Kid-friendly attractions in Tuscon
Reid Park Zoo in Tucson (© Reid Park Zoo)
WhereTraveler takes us to Tucson to explore its museums, planetariums and other kid-friendly spots to visit with the whole family.
Traveling with children often times means compromise at every turn. Tucson offers entertainment fit for the whole family, and a chance for the adults to reconnect with their inner child. Find educational activities, big and small wonders, and plain old fun times at these seven Tucson attractions.
Reid Park Zoo
Elephants playing at the zoo (© Reid Park Zoo)
Hop on the Reid Park Zoo express train, go wild in the interactive wet play area and feed the giraffes at the giraffe encounter at Reid Park Zoo, home to more than 500 animals and 100 species on its 24-acre campus. Be sure to check the daily schedule for training demonstrations, chats with the zookeepers and children’s activities. Among special events happening throughout the year, the 2014 Zoo Lights exhibit takes place Dec. 5-23.
Children’s Museum Tucson
For inside fun, Children’s Museum Tucson’s wee play, wee wiggle and wee move programs of Wee World are perfect for toddlers, while older siblings explore the bodyology, electri-city and build it exhibits, among other educational activities. The museum is open six days a week (closed Mondays), and admission is only $2 on the second Saturday of each month.
University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium
The UA Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium is equally interesting for children and adults. Inside southern Arizona’s only planetarium theater, 8,000 stars are projected and a variety of show times are available seven days a week. The Flandrau Observatory, run entirely by volunteers, is where visitors can view through a 16-inch reflecting telescope (call ahead to check availability).
Pima Air & Space Museum
Pima Air & Space Museum (John Saunders)
The whole family (even the dog—leash required) will take interest in the third largest aviation museum in the United States at Pima Air & Space. More than 300 significant aircraft are on display, ranging WWII aircraft, Air Force One and the Wright Flier. Wander the hangers at leisure through a self-guided tour, or take one of the docent-led walking or tram-ride tours. The museum is open seven days a week and each Saturday features a Soarin’ Saturday kids program.
The Mini Time Machine: Museum of Miniatures
More than 275 dollhouses and room boxes are displayed inside The Mini Time Machine: Museum of Miniatures. Exhibits are organized into three permanent display rooms: Enchanted Realm, History Gallery and Exploring the World. Temporary exhibits are also housed here, such as the current Miniature Silver display (showing through Feb. 1, 2015) and the upcoming Diamonds are Forever (Jan. 27-April 19, 2015). Check out the Kids Create family fun program held the second Saturday of each month from 1-4 pm. Open six days per week (closed Mondays).
Golf N’ Stuff
Two miniature golf courses, go-kart racing, bumper boats, batting cages, more than 100 arcade games and laser tag can be found at Golf N’ Stuff. Open seven days a week, activities will keep the whole family entertained, and a snack bar is on site for refueling. Pricing is based on activity; full-day passes can be purchased.
(MORE: Find kid-friendly hotels to stay in during your Tucson vacation.)
Funtasticks Family Fun Park
Three levels of laser tag, go-kart racing, two miniature golf courses, bumper boats and batting cages will keep the adults and older children entertained at Funtasticks, while the Kiddie Land offers rides and go-karts for the littler ones. Pay as you go or for the full day; the park is open seven days a week with a snack bar on site.
Author Kimberly Gunning is an associate editor for WhereTraveler.
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