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

Reptile Ramble

March 5 to May 28 | Fridays at 10 a.m.

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-poisonous snakes, perhaps a lizard or even a tortoise.

Desert Players Perform

August 20, 25, 30 | 10am | Ed. Center #1

Free with Admission

One Starry Night…While mischief-maker Coyote “helps” place the stars in the sky, a variety of nocturnal desert animals share with us what they are up to while we are sleeping. 

Read More

You are invited to attend the Desert Players performance of their original play One Starry Night. This volunteer-led fun-loving thespian group presents original, creative, and educational Sonoran-themed plays to children and adults. These live pantomime stories link valuable natural history lessons for children of all ages with the message to “read more about it.”

This season’s original story One Starry Night tells a tale of nocturnal happenings in our beautiful Sonoran Desert. Spider Grandmother is in charge of placing the stars in the sky each night, but that pesky Coyote has other plans. Come along as the ever-popular javelina, Rumplepigskin, and Jacqueline Jackrabbit search for Spider Grandmother. Coyote has hidden her well. The desert animals must join together to save Spider Grandmother and help her place the stars back up in the sky. But will the stars ever be bright again? With help from Comet and Ditzy Star, as well as a host of nighttime desert creatures such as Bat, Owl, Gila Monster and Rattlesnake, watch the sky light up once more.


Stories in the Garden


Free with Admission

Traditional and original stories about the desert and its creatures. Appropriate age range: preschool to 10:

Self-Guided Tours for Schools

Schools are welcome to visit on a self-guided tour. Please contact Stephen Spikes at sspikes@tohonochul.org 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
  • All participants must wear a face mask at all times
  • 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

Pre-visit materials and Guidelines for Teachers and Chaperones

Arizona State Standards

Desert Pathfinders Activity Booklet — for 1st-3rd grades a multi-page booklet (printed on legal paper) with 20 different desert activities to engage students

To schedule a self-guided visit for your school group please contact Stephen Spikes at sspikes@tohonochul.org

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.)