Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul - Attraction Guide

Childrens Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul | Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul - Attraction Guide

Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul is a small area on the property of Tohono Chul Gardens, which has indoor and outdoor exhibits along with daily self-directed activities and programming for small children.

Truth be told, calling this a museum may be a bit of a stretch. If you are used to large children's museums with winding halls and plentiful exhibits, this one will surprise you. Even so, if you have toddlers or very young children, they are bound to be delighted by this nature-inspired play destination. Parents will appreciate the simplicity as well. It's easy to keep your eye on little ones as they play and explore in the glorious Tucson sunshine. Although it is not grandiose in size or scope, it's a wonderful new space for Tucson toddlers and an excellent addition to Tohono Chul (which previously was lacking in enticements for little ones).

There are essentially three areas to enjoy and explore:


There is one indoor space - a large room - which features play food, a climbing apparatus, a reading nook, a toy train set, a small dress-up area, and an air wall where kids can put handkerchiefs into a dizzying maze of pipes.


The outdoor area consists of several small areas, which feature opportunities for self-directed play, reading, and arts & crafts.


When you purchase a daily admission pass, you receive admittance to both the children's museum and the gardens in general. All of the spaces in the photo collage immediately above are in the garden itself. Kids can play with trucks, watch wooden "boats" float in a fountain, or read a book from the Little Library.


Where is Children's Museum Oro Valley located?

Children's Museum Oro Valley was previously located at 11015 N. Oracle Rd.. In January 2023, the museum moved to its new home at Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.

What are the hours?

The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00am to 1:00pm. Outdoor play spaces are open from 8:00am-5:00pm daily.

Why would I visit Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul?

  • To play, explore, and discover alongside your small child or grandchild
  • To learn about the culture, animals, and plants of the Sonoran Desert
  • To attend special programming or a birthday party

How much does it cost?

Admission rates to Tohono Chul are as follows:

  • Member: Free
  • Adult: $15
  • Children (5-12): $6 | Children (under 5): Free
  • Student (with ID): $13
  • Senior (62+): $13
  • Active Military: $13
  • Groups (10 or more): 10% discount

Note that admittance to Tohono Chul includes admission to Children's Museum Oro Valley, which is located on the grounds.

Can I purchase an annual membership instead?

Yes! You can purchase a membership to Tohono Chul, which will grant you daily admission to Children's Museum Oro Valley (along with the below benefits).

Annual Membership Benefits

  • Free daily admission
  • Free guest passes
  • Free admission to Bloom Night
  • Discount on tax-free shopping in the Museum Shops, Retail Greenhouse, & at Plant Sales
  • Discounts on classes, trips, special events, and at the Garden Bistro
  • Admission to “Members Only” Plant Sale Previews
  • Invitation to all exhibit openings, the New Member Welcome Tour, the annual Members’ Reception, and the “Plan Your Estate” seminar
  • Reciprocal membership privileges to the American Horticultural Society Program, which offers free admission and/or additional benefits at over 300 gardens throughout North America and the Cayman Islands.

Annual Membership Rates

  • Individual (Senior): $30
  • Individual (Student): $35
  • Individual: $45
  • Senior Couple: $50
  • Family/Dual: $65 *good for two named adults along with their children and grandchildren (17 and under)

Are CMOV and CMT (Children’s Museum Tucson) memberships accepted?

If you would like to have year round access to Children's Museum Oro Valley, you will need to purchase a Tohono Chul membership, which will grant you access to both the gardens and the children's museum space. Note that Children's Museum Tucson memberships are not accepted at Children's Museum Oro Valley.

Is a Tohono Chul membership good at the Downtown Children’s Museum?

No. A Tohono Chul membership will not grant access to the Downtown Children’s Museum

Does Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul offer FREE or Discount Admission Days?

Not at this time. That being said, you may want to subscribe to Tohono Chul's e-newsletter to stay updated on special events and promotions.

  • If you have a local library card, you can "check out" a culture pass to Tohono Chul, which will grant you free admission for two people. Remember that children under 5 are free!
  • Children’s Museum Oro Valley is part of the Museums for All program. Families that present an EBT/SNAP card or a WIC card and a valid form of photo ID can get $3 per person admission for up to 4 people.

What is the parking situation?

Free parking is available at Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul.

What should I wear?

Children's Museum Oro Valley is mostly outdoors, as is Tohono Chul. Expect to spend most of your time in the lovely Arizona sunshine and/or in shaded areas. The museum features one small indoor play space, which is climate-controlled.

Dress for the weather. Light layers, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and sun hats are a good idea.

Note: Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul appears to be very free when it comes to paints. There are several painting stations where paints are open, including a life-size tractor that kids can paint (Beware! Your little one will run right to it, climb on top, and may get wet paint all over their clothes!). Although smocks are available, we advise that you dress your child in clothes that can get muddy, wet, or speckled with paint.

What should I bring with me?

You may want to bring water bottles, snacks, and/or a picnic. Outside food is permitted.

Are restrooms available?

Yes. Restrooms, drinking fountains, and vending machines are located in the Children’s Ramada and Education center.

How much time should I allot for my visit?

This depends on the ages and stamina of your children, but 2 to 3 hours should be ample time to play at the museum.


Tohono Chul Garden Bistro | Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul - Attraction Guide
Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

Is outside food allowed? Are picnic tables available?

Yes. There are tables and benches where families can enjoy snacks or a picnic.

Does Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul have a restaurant or snack bar?

Yes. The Tohono Chul Garden Bistro is quite lovely. A children's menu is available.

What restaurants are located NEAR Children's Museum Oro Valley?

There are plentiful dining options in northwest Tucson. Our top picks within a 1-mile radius include:

  • Wildflower American Cuisine, 7037 N. Oracle Rd. (0.3 miles away) - seasonal menu, gluten-free , vegetarian
  • Beyond Bread, 421 W. Ina Rd. (0.4 miles away) - breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, soup, salads, pastries
  • eegee's, 7911 N. Oracle Rd. (0.8 miles away) - sub sandwiches, french fries (with ranch dressing!), slushy-style drinks


What ages would be best suited for a visit to Children's Museum Oro Valley?

The ideal age range is babies through age 6, but older kids will likely have fun exploring the gardens alongside younger siblings.

Should I bring a stroller?

Sure. In addition to the small museum space, you may want to wander the rest of the gardens.

Is there a quiet/cozy area for mothers to feed their babies?

There are benches and chairs, which would work well for this purpose.

Are changing tables available?


What about my pet? Can I bring my dog?

Pets are not permitted at Tohono Chul.


Can I have my child's birthday party at Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul?

There are currently no birthday party packages at Children's Museum Oro Valley.


Is Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul active on social media?

You can follow Tohono Chul on Facebook and Instagram.

What else do I need to know before I visit Children's Museum Oro Valley?

That's about it! Have a fantastic time!

Check out the complete list of Tucson Museums.

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