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Visiting Tucson for a family vacation or looking for fun activities to enjoy in Tucson with kids? You have come to the right place. Here you will find 10 of the most interesting and fun things to do in Tucson with kids.
A beautiful city with diverse and dramatic landscapes. That’s Tucson for you. Surrounded by mountain ranges, Tucson attracts visitors who seek outdoor adventures and scenic vacation. Whether you are looking for escaping the heat or are on a look out for a kid friendly outdoor adventure, you are going to find a plethora of family friendly attractions in the city. From a miniature wonderland to kid friendly recreational areas, you do not need to worry about keep your kids entertained in Tucson. So, to narrow down your search, here are the most enjoyable and fun things to do in Tucson with kids.
1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
With an abundance of family friendly things to do, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum tops the list of attractions in Tucson that kids love visiting. This wonderful desert landscape features botanical gardens, zoo, aquarium, interactive wildlife exhibits, replica caves and art gallery all in one place. Visiting this place gives kids an amazing opportunity of getting up-close to the natural habitat of wildlife species as well as blooming flora throughout the walkable pathways.
2. Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
For kids friendly nature trails that makes them wander through the sprawling beauty of the deserts, the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is the best spot in Tucson. It is located in the Coronado National Forest that is just 10 miles north of the downtown. The area has a diverse array of trails that gives you glimpses to the desert’s wildlife and flora. You can also go on a tram ride to take in wonderful views of the Sabino Canyon.
One of the most popular trails is the hike to seven falls that leads you to a gorgeous waterfall through Bear Canyon trail. This trails is about 9 miles long. If you are coming with a baby or toddler, the Upper Sabino Canyon trail will be perfect for you.
3. Mini Time Machine Museum Of Miniatures
On of the most memorable and unique experiences for kids in Tucson is visiting the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. This museum has an array of interactive and entertaining miniatures that transport you to different eras via historic stories, fables and tell tales. There are many enchanting collectibles and miniature antiques that have your little ones explore the imaginative world of their depictions. There are over 500 room boxes and miniature houses to unfold in the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures.
4. Children’s Museum Tucson
One of the most popular family friendly attractions in Tucson is the Children’s Museum. Interactive indoor exhibits, playful activities and hands-on learning experiences makes this place apt for spending enjoyable time with kids. Not only entertaining, all the enthralling exhibits are educational too. The creative courtyard of the museum holds kid-centric themed workshops that leverage the imagination and creativity of the kids.
5. Reid Park Zoo
Let your little ones get playful while feeding the giraffes at the Reid Park Zoo. Home to more than 500 animals, the Reid Park Zoo is a fantastic expedition for kids to introduce them to various animals. The zoo has four zones, each having adaptive habitats for the animals. Kids will enjoy seeing elephants, zebras, giraffes, bears, tigers, rhinos, flamingos and many other animals in the zoo. In addition to the zoo experience, kids will also love activities like riding the mini train and carousel. Outside food is not allowed but there is a cafe inside the zoo that has a kid friendly menu.
6. Trail Dust Town
Trail Dust Town is a fun place to visit in Tucson with kids. This historic marketplace has many authentic stores, restaurants and a small amusement park for kids. Our favourite stores specially for kids include the Chocolate Depot, the Magic Shop and Toys-N-Tiques. There is a miniature CP Huntington train in Old Tucson Studios which takes you on a fun ride around the town. The amusement park has a ferris wheel, carrousel and live events that will keep you and your kids entertained.
7. Tucson Botanical Gardens
The Tucson Botanical Gardens in located on a historic Porter property. It has also been recognised as Top 10 North American Gardens worth traveling for. Once you enter the lush botanical gardens within the property, you will be amazed by the aesthetical beauty of many diverse plantations and floras. Kids will be fascinated by the tropical butterfly exhibits and blooming plantations all around. This place also includes a Children’s Garden, where your kid will learn about the lifecycle of plants. You will also find a gift shop which has a unique collection of specialty items which will certainly make you want to pick something for yourself and your dear ones.
8. PIMA Air And Space Museum
The PIMA Air and Space Museum is one of the best places to visit in Tucson with kids. Planes, helicopters and fascinating space exhibits will take your kids into the fascinating world of aviation. There are also many well preserved historic aircrafts which include John F Kennedy’s presidential plane, Bumblebee (designed to be world’s smallest plane) and Wright Brothers flyer. Spread over 80 acres, this museum has six air conditioned hangars. Take your kids in a tram tour around the museum. It is a fun and easy way to see all the aircrafts in the museum.
9. Mount Lemmon
If you are a nature enthusiast and would like to take your kid on an outdoor escape, a day trip to Mount Lemmon will definitely be a fabulous idea. The drive to Mount Lemmon is itself very scenic. Its located at a one hour drive north from Tucson’s centre. Camping, hiking, picnicking, fishing and bird watching are some of the activities to do in Mount Lemmon. You can also go there for skiing and sledding during winters.
There are many scenic lookout points at Mount Lemmon, where you can admire panoramic views of surroundings or plan on watching a sunset. You will find an amazing Sky Ride in the Mount Lemmon Ski valley, which is a ski lift that runs year round. This ride offers breathtaking views of the ski valley area covered with alpines, forests and sloppy landscapes. People visit Mount Lemmon as a summer retreat as it is always 25 to 30 degrees cooler than Tucson.
10. White Stallion Ranch
Nestled amongst unspoiled desert landscapes is the White Stallion Ranch, an award-winning dude ranch in Tucson. A staycation at this ranch will be no less than an adventure for your kids that will keep them all excited. They can indulge in activities like horse-riding, archery and e-biking. The ranch also has an outdoor pool, games room and a children’s playground.
Feel connected to the serenity of nature away from the city’s hustles at this fantastic dude ranch through trails, nature walks and hikes. In addition to standard rooms, this ranch offers family suites with finest amenities, authentic interiors and western facilities. This staycation will be an epic adventure for your kids in Tucson.
Where To Stay In Tucson With Kids
There are many accommodation options in Tucson that are family friendly. Although staying at a guest ranch would be an incredible idea that will be loved by your kids. But if you are looking for accommodations other than a guest ranch, below are our top recommendations;
Budget (upto $250) : Days Inn & Suites is the best budget hotel for families. The rooms are spacious and well equipped with modern amenities. Kids will enjoy activities like cycling, hiking and picnicking. The hotel features an outdoor pool for guests. Click here to book or to check the availability of the hotel.
Mid Range ($200 $350) : The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is the most kid friendly resort to stay in Tucson. The rooms are well furnished with ultra modern amenities. The hotel features a separate kids pool, tennis courts, golf course and offers babysitting services too which is very convenient for families with babies or toddlers. The wellness centre of the resort provides spa, yoga sessions and gym facilities to visitors. Click here to book or to check out the availability of the resort.
Luxury ($350+) : For a splurge worthy stay, El Conquistador will be the best choice for you. The resort is surrounded views by stunning mountains and desert areas. The resort features a fish shaped pool specially for kids and various activities to keep your them entertained. These activities include horse riding and easy hike trails. The resort also offers babysitting and child care services to guests. Spa facilities and fitness centre are also available on site. Rooms are spacious, comfortable, luxurious and boasts mesmerizing views of the surroundings. Click here to book or check the availability of the resort.
So these were our top recommendations for things to do in Tucson with kids. Which one did you find interesting? Let us know in the comments section below.