Tucson is no slouch when it comes to family-friendly attractions. The city boasts popular family attractions like the Western-themed Old Tucson Studios, the Pima Air and Space Museum and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, among many others.
Now, families looking for kid-friendly attractions in Tucson have a new destination to explore. The Children's Museum Tucson has opened a satellite branch in the city's northwest valley, the Children's Museum Oro Valley.
Visitors to the museum will find the same brand of engaging, hands-on exhibits that has earned the downtown museum rave views since it opened in 1986.
A new children's museum has opened in Tucson's north valley — Photo courtesy of Children's Museum Oro Valley
The Children's Museum Oro Valley is located in the Steam Pump Village shopping center on busy Oracle Road in the community of Oro Valley, about 30 minutes from downtown Tucson by car.
The Oro Valley location is designed with younger children in mind, offering a stimulating early-learning environment that's both fun and educational for preschoolers, toddlers and infants.
The museum features six interactive exhibits designed to help children develop cognitive, literacy and motor skills.
There's the Literacy Corner, a reading area that lets families read books and enjoy story time readings under the colorful Alphabet Tree. The tree features a canopy of books with pages shaped into artful origami creatures.
There are also two Book Nooks, where kids can cozy up with a picture book.
Kids can explore their artistic side at the museum's Art Studio, which has drawing easels, a painting station and plenty of paints and materials for kids to dabble with.
Perhaps the most unique exhibit at the museum is the Peek-a-Boo Palace, a whimsical castle-like structure that encourages young children to climb, crawl and explore colorful nooks and crannies.
Toddler Town is a mini-township that helps children explore and develop motor skills, whether that means learning how to crawl, climb or find their balance.
The colorful buildings include buttons, hinges, turf and faux fur that entice young children to touch and explore their surroundings.
Kids can role play at the museum's Farmer's Market exhibit, which includes a colorful red barn, a picnic area and farmer market stands. Kids can learn about different types of fruits and vegetables and shop for their favorite foods.
For the museum's littlest visitors, the Lullaby Lounge offers a calm and safe space where babies can nap, play and practice crawling. The lounge features age-appropriate books and toys, and there's also a semi-private nursing area for parents.
Like its downtown location, the Children's Museum Oro Valley will be developing a weekly calendar of story time readings, art classes and other fun events for children and their families.