guides

14 Kid-Friendly Museums in Tucson

By East Tucson Macaroni Kid June 21, 2018
Have you explored Tucson's museums with your kids? With discount days, hands-on activities, and special kids' programming, these family-friendly museums are a fun and educational way to try something new in Tucson!  

Updated June 21, 2018

Art
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block: 140 N. Main. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM-5 PM. $12 Adults, $7 youth. FREE for ages 12 and under. Admission rates found HERE
•Discount Days: FREE admission the 1st Thursday of the month from 5-8 PM. Free admission the second Sunday of the month for Arizona Residents. Blue Star Museum.
•Children/Family programs: During FREE Second SundAZe the Museum has drop-in art-making activities for the whole family. During the summer of 2018, TMA is offering Make & Take Art Activities each Wednesday, and Storytime in the Creative Space on Thursdays. These activities are free for regular members, and members with a TMA SUMMERpass.

University of Arizona Museum of Art: 1031 N. Olive. Tuesday-Friday, 9 AM-4 PM; Fridays, Saturday 9-5 & Sunday, noon-5. Admission rates found HERE.
•Discounts:  Free admission for UA students, faculty and staff with ID; free for military personnel.
Children/Family programs:  During summer of 2018, the museum offers Tinkerlab maker activities on Thursdays for children 6+, and Tinkerlab storytimes on Wednesday for children 2-5 years.

History
Arizona History Museum: 949 E. 2nd St. Open Mon-Thursday 9:00-4:00; Friday 9:00-8:00 PM, Saturday 11:00-4:00 PM. $10 General Admission. $4 for youth 7-17. Free for children 6 and under. Admission rates HERE
•Discounts: 2-for-1 admission on Fridays from 4-8 PM. Blue Star Museum. 
•Children/Family programs: The museum highlights southern Arizona history from colonial through territorial times and has many hands-on exhibits for children to enjoy.

Arizona State Museum: 1013 E. University Blvd. on the UA Campus. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5. Closed Sundays and state/federal holidays. Admission $5 for adults, free for children 17 and under.  Rates HERE
•Discount Days: Admission for UA faculty, staff and students is always FREE. Blue Star Museum. 
•Children/Family programs: The Museum offers self-guided children's activities for various exhibits. Click HERE for self-guided "discovery hunts", field journals, and many other activities to enhance children's museum visit. The Museum also offers occasional Culture Craft Saturdays during which visitors can enjoy a hands-on cultural craft activity in the museum lobby. Activities include basket weaving, mask making, native food sampling and more! 

Fort Lowell Museum: 2900 N. Craycroft Road (in Fort Lowell Park). Open Thursday-Saturday, 10-4. Admission is FREE. 

•Children/Family programs:  Children's crafts and games offered every Saturday during the summer ($4 to participate). During the second Saturday of each month either soap-making (summer months) or candle dipping is offered for children and adults. The Museum also has special events with hands-on children's activities throughout the year, such as during Fort Lowell Day in February.

Presidio San Augustin del Tucson: 196 N. Court Ave. Open Wednesday-Sunday 10-4. $5 admission, $1 children 6-14, FREE for children 5 and under.
Children/Family programs: Children's Adventure Hour on the first Saturday of each month is for children 4-8 includes a story, craft, and special activity. Living History Days take place on the 2nd Saturday of the month from October-April. Blacksmith demonstrations happen on the 4th Saturday of the month.  Note: The Presidio Museum will be closed July 9-24, 2018.

Southern AZ Transportation Museum: 414 N. Toole. Tues-Thurs & Sunday from 11-3, Friday & Saturday from 10-4. FREE Admission.
 •Children/Family programs: Locomotive Saturdays (every Saturday, FREE). Explore the interactive museum exhibits and watch modern day trains pass by. Volunteers are on hand to answer questions about steam locomotives and transportation history. The Museum also offers special events throughout the year, such as free outdoor movie screenings on Second Saturdays, and Santa at the Depot during the holiday season.


Science and Technology
Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium:  1601 E. University Blvd on the UA Campus. Open daily. Monday-Thursday 9-5; Friday 9 AM-10 PM; Saturday 10 AM-10 PM; Sunday 12-5 PM. Admission rates HERE
•Children/Family programs: Exhibits at the Science Center bring science to life for children and adults. Planetarium shows cater to all ages, with a variety of shows, from a traditional Tucson Sky show to "Perfect Little Planet" for younger audiences and laser light shows, like the current "Laser Stranger Things." Click HERE for a current planetarium schedule.

Pima Air and Space Museum: 6000 E. Valencia Road. Open 7 days a week, 9 AM-5 PM. Admission prices HERE. 
•Children/Family programs: Soarin' Saturdays. Most Saturdays at 1:00 PM, Pima Air & Space Museum offers a special program for children. From building model airplanes to learning how things fly, there is something for children of every age. Check the Soarin' Saturdays schedule to see what the event is each week and the appropriate age range. (Included with admission fee.)
•Special Events: One Saturday in June & July, the museum stays open until 9 PM for Night Wings, an event filled with fun aviation activities for kids. Crafts, games, science experiments, scavenger hunts and more. Adults $10, Kids 12 and under are FREE. During October, the Museum present Night of Fright, a non-scary Halloween event with candy, crafts, and games. In the spring, the Museum hosts the annual Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off for kids and families.

Specialty Museums
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: 2021 N. Kinney Road. June-August hours 7:30 AM-5 PM Sunday-Friday, 7:30 AM-10 PM on Saturdays. Admission rates found HERE.
•Discounts: Blue Star Museum
•Children/Family programs: The Desert Museum is an indoor/outdoor museum/zoo/botanical garden/aquarium that showcases the unique plant and animal life of the Sonoran Desert. Children of all ages enjoy viewing the wildlife, participating in hands-on activities, and exploring the new children's space, The Packrat Playhouse, an indoor play area for kids which includes a special toddler zone. Special storytimes and playtimes are available in the Packrat Playhouse for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary aged children. 

Children's Museum Tucson: 200 S. Sixth Ave. Open 9 AM-7 PM Mondays and 9 AM-5 PM Tuesday-Friday and 10-5 on weekends. Admission rates: $9 for adults and children. Admission rates found HERE
•Discount Days: $3 admission on Mondays during summer 2018. $3 admission on the 3rd of each month. One child free with an adult with active military ID.  Various special FREE admission days throughout the year. 
•Children/Family programs: The whole museum is kid/family friendly! Designed for children 10 and under, including a special space just for children under 4. (There is also a satellite space in Oro Valley for the youngest museum visitors). 

Gadsden Pacific Toy Train Operating Museum: 3975 N. Miller Ave. Open the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 12:30-4:30 PM. CLOSED June-August. FREE admission (donations accepted).
•Children/Family programs: The Toy Train museum is fun for the whole family! Indoor and Outdoor working model train exhibits, including a train kids (and adults) can ride on.

International Wildlife Museum: 4800 W. Gates Pass Road. Open weekdays from 9-5 PM, weekends from 9-6 PM. Admission rates HERE.
•Children/Family programs: The museum has animal dioramas and hands-on exhibits that are engaging to children and adults alike. Periodically the museum hosts a popular Flashlight Night, where families bring flashlights and explore the museum in the dark and other special events for kids/families.

Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures: 4455 E. Camp Lowell Road. Tuesday-Saturday 9-4; Sundays 12-4. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission HERE. 
•Discount Days: $3 off adult general admission every Thursday. Family Summer Pass: 2 adult and up to 4 child admissions for $30 through August 31. Blue Star Museum.
•Children/Family programs: Tiny Tales for Tots features costumed characters, songs, and stories for preschoolers. Usually held the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:30 AM. Kids Create allows school-aged children to create their own miniatures! Held the 2nd Saturday of each month from 12-3 PM. Both programs included with the price of admission. The Museum also has special children's programs throughout the year, such a May Day in the spring and Night Around the Campfire in July.
•Special Summer Programs:  Tinker Workshops Wednesdays and Thursday afternoons July 11-26, 2018, $4/child with museum admission (Children 5+). 


*Blue Star Museums offer FREE admission to active duty military and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Click HERE to learn more.



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