The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is a must for both Tucson visitors and residents alike. It is a great place to experience the natural beauty of the Tucson and many of our desert creatures!
With over 300 animal and 1200 plant species on 21 acres, there are plenty of opportunities to wear the kids out! What parent can’t appreciate that?
The first thing to remember is that the desert is home to snakes and cactus. Please be aware of your surroundings, especially with little ones.
If you have kids, I would recommend buying a stamp book for $1 at the entrance. There are stamp stations throughout the museum grounds that help keep the kiddos excited throughout the visit. Quinn loves stamping his book at the “Desert Zoo”.
Animals and climbing are the main focus for our adventures at the Desert Museum.
The tortoise area being the hands down favorite because you can climb on top of a giant rock tortoise AND through a tortoise shell.
P.S. There is shade, a bench and water fountain here that makes an excellent place to watch the kiddos play.
You can climb to a special coati viewing area
The underground beaver and otter den is also fun!
While most of the museum is outdoors there are a few exhibits that are indoors including:
The Reptiles & Invertebrates – Snake house!
Earth Sciences Center – A lime stone cave!
Life Underground – Sleeping creatures like a kangaroo rat and spiders!
I didn’t get a lot of great animal pictures, but there are lots of animals to see including bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, bobcats, a black bear, and javelinas!
There are two aviaries, including one exclusively for humming birds but there are plenty of bird watching opportunities throughout the grounds. There is also a Raptor Free Flight demonstration twice as day (seasonal).
Don’t miss the javelinas at the entrance, they always take a great photo!
We always bring a stroller. My boys climb in and out all day but with almost 2 miles of paths, a stroller is a must in my opinion.
Strollers (total old school ones) and wheelchairs are available to borrow (free) on a first come, first serve basis at the museum entrance.
Hours and admission price varies by season, kids under 3 are free. Check out more details HERE. Check out the Tucson Entertainment book or Tucson Attractions Passport for possible B1G1 coupons.
Parking is Free
It’s 12 miles west of 1-10, so when you think you have driven too far. Keep driving.
The drive to the museum is quite scenic (picture saguaros everywhere!) and if you have the time there are several great stopping points to snap a picture.
There are several places to grab a snack or meal at the museum(snack bar, café, and restaurants). There is also a picnic area just outside the entrance if you bring your own lunch. Remember it’s 12 miles back to I-10…
It is a lot of walking outside, so wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen.