10 Best Family-Friendly Museums in Tucson: Fun Destinations for the Whole Family

There are no shortage of fun, family-friendly museums in Tucson.

Start with a visit to the Children's Museum of Tucson, which features exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to grocery shopping. Younger kids will love dabbling in the art studio, and the whole family will love learning the mysteries behind the power grid in the "Electri-City" exhibit.

For aviation buffs, plan a visit to the Pima Air and Space Museum, which has been one of Tucson's star attractions since it first opened doors in 1976. The museum property is laid out over 150 acres populated by a collection of more than 250 aircraft.

One of the city's biggest family-friendly attractions is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This popular "living museum" is set on 21 acres of pristine desert. Families can enjoy strolling the winding garden trails, and catching a glimpse of endangered species like the Mexican wolf, thick-billed parrot, ocelot, margay, and jaguarundi. There's also a popular hummingbird aviary that offers a close-up look at the small, whimsical birds.

If the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is on your itinerary, plan a pit stop at the International Wildlife Museum, which is also on Tucson's west side. Even if you're not a big fan of taxidermy, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of stuffed and preserved animals and insects. Kids can touch real animal skulls, fur and skin. Talk about hands-on learning!


El Presidio


El Presidio was Tucson's first neighborhood. Named for the Spanish-built Presidio de San Augustin del Tucson, the historic area is the site of the original walled fort of Tucson, built when the US Army established a presence here. Though none...  Read More



The Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum in Tucson is run by a non-profit group of dedicated model railroaders in the Old Pueblo. This small, offbeat museum has unique displays of railroad memorabilia. One of the most prized...  Read More



Tohono Chul Park is an award-winning botanical garden in northwest Tucson. The park has been open for more than 25 years, bringing together nature, art and culture in unique and insightful exhibits. The park's gardens were designed to attract...  Read More

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block


The Tucson Museum of Art houses a permanent exhibit of pre-Columbian art, Western art, Latin American art (from ancient to contemporary), modern and contemporary art, and Asian art, plus traveling exhibits. It also houses an art school and an...  Read More



It may seem a bit unorthodox these days to center a museum around a collection of stuffed and preserved animals and insects, but this one actually succeeds. Starting with the holdings of numerous educational institutions and individuals, the...  Read More



The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson is a 15,560 square foot facility that likes to think of itself as a miniature time machine where you can step back in time--in miniature form. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy a self-guided...  Read More



The setting for many favorite Western movies (including Tombstone, Gunfight at the OK Corral, The Three Amigos, and countless John Wayne flicks), the Old Tucson Movie Studio had become something of a cinematic legend. Though a fire destroyed...  Read More



The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is one of Tucson's star attractions, with good reason. Part zoo, part natural history museum, and part botanical garden, the facility is set on 21 acres and is home to numerous animals that roam freely within...  Read More



Aviation buffs, this one's for you. The Museum opened to the public in May, 1976, with 75 aircraft on display. Since then the collection has grown to over 250 aircraft occupying 80 acres of land, making this one of the most popular attractions...  Read More



This Tucson institution is brimming with fun learning activities that cover several topics. The Dinosaur World exhibits make this the perfect companion to the T Rex Museum for your little paleontologist. If you have a budding train engineer or...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.