The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a must-visit. Though its name says museum, this really is a combination of a museum, zoo, and botanical garden all in one. In fact, approximately 85 percent of the attractions are outdoors! So, don’t forget the hats, sunscreen, and water when you plan your trip here. Given the diversity of activities and sights here, there really is something for every member of the family. With over 230 native animal species (including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects) and over 1,200 native plant species on the grounds, the Desert Museum is one of the best places in the country to really experience the diversity of desert flora and fauna. Plus the drive to get there is full of spectacular desert views!
The museum is open daily year-round, though hours do vary by season. During the hot summer months, daytime visits are not nearly as pleasant. With that in mind, there are often special nighttime events at the museum in the summer. In fact, they hold Summer Saturday evenings when the museum is open until 10:00 p.m., with themed programs especially geared toward families after 6 p.m.