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:
INDOORS AT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM ORO VALLEY AT TOHONO CHUL
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.
OUTDOORS AT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM ORO VALLEY AT TOHONO CHUL
The outdoor area consists of several small areas, which feature opportunities for self-directed play, reading, and arts & crafts.
TOHONO CHUL GARDENS & GROUNDS
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.
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.
The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00am to 1:00pm. Outdoor play spaces are open from 8:00am-5:00pm daily.
Admission rates to Tohono Chul are as follows:
Note that admittance to Tohono Chul includes admission to Children's Museum Oro Valley, which is located on the grounds.
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
Annual Membership Rates
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.
No. A Tohono Chul membership will not grant access to the Downtown Children’s Museum.
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.
Free parking is available at Children's Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul.
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.
You may want to bring water bottles, snacks, and/or a picnic. Outside food is permitted.
Yes. Restrooms, drinking fountains, and vending machines are located in the Children’s Ramada and Education center.
This depends on the ages and stamina of your children, but 2 to 3 hours should be ample time to play at the museum.
Yes. There are tables and benches where families can enjoy snacks or a picnic.
Yes. The Tohono Chul Garden Bistro is quite lovely. A children's menu is available.
There are plentiful dining options in northwest Tucson. Our top picks within a 1-mile radius include:
The ideal age range is babies through age 6, but older kids will likely have fun exploring the gardens alongside younger siblings.
Sure. In addition to the small museum space, you may want to wander the rest of the gardens.
There are benches and chairs, which would work well for this purpose.
Pets are not permitted at Tohono Chul.
There are currently no birthday party packages at Children's Museum Oro Valley.
That's about it! Have a fantastic time!
Check out the complete list of Tucson Museums.