Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

When we were in Tucson, we left early one morning to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  The drive there was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Happily, the museum opened at 7:30 am, and we were right there at 7:32, ready to go.  It gets hot quickly! 
I've been to a lot of zoos and museums in my life.  But this was by far one of the best.  Stunning beauty, natural scenery, and lots of hands on experiences for the boys.  They started with a cave exploration, and the boys had so much fun I thought we'd never get them to move on to the next exhibit.


All of the animals in the museum can be found naturally in the Sonora desert.  The boys were very interested to see the wide variety of rattlesnakes.  Luckily, this mountain lion was behind glass.


We did the half mile desert loop hike next.  You will notice that the boys are geared up with their own water sources, hats, and sunglasses.  Even though it was already extremely hot, we were able to manage the heat just fine thanks to these preparations.  They had free refillable water sites in the zoo and they even had sunscreen in the restrooms! 


The desert hike was so beautiful.  We saw numerous birds, little lizards doing push ups, and javalina.
The terrain is so different from what we are used to in Virginia.  We never got tired of checking out the plants.

Later, we found a cactus garden, and we hiked through that, too.


Paul took a fun picture of different cacti in the cactus garden.  I especially liked the little stumpy hedgehog cacti (not pictured here).


Pierce looked out at the views through an owl's perspective.


And Cort navigated a tunnel designed just for kids - no adults could fit through those narrow crevices:

The boys had the most fun at the stingray exhibit.  It was cool with hands in the water, in the shade, and the stingrays had such personalities!

One stingray, dubbed Slappy, would flap water in your face as it passed.  They did not seem to mind the gentle touch of human hands.

We wrapped up our visit with a hummingbird garden.  It was an amazing morning, and if you happen to find yourself in Tucson, I'd say it is a must-see! 

Readers, what is your favorite museum or zoo?

22 comments:

Tom said...

...great place for your 'energy fellows.'

Sally said...

Awesome! I can hardly think what else to say. A wonderful trip, fun and educational. I'm so glad y'all had a good time. :)

xoxo

Karen S. said...

My favorite of all you wonderful photos is the first one. Gosh it reminds me of all my visits to my grandfather's place.

Out on the prairie said...

I like seeing it again, have been many times.

Karen Ann said...

What a great adventure for your family - I've never been to that part of the country, either - enjoying your pics.

Lin said...

WOW! I have been hearing more and more how beautiful AZ is...we need to travel there soon!

Jill said...

This looks like an amazing place to visit! I love the hands on education you give your boys.

Ginny Hartzler said...

How awesome!! First, I did not know there are caves in this desert! The boys look like they are having a ball! They are so cute! Were there any hanging bats in the cave, and did it look different from the Eastern caves? How cool that there was sunscreen for free! Javalina...they are kind of like a wild pig, right? I guess they are used to people. I think the stingray pond may have been my favorite. Cool and lovely. And they must be so impressive to see. I think my favorite museum trip was when we saw the Dale Chihuly exhibit in Richmond.

Michelle said...

Arizona is such a great place to visit and hike. We have been there a couple of times for trips. Looks like everyone enjoyed it!

Linda said...

Looks like a fantastic place!

Small Kucing said...

Thoughtful Zoo management. Nice to have them ready sunbl9ck and water for visitors

Harry Flashman said...

When I was a child, my parents took me to an underground zoo in Arizona. You walked through darkened tunnels, and the sides had been cut away to show the burrows of the animals, like pack rats. I remember they had a two headed snake. Things like that stick with you all your life. Your kids are fortunate to have parents who make those opportunities available.

Maggid said...

Okay, okay - i gotta get back to Tuscon . . THIS looks SO FUN.
thank you!

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I haven't been to Arizona to visit, but my daughter has and she says it is beautiful. I'm not much for heat, but it looks like y'all weren't affected by it. The boys look as happy as can be and what an education they are getting.

mail4rosey said...

They really are little cutie pies. :) That's crazy that the mountain lion came so close through the glass. I'd think he'd stay away. I guess they get used to seeing people. :)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That looks like something I would enjoy. Glad you had such a nice time. I love the sunscreen dispensers.

DMS said...

What a fun experience for all of you. Looks like a great place to visit. Anytime we can experience things hands on- we learn more. :)
~Jess

Sharon Wagner said...

It is such a foreign beauty, the desert. I loved it too.

Betty Crow said...

Enjoyed this post. I haven't spent much time in Arizona and have never been to Tuscon. Looks like the boys had an awesome visit.

Linda said...

Looks like a great place for kids! I love museums.

Betsy Adams said...

Looks like a great museum--especially for kids... I'm not sure I could endure the heat though... Glad you were well-prepared.

We've had sadness in our family lately. IF you want to catch up on my blog posts, you can read last Monday's and this Monday's....

Hugs,
Betsy

Annette said...

Wow, what a cool place! Your pictures make me want to visit Arizona all over again. This definitely sounded like the perfect desert experience without getting too hot or worrying about scary desert creatures out in the wild.