Tucson Family Field Trip Guide

What's open around Tucson for educational outings and a change of scenery?

By East Tucson Macaroni Kid August 21, 2020

As families all over Tucson continue remote learning this semester, one thing is clear: After spending SO much time at home, the whole family  NEEDS to get up, get out, and have a change of scenery every once in a while. 

How about heading out on a family "field trip"? Many Tucson family venues have re-opened with modified schedules and updated health and safety practices. You can support these local institutions and give your children opportunities for some experiential learning at the same time. Depending on your child's learning schedule, you could plan a visit to one of these places during the school day, or wait until the weekend for special family outing. 

As always,  if you or any members of your family feel sick or have a fever, stay home! If you're healthy, make your reservations (most places require them now), put on your masks, and safely venture out for some distance learning away from home.

 Plants & Animals

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum: Learn about plant and animal life, geology, history, and culture of the Sonoran Desert. Current hours: 7:30 AM-5:30 PM Sunday-Saturday. In order to limit the number of visitors, reservations must be made in advance. Several indoor areas are still closed (including the Packrat Playhouse), so plan accordingly. Review re-opening FAQs HERE. $21.95 for ages 13+, $9.95 for ages 4-12. 

International Wildlife Museum: This museum, which highlights over 400 species of insects, mammals and birds from around the globe, is reopening on October 1, 2020. The Museum will be open on weekdays 9am-5pm and weekends 9am-6pm, operating at 50% capacity. You may purchase tickets online for contact-less admission, but this is not required. Tickets will still be sold at the door as well.

Reid Park Zoo: The public is finally able to meet Penzi, the new baby elephant, and visit their other animal friends at Reid Park Zoo. The new "Wildlife Walk" experience is open from 8 AM-2 PM daily. Tickets must be purchased in advance to limit the number of visitors. Interactive exhibits and attractions, such as the carousel and indoor Learning Center will be closed. Please bring water, as water fountains will also be unavailable. Click HERE for more detailed information. Admission is $10.50 for adults, $6.50 for children. 

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch: You might have seen this attraction off of I-10 on your way to/from Phoenix and wondered what it was all about. Ostriches near Tucson?! Yep! This family-owned and operated working ostrich ranch has ostriches (of course) plus a lot of other critters to visit and feed. There are Miniature Sicilian Donkeys, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Fallow Deer, Peking Ducks, Boar Goats, Rainbow Lorikeets, Stingrays and Diving Ducks! This is an open-air facility with plenty of room for social distancing and face coverings will not be required outside. Face coverings are required in the indoor areas including Stingray Bay and in the Lorikeet Forest. Hours: Friday-Monday, 8 AM-2 PM (weather permitting). Packages (includes admission, animal feed, and tax) are $12 (doesn't include Stingray food) or $15 (includes Stingray food). Kids 5 and under are FREE, kids feed (optional) is $6.

Tohono Chul: The gardens (7 am-2 pm) and exhibits (9 am-2 pm) at Tohono Chul are currently open Thursday-Sunday for visitors with advance reservations.  The Bistro is scheduled to open in September. Hand sanitizer, one-way traffic signs, and hands-free water bottle refill stations are some of the safety measures in-place. Learn more HERE. Before you go, head to the Just for Kids section of the website to find printable activities to help you prepare for your visit. $15/Adults, $6 Children.

Tucson Botanical Gardens: Visit America's best secret garden (according to Reader's Digest) between 7:30 am-2:30 pm daily. If you've been to the Gardens before, you'll note a new entrance and plenty of signage to help with physical distancing. The Butterfly exhibit is not currently open, but there are plans to reopen in October. Click HERE for more information about visiting Tucson Botanical Gardens. $15 adults/$8 children.

Arts & Culture

Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures: There is so much to see at the Mini Time Machine Museum, featuring over 500 dollhouses and other pieces celebrating the art of miniatures. The current community exhibit is called Fanciful Fairy Houses, by Tucson artist Kristy Thomas. The Museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 am-4 pm. Advance tickets are required for timed entry. Please click HERE for other updates prior to visiting the Museum. Admission is $10.50 for adults and $7.00 for youth 4-17. 

Tucson Museum of ArtTMA is open Thursdays-Sundays from 10 am -5 pm for visitors with reservations in designated time windows. Visit and view art in TMA's numerous galleries, from Art of the American Southwest, to Modern and Contemporary Art, to the new Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art. Click HERE to learn about updated safety precautions. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for students and children.

Science & History

Pima Air and Space Museum: See hundreds of historic aircraft in 6 huge hangars and over 80 acres of outdoor displays. Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museums in the world. The Museum is open daily, 9 am-3 pm. Admission is $13.25 for Pima County residents ($10.00 for children 5 and over). Tram tours are suspended until further notice. See the Museum's re-opening statement and COVID-19 precautions HERE

Presidio San Augustin del Tucson Museum: The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum is a re-creation of the Tucson Presidio built in 1775. Visitors travel back in time to learn about life as early Tucsonans would have lived it. The Museum is currently open from 3 pm-7 pm, Thursday-Saturday with FREE admission until August 29. Starting September 3, the Museum will be open Thursday-Sunday from 10 am-4 pm (admission fees $5/adults, $1 children 6-14). Much of the Museum is outdoors, but social distancing and mask-wearing are required throughout. Click HERE for the Museum's current health and safety policies. 

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