Tucson's world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden all in one. Dedicated to educating the public on the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, the primarily outdoor museum re-creates a natural desert
Tucson's world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden all in one. Dedicated to educating the public on the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, the primarily outdoor museum re-creates a natural desert landscape for its more than 300 animal species and 40,000 plants. Visitors can stroll the 21-acre museum's two miles of pathways to take a look at exhibits that simulate the relationships among Sonoran Desert plants, animals and geology.
A visitor favorite is the museum's extensive Sonoran Desert region gem, mineral and fossil collection of approximately 15,000 catalogued specimens. Resident wildlife species range from leafcutter ants, the smallest animal, to American black bears, the largest. Threatened and endangered animals such as the Mexican wolf, ocelot and thick-billed parrot are also a rare treat for guests.
The museum offers several spectacular venues for private events, including the Baldwin Education Building, with space for 200 guests and views of the desert from its glass panel wall and outdoor balcony. The state-of-the-art Warden Oasis Theater seats 270 people, while the Ocotillo Caf can accommodate 90 people. For outdoor functions, the museum offers the Taylor Plaza, which surrounds a 25-year-old Ironwood tree with a 30-foot-wide canopy, as well as the lush Desert Garden, which features two ponds, bricked garden spaces, shaded seating areas and private interior gardens.
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is open daily, March to September, from 7:30 AM to 5 PM and daily, October to February, from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Evening hours are extended until 10 PM in June, July and August. June to August admission is $2.25 for children ages 6-12 and $9.50 for adults. September to May admission is $4.25 for children and $13 for adults. Admission for children under 6 is free.