A welcoming and warm city in the state of Arizona, Tucson is a vibrant mix of tourist attractions as well as people from different cultures across USA. It is located on the northern boundary of the Sonoran Desert and boasts of a stunning landscape enveloped between five mountain ranges. Only second to Phoenix in terms of geographical area, the city dates back to the 18th century when it was inhabited by Spanish colonizers. You’ll find among the best-preserved relics of 19th-century buildings at the Barrio Historic District here. What’s best about this desert city is that it’s not only well suited for adults but even for kids. You’ll find some fantastic options, so read on and find out the best things to do with kids in Tucson, and make it a great vacation for them as well.
Plunge into the world of natural history at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. A zoological park, botanical garden, museum, art gallery, and aquarium, the place is all dubbed into one. A unique presentation of native flora and fauna, your little one will find enough to learn things in a fun way here. Set in the landscape of the Sonoran Desert, most parts of the museum are outdoors, so you’ll be able to explore exhibits pretty much in their natural habitat. There are quite a few interesting animal shows you can attend too.
Skip the Line: General Admission Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Ticket
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
2. Learn science at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium
What an awesome visit from the Davis Bilingual Elementary School 2nd grade classes to Flandrau this morning! They all...Posted by Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium on Monday, 8 April 2019
Let your little one unleash their fondness for science and astronomy at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. Located within the University of Arizona campus, it makes for a terrific experience for children and adults alike. The planetarium theatre here, featuring state-of-the-art systems, transports you into a space beyond Earth with their several shows. Apart from the planetarium, you can even head to the mineral specimens’, animals, puzzles, and gemstone exhibits. The museum provides excellent information regarding science-related subjects, so take your kid there and they’ll be heading back home with tons of new knowledge.
Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium
Address: 1601 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 5pm; Fri: 9am - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 10pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm
Price: 12 USD onwards
3. Visit Tucson's past at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum
Blacksmith Demonstration December 26th, 10 am to 1 pm Free with admission Bring your holiday guests after Christmas and introduce them to the lives of early settlers. See the blacksmiths at work.Posted by Presidio San Agustín del Tucson on Friday, 21 December 2018
Time travel with your kids at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum, which takes you through Tucson’s roots. Here, you’ll find yourself amid archaeological remains of prehistoric construction, Native American huts, and Sonoran row houses. Not only architecture, but you’ll also find many other interesting exhibits and informative enactments that are a super hit with the kids. The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block on-site is a great ensemble of Native American, Latin American, Asian, and American West art. Some very good guided tours are available, so you can hitch one to place everything in context.
Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum
Address: 196 N. Court Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
Price: 1 USD onwards
4. Turn learning into play at the Children's Museum Tucson
Fuel your child’s imagination and let them learn things in an all-play-no-work manner. Ideal for kids under the age of 10, the Children’s Museum Tucson is a place that stresses the aspect of fun in learning. Several activities and playrooms have been designed to encourage children to explore, discover, create, and imagine while having a gala time alongside. The train exhibit, science-centred exhibit, arts and craft section, and pretend grocery store are some of its most famous attractions. Get your kids here and you can be pretty sure they’ll not want to leave. There are many innovative activities that kids can engage in, so no need to fret about entertaining your kid(s) while in Tucson, just get them here.
Children's Museum Tucson
Address: 200 S 6th Ave Tucson, Arizona 85701
Website: Children’s Museum Tucson
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 7 USD
5. Traverse magical lands at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
Spread across an area of 930 square metres (10,000 square feet), The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures has more than 300 miniature exhibits and artefacts from different eras and locations to marvel at. You’ll be amazed to see the level of detail and accuracy in each miniature item displayed. The three main exhibits that draw maximum footfall are the Antique Gallery, Exploring the World, and the Enchanted Realm. You can book yourself on a tour of these exhibits or go about exploring the place on your own as well.
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
Address: 455 E Camp Lowell Dr, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 12pm; Sun 12pm - 4pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 7 USD onwards
6. Marvel at nature's work at the Kartchner Caverns State Park
Located about 14km (9 miles) south of Benson, the highlight of the Kartchner Caverns State Park is its 3.9-km (2.4 miles) long show caves. Step into the vault-like door entrance built into a hillside and you’ll find yourself standing amid an almost otherworldly network of living caves, with your little ones enjoying the best of this labyrinth of limestone stalactites and stalagmites that jut into distinct yet exquisite shapes. The Throne Room and Big Room are two main caverns that house the world’s longest stalactites and a formation of brushite moonmilk respectively. Cul-de-sac Passage, Rotunda Room, Mud Flats, and Strawberry Room are some of the other caverns you can explore.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Address: Kartchner Caverns State Park 2980 S. Hwy 90 Benson, AZ 85602
Website: Kartchner Caverns State Park
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 7 USD
7. Explore Arizona's canyons one tram ride at a time
Hitch a shuttle drive through winding roads of the canyons and explore Arizona’s beautiful landscape. Resumed recently, this service has been introduced to help people soak in the stunning canyon landscape of the state in the comfort of modernised vehicles. These vehicles, formerly called “trams”, stop at designated spots and let you savour the best of your experience. You can sit on the many benches and just watch the thriving wildlife or sun gleaming over the desert or occupy one of the picnic tables and relish a meal for yourself. The narrator present in the “tram” takes you through the area’s history and basic geology.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Address: 5900 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson, AZ 85750-0800
Website: Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Opening hours: 8am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 4 USD onwards
8. Spend time with animals at the Reid Park Zoo
Boasting a host of farm animals, birds, squirrel monkeys, among others from the animal world is the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, a place where recreation and learning come hand in hand. Animal-spotting is most children’s favourite activity, so you can be pretty sure that your child would be thoroughly entertained here. The zoo is divided into four zones based on animal habitats. The Adaptation Zone, Asian Zone, South America Zone, and the African American Zone. You can even participate in the Expedition Tanzania in the African American Zone to check out some beautiful African elephants. Although the zoo is small, it is packed with an interesting array of animals to make it a fun experience for the kids.
Reid Park Zoo
Address: 3400 Zoo Court Tucson, AZ 85716
Website: Reid Park Zoo
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 6.5 USD onwards
Learn the fascinating art of studying biomes at Biosphere 2, research facility of The University of Arizona, dedicated to understanding global environmental issues. About a 45-minute drive away from Tucson, in Oracle, the biomes at Biosphere 2 broadly cover fog desert, ocean, mangrove wetlands, rainforest, human habitat, and savannah grassland. Here, they can directly see the impact of human activities on the natural environment. Not only biomes, but you can also explore Mission 1 and 2 facilities where researchers lived inside for six months in these controlled structures to carry out experiments. Very comprehensive guided tours of the entire place are offered throughout the day. However, you must be no later than 3:45 pm to catch the last one for the day.
Address: University Of Arizona Biosphere 2 32540 S. Biosphere Road Oracle, AZ 85623
Website: Biosphere 2
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 14 USD onwards
Biosphere 2 General Admission Ticket
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
If all else is done, participate in a city-wide scavenger hunt set in real life locations of Tucson. Smartphone-guided teams of two to five members solve clues and undertake challenges while exploring some famous as well as not-so-famous parts of the city. It usually runs for about three hours and makes for a superb way to keep your little bundles of energy engrossed. It is also a pretty quick and quirky way to see the city’s old and new. Play the game, see new sights, and discover Tucson in an entirely new way.
Tucson Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Duration: 3 hours
Down the history lane
While you’ll find a great many things to do in Tucson with kids, you must also spend some time exploring the prolific history of the city. The St. Augustine Cathedral is a wonderful trip back to the time when the Spaniards inhabited the place. Else, explore the city’s rich history at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block. For further in-depth exploration, The University of Arizona houses several museums that you can head to. These will make for some really insightful trips, so don’t forget to add them to your must-visit list. Rest assured, your kids will be abundantly pleased here.
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