Located in a gray castle-like building on the west side of Tucson, the International Wildlife Museum is home to over 400 species of insects, mammals, and birds from around the globe. Lest you worry about encountering lions, bears, rattlesnakes, and hissing cockroaches, it’s important to note that all of the animals inside the museum are stuffed or preserved.
Some of the collections are more than 100 years old and all the animals found at the museum were donated by various government agencies, wildlife rehabilitation centers, captive breeding programs, zoos, and individuals.
Founded in 1988, the museum is a fun place for children and adults to see animals up-close – even in the hot summer months since the entire museum is indoors and air-conditioned!
Where is the International Wildlife Museum located?
On the far west side of Tucson.
The address is: 4800 West Gates Pass Road, Tucson.
What are the hours?
The museum is open Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm and Saturday-Sunday, 9:00am-6:00pm. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Why would I visit the International Wildlife Museum?
- To see displays of insects and animals from Arizona and around the world
- To watch short films about wildlife
- To attend a birthday party, business mixer, or other special event
How much does it cost?
Seniors (62 and over): $6
Military (with ID): $6
Children (4-12): $3
Children (3 and under): FREE
Can I purchase a membership instead?
Annual Membership Benefits
- Free unlimited museum admission
- Two complimentary guest passes
- Subscription to the museum newsletter
- Discounts on all museum programs, including summer camps & birthday parties
- 10% discount in Museum gift shop
- Reciprocal free admission to over 300 museums & science centers worldwide*
- Email notification of special events
- Museum tote bag (New Members only)
Annual Membership Rates
- Individual $30/year
- Senior $25/year
- Senior Couple $40/year
- Family $50/year
How much time should I allot for my visit?
Depending on the ages of the people in your party, your visit will likely take from 45 to 90 minutes.
What should I wear?
The International Wildlife Museum is air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter.
What should I bring with me?
Water bottles, snacks, and a camera are recommended.
How many bathrooms are available? Are they clean?
Bathrooms (with changing tables for little ones) are located inside the museum.
What are the most and least crowded days/months to visit the International Wildlife Museum?
Saturdays tend to be the most crowded day. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be the least crowded day. Note that field trip season is March thru May and most weekday mornings are very busy.
March and July are the most crowded months of the year; November is the least crowded month of the year.
Will I see any wild animals?
Yes – but not live ones! You’ll encounter polar bears, panda bears, giraffes, rhinos, bison, toucans, leopards, mountain goats, butterflies, bats, owls, even mythological creatures.
Is outside food allowed? Are picnic tables available?
No food or drink is allowed in any exhibit spaces. You can, however, pack a lunch or snack to eat in the air-conditioned dining area.
What dining venues are available on-site?
The International Wildlife Museum does not have an on-site restaurant, but there is a dining area that features a Saltillo tiled floor and colorful tables and chairs. This area comfortably accommodates 80 people.
The gift shop (adjacent to the dining area) also sells a small selection of snacks – chips, ice cream, drinks, and nachos. The gift shop is open from 10:00am-4:00pm on weekdays and 10:00am-5:00pm on weekends.
What restaurants are located NEAR the desert museum?
Not many! Your best bet is to pack snacks to tide you over and then head home or back to your hotel.
If you want to dine out, you’re looking at an 8-15 mile drive. We recommend Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe at 2456 N. Silver Mosaic Dr. (4.2 miles away) or La Cocina at 201 N. Court Avenue (5.5 miles away).
BABIES & KIDS
What ages would be best suited for a museum visit?
All ages are welcome. We visited with our 1-year-old, 4-year-old, and 7-year-old. All three enjoyed seeing the displays – especially walking underneath the giraffe, petting the bear, crawling through the ferret tunnel, and skipping through the moonlit cave.
BONUS – Print out a free Scavenger Hunt or Activity Sheet before your visit for added fun & learning!
Should I bring a stroller?
The International Wildlife Museum is a relatively small space. The one-story building is easily walkable, even for toddlers. That said, if you prefer to use a stroller, it’s certainly accessible throughout.
Two umbrella strollers are also available for visitor use at no charge. First-come, first-served.
Is there a designated area for nursing moms?
No. That said, there are a few benches in the exhibit rooms.
Are changing tables available?
Yes – in the restrooms.
Are highchairs available in the dining area?
There are 2 highchairs and 2 booster seats.
Can I have my wedding or other event at the wildlife museum?
The Museum is located in the beautiful Sonoran desert overlooking the city of Tucson and provides a unique and serene atmosphere for private parties, receptions, or business meetings.
You are welcome to use any caterer you would like (no kitchen facilities available).
Is the International Wildlife Museum on Facebook and Twitter?
What else do I need to know before I go to the International Wildlife Museum?
That just about covers it. Have a great time! Feel free to leave any additional questions in the comments and we’ll respond ASAP.