Young female packrat (illustration) with magnifying glass

Packrat Programs

During Packrat Programs, kids enjoy a ~30 minute activity led by our Education staff followed by exclusive playtime before we open the playhouse to the public! Developmentally appropriate activities focus on science, language, exercise, and socialization through hands-on activities and play.

Please note: Infants and 1 year olds can accompany their parents and will not be charged.

Education Staff Member showing an interpretive tool


Education Staff Member drawing with kids

Education Staff Member showing an interpretive tool

Packrat Programs: 2-5 Year Olds

Both Animal Yoga and Story Time feature interactive learning, hands-on fun, and exclusive playtime. Kids learn about desert plants and animals, meet a live animal up close, and go home with a fun prize! By balancing new information with familiar routines, it’s a perfect option for active preschoolers. Check out the schedule below to register. If space is available, you may also pay for a program day-of at the Front Ticket Window.

The summer rains bring animals out! Toads call, snakes slither, and insects buzz in response to the monsoon magic. During story time kids will learn all about toads in the Sonoran Desert! Additionally, everyone will meet an animal, play with slime, and go home with a prize. This activity is followed by exclusive playtime in Packrat Playhouse before we open to the public.
Animals can bend, stretch, jump, and move! Come bring out the animal in you. In this movement- focused class we’ll learn about animals as we mimic their yoga poses. We’ll also meet a live animal and go home with a fun prize. This activity is followed by exclusive playtime in Packrat Playhouse before we open to the public.
Manuelo is a praying mantis that wants to be a musician! During story time kids will learn about arthropods and musical instruments. Additionally, everyone will meet an animal and decorate their own little instrument to take home! This activity is followed by exclusive playtime in Packrat Playhouse before we open to the public.

Please note: Program costs do not include admission to the museum.


Education Staff Member with javelina book

Education Staff Member with Sonoran Desert book

Packrat Programs: 6-12 Year Olds

The first Saturday of every month features Science Saturday in the Packrat Playhouse! Through interactive learning, experiments, and hands-on activities kids will learn all about diverse desert plants, animated animals, and our extreme environment. Each Saturday in the series features a different topic so returning participants are always entertained. Kids will also meet a live animal up-close and go home with a fun prize. Check out the schedule below and register. If space is available, you may also pay for a program on the day-of at the Front Ticket Window.

Amphibians are absolutely ribbiting, err, riveting creatures. Monsoons work their magic at summer's end and our frog and toad friends come out to play. Meet a few Sonoran species up close and hear their calls then make and take your very own slime!
The desert is home to wild cats, dogs, skunks, and rodents, too! These warm-blooded animals are everywhere and even help engineer the desert (prairie dogs are famous for that). We'll learn how mammals stay cool in the heat, why they're important, and see some cute ones, too. It'll be an un-FUR-gettable day.

Interested in Saving? Buy all 5 Science Saturday programs in the Summer Series for $45!

Please note: Program costs do not include admission to the museum.


New For Summer! Rise and Shine - It's Packrat Playtime!

Get to the playhouse early to enjoy open play. We put out tons of extra toys and art materials. Educators roam the exhibit to help initiate games. Kids’ imaginations will run wild as their social skills improve. Make new friends while you beat the heat. Great option for clubs, camps, and caregiver groups!

Please note: Program costs do not include admission to the museum.

Education Staff Member showing an interpretive tool