Old Tucson was built in 1939 for Columbia Pictures to resemble Tucson in the 1860’s for the movie Arizona. Many of the original structures still stand today although additional filming and a devastating fire led to various additions and changes in the past 75 years. Old Tucson Studios remains a popular tourist attraction and it’s a fun way for families to experience a little bit of the Old West. Grab a cowboy hat and head ’10 miles and 100 years from town’!
Things to do at Old Tucson Studios with Kids
There are lots of fun things to do at Old Tucson Studios with kids. Let’s start with the ‘rides’ at Old Tucson. My eldest son loves the antique car ride and I remember loving it as a child too. Anyone can ride in the cars, you just have to meet the height requirement to drive it by yourself. There is also an old-fashioned carousel and a train ride that takes you around the property.
Check the schedule when you arrive for a variety of shows throughout the day including gun fighting stunt shows and musical revues. Stop by the small petting zoo for a little animal interaction as well.
A variety of buildings are set up like living museums from the era. There are also historians and actors in character that help lend the vibe of an Old West town. If you are ready for a splurge, stop by the portrait studio where you can dress the part and purchase frontier/old west themed family photos.
The guided tour of a haunted mine is fairly silly (albeit amusing) but it could be too creepy for little kids that frighten easy. I recommend an adult previewing it first if you think it might be an issue for your little one.
Panning for gold is also available for $3. It’s a fun activity for kids to try and once they fill their plastic tube of fools gold, it does double duty as a budget-friendly souvenir too.
The shooting gallery is fun and thankfully reasonably priced, $1 gets you 25 ‘shots’. Stage Coach rides and horseback rides are also available for an additional fee.
Old Tucson Discount Admission
Are you looking Old Tucson Discount coupons or admission? If you are a local then you are in luck. Pima County residents receive discounted admission as well as seniors and the military. If you are just visiting Tucson, check out the Tucson Attractions Passport that offers B1G1 admission to a variety of Tucson area attractions including Old Tucson Studios. It will save you money if you plan on visiting a few local venues.
Be sure visit the Old Tucson events page for special events that might offer discount admission as well. Kids Dollar Days is a great time to visit. Admission for kids is only $1 as well as a variety of food items.
Old Tucson Studios Hours
Old Tucson is generally open from 10 AM to 5 PM year-round, excluding Christmas. There are some special events that limit Old Tucson Studios hours and some events with extended hours.
Old Tucson Studios Food
No outside food is allowed at Old Tucson Studios. Given its location and the lack of facilities nearby, I recommend bringing a few snacks to eat in the car before you arrive or after you leave. The gift shop you walk through as you exit Old Tucson sells drinks and snacks for the ride home as well.
Old Tucson Studios food pricing is on par with what you’d expect at a tourist attraction. They offer the typical hot dogs and pizza at one restaurant and decent BBQ at another. Kids meals are also available. During Kids Dollar Days, $1 concessions are also available.
Old Tucson Studios Nightfall
If you have tweens or teens that love to be scared silly, I recommend checking out Old Tucson Studios Nightfall. Nightfall is a spooky event held at Old Tucson Studios during the month of October. It features live characters and shows in addition to spooky attractions. This is not an event for younger kids or even older kids who frighten easy.