Arizona’s second-largest city, Tucson, blends natural beauty, a bustling university town feel, and rich cultural heritage. Whether your family craves outdoor wonders, quirky museums, or a good dose of cowboy history, something will spark everyone’s sense of adventure in the heart of the Sonoran Desert.Explore things to do with family in tucson:
Getting There & Getting Around
- Fly Into Tucson: Tucson International Airport (TUS) has connections to major hubs across the US, making it the easiest option for most families.
- Road Trip Worthy: If you’re exploring the Southwest, Tucson’s a scenic drive from nearby gems like Phoenix or even Southern California.
Things to do with family in tucson
Action-Packed Fun for All Ages
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: Not your average zoo! It’s part zoological park, part museum, and part botanical garden – a unique immersion into the region’s wildlife and natural beauty.
- Pima Air & Space Museum: One of the world’s largest, with over 400 historic aircraft – a surefire hit for airplane lovers. Take the optional tram tour to save tired legs on huge exhibit areas.
- Saguaro National Park: Discover the iconic giants of the desert. Choose from kid-friendly nature walks, scenic drives with accessible viewpoints, or more challenging hikes if you have older adventurers.
- Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway: Escape the desert heat with a drive up Mt. Lemmon, known for its “sky island” ecosystems. It’s a gorgeous journey, with hiking trails and even skiing in winter!
- Mission San Xavier del Bac: Admire the stunning architecture of this “White Dove of the Desert.” Tour the mission, and grab authentic handmade fry bread from the local vendors outside.
- Old Tucson Studios: This former movie set transforms into a Wild West playground, with gunfight shows, stagecoach rides, and a dose of cowboy fun.
- Reid Park Zoo: A classic zoo experience with elephants, lions, and lots of interactive exhibits – a manageable scale for younger kids that won’t overwhelm.
- Children’s Museum Tucson: Indoor interactive play is perfect for escaping the midday sun or burning off energy with creative exploration.
- Trail Dust Town: Combine shopping for unique finds with a miniature train, antique carousel, and Old West atmosphere for a kid-pleasing outing.
- Tohono Chul Gardens, Galleries & Bistro: Escape the crowds, stroll the garden pathways, and keep little eyes engaged with vibrant botanical sculptures.
Taste the Southwest
- Sonoran Hot Dogs: Tucson’s famous street food staple! These bacon-wrapped dogs get loaded with pinto beans, salsa, and all the fixings for a messy, delicious treat.
- Local Farm Stands: Embrace the freshness and flavor of Arizona with seasonal produce from roadside farm stands. Dates, citrus, and prickly pear treats are unique to the region!