Tucson’s Best Experiences:
The top rated Experiences in Tucson, AZ are:
- Children’s Museum Tucson – museum for children of all ages
- Pima Air & Space Museum – is one of the world’s largest aerospace museums
- Reid Park Zoo – features more than 500 animals
- San Xavier del Bac Mission – the oldest intact European structure in Arizona
- The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures – museum of miniatures
Children’s Museum Tucson
Children’s Museum Tucson in November 1986, the Southwest Children’s Exploratory Center opened in a modest room on Pennington Street as the Southwest Children’s Exploratory Center. Their founders believed that play was an important aspect of children’s learning. As the organization evolved, it relocated to the old YMCA on University Avenue before settling in the historic Carnegie Library in 1991.
The Museum has never lost sight of its founder’s objective of providing fun, hands-on learning experiences for children. It now spans 17,000 square feet and features 13 display spaces brimming with materials that enable children to construct, dream, explore, and discover.
“This place is amazing! Indoors so it’s perfect during the summer heat. Tons of activities that are both entertaining and informative. My 4-year-old daughter had a blast and was very engaged. And it’s only $9 to get in. Highly recommend checking it out.” – Bill M.
Pima Air & Space Museum
Pima Air & Space Museum was founded in 1976 and is now the world’s third-largest aviation museum. The museum covers 80 acres and houses roughly 400 planes and 125,000 items. The museum, which has its own aircraft restoration facility, gets around 170,000 visitors each year. Special tours of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group are also available at the Pima Air and Space Museum (AMARG). It is the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility, known as the “Boneyard.”
“Wow, where to start? This place is amazing. So many planes, so much history. Please I encourage everyone to visit and take the chance to see some of the rare planes of history. The space center was great. Many hangers with so many planes in each.” – Brian P.
Reid Park Zoo
Reid Park Zoo opened in 1965 with a collection of birds, prairie dogs, farm animals, and a few squirrel monkeys, has now evolved to a 24-acre complex with hundreds of animals in realistic displays, attracting over 500,000 visitors each year. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has granted Reid Park Zoo accreditation (AZA).
To be accredited, zoos must undertake a thorough investigation to ensure that they have met and will continue to satisfy ever-increasing standards. Animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety are all covered by these criteria. The AZA requires zoos and aquariums to undergo this rigorous accreditation process every five years.
“Great zoo, especially for kids. Small enough to cover in a couple of hours and plenty of spots to duck under some shade. Even tho it’s a small zoo, still has some big attractions such as elephants, giraffes, and lions. Got real up close with a rhino and Don’t forget to catch the wild dogs playing in the water as well.” – Jeff H.
San Xavier del Bac Mission
San Xavier del Bac Mission a National Historic Landmark, was founded as a Catholic mission in 1692 by Father Eusebio Kino. The current church’s construction began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The church’s interior is adorned with magnificent original statuary and fresco paintings, making it Arizona’s oldest intact European edifice. It’s a site where tourists may take a true step back in time and enter a genuine 18th-century setting. The church’s fundamental mission of ministering to the religious needs of its parishioners has not changed.
Historic Spanish Catholic Church
“Absolutely gorgeous. Employees are kind and caring. I started weeping and a beautiful woman came by as she walked thru and just laid her hand on my shoulder. Although we had masks on I could feel the smile of assurance as if she was saying- everything will be alright. This place is powerful.” – Jenn K.
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures Patricia and Walter Arnell, the founders, had a vision and worked hard to bring it to life. Pat’s fascination with miniatures began in the 1930s when she received her first miniatures a set of Strombecker wooden dollhouse furniture—as a young kid. Pat didn’t start collecting really until the Arnell family relocated to Tucson in 1979. The Arnell’s were well-known members and sponsors of significant miniature organizations such as NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) and IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artists) (International Guild of Miniature Artisans).
The Arnell’s thought of a way to share their collection with more people as it increased. They envisioned an interactive area where everyone could enjoy the collection’s entertainment and instructive aspects a location that would be enchanting, magical, and provide a rich sensory experience.
“The mini time machine museum is amazing! This place is a must for anyone young or old. The staff is super friendly and welcoming, and the miniatures will leave you in complete awe. Definitely give yourself at least 2hrs to enjoy because there is so much detail to admire.” – Melinda O.
Mark has lived in Detroit, MI his whole life. He has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and True Dakotan. As a journalist for Kev’s Best, Mark covers national and local businesses.