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.
Focusing on preservation, access and education, the center actively collects, preserves and makes available materials to foster the understanding and appreciation of photography and its history. Featuring archives, collections, education programs, exhibitions and publications, the museum holds the archives of more than 50 great 20th-century photographers, including Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, Edward Weston and Garry Winograd. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, except Christmas and New Year's Day; free. Visit creativephotography.org for more information.
Founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino, the "White Dove of the Desert" continues to serve the religious life of the surrounding Tohono O'odham community. It is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily; free. Free tours are on the half-hour from 9:30 a.m., through 12:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, except during special religious observances. Traditional O'odham food and crafts are available year-round. Call or visit sanxaviermission.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.
A museum of Native American archaeology, art, history and culture. Potters of Mata Ortiz: Inspired by the Past ... Creating Traditions for the Future and A Pottery Competition continue indefinitely. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; $8, $7 senior, $5 age 12 to 18 and college student, free younger child. Visit amerind.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.
From October through May, the attraction offers Old West entertainment, from cowboy gunfights and daring stunts to musical revues and comedies. Learn about Tucson's film history; take a miniature train ride; have an old-time photo taken; or enjoy barbecue at the Grand Palace Saloon. Guided tours take place throughout the day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday; $16.95, $10.95 ages 4 to 11, free younger child and pass holders. Old Tucson is available for group special events in the summer; call for reservations. Visit oldtucson.com for more information.
A world-renowned botanical garden, zoo and natural-history museum that features a vast collection of native plants and wildlife. Walk into the lush hummingbird and mixed-species aviaries, or learn about the statuesque saguaro and other desert denizens via daily tours and bird walks. Activities for kids include a simulated fossil dig. Open every day, but hours vary by month; free 3 and younger; $14.50, $5 ages 4 to 12 from September to May; $9.50, $2.25 age 6 to 12 from June to August. Visit desertmuseum.org for more information.
Exhibits depict early Tucson businesses and homes. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; $3 adults, $2 senior 60 and older or age 12 to 18; free younger child, 2-for-1 admission the first Tuesday of every month. Visit arizonahistoricalsociety.org for more information.
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 changing exhibitions and ongoing exhibits including The Pottery Project and Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest. Online exhibitions are featured at statemuseum.arizona.edu/exhibits/online.shtml. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday; $5, free youth younger than 18, students, active-duty military and their families, people with business in the building and everyone for public events. Visit statemuseum.arizona.edu for more information.
The museum is the longest continuously curated mineral museum west of the Mississippi and is recognized as one of the top collections in the country. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday; $7.50, $5 age 4 to 15, free younger child. Visit uamineralmuseum.org 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.
The museum focuses on Southern Arizona history from the Spanish colonial through the territorial eras. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday; $5, $4 senior or age 12 to 18, free younger child, member, visitor to the library or the store, 2-for-1 admission the first Tuesday every month. Visit arizonahistoricalsociety.org for more information.
All-you-can-eat pad Thai, egg rolls, chicken curry, vegetarian curry, desserts and more are served from 6 to 8 p.m., the third Saturday of every month; $10, free for children younger than 10. Proceeds help support free classes at the center.