Public Programs

Sonoran Studies

These programs are offered to the public to create a better understanding of our Sonoran Desert through enjoyable and informative experiences, and provide opportunities to learn practical applications for living in balance with our environment. (More details...)

Live and on the Loose

This live animal presentation is offered by the staff of the Herpetology department. These 1-hour long programs take place every day in our new Warden Oasis Theater. Presentations focus on several topics, including general natural history, venoms and envenomations, bite statistics, rattlesnake translocation, how we work with and what it's like to work with venomous animals. (More details...)

Raptor Free Flight

Raptor Free Flight is a dynamic bird of prey flight demonstration that occurs in the open desert showcasing natural behavior of native birds. See barn owls move like ghosts across the desert or a prairie falcon dive from high in the sky or Harris Hawks soar together. (More details...)


The Dreamnight mission is to provide one annual and cost-free evening at the zoo for chronically ill and disabled children and their family members only. The Desert Museum has been hosting this event for 5 years and features a variety of special presentations and activities for these often neglected and under-served groups. (More details...)

Tortoise Adoption Program

Ever wanted to share your life with a tortoise? The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum established the Tortoise Adoption Program (TAP) to benefit the welfare of captive and wild tortoises and turtles. Private individuals become turtle/tortoise custodians, not owners. The program operates from April 1 to October 1 every year, when the tortoises are active. (More details...)


Invading species of plants and animals are creating wastelands across the desert. They have enormous powers; they spread disease; they devour native life. Some are destroying the very land under our feet. Think of them as the first wave of an assault that could drive the greatest mass extinction since the end of the dinosaurs. What is causing this invasion? What can we do to stop the rising tide? In this confusing era, only one thing is certain: these are... strange days on planet Earth. (More details...)

Research & Conservation

The Research and Conservation program encompasses the scientific functions of the Desert Museum. Our activities range from conducting ecological research in the Sonoran Desert region to advising education, collections, and other museum staff on scientific matters. We have a strong commitment to scientific accuracy and currency in all of our publications and interpretive programs. (More details...)