School is out for summer and you have almost 3 months to keep your kids cool and entertained. I pulled together a list of 10 fun things to do in Tucson. I tried to keep the activities as frugal as possible since I know most people are on a budget. Check out my list of 10 “Cool” Tucson Staycation ideas – What to do in Tucson during the summer!
If you aren’t local be sure to check back tomorrow because I am teaming up with a huge group of bloggers to share budget friendly activities for cities across the country. Hopefully your city (or one near by) will be included in the list.
10 Cool Tucson Staycation ideas
Brandi Fenton Splash Pad
Photo Credit: Pima County
The Brandi Fenton Splash Pad is a great place for FREE water fun with spray arches, water geysers and other water features. Open 7am to 7pm daily through October 31st!
Oro Valley Aquatic Center
The newly renovated Oro Valley Aquatic Center features a huge water slide, interactive splash pad, and recreation pool. The pools are heated making it a year-round facility. Regular admission is $7 for adults, $5 for kids (4-17) and free for kiddos 3 and under.
Kids Summer Movie Programs
One of the best places to cool off in the extreme heat of the summer is the movie theater! There are seven movie theaters in Tucson offering kids summer movie programs which means it’s easy to catch a cheap, kid friendly movie.
Photo Credit: @BeccaLudlum
Cool off during the summer with a visit to Mount Lemmon, where the weather averages 30 degrees cooler! Hike and enjoy the beautiful surroundings for free! You can grab a bite to eat at the top of the mountain in the small community of Summerhaven. The Ski Valley ski lift operates during the summer for a unique way to see the panoramic views of Tucson! Adult tickets are $9, youth tickets are $7, and child tickets are $5.
Bisbee – Queen Mine Tour
Another fun way to beat the heat is to head underground in Bisbee, Arizona. The Queen Mine in Bisbee is an easy day trip from Tucson and it will definitely cool you down, the tour takes you 1,500 feet into the mine where the temperature is a cool 47 degrees.
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place. The Desert Museum stays open Saturday evenings in June, July and August until 10pm to take advantage of cooler summer nights. With special themes and activities planned for each Saturday, these summer evenings are an awesome way to experience a unique summer evening. Keep in mind some animals like mountain lions and beavers are especially active at night! The admission rates are slightly discounted in the summer, adults are $12 & kids 4-12 are $3. Children 3 and under are free. Here’s a link to my post about our visit to the Desert Museum.
Tucson Children’s museum
The Tucson Children’s Museum is geared towards kids ages 10 and under and have a wide variety of activities and exhibits. The train room, grocery store/kitchen and fire truck exhibits are some of our favorites! Pay only $2 admission during the 2nd Saturday of every month. They have picnic tables available if you want to pack a picnic lunch.
International Wildlife Museum
The International Wildlife Museum is completely indoors, perfect for a summer time visit. See over 400 species of mammals, inspects and birds up close and personal. My boys especially love the ferret tunnel and all the interactive displays. Here’s a link to my post about our visit to the International Wildlife Museum.
Pima Air and Space Museum
See over 300 air and spacecraft at the Pima Air and Space Museum. With several air cooled hangars to explore, visiting the Pima Air and Space Museum is a year round activity. In addition, the museum offers Soarin’ Saturdays, hands on demonstrations and activities for kids included in the price of admission. Don’t have time for a full visit? You can stop by and have lunch at the Flight Grill without paying admission. With floor to ceiling windows and views of aircraft outside and in the adjacent hangar, it’s almost like dining at the airport!
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
The Mini Time Machine Museum is a unique museum of miniatures, both historical and modern. This magical place appeals to both kids and adults alike. Admission rates are $9 for adults, $6 for kids (4-17) and kids (3 and under) are free. Visit on a Thursday, and save a few bucks, adults only pay $6.
Tucson Attraction Discounts
If you plan on visiting several museums or attractions in the area, I recommend buying the Tucson Attractions Passport for $18 . It’s full of B1G1 admission coupons for local attractions. The current passport is good through September 15th.