The 22 Best Things To Do in Tuscon With Kids

Reid Park Zoo

Tuscon, Arizona, located in Pima County, is the second-largest city in Arizona! This southern Arizona city offers a beautiful desert landscape, museums, Mexican-inspired food and beverage options, and many family-friendly activities!

Planning a family trip to Tuscon and worried about keeping the kids entertained? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Below we will discuss the 22 best things to do in Tuscon with Kids!

Things To Do in Tucson With Kids

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

This desert museum spans over 98 acres and is located in West Tuscon. This attraction is recommended by locals and visitors alike and has something for everyone! The museum includes a zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, art gallery, and natural history museum! We love this attraction because it displays wildlife native to the Sonora area, so you get to experience the natural elements of this desert.

This is a great attraction for kids as it offers animals, art, history, wildlife, and more! This site will keep them occupied and eager to discover more about the desert. This attraction is recommended for children aged 3+.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 8:30am-5:00pm

Tuscon Botanical Garden

This botanical garden, located in the heart of Tuscon, is a great attraction to bring your kids along to! This site combines 16 urban residential gardens, including cactus and succulent garden, Zen garden, and aloe alley.

This location is great for kids as it also offers: a children’s discovery garden and butterfly garden! The children’s discovery garden teaches about the life cycle of a plant, which is a wonderfully educational and entertaining experience for kids. They’ll also love the butterfly garden! This attraction is recommended for children of all ages.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm

Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium

If your kids are interested in science, you will not want to miss out on this attraction! This attraction is located within the University of Arizona with hands-on activities, presentations, and planetarium shows! This center has multiple exhibits, including the new wild world of bugs, the fossil center, and the solar system revealed. This attraction is recommended for children aged 3+.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2

If you are interested in the wonders of the earth, this is an amazing visit to make! Biosphere 2 is the world’s largest earth and environmental science facility. This facility is located in Tuscon and offers six model ecosystems such as a rainforest, coastal fog desert, and savanna grasslands. This is such a unique experience that the whole family will always remember! They offer many educational tours and walkthroughs of their many facilities!

Since this facility is scientifically heavy, they recommend children aged 8+ for the best experience.

Hours: Summer Sunday-Saturday 8:00am-2:00pm, Winter 9:00am-3:30pm

Sabino Canyon

Ready to go outdoors? Sabino Canyon, located in the Coronado National Forest, is a beautiful location you don’t want to miss. This location offers breathtaking views, hiking and bike trails, horseback riding, camping, and much more! They offer an educational tram tour that gives riders stunning views of the canyon and historical information about the land. This is a great family-friendly location to enjoy your day exploring the beautiful landscape of Tuscon.

Hours: You may visit the canyon at any time. The visitor center is open Sunday-Saturday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

Madera Canyon

Also located in the Coronado National Forest, Madera Canyon offers unique sites that are almost too beautiful to believe! This canyon is a popular bird-watching location and home to other wildlife such as deer. Visit this beautiful location for a relaxing hike, picnic, or camping! They have a trail that leads you to waterfalls, which your kids will love!

Hours: You may visit the canyon at any time. The visitor center is open Sunday-Saturday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

White Stallion Ranch

If you are looking for something that offers non-stop fun, beautiful views, and a western atmosphere, look no further! This award-winning ranch resort spans over 3,000 acres (about half the area of JFK Airport) of the Sonoran Desert. Your kids will adore this attraction and the many activities that it offers! Some of the activities offered at White Stallion Ranch include horseback riding, a game room, a petting zoo, and many more!

Hours: The resort is open 24/7, but different activities have different hours. Visit their website for more.

Catalina State Park

If you want to get really familiar with the wildlife Tuscon has to offer. This is where you want to go! Located right at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this park has more than 150 species of birds. They also home deer, reptiles, and a large variety of flora and fauna. Get the kids outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery Tuscon has to offer.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 5:00am-10:00pm

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park, located on both sides of Tuscon, offers beautiful southwestern landscapes. This park is named after the tree-like Saguaro cactus that can grow over 40 feet tall! These cacti are spread all throughout the National Park, and your kids will surely be amazed at how large they can grow.

Saguaro National Park has various activities like hiking, a petroglyph area, cactus gardens, and more. The views this park offers are breathtaking and will be ones the whole family remembers.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Take a day trip away from Tuscon and show the kids the beautiful limestone caves this park has to offer! Located in Benson, Arizona, Kartchner Caverns State Park is a great site for the whole family. The park offers two cave tours, wildlife viewing, and hiking trails!

Your kids will love exploring the caves, and you may even see bats! They also offer camping and cabins if you want to spend some more time in this beautiful state park.

Hours: The Discovery Center is open Sunday-Saturday 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Visit their website for cave tour hours.

Tombstone

This location is another out of Tuscon site, but if your kids are interested in the old west, it’s worth the trip! Tombstone is roughly an hour south of Tuscon, and this attraction offers a glimpse into the authentic old western feel. This area offers attractions such as gunfighter and ghost tours, underground mine tours, historical tours, and much more! There are also many restaurants, shopping, and hotels!

Take a step back in time with the family at this historic and unique town of Arizona! This town is extraordinarily rich in history and offers stunning views of the old west.

Hours: Check their website for hours for their many attractions.

International Wildlife Museum Tuscon

International Wildlife Museum Tuscon

If your kids are interested in animals and wildlife, this is a great spot to check out! This museum displays over 400 species of insects, mammals, and birds. They offer exhibits for land and water species. Your kids will certainly learn about wildlife at this museum with their many educational opportunities.

Specifically for kids, they offer fun opportunities like horseback riding and archery!

Hours: Thursday and Friday 9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00am-6:00pm. They are closed Monday-Wednesday.

Children’s Museum 

Designed for young children, this museum is focused on offering play-based learning activities! The museum, located in Tuscon, has 13 exhibits designed for learning and fun. Their educational exhibits range from music, gravity, public safety, and more! They also offer interactive activities such as a pet vet and butterfly garden!

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm. They are closed on Mondays.

Tohono Chul Park

This well-reviewed park offers gorgeous nature and art and has been named one of the world’s best botanical gardens! Tohono Chul Park, located in Tuscon, spans over 49 acres of desert. If you are looking for a leisure visit featuring beautiful views, this is your spot!

The park offers multiple nature gardens, art galleries, and a bistro featuring themed prickly pear cocktails (for the adults-only, of course). Your kids will enjoy the monarch gardens hummingbird gardens, and they even offer a children’s garden featuring learning activities. This site has something to offer for the whole family!

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 8:00am-5:00pm

San Xavier Indian Reservation

Another great historical location, the San Xavier Indian Reservation of the Tohono O’odham Nation, offers stunning views, including architecture from the 1700s. Their most popular attraction, Mission San Xavier del Bac, is a Spanish mission built in the late 1700s. This mission is the oldest standing European structure in Arizona!

This site offers an enriched history of the Native Americans of this land. It also offers art, dining, tours, and more!

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm

Pima Air and Space Museum

Pima Air And Space Museum

If your kids are interested in planes and space, this is a great site to visit! Located in Tuscon, this museum homes around 400 historic aircraft. The museum offers hangers, including World War II aircraft and other historical and unique aircraft! This site also offers a flight simulator and a Women in Flight Gallery.

This site makes for a great educational and entertaining visit with its unique collection.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

Rocks and Ropes

Have any climbers in your family? This location, located in downtown Tuscon, offers rock climbing walls, bouldering walls, and more! Rocks and Ropesis great for experienced climbers and beginners alike! A trained supervisor will accompany you and your family, so don’t worry about safety! They require all climbers to participate in a short safety lesson.

Hours: Monday-Friday 2:00pm-10:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00am-8:00pm

Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

Are you looking for a unique experience for the whole family? This is the place! The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, located in Tuscon, homes over 500 antique dollhouses and room boxes. Some of their miniature collections include the colonial room collection, the silver queen collection, and the weaving studio collection.

Aside from their permanent miniatures, they are also currently featuring an Addams Family Mansion exhibit, a Mesopotamia exhibit, and more! The unique craftsmanship displayed at this site is unforgettable.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00am-4:00pm

Presidio San Agustin Museum

Presidio San Agustin Museum

This historical location is a recreation of the Tuscon Presidio, which was built in the 1700s. Bring the kids along to learn about how historic Tucsonans lived, see remains of old buildings and walk along the Presidio wall! They offer walking tours that access the Barrio Neighborhood (Tuscon’s oldest standing neighborhood), the Turquoise Trail, a mural walking tour, and more!

This location offers beautiful sights for the whole family! Your kids will enjoy getting to see ancient sites and learning about the Native Americans of this area.

Hours:

  • August 21st-January 31st: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm
  • February 1st-May 31st: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm
  • June: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm
  • July-August 19th: Closed

Gaslight Theatre

Are you looking for some evening entertainment with a western feel? Gaslight Theatre has you covered. Completely decked out in old western decorations, you will feel like you have stepped into a time machine when you enter this theatre. This family-friendly experience offers entertainment, cool sights, and food and beverage options!

The shows put on at Gaslight Theatre are family-friendly, comedic, and entertaining! Their shows usually revolve around pop culture, and they parody famous tv shows and movies. According to their website, some of their fan favorites include “Back to the Past,” “Space Wars,” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

Hours: Check their website for hours for different showings.

Reid Park Zoo

Reid Park Zoo

Take the family for a fun, animal-filled day at this zoo! Located in Tuscon, Reid Park Zoo homes a variety of wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, African lions, and more! This zoo spans over 24 acres and offers more than observing animals.

Your kids will love their miniature train, carousel, giraffe interactions, and educational opportunities.

Hours: October-May 9:00am-4:00pm, June-September 8:00am-3:00pm

Arizona History Museum

If your family wants to learn about the history of southern Arizona, this attraction is perfect for you! The Arizona History Museum, located in Tuscon, focuses on the history of southern Arizona from Spanish colonial and territorial eras. They feature exhibits rich in history, such as a transportation gallery, a mining hall, the migrant quilt project, and more!

The kids will love exploring the mining tunnel and participating in the hands-on 1870s exhibit. This museum also offers a library and an artifacts collection.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm