers call it “as good as you get in Rome.”

Opened less than a year ago, just off the University of Arizona campus, ViZion Nutrition offers a unique spin on traditional cold treats. Using Herbalife nutrition products blended into shakes with a wide variety of flavors, it truly is a meal in a glass. Banana French Toast consistently gets five star ratings from customers who say it fills them up for most of the day. If you’re looking to lose or just maintain overall weight, this is a tasty spot to choose, at Campbell and Speedway.

Don’t bypass Coffee X Change in the summer heat. Swing into the drive- through for a refreshing cold treat. Specialty X Treme ice blended, tall coffee drinks in candy bar flavors refresh and provide a perfect pick-me-up, with caffeine-free versions also available. Frozen strawberry lemonade is another certain summer pleaser. Cool, fresh cut salads are on the menu, along with a full selection of bagels and breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and fresh-to-order sandwiches. The 6841 E. Camino Principal location even delivers, to help you avoid the heat. The second location is 8501 E. Broadway Blvd.

Life is short; eat dessert first. At Sullivan’s Eatery and Creamery, sundaes are just the beginning of the list of perfect comfort food. And that sundae menu is so massive, you’re sure to find one to fall in love with. If you’re watching calories, there are low-fat fantasies, fat-free sherbets, frozen yogurts, sorbets, and sugar-free options. Or select from 26 flavors of natural, 16 percent butterfat premium ice creams, made in the restaurant. For the main course, there’s a wide ranging menu of burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and chicken entrees. Look for coupons, “Meal Deals” and daily specials in the old-fashioned ice cream parlor setting at 6444 N. Oracle Road.

For something completely different

Super summer excitement returns to The Loft Cinema July 20-29 for the 12th annual free Loft Kids Fest. Each morning from 9:15 a.m., children and their parents can experience family-friendly films, along with an animated short before every feature. Included are pre-screening games, hands-on activities, live performances, giveaways and free popcorn. Screenings begin at 10 a.m. with encore screenings 11 a.m. weekends. There is a daily free raffle to win a $50 gift certificate to Mildred & Dildred toy store and other prizes.

At the Loft Cinema, a local nonprofit, free classic film events, 12-hour film marathons, monthly features and signature series events, such as the upcoming July through August Ingmar Bergman
Centennial, occur regularly.

In July, as the summer evenings begin to cool, the Tucson Saguaros professional baseball team heats up the action on field #5 at Reid Park. The Saguaros finished the 2017 season with the best record in the Pecos League, 46-11, but lost in the playoffs to the High Desert Yardbirds 1-2 in the Pecos League Pacific Division Series. For a July 2018 schedule, visit

At Creative Juice Art Bar, relax and discover your inner artist in a fun, casual environment. No experience is necessary. Grab some friends, bring a date, or just go solo. Select a canvas to paint, get a drink from the bar and enjoy a fun-filled, artistic evening.  Each class includes a 16” x 20” canvas, brushes and paints for the evening. Classes are about two and a half hours with doors opening early for check in, set up, refreshments and a drink. Relax and follow step-by-step instructions to complete your own masterpiece. There are also weeklong Juicebox summer camps for kids 5-12, through Aug. 3. It’s a great location for kid and adult parties, team-building and fundraising events. Find it at 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road or

Keep it cool with a waltz at Mystic Rhythms Ballroom, 8035 N. Oracle Road, or heat things up with Latin beats — the choice is yours.

Inside its cool art deco space, the Fox Tucson Theatre will feature a hot lineup of July concerts and films. The fun kicks off July 1 with “Brit Floyd Eclipse World Tour 2018, 45 Years of the Dark Side of the Moon,” from what is widely regarded as the world’s best Pink Floyd tribute band.  Arrival from Sweden presents the music of Abba on July 18. Country music icon Lee Greenwood takes the stage on July 3, followed by Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters on July 17, Chris Isaak on July 21, and Femmes of Rock on July 28.  More music is in store with “American Idol Live! 2018” on July 23, featuring the top seven contestants plus season 8 “American Idol” winner Kris Allen. Classic film offerings include “Godzilla” on July 7, “Wait Until Dark” as fundraiser for the Andra Heart Foundation on July 13, “King Kong vs. Godzilla” on July 15, and continuing the monster theme, “Mothra” on July 22. Check out www.
for tickets and newly added performances.

Invisible Theatre’s annual Sizzling Summer Sounds series, July 10-22, is partnering with Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails and The Carriage House. Get discounts on dinner at Downtown Kitchen and reserved seating for the cabaret shows at The Carriage House. Visit for the lineup of performers.

Ready for a getaway—near or far?

Select a locally owned and operated travel agency. Reisen Arizona Day Tours focuses on regional tours, with owner/tour guide Michael Folz at the helm. A third-generation native Tucsonan, he knows the ins, the outs and the secrets of the area. “I’m able to provide you with a tour that’s interesting, educational, fun and filled with insights and perspectives that only someone who’s grown up here can give you,” he says.

Reisen Arizona Day Tours accommodates tours of one to 12 guests. Kids under 10 years are half-price and all tours are customizable. Favorites are the Grand Canyon and Sedona, local ghost towns, breweries and wineries, Tombstone, Bisbee, bike tours and sites including missions, Kartchner Caverns, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Reisen also does
Phoenix pick-ups for a minimum of two people at
$50/per person.

For those traveling further afield, Bon Voyage Travel is a full-service luxury travel agency with a half-century of experience. Peter Evans heads an experienced, energetic team of more than 75 travel experts out of four convenient area offices, including River and Campbell, Green Valley, Oro Valley, and Phoenix — and an online division. The agency specializes in custom vacation planning for all types of travel, with cruise and destination specialists. With no pressure or obligation and a price-match promise, “you never pay more for your vacation, you only get more.”