Are you looking for things to do in Tucson with kids? You’ve come to the right place. I have lots of ideas on things to do in Tucson with kids!
As a born and raised Tucsonan with two boys of my own, I am sharing a list of the best things to do and best places to visit for young and older kids.
Whether you are a new resident or visiting Southern Arizona on a family vacation, I am sure this list will help you give you unique experience ideas that introduce you top Tucson attractions, eccentric things not to miss that help you explore our beautiful city.
Things to do in Tucson with kids
Whether you’re a local looking for a new idea or a visitor to Southern Arizona, check out my list of 50 things to do in Tucson with kids. I’ve included indoor and outdoor Tucson attractions, museums and festivals. There’s bound to be something new for your family to try!
Fun Things to do in Tucson with kids: Museums
1. The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium offers a room full of interactive exhibits that kids love, plus a theater with a variety of shows including one geared towards kids, Perfect Little Planet.
2. Let your kids make their own miniature project during the Kids Create program at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures every 2nd Saturday. It’s included in the price of admission and geared towards grade school kids.
3. Explore over 350 aircraft indoors and outdoors at the Pima Air and Space Museum. There is an outdoor playground perfect for little ones that need a break from exploring the grounds.
4. The International Wildlife Museum is a perfect destination for families to avoid the summer heat. Check out over 400 animals and insects in diorama habitats all indoors with air conditioning! This is more natural history museum vs zoo.
5. Get peek at the Cold War era and check out a real missile at the Titan Missile Museum.
6. The Children’s Museum Tucson main location downtown is perfect for kids up to age 12.
7. Learn about the people and history of the Southwest at the Arizona State Museum.
8. Check out rodeo parade wagons and Tucson first garbage truck among other historical vehicles at the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum.
9. Head to the Tucson Museum of Art on the second Sunday of the month for Second SundAZe for free admission and educational activities.
Explore Southwest artwork and architecture at Degrazia Gallery in the Sun, founded by of local Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia.
10. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is a fun (and free) stop with interactive exhibits celebrating the railroad in Southern Arizona.
Top Things to do in Tucson with kids: Outdoors
11. Reid Park Zoo is the perfect size zoo for an afternoon or morning of fun. Bring a little extra money to feed the giraffes or ride the carousel.
12. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is the quintessential Tucson attraction for locals and visitors alike. There’s a reason why it often ranks one of the top zoos or museums nationwide. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is a great place for a variety of people because its part natural history museum and part zoo.
13. Kids will like visiting the Children’s Discovery Garden or watching the Thomas Garden Railway train pass around the gardens at Tucson Botanical Gardens.
14. Take a step back in time and get a glimpse of life in Tucson 150 years ago at Old Tucson Studios.
15. Grab some authentic Indian Fry Bread from a stall out front before you head inside to check out the Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish Catholic mission.
16. Take the tram ride at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area with 9 stops, there are plenty of options for families to hike a little or hike a lot. Stop by the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center for unique Tucson souvenirs.
17. Hike one of the easy to moderate hiking trails available at Catalina State Park.
18. Enjoy the views from “A” Mountain on a scenic drive in the heart of Tucson. You can also do a little hiking nearby as well.
19. Saguaro National Park East and West offer amazing views of the Sonoran desert and of course more hiking.
20. Visit Tohono Chul Park which now includes the Children’s Museum Oro Valley with both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
21. Funny Foot Farm Petting Zoo offers the chance to experience both farm animals and zoo animals.
22. There are plenty of horseback riding options around town, experience the beautiful desert landscape in a unique way. A great place to start is a local dude ranch like White Stallion Ranch or Tanque Verde Ranch.
Depending upon their previous experience this might be something to avoid if you have young children. Some places do offer pony rides too though.
23. It’s 70 degrees year-round at Colossal Cave making it a fun adventure no matter what the weather outside is like.
24. Visit the ducks and smell the roses at Reid Park. Reid park features several playgrounds, a rose garden, pathways, a public pool, a lake and of course the zoo.
25. Bike the Loop. Or walk it. The Loop features 120 miles of shared-use pathways that connect local parks and trailheads throughout the Pima County area.
26. Trail Dust Town features stunt shows, rides, dining and the Museum of the Horse Soldier. It’s an easy way to get a hint of the Wild West without driving to Tombstone.
27. Support an urban farm for kids by visiting Tucson Farm Village during U-pick hours.
Fun Things to Do in Tucson with Kids: Festivals
27. Bike, walk, or skate, everyone is welcome at Cyclovia Tucson to experience Tucson streets safely with their friends and family with community-focused booths and family-friendly activities. Cyclovia happens twice a year, typically in April and October.
28. Head downtown on the 2nd Saturday of every month to enjoy street vendors and performances at 2nd Saturdays Downtown Tucson.
29. You’ll find artists, food, and performers at the Fourth Avenue Street Fair. It occurs twice a year, once in the winter and once in the spring.
30. The La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo and Parade occurs at the end of February. The parade is the largest non-motorized parade in the country and is almost 100 years old.
31. The University of Arizona hosts the Tucson Festival of Books, a free literacy-focused festival held in the spring. Kids will get a kick out of the storybook character parade.
32. Kids get free admission to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show and free mineral samples from the Jr. Education area.
33. UA Spring Fling is the largest student-run carnival in the country and offers the typical rides, games, and food you’d expect from a carnival.
34. You’ll find even more rides, games and food at the annual Pima County Fair. They even have a dedicated kiddie land area perfect for little ones, plus entertainment, crafts, and livestock exhibits.
Fun Things to Do in Tucson with Kids: More Fun
35. Spend the exploring neighborhoods downtown with a ride on the Tucson Sun Link Streetcar. Kids under 5 ride free with a paying adult.
36. Stop by Ben’s Bells to paint and participate in their kindness campaigns.
37. Chill out at a Tucson Roadrunners hockey game at the Tucson Convention Center.
38. If football, softball, basketball or any other sport is more of your thing, catch a UA athletic game at the University of Arizona.
39. Catch story time at Mildred Dildred and then find a super unique toy, book or stuffed animal. It’s a great stop for families with younger children.
40. If splashing is your kid’s favorite thing to do, check out one of the splash pad locations in the Tucson area.
41. Catch a local or touring show or concert presented by UA Presents or Broadway Tucson.
42. The Gaslight Theatre offers hilarious year-round shows that the whole family will love. Plus grab a bite to eat during the show from Grandma Tony’s Pizza or a meal at Little Anthony’s Diner next door afterward.
43. Grab a gelato from Frost and take a stroll around La Encantada.
44. Another sweet idea is to pick up a few donuts from Amy’s Donuts. They offer both traditional and elaborate varieties, something to please just about everyone.
Fun Things to do in Tucson with kids: Outside the city
Consider a little road trip outside the city of Tucson.
45. Head to the backside of Mt. Lemmon and zip line at Arizona Zipline Adventures.
46. Feed a wide variety of animals at the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch including stingrays, lorikeets, donkeys, ducks and of course ostriches.
47. Tour under the glass dome at Biosphere 2 and explore a variety of biomes.
48. Take the open-air tram tour at Shamrock Farms and visit the Welcome Center Barn for dairy exhibits, games and ice cream!
49. Visit a living cave and the discovery center at Kartchner Caverns.
50. Mount Lemmon is a favorite day trip for locals. Head up in the winter to play in the snow or in the summer to escape the extreme desert heat.
Save on Top Tucson Attractions
There are plenty of other things to do in Tucson including typical kid-friendly attractions like trampoline parks, bowling alleys, rollerskating, escape rooms and miniature golf. One way to try somewhere where new is to watch for deals on Groupon.
Or invest in an Arizona POGO pass for admission to a variety of local venues the whole family will love including Golf N Stuff, Roadrunners Hockey, and the International Wildlife Museum! It also includes some Phoenix attractions giving you the perfect excuse to drive up North for the day to play.
Tucson Attractions Passport is another money-saving option for both visitors and locals alike. You can purchase them online or at participating local attractions.
And don’t discount things like movies or the fun of an outdoor pool. During the summer, resorts often offer special staycation rates that include extra activities like move nights. Not staying in a hotel? There are lots of local pool options and movie nights hosted at local parks. Even movie theaters like Harkins or Loft Cinema offer summer movie programs.
More to read about Tucson
- Fall things to do in Tucson this weekend
- Fun Cheap Things to do in Tucson
- Awesome Birthday Party Tucson Venues & Ideas
- 20 Things to do in Tucson in the Summer
- Farmers Markets in Tucson
This post was originally published February 21, 2018.