Classes, Lectures, & Workshops

The learning never stops at Tohono Chul – discover this for yourself in our Classes, Lectures, & Workshops!

We’re all about connecting our members and visitors to the amazing world around us, offering them opportunities to make their own discoveries about the nature, art, and culture of our region. Read on for our latest listings of classes, lectures, and workshops designed to engage and delight!

Cancellation Policy

We reserve the right to cancel or postpone an event due to lack of enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. A full refund will apply. If however, you cancel your registration in a class or lecture retailed at $15 or lower, there is no refund. If you cancel your registration within 2-weeks for a hands-on workshop, there is a full refund if your space can be filled.


February 2024


T’ai Chi Chih: “Joy through Movement”

4-day Class | February 19th – 22nd | 11:00 – 11:50 am | Children’s Ramada

Join certified instructor, Laura Star, to learn T’ai Chi Chih (tie chee chi). You will learn 10 movements of this soft, flowing, moving meditation. Easy to learn and the practice brings many benefits including peace of mind, improved health, balance and joy! The primary purpose of T’ai Chi Chih is to circulate and balance the body’s energy, or chi, resulting in a state of health and well-being. T’ai Chi Chih does not require a particular level of fitness or coordination.  (For those with physical limitations, movements may be done seated).

Wear unstructured flat shoes, with flat insole, if possible. Dress for the weather as class is held outside. See videos of this form on Laura’s Facebook page here.

$60 for members | $60 + cost of admissions for the general public

Class fee will be collected on the first day (cash is appreciated).

Students register with instructor directly at Lstar23@gmail.com


Yoga in the Gardens

Tuesday | Performance Garden | 9:30 am – 10:30 am
February 20 and 27
$10 members | $10 plus admission for general public (please pay CASH directly to the instructor)

Outdoor yoga with Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist, Mary Carhuff! All are welcome! Open your senses to an understanding of our connection to the earth. All are encouraged to practice at their own pace and modifications will be demonstrated. Please bring your own mat, water and dress in layers. Stroll the grounds or brunch in the Bistro afterwards and take in the beauty of the gardens.


Healing Sound Meditation with TC Chicago

Saturday | February 24th | 9am – 10am | Performance Garden

Come experience the Art of Healing Frequencies in the gardens this winter and spring! Immerse yourself in Soundscapes of Wellbeing led by TC Chicago. The session will begin with a guided meditation encouraging you to ground and begin to explore your inner landscape. Then begins the symphony of sound. The 28-inch gong, quartz Crystal vessels, quartz Crystal harp, waterfall, shamanic drum, and chimes will alter patterns of brain activity bringing you into a higher state of consciousness inviting you slip into deeper states of relaxation. This practice can reduce stress, promote more restful sleep, and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Come surround yourself with nature as you enjoy this multi-sensory experience!

$5 for members and $5 + Park Admission for the general public

Students pay instructor directly via cash or paypal. Please bring your own mat.


March 2024


“The Earth Laughs in Flowers” with Pinau Merlin

Tuesday | March 5th | 1pm – 2:30pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

In special springs, when the winter rains have been plentiful, nature throws an exuberant party with wildflowers as the guests of honor. The unpredictability of these special shows makes them all the more precious. This spring, though the rains came late, may still treat us to a variety of gorgeous blooms.  Flowers truly enchant us, making us happy and touching our souls, but their charms, sweet fragrances, beautiful colors and intriguing shapes are meant for bees, butterflies, insects and birds. Flowers and their pollinators have co evolved together in a rich interplay of strategies, tactics and syndromes to aid the survival and reproduction of each other, contributing to each other’s success. Often, we think of flowers as passive in this pollination endeavor, yet they are actively and deftly luring and managing their pollinators.

Come join us for an enchanting lecture and PowerPoint show with Pinau Merlin to discover the mysterious and intricate natural history of some of our favorite desert wildflowers and their pollinators. You won’t look at flowers the same way again!

$10 for members and $15 for the general public


Crepe Paper Arizona Wildflowers Bouquet with Sandy Luna

Friday | March 8th | 10 am – 1:00 pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

The spring flowering season in the Arizona Upland subdivision spans from mid-February to mid-June with a peak from mid-March to late April depending on rainfall and temperatures during the growing season. “It happens when all the weather conditions are just right, and that means substantial rainfall in late fall and early winter, cool daytime temperatures, and cold nights”. The most popular flowers you can find in the southern Arizona desert are California Poppies, Palmer’s Indian Mallow, Bird of Paradise, Mojave Prickly Poppy, Desert Marigolds, superb Penstemons and more!

Sandy Luna from Luna’s Paper Designs LLC will teach you how to assemble a small bouquet inspired by wildflowers that grow around Tucson with pre-cut crepe paper, wire and glue. You also will learn the techniques and how to work with crepe paper and make realistic flowers. This is a beginner-level class.

This is a one-day class, and all supplies are provided. You can bring snacks and drinks.

$80 for members and $95 for the general public.


Desert Gardening with Hank Verbais

Monday | March 11th | 10am – 12pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

With our spring sale just around the corner, join former master gardener, Hank Verbais, dive into the art of Sonoran Desert gardening. Get first-hand knowledge in gardening in this arid region while exploring topics from understanding our desert’s growing seasons to selecting native plants adapted to endure our climate. This class will provide the foundations to ensure your desert garden not only survives but thrives. This class is great for beginners to advanced gardeners and will include a 30 minute Q&A with Hank, a university-trained expert, to answer your garden-related questions.

$10 for members | $15 for the general public


Foodways with Linda Wyner: Agave

Tuesday | March 12th | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

It’s not just for tequila and sweeteners! Agave was cultivated throughout the Americas and locally by O’odham ancestors the Hohokam (Huhugam). Tonight’s foodways lecture from writer, food anthropologist and cooking instructor Linda Wyner will take a look at the history and modern uses of the agave plant.

$10 for members and $15 for the general public.


Mosaic Mondays with David Jarvinen: River Rock

Monday | March 18th | 10am – 2pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

Join mosaic artist David Jarvinen for a unique workshop where you’ll create a mosaic on a river rock! Bring your own river rock, preferably 8-10 inches in a smooth, round-ish shape. David will guide you through the process of using mesh backing and porcelain tiles for the mosaic, demonstrating how to transfer it onto the rock using thinset. After the thinset cures, a grout kit will be provided for the finishing touch. This hands-on experience not only results in a beautiful rock mosaic but also equips you with valuable techniques to apply when creating your own mosaic mural at home. If you encounter difficulty sourcing a suitable rock, let us know 1 week in advance, and we can provide one for you. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and create in a fun and grounding environment!

$75 for members and $90 for the general public.


Yoga in the Gardens

Tuesday | Performance Garden | 8:30am – 9:30am | March 19th & 26th
$10 members | $10 plus admission for general public (please pay CASH directly to the instructor)

Outdoor yoga with Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist, Mary Carhuff! All are welcome! Open your senses to an understanding of our connection to the earth. All are encouraged to practice at their own pace and modifications will be demonstrated. Please bring your own mat, water and dress in layers. Stroll the grounds or brunch in the Bistro afterwards and take in the beauty of the gardens.


TMA Art Talk – Mesoamerican Art: How Art Shows Links between Olmec, Maya and Aztec Civilizations

Thursday | March 21st | 10am – 11am | Education Center – Classroom 1

The Tucson Museum of Art recently opened a new wing to showcase its premier Latin American Art collection. To learn how to appreciate some of these amazing artistic objects, you might find this talk helpful in your basic understanding of the three largest Mesoamerican civilizations: the Olmec, Maya and Aztec. By understanding keys to the unique art attributed to each civilization, you will be able to identify the origin of pieces you see and understand their significance. Presented by TMA Docent, Kit Kimball.

Free for TMA Members | $5 for Tohono Chul Members | $8 for the general public

Photo credit: Tucson Museum of Art


Desert Gardening with Hank Verbais

Friday | March 22nd | 10am – 12am | Education Center – Classroom 1

Did you buy too many new plant varieties at our spring plant sale and need help taking care of them? Look no further! Join our former master gardener, Hank Verbais, dive into the art of Sonoran Desert gardening in Tucson. Get first-hand knowledge in gardening in this arid region while exploring topics from understanding our desert’s growing seasons to selecting native plants adapted to endure our climate. This class will provide the foundations to ensuring your garden, and your new additions, not only survives but thrives. This lecture will include a 30 minute Q&A with Hank to answer your gardening questions.

$10 for members | $15 for the general public


Exploring Nature Through Watercolor

Thursdays | Six session class | March 28th & April 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th & May 2nd  | 1 – 4 pm | Education Center Classroom 1

Deepen your appreciation for nature by learning to capture it in watercolor! This watercolor workshop is great for beginners to advanced painters and will cover composition, representation of form, color mixing, and painting from photos and nature. Students will explore gesture sketching and nature journaling and will complete several small paintings throughout the four sessions. Taught by Katie Iverson, an artist, photographer, marine biologist, and Tohono Chul Docent, who will have plenty of insights about representing the flora and fauna of our beautiful Sonoran Desert region! Katie will provide supplies for the first class as well as a list of recommended materials for the remaining classes. (Students are welcome to bring any materials they have to the first class, but are discouraged from purchasing new materials until AFTER the first class.) Unlock your creative cortex and join us for some fun this spring!   

$275 members and $340 general public


Healing Sound Meditation with TC Chicago

Saturday | March 30th | 9am – 10am | Performance Garden

Come experience the Art of Healing Frequencies in the gardens this winter and spring! Immerse yourself in Soundscapes of Wellbeing led by TC Chicago. The session will begin with a guided meditation encouraging you to ground and begin to explore your inner landscape. Then begins the symphony of sound. The 28-inch gong, quartz Crystal vessels, quartz Crystal harp, waterfall, shamanic drum, and chimes will alter patterns of brain activity bringing you into a higher state of consciousness inviting you slip into deeper states of relaxation. This practice can reduce stress, promote more restful sleep, and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Come surround yourself with nature as you enjoy this multi-sensory experience!

$5 for members and $5 + Park Admission for the general public

Students pay instructor directly via cash or paypal


April 2024


Yoga in the Gardens

Tuesday | Performance Garden | 8:30am – 9:30am | April 2nd & 30th
$10 members | $10 plus admission for general public (please pay CASH directly to the instructor)

Outdoor yoga with Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist, Mary Carhuff! All are welcome! Open your senses to an understanding of our connection to the earth. All are encouraged to practice at their own pace and modifications will be demonstrated. Please bring your own mat, water and dress in layers. Stroll the grounds or brunch in the Bistro afterwards and take in the beauty of the gardens.


“Home is Where the Hole is” with Pinau Merlin

Wednesday| April 3rd | 1pm -2:30 pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

Have you been on a walk outdoors and noticed a hole in the ground and wondered what animal made it or whether it could be a snake hole? Have you been bewildered by the profusion of holes, burrows, divots, depressions and diggings you find?  Holes abound in the desert as animals seek refuge from predators and climatic extremes, or hunt for food. Learn how to read holes and burrows to discern who made them and which animals are living in an area. Discover this little investigated phenomenon which presents a fascinating look into the lives of our wildlife neighbors. How can you tell a coyote digging from a badger digging? Why are kit foxes the only canid to live in dens year round? Why does a packrat gather and build that huge mound of debris? Is that really a snake hole?     

Join Pinau Merlin, author of The Field Guide to Desert Holes, to share a peek into the secret lives of these subterranean dwellers and discover who’s behind all that digging.

$10 for members and $15 for the general public


Flow! Art and Awareness: Introduction to Acrylics

Monday | April 8th | 8:30 am – 11:30 am | Exhibit House North Patio

Discover the world of acrylic painting with our Introduction to Acrylics workshop. Acrylic paint is very bold and versatile. It can be used opaquely or diluted with water. It dries quickly so you can keep layering, and it combines well with other materials. It’s a great medium on its own as well as in mixed media artworks and collages. During this Workshop you’ll learn nine different acrylic techniques and get an introduction to intuitive painting.

Click here for more information on Flow!’s programs.

$65 for Members and $80 for the General Public


Papier mâché Crafts with Sandy Luna: Otomi Heart

Friday | April 12th and 19th | 10am – 1pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

The forms and shapes embroidered into Otomi textiles have ancient roots, dating back even before the rise of the Aztec Empire. According to many stories, these shapes were preserved in prehistoric cave paintings of the Mexican Plateau, giving artists of each generation a template from which to base their designs. “Originally created in Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo, Mexico, Otomi embroidery is said to be inspired by the natural surroundings of Mexico.” It also bears hallmarks of Spanish and Aztec influences, a reflection of the history of Mexico as a country. Sandy Luna from Luna’s Paper Designs LLC will teach you how to recreate one heart using papier mâché paste and paper clay by modeling the heart and making beautiful flowers and leaves with paper clay. You will be able to choose your Otomi design and paint it with acrylic paints to finish your piece. This is a beginner-level class.

This is a two-day class, and all supplies are provided. You can bring snacks and drinks.

$75 for members and $90 for the general public.


Downtown for Dummies with Ken Scoville

Monday | April 15th | 10am – 11am | Education Center – Classroom 1

Are you one of those who hardly ever travels south of River Road? You don’t know what you’re missing! Downtown is the place to be for history, architecture, museums, restaurants and a true pedestrian experience. Local historian and preservationist Ken Scoville shows how to navigate downtown, pinpoint the top attractions and strategies for making jury duty or paying our property taxes painless. Discover the geography that explains the historical development of the Old Pueblo from ancient times to military outpost to Territorial town and the historic zones that remain today to explore. The physical features, major events and cyclical changes that have led to the current downtown renaissance are discussed. Ken will deal with the basics like finding parking, City Hall, shopping and restaurants, all to make you a pro the next time you have out-of-town visitors and want to show off all the best places downtown!

$10 for members and $15 for the general public.


Foodways with Linda Wyner: Cacao

Wednesday | April 17th | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

This month’s foodways series takes a deep dive into the world of cacao… chocolate!  Indigenous to the Americas, cacao is enjoyed throughout the world and yet is threatened by climate change and geopolitical forces. Writer, lecturer and cooking instructor Linda Wyner will fill the hour with a wide-ranging discussion of this magnificent fruit.

$10 for members and $15 for the general public.


TMA Art Talk – Hohokam Art

Thursday | April 18th | 10am – 11am | Education Center – Classroom 1

The Hohokam are known for two things — their farming skills and their skills with arts and crafts. This talk explores their beautiful artwork in pottery, jewelry, stoneware, and shell artwork. Presented by TMA Docent, Mary Jo McMullen.

Free for TMA Members | $5 for Tohono Chul Members | $8 for the general public

Photo:  HoHoKam Soltice by Manuel Fontes


Flow! Art and Awareness: Intuitive Acrylics

Monday | April 22nd | 8:30am – 11:30am | Exhibit House North Patio

Join Flow! for an engaging and creative art class where you’ll learn to create art through the power of your intuition. Our Intuitive Acrylics Workshop is designed to help you tap into your inner creativity and explore the beauty of colors and emotions that come from your subconscious mind. During this class, you’ll experiment with basic techniques and let go of your inhibitions to create a unique 8×10 acrylic painting. Let the colors guide you.

Click here for more information on Flow!’s programs.

$65 for Members and $80 for the General Public


A “Novel” Project in Silver Clay with Lyle Rayfield

Saturday | ​April 27th | 9am – 12pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

This mini book may not land you on the best seller’s list, but your friends will be clamoring at your door for their own personalized copy. Award-winning metal clay artist, Lyle Rayfield, guides participants through the process of creating and texturizing miniature book covers using silver metal clay, embellishing them with tiny clay elements inspired by the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert, and filling them with colorful pages or personalized notes or pictures. When complete, you will want to proudly wear your story for all to see.

Microscopic particles of pure silver are combined with an organic binder to produce the clay-like substance known as silver metal clay. When fired at high temperatures, the binder burns off and the metal particles fuse into a solid piece of silver. No experience is necessary and all skill levels are welcome. Demonstrations and instruction will cover how to properly roll, texture, shape, refine, fire, and finish metal clay creations. You will also learn how a simple butane torch can fire your pieces, so that you can continue to create beautiful jewelry at home without kin, All materials are supplied; magnifying lenses (if needed) and an apron are optional.

$120 members and $145 general public


Desert Impressions with Lyle Rayfield

Saturday | ​April 27th| 1:30pm – 4:30pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

If you love the Sonoran Desert, you’ll love capturing its beauty in silver metal clay using organic materials found in and around the Tucson area such as prickly pear and cholla skeletons and mesquite beans. Choose from an assortment of desert materials and create a pair of earrings, pendant, or charm. Lyle Rayfield will teach you to use a 2-part mix to capture the impression of your selected sample and recreate its shape in silver clay. You will also learn how a simple butane torch can fire your pieces, so that you can continue to use organic materials to make interesting jewelry at home without a kiln. 

Microscopic particles of pure silver are combined with an organic binder to produce the clay-like substance known as silver metal clay. When fired at high temperatures, the binder burns off and the metal particles fuse into a solid piece of silver. No experience is necessary, and all skill levels are welcome. Demonstrations and instruction will cover how to properly roll, texture, shape, refine, fire, and finish metal clay creations. All materials are supplied; magnifying lenses (if needed) and an apron are optional. 

$125 for members and $155 general public


Tucson and Las Vegas: A Tale of Two Cities

Monday | ​April 29th | 10am – 11am | Education Center Classroom 1

The Old Pueblo and Sin City have many interesting similarities in their history but obviously became distinctly different cities in the 20th century. Tucson and Las Vegas were on early maps because of available surface water and the surrounding oases that made them ideal stopping places for weary explorers and travelers: prehistoric and native peoples, Mormon settlers, a developing railroad town, and the promotion of a mild winter climate and tourism in the 20th century. The history of Las Vegas is explored in detail from the arrival of the railroad, to land auctions and Hoover Dam, to the Mob, and “Sin City.” Probably no city in the United States has reinvented itself as has Las Vegas. Local historian Ken Scoville takes a look at what these two towns have in common and what sets them apart; what turned the lights on and made Las Vegas the “City of the Night” while Tucson remained the “Old Pueblo,” with 360 days of sunshine a year.

$10 members and $15 general public


May 2024


Secrets of the Spotted Cats: Jaguars and Ocelots in the Southwest

Thursday | May 2nd | 1 pm -2:30 pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

Deep in the shadows of the night, “el Tigre”, the jaguar, slips silently through the rugged terrain. They are almost never seen, but both jaguars and ocelots are captured on remote cameras that document their presence. Their mystery, beauty and power evoke a sense of awe in us, even if we only see them in a photograph. Although we readily recognize their images, these charismatic cats are so secretive and elusive that we know very little about their lifestyles and habits. What are they doing out there in the wild? How (and what) do they hunt? Where do they sleep? What sounds do they make? Are there still any spotted cats in Arizona? (Yes!!)

Join Pinau Merlin, previously the Outreach Coordinator for the USFWS/University of Arizona Jaguar Project, for an exciting look into the natural history, ecology and conservation issues of jaguars and ocelots in Arizona and Sonora.

$10 for members and $15 for the general public


Crepe Paper Crafts with Sandy Luna: Clair de Lune Peony

Friday | May 3rd | 10am – 1pm | Education Center – Classroom 1

The Claire de Lune Peony is sweet but outrageous, with an abundance of bright orange anthers on top of a single white bloom. Sandy Luna from Luna’s Paper Designs LLC will teach you how to assemble one flower with pre-cut crepe paper and leaves. You will learn how to shape all the petals and leaves as well as color the petals, stems, and leaves with pastel to give the flower a realistic touch.

This is a one-day class, and all supplies are provided. You can bring snacks and drinks.

$65 for members and $80 for the general public.


What did we do before AC came to the Old Pueblo?

Monday | May 20th | 10am – 11am | Education Center – Classroom 1

If you ever had your air conditioning break down in the summer, it is likely you thought, “How did people live here before at least evaporative cooling?” The pioneers had to develop the same strategies as all the other desert dwellers: endure, evade, and escape. A summer routine developed around staying inside during the heat of the day, cool water from your olla, and sleeping outside. There was a grudging acceptance that when May came up on the calendar, one needed to decide whether to stay or leave the Old Pueblo for the summer. Escape after the arrival of the railroad in 1880 was more a question of the necessary funds. Travel before the railroad was especially difficult given the physical hardship of the crossing and the ever-present possibility of an Apache ambush. Thanks to George Hand’s Saloon Diary, there is a first-hand (pun intended) account of the distinct way of life in the summer including his first encounter with ice cream in 1870s Tucson. Everyone had to come together to get through the summer while having some fun along the way.

$10 members and $15 general public