International Wildlife Museum - Attraction Guide

Penguins International Wildlife Museum Tucson | International Wildlife Museum - Attraction Guide


"Safari Club International Foundation wishes to inform you that the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, AZ, closed its doors on December 31, 2023. All scheduled events after this date are canceled. Efforts are being made to return the taxidermy on loan from other organizations. The remaining museum’s taxidermy, animals, and exhibits will be relocated to new locations to continue educating the public on wildlife appreciation and the role of wildlife management in conservation. The Safari Club International Foundation expresses gratitude to the public, museum’s members, volunteers, workers, and donors who have generously supported the museum over the years, and for your ongoing commitment to the Safari Club International Foundation."

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?

The International Wildlife Museum is 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 Thursday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm and Saturday-Sunday, 9:00am-6:00pm. Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. 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?

Adults: $12
Seniors (62 and over): $8
Military (with ID): $8
Children (4-12): $6
Children (3 and under): FREE

Can I purchase a membership instead?


Annual Membership Benefits

  • Unlimited free admission to the International Wildlife Museum
  • 2 free guest passes
  • 10% discount in the Museum Gift Shop
  • Email notification of special events
  • Free admission to special events (materials fee may apply in workshops & some special events)
  • Free reciprocal admission to over 250 participating ASTC museums & science centers (local institutions excluded)
  • Guests accompanying an IWM member to the museum will receive discounted admission
  • Discount on museum youth programs

Annual Membership Rates

  • Individual $40/year (1 named adult)
  • Dual $50/year (2 named adults)
  • Family $65/year (2 named adults and their children/grandchildren under the age of 18)

* $5 discount on any membership if you are a senior, military, or have a current fishing or hunting license

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?

Bring water bottles, snacks, and cash for any souvenirs (scorpion lollipops, for example) you may want to purchase in the gift shop.

How many bathrooms are available? 

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. Thursdays and Fridays tend to be the least crowded days. 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, and more.


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 and movie theater.

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, and drinks. 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 International Wildlife Museum?

Head Downtown for fantastic food and a fun cultural experience! Downtown Tucson is about a 10-15 minute drive from the International Wildlife Museum.


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.

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 birthday party at the wildlife museum?

Yes. The International Wildlife Museum is located in the beautiful Sonoran desert overlooking the city of Tucson and provides a unique atmosphere for birthday parties, receptions, or business meetings.

You are welcome to use any caterer you would like (no kitchen facilities available).

What is Flashlight Night like? Do I need to bring my own flashlight?

Flashlight Night at International Wildlife Museum is held about once per quarter, typically on a Saturday night between 6:00-8:00pm. The lights go out around 6:00pm, but note that it isn't actually pitch black due to skylights, lights for safety, and the many roaming flashlights throughout the building. If desired, you can pick up a scavenger hunt map and try to search for animals around the museum.


Are wheelchairs available?

Two wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is the International Wildlife Museum active on social media?

Yes! You can follow International Wildlife Museum on Facebook and Instagram.

What else do I need to know before I go to the International Wildlife Museum?

That just about covers it. Have a great time!

Check out the complete list of Tucson Museums.

TucsonTopia contains both paid and non-paid mentions of businesses and organizations in and around Tucson, Arizona. Any reference made here to local businesses, services, classes, etc. is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement. We encourage you to do your own research before participating in an event or engaging with a local business or organization. The intent of TucsonTopia is to provide ideas for family-friendly activities, events, and resources. Participants assume all risks for any activities they engage in. TucsonTopia is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may arise from partaking in any of these events and activities.
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