Arizona's first state park preserves the site of the oldest Spanish presidio and the first European settlement in Arizona established in 1752. The park features a museum, underground archaeological exhibit, Arizona's first printing press, an 1885 territorial schoolhouse and other turn-of-the-century structures, and the trailhead for the historic Anza Trail, from which Juan Bautista de Anza departed when he established San Francisco. Giclées of William Ahrendt paintings from the Arizona Highways "Cavalcade of History" collection are displayed in the gallery. Cultural events include Anza Days in October; Spanish Colonial living history; archaeological tours; nature walks; and concerts. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily; $5, $2 age 7 to 13, free younger child. Call or visit TubacPresidioPark.com for more information.
The museum features audio and visual interactive elements for youth and adults alike, a diorama with trains and a 1907 depot, a state-of-the-art media wall, knowledgeable docents and a locomotive. Locomotive Saturdays are held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and offer an up-close-and-personal look at a real locomotive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday; $6, free during Locomotive Saturdays hours. Visit tucsonhistoricdepot.org for more information.
The museum is one of the largest aviation museums in the world and is the largest non-government funded aviation museum in the United States. The museum maintains a collection of more than 300 aircraft and spacecraft from around the globe and more than 125,000 artifacts in five air-cooled indoor exhibit spaces. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admittance, 4 p.m.), daily; $12.50, $9 ages 7 to 12, $12.75 senior, military, Pima County resident and AAA from November through May; $7 to $15.50, free for children age 6 and younger. Visit pimaair.org for more information.
The museum displays an array of antique and contemporary miniatures, featuring more than 275 miniature houses and room-boxes by notable artisans. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m., Sunday; $9, $8 senior, $6 age 4 to 17, $6 adults on Thursday, March through December. Visit theminitimemachine.org for more information.
The museum features exhibits about military life on the Arizona frontier. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday; $3, $2 senior or age 12 to 18, free younger child or member, 2-for-1 admission the first Saturday every month. Visit arizonahistoricalsociety.org for more information.
The museum features a planetarium theater that shows live sky shows and galaxy tours, hands-on exhibits, science demonstrations and viewing through a 16-inch telescope, the largest public telescope in Southern Arizona. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday; 6 to 9 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday; and 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, except Tuesday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; $7, $5 age 4 to 15, free younger child, $4 Arizona college student with ID. Visit flandrau.org for more information.
The only one of 54 missile silos preserved as a National Historic Landmark, at seven stories underground. Tour includes the launch-control center and missile silo. Displays include an actual Titan II ICBM. Visitors can experience a simulated launch. Open daily from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Thanksgiving and Christmas; $9.50, $8.50 senior or military, $6 ages 7 to 12, free younger child. Visit titanmissilemuseum.org for more information.
Take a trip into Tucson's past with living history demonstrations, re-enactments and special events. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday; free. Visit tucsonpresidiotrust.org for more information.
Located atop the 6,875-foot summit of Kitt Peak, the observatory offers nightly viewing and an advanced overnight program that lets visitors stay on site, use advanced equipment and "explore some of North America's most spectacular night skies." (Stargazing by reservation only.) Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. Guided tours are at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; a single tour is $5.75, $3 age 7 to 12, free younger child, June through October; $7.75, $4 age 7 to 12, free younger child, November through May. Special rates for three tours are available. Night tours feature four hours of guided observing time and a box dinner; $49, $45 student, military or senior. Call 318-8726, or visit noao.edu/kpno for more information.
The museum highlights more than 400 species of insects, mammals and birds from around the globe. Dioramas depict wild animals in their natural settings. Videos, interactive computers and hands-on exhibits promote wildlife appreciation and conservation. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday; $8, $3 ages 4 to 12, free younger child or member, $6 senior, student or military. Visit thewildlifemuseum.org for more information.