Cool Summer Nights
Open till 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays
June 4 - August 27, 2022

The Desert Museum is lovely during the day, but it’s even cooler after dark! Join us every Saturday night throughout the summer to beat the heat while learning something neat! The desert comes alive at night as nocturnal animals awake. Bats perform aerial acrobatics in pursuit of dinner, beavers splash around in their pond, and scorpions glow green under black light. Bring your flashlight and explore, grab a local beer and wander, experience a live animal encounter, scamper in Packrat Playhouse, feel the touch of a stingray, or participate in special nightly activities. See the schedule below for weekly themes.

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Exhibit Closing Times

Some exhibits close early for safety reasons or so that the animals can get some shut eye! The gardens and aviaries will close at 6:45 p.m. and the Desert Loop Trail will close at 7:00 p.m.

Shopping and Dining Closing Times

The Mountain House Gift Shop (near the entrance) is open until 9:00 p.m., and the Ironwood Gift Shop (near the restaurant complex) is open until 8:30 p.m.

The Ocotillo Café is open until 8:00 p.m., the Ironwood Terraces Restaurant is open until 8:30 p.m., and Phoebé’s Coffee Bar is open until 9:00 p.m.

Couple walking the grounds
Coiled Rattlesnake

PRO TIP

Please remember: rattlesnakes are more active as it gets dark. They are important members of our natural environment but if you spot one, please alert any volunteer or staff member and maintain your distance. Make sure to be alert of where you place your hands & feet. Thank you!

Weekly Themes & Activity Schedule

Activity schedules subject to additions and changes — check back often for the latest updates!

(See previous Saturday schedules)

August 20 — Creatures of the Night

The desert comes alive at night as nocturnal animals awake. Bats perform aerial acrobatics in pursuit of dinner, beavers splash around in their pond, and scorpions glow green under black light. Bring your flashlight and explore, grab a local beer and wander, experience a live animal encounter, scamper in Packrat Playhouse, feel the touch of a stingray, or participate in special nightly activities.

Specialty Cocktail
"Rattlesnake Bite"
6:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sonoran Animal Spotlight
After two years, our animals are ready to be back in that spotlight! Join us for this exclusive experience and learn all about the animals you share this wonderful world with.
Throughout the Night
Look for Museum Docents around the grounds interpreting live animals, celestial desert skies, fluorescent minerals, bats, kissing bugs, scorpions, rattlesnakes, and more!
6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Stingray Touch Exhibit
Summertime isn’t complete without a trip to the pool! Dip your hands in the water and experience the touch of a stingray. $3.00/person, $2.00/Museum members.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Packrat Playhouse
This indoor play space allows children to discover the desert through the eyes of a packrat! Packrat Playhouse may reach capacity. 30-minute reserved play times are available at the Packrat Playhouse entrance.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Art Exhibits
Make sure to check out our latest art exhibits in the Ironwood Gallery and Baldwin Education Building!

August 27 — Bat Night

Are you feeling batty? Come celebrate the only flying mammals — bats! The evening will be filled with fun, educational activities, talks, and crafts designed to help you better appreciate these amazing aerial acrobats! Bring your flashlight and explore, look for our elusive bat girl, grab a local beer and wander, experience a live animal encounter, scamper in Packrat Playhouse, and feel the touch of a stingray.

Specialty Cocktail
"Bat Brew"
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Go Batty with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation!
Explore the fascinating lives of bats through hands-on activities for children, families, and educators. Measure and identify life-sized model bats, learn how a bat’s body is perfectly built for flight, discover the ecological services these mammals provide, and explore the diversity of bats in Arizona and around the world. Join us in the Riparian Corridor to celebrate these mammals for the superheroes they truly are!
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Bat-tastic Scavenger Hunt
Follow the clues for a Bat-tacular Prize
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Make Your Own Bat Mask and More Crafts
Come be creative and design your own bat mask, make a hanging bat decoration, and more.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Get Down with Your Bat Selfie
Visit our Selfie Station to take pictures with the Bat Back-drop and lots of fun props
6:30 & 7:30 p.m. Basically Bats
Are bats flying rodents? Are they blind? Do they fly into people’s hair? If you find yourself unsure of these and other bat-related questions, come learn with Crystal Holcombe at this fun, theater presentation.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Bat Conservation International
Dr. Kathy Gerst, a biologist with Bat Conservation International (BCI), will be here to share information about the Bats of the Southwest, bat pollination, and gardening for bats. She will have resources on hand for getting involved with BCI and fun activities for kids of all ages.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. First Aid for Fliers
Sometimes individual bats need a little help from us. Come meet and talk with Hally Cokenias, a bat rehabilitator from Phoenix. Learn about the work and care that goes into saving these remarkable animals. Find ways that you can help them too. Visit the AZ Bat Rescue Facebook Page.
Throughout the Night
Look for Museum Docents around the grounds interpreting live animals, celestial desert skies, fluorescent minerals, bats, kissing bugs, scorpions, rattlesnakes, and more!
6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Stingray Touch Exhibit
Summertime isn’t complete without a trip to the pool! Dip your hands in the water and experience the touch of a stingray. $3.00/person, $2.00/Museum members.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Packrat Playhouse
This indoor play space allows children to discover the desert through the eyes of a packrat! Packrat Playhouse may reach capacity. 30-minute reserved play times are available at the Packrat Playhouse entrance.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Art Exhibits
Make sure to check out our latest art exhibits in the Ironwood Gallery and Baldwin Education Building!

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