Have you been to the Children's Museum in Downtown Tucson? If not, pick a date and head that way soon. It's a clean, colorful, and kid-friendly place.
Housed in a gorgeous red brick building with impressive pillars, the Children's Museum Tucson is 17,000 square feet of exploration and fun. It's large enough to get lost in for a few hours, but not so huge that you feel overwhelmed with little ones.
There are currently 11 different themed rooms/areas including: Bodyology, Build It, Courtyard, Electri-City, Enchanted Rainforest, Investigation Station, Ocean Discovery Center, Pet Vet, Public Safety, TechTopia, and Whistle Stop Gallery.
Bodyology is an especially cool room, featuring larger-than-life body parts, a grocery store, and pretend juice bar. Kids can fill up a mini grocery cart with fresh fruits, veggies, and other boxed/canned goods...and then check everything out at a register.
We also enjoyed the Art Studio where kids can paint and draw on provided easels...and the ambulance in the Public Safety corner is not to be missed.
The target age range is children 10 and under, but we think it's an especially PERFECT place for 2-5 year olds. That said, younger and older siblings are sure to love engaging with the hands-on exhibits as well.
Daniela Siqueiros, Marketing & Membership Manager, had this to say about the best times to visit, "Weekday mornings tend to be our busiest. This is when we have the majority of our school groups come in. They are usually done by noon. If you're hoping for a quieter experience, try the early mornings (9:00am-10:00 am) before tour groups or afternoons."
ADDRESS: 200 S. 6th Avenue, Tucson
HOURS: CLOSED on Mondays; 9:00am-5:00pm Tuesdays-Fridays; 10:00am-5:00pm Weekends
ADMISSION RATES: $8/adults, $6/children (ages 1-18), Free/babies (12M and under)
MEMBERSHIP: If you think you may visit multiple times throughout the year, a membership is undeniably your best bet. An annual membership includes: unlimited admission, members-only hours and events, 4 one-time use guest passes, and 20%off birthday parties. There are 3 different options to choose from:
DISCOUNTS & COUPONS: Every second Saturday of the month is $2.00 admission day. Be sure to also follow the Children's Museum Tucson on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop about free and discounted admission days (they happen quite regularly). There is also a BOGO offer in the Tucson Attractions Passport.
PARKING: There is metered parking available along 6th Ave, 12th Street, and 13th Street. One dollar in change gets you two hours of parking. Note that meters are free on the weekends and holidays. The closest parking garage is on Stone, next to St. Augustine’s Cathedral.
BABIES: If you have a baby, the Enchanted Rainforest area is designed specifically for the youngest visitors with soft blocks and tunnels. There are futons in almost every room of the museum so you'll have a comfortable place to nurse as older siblings play.
BATHROOMS: We didn't make it inside the restrooms. Anyone else want to comment on the cleanliness, layout, or amenities offered?
FOOD: Although the museum doesn't have an in-house restaurant, there are plenty of restaurant options within walking distance including Hub, Empire Pizza, Monkey Burger, Riley’s, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, and Little Poca Cosa.
The front courtyard also has an assortment of adult and child-sized picnic tables and a delightful grassy sprawl. You're more than welcome to pack a lunch to enjoy before or after your visit...or you can order pizza for delivery. Note that outside food and drink are not permitted inside the museum.
NOTES: If you have multiple small children, you may want to bring along your spouse or a grandparent to ensure adequate supervision. There are lots of different rooms to explore and having an extra set of hands is always helpful.