Just for Kids

For the Kid in All of Us

Playing, laughing, and learning, the gardens at Tohono Chul provide a wonderful place to enjoy the day with your little one. Chasing lizards and butterflies or floating your boat down our children’s stream, your children will delight at the beauty of Tohono Chul. It’s a wonderful place to learn about the Sonoran Desert’s unique habitat and special critters and create lasting memories.

I’ve been bringing my granddaughters to play since they were toddlers and even now that they’re teenagers they always want to come back with me.

Julia Wait Bonse

Desert Discovery Days

Monday – Friday | June 1 – September 2 | Mornings | Children’s Ramada

Free with Admission

Join us this summer as we get in touch with nature and make some desert discoveries! There is something for everyone this summer at Desert Discovery Days! All ages are welcome.

Nature Niños

Saturdays | June 4 – September 3

9-11am: Free with Admission
6-8pm: Free Admission

Join us in the morning and evening every Saturday this summer for nature play with the Children’s Museum Oro Valley! Perfect for kids ages 10 and under.

Paper Tulips for Kids!

Saturday | September 10 | 10-11 am | Education Center Classroom 1

$13 members | $15 general public

Bring the garden indoors this fall and learn to make beautiful crepe paper tulips with Sandy Villegas of Luna’s Paper Designs! This simple tulip design is perfect for children 5-years-old and up. All materials will be provided including kid-friendly glue, paper, and additional supplies to build another tulip. Bring the whole family for some paper flower fun! Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

A Kids Guide to Ecological Restoration

Reading & Seedball Demonstration

Saturday | September 17 | 9 -11 am | Retail Greenhouse Patio | Free Event

Dr. Elise Gornish has published the first and only book on ecological restoration for kids and is excited to share her story at Tohono Chul! Join us for a reading, book signing, and seedball demonstration. Seedballs are created from clay, nutrients, and seeds – an ancient technique to ensure seeds are protected until they germinate. This fun event is free and open to the public!

Paint a Papier Mâché Bunny!

Saturday | September 17 | 10-11 am | Education Center Classroom 1

$26 members | $30 general public

Desert cottontails are a common sight at Tohono Chul. They dart across the paths so quickly that it can be hard to catch a good glimpse of the cute little cottontails – why not take home your very own bunny rabbit?! Sandy Villegas of Luna’s Paper Designs will provide handmade papier mâché bunny forms for painting. This project is perfect for children 7 to 10-years-old. Kids can let their creativity run wild as they paint and decorate their adorable creatures! Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

Reptile Ramble

March 4 – May 27 | Fridays | 10am

Free with Admission

Learn to identify resident reptiles and find the answer to the age-old question, “Why do lizards do push-ups?” Be prepared to meet a few non-venomous snakes, perhaps a lizard or even a tortoise.

Birds of Prey – Night & Day

February – April | 2nd and 4th Wednesdays | 11 am – 1 pm

Free with Admission

Naturalist and wildlife rehabilitator Kathie Schroeder joins us with her Harris’ Hawk buddy Sueño and two new friends Poppy, the Western Screech Owl, and Banshee, the Barn Owl. Discover the different habits of birds of prey who hunt by night or by day, and get to know a collection of the most unflappable birds in town.

Guided Tours for Schools:

Schools are welcome to visit on a guided tour. Please contact Stephen Spikes at docent@tohonochul.org or 742-6455 x 235 to make a reservation.

  • Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance to take advantage of the reduced school group admission fee
  • Minimum of 1 adult chaperone for every 10 children is required
  • Cost is $2 per student | free admission for one chaperone for every 10 students | $2 for each additional chaperone
  • Stay on the trails and refrain from touching, picking, or collecting anything; Tohono Chul is a living museum we wish all our guests to enjoy
  • Be sure to dress for the weather and for walking in the desert
  • Recommend wearing closed-toe shoes
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun
  • Don’t forget to bring a water bottle.
    • There are water fountains designed to refill water bottles at Admissions and at the Education Center.
  • Please download, read and share the Guided Tour Information for Teachers and Chaperones

Please contact Stephen Spikes at docent@tohonochul.org or 742-6455 x 235

Fun and Smart Projects for Kids

Before your next visit, why not explore one of these activity sheets, great for a rainy (or too hot) day at home! Note: activity sheets are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (portable document format) and some are for legal-sized paper (8-1/2 × 14″). (To access these forms you need the free downloadable software, Adobe Acrobat Reader.)