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!

In order to provide the safest learning environment, our classes and workshops are offered online through Zoom or with limited onsite enrollment. In-person workshops with a maximum enrollment of 12 participants will be held in the larger classroom #1 in the Education Center. Participants will be seated at separate tables 6 feet apart. All participants are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing when not seated. The classroom and tables are thoroughly sanitized prior to each workshop and spray sanitizer/wipes are available during class, as well as hand sanitizer. The doors will be kept open and air continuously circulating. The restrooms in the building are cleaned frequently and there is a water bottle refill station on the porch. Please bring your own paper, pens, pencils for note taking, as none will be provided.

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 (generally priced $6-$20), there is no refund. If you cancel your registration in a hands-on workshop, there is a full refund if your space can be filled.



Surviving Summers in Territorial Tucson before and after Statehood

Friday| May 20 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm | Education Center Classroom 1 | $10 members, $14 general public

If your air conditioning has ever broken down in the summer, you likely thought, “How did people live here before AC?!”  There was a grudging acceptance that when May rolled around, one had to decide whether to stay or leave the Old Pueblo for the summer. Local historian, Ken Scoville, discusses the summer routines developed around sleeping outside and enduring and evading the heat like all desert dwellers must do. Travel before the railroad arrived in 1880 was especially difficult given the physical hardship of the crossing and the ever-present possibility of an Apache ambush. George Hand’s Saloon Diary provides a first-hand (pun intended) account of the distinct way of life in the summer including his first encounter with ice cream in 1870’s Tucson.  Everyone had to come together to get through the summer while having some fun along the way!


Capturing the Queen

Saturday | May 21 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Education Center Classroom 1 | $25 members, $30 general public

It’s never too early to start thinking about the illustrious Peniocerius greggii, or Queen of the Night. In preparation for the arrival of our much-anticipated Bloom Night, professional photographer, author, and Tohono Chul volunteer, Karen Wright shares tips and tools for capturing the perfect cereus image. We’ll cover everything from exposure and lens choice to lighting and composition. You’ll get an insider’s view as we take a short walk on the grounds to scout the locations of potential prolific bloomers (please wear closed-toed shoes). Bring your digital camera and light source (flash, flashlight, or phone) to learn how to capture and create magical images!



Monsoon Veggie Gardening

Tuesday | May 31 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Education Center Classroom 1 | $10 members, $14 general public

While it might feel impossible to create a successful vegetable garden during harsh Tucson summers, gardeners can still grow food during our monsoon season beginning in July. The additional moisture, warm temperatures, and humid air create ideal conditions for planting summer vegetables. Join award-winning landscape designer, owner of REALM, and certified arborist, Jason Isenberg, who will guide you through the steps of planting seasonally-appropriate crops, helping them flourish with organic methods, and harvesting the fruits of your labor.  



Yoga in the Gardens

Tuesdays | June 14 – 28 AND July 12 – 26 | 7:15 – 8:15 am | Performance Garden

Join us bright and early this summer for outdoor yoga with Mary Carhuff! Mary is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist.  All are welcome!  Open your senses to an understanding of our connection to the earth while you practice amongst pollinators in a beautiful garden setting. All are encouraged to practice at their own pace and modifications will be demonstrated. Please bring your own mat, a water bottle, and a hat. Stay and enjoy the gardens after class and get to know your fellow yogis!

$10 members | $10 plus cost of admission for the general public
Students pay instructor directly | Preregistration not required


Chair Yoga in the Gardens

Tuesdays | June 14 – 28 AND July 12 – 26 | 8:45 – 9:30 am | Performance Garden

This outdoor class with Mary Carhuff is ideal for anyone who struggles with earth (floor) poses. Mary is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. This balance focused class is broken up into seated yoga followed by standing poses using the chair for balance. Chairs will be provided. All are encouraged to practice at their own pace and modifications will be demonstrated. Please bring a water bottle and a hat. Stay and enjoy the gardens after class and get to know your fellow yogis!

$10 members | $10 plus cost of admission for the general public
Students pay instructor directly | Preregistration not required


Sonoran Desert Tree of Life

Thursdays | June 16 & 23 | 9:30 am – 12:00 pm | Education Center Classroom 1 | $55 members, $65 general public

The tree of life symbol has been around for centuries and appears across cultures. We are putting a Sonoran Desert spin on this icon with a fun papier-mâché project suitable for anyone 13 years old and up! In this two-day workshop with Sandy Villegas of Luna’s Paper Designs you will learn how to make your own Sonoran Desert Tree of Life with wire, traditional papier-mâché, paper clay, and acrylic paint. In the first session you will make your saguaro and adorning pieces. The following week you will paint and decorate your creation. The instructor will provide all papier-mâché materials and paint. Students are asked to bring a 5” x 4.5” clay pot (design/color of your choice) as a base for the sculpture.



Bloomin’ Barrette

Saturday | July 16 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm | Education Center Classroom 1 | $65 members, $75 general public

Twinkle, glimmer, sparkle, shimmer! Use sequins to stitch up a pretty barrette. Taught by craft book author and embroidery fanatic Nathalie Mornu, this project is easy to learn! The barrette measures 2¼” long, but large sequins and beads make fast work of this fun project. Since the 8-mm sequins used are easy to source, you can make additional barrettes in all the colors of the rainbow! In this class, we’ll make the project in periwinkle—with both shiny and matte sequins, for extra visual texture. Wouldn’t this bloomin’ barrette look beautiful in a quinceañera’s hair or in a bridal up-do? All materials and tools provided. Bring a magnifying lamp to help you see small things close up (optional).