We’re open! Masks are required at all times. All guests, including members, must reserve tickets in advance. For your safety, our experience has been modified. Learn more.

We're Open!

We (and the animals and plants) can’t wait to see you! The guest experience has been modified for your safety.  Please review the following important information before visiting.

Know Before You Go

Mask Properly worn face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose are required at all times unless actively eating or drinking.  Guests who do not comply with mask guidelines will be required to discontinue their visit.
Ticket All guests, including members, must reserve tickets in advance. We are not accepting cash payments at this time. Guests without reserved tickets may be denied entry.

Help Us Keep The Museum Open for Tucson

What We Are Doing to Keep You Safe

 Requiring face masks for guests and staff members
 Reducing daily attendance and requiring timed tickets
 Increasing sanitation procedures
 Hand sanitization stations and handwashing reminders throughout the Museum
 Social distancing reminders around the Museum
 Closing certain exhibits and modifying others
 One-way traffic in certain areas

Changes & Closures

During your visit, you will have access to outdoor exhibits. Certain indoor features will be closed, while others will be modified.

Prairie Dog

PRO TIPS

85% of the Desert Museum is outdoors and primarily a walking experience. We encourage you to dress accordingly for your safety and to have the best Sonoran Desert adventure!

Map To minimize contact, we encourage you to download a Museum map before you visit.

Other Safety Guidelines

Please read the following tips to make the most of your experience!

What to Bring

Mask

Mask

Properly worn face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose are required at all times unless actively eating or drinking. 

Sunscreen

Sunscreen

On average, there are 286 sunny days per year in Tucson! Make sure to wear and reapply. FYI: There is free sunscreen in the restrooms!

Hat and Glasses

Hat & Sunglasses

We don’t want you squinting during your visit! Make sure to shade your eyes so you can take in the spectacular desert views.

Waterbottle

Water

In the desert heat, drink more water than you think you need. Please bring your own reusable water bottle! In accordance with Pima County public health regulations, traditional water fountains must be eliminated unless touchless. We have touchless water bottle refill stations around grounds that can be used. Bottled and canned water is also available for purchase!

Boot

Comfy Shoes

Since the Museum is primarily a walking experience, you’ll definitely want comfortable footwear as your traverse the trails.

The Desert Museum is dedicated to providing a naturalistic and enriching sanctuary for our animals and plants, and a clean, friendly, entertaining and educational experience for our guests. Our goal is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. The comfort and safety of our guests and animal and plant residents is our top priority.

Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Measures

Yes.  Masks are required at all times unless actively eating or drinking while stationary, and distanced from others not in your party.  This includes outdoor areas.

For your health and safety, we are limiting the number of guests each day. Reservations are strongly recommended as guests without reservations will be denied entry if we have met our daily capacity.  If we have not met capacity, it may be possible to purchase tickets on-site.  However, we are not accepting cash payment at this time.

Ticket reservations can also be made over the phone with our Guest Services team by calling (520) 883-1380, available 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

To maintain a safe daily capacity, tickets and member reservations are date-specific. If you are unable to visit on the date purchased, please contact Guest Services. We will be happy to adjust your reservation date, or refund your purchase if necessary.

Yes, members are also required to make a date-specific reservation for all members of their party (including guests) in advance of their visit. Member reservations must be presented with your membership card and guest tickets (if applicable) for entry. Walk-up visitation can be accommodated for members only if capacity allows. Please keep in mind, we will not be accepting cash payments at this time.

Mobility rentals are now available for advance reservation as well on a first come, first served basis. You may reserve your rental online or by contacting Guest Services. Mobility rentals are very limited — rentals will each be rented only once per day to allow for proper sanitation between guests.

If you are unable to visit on the date purchased, please contact Guest Services. We will be happy to adjust your reservation date, or refund your purchase if necessary.

Yes, restrooms will be open and hand sanitizing stations will be available around grounds. You can see the locations here.

Please note: we are committed to keeping you healthy and safe, but we cannot guarantee you won’t be exposed to COVID-19 and visiting means that you accept this risk. We rely on you to protect yourself and others too.

General

85% of the Desert Museum is outdoors and primarily a walking experience. We encourage you to dress accordingly for your safety and to have the best Sonoran Desert adventure!

Most guests spend 2-3 hours touring the Museum. As we continue to grow, there is more to see and do! You could easily spend a whole day here and still have more to see!

Yes, manual wheelchairs, strollers, and motorized scooters are available to rent from Guest Services.

Outside food and beverages are not permitted inside the Museum, however there is a picnic ramada available near the front entrance. We are also conveniently located next to picnic areas in Tucson Mountain Park. The Ironwood Terraces Restaurant and Phoebe's café are open daily. The water fountains are, so please plan accordingly. Touchless water bottle refill stations are available.

Smoking and/or vaping is not permitted.

As much as we love animals, no pets are allowed on grounds. Only service animals are permitted.

Yes! Please visit Guest Services before exiting. Please note Museum grounds promptly close at 5:00 p.m.

For the safety of other guests and the animals, glass containers, weapons, skateboards, scooters, bicycles, balloons, whistles, and outside food and beverages are not allowed on grounds.

In general, guests may take nonprofessional photos for personal use. Professional photographers must adhere to our photography policy.

The Desert Museum is pleased to contribute to the success of likeminded nonprofit organizations by providing charitable contributions. You can apply here.

Yes! We are always looking for more support. Please visit our volunteer page for more info.

Please call Guest Services at 520-883-2702 or e-mail info@desertmuseum.org.

Membership

Yes, members are also required to make a date-specific reservation for all members of their party (including guests) in advance of their visit. Member reservations must be presented with your membership card and guest tickets (if applicable) for entry. Walk-up visitation can be accommodated for members only if capacity allows. Please keep in mind, we will not be accepting payments in-person at this time.

Absolutely! A Gift Membership may be purchased online or with a Guest Service Assistant by phone or in-person. Gift Memberships include the same benefits as a standard Desert Museum membership and are valid for one-year from the date of purchase, extended to the end of the month.

A Desert Museum membership is valid for one-year from the date of purchase, extended to the end of the month. (Example: A membership purchased on October 1, 2021 will expire on October 31, 2022)

Desert Museum memberships in the Dual category or higher offer the option to name both adults on the membership OR list the second adult as a “Guest.” This allows the named member to bring any one person with them at each visit for the duration of their membership. Additionally, Desert Museum memberships (excluding Student) include single-use admission tickets to use for guest admission.

Admission to the Desert Museum is valid only for the named member(s) listed on the membership account. If you elected the “Guest” option at the time of purchase, any one person may visit the Museum with you, or alone if the card is present.

Depending on your level of membership, your membership gift (less the fair market value of the goods and services received) could be considered tax deductible for income tax purposes. Please consult your tax professional for guidance in making final determinations.

While we are proud to be an AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums) accredited organization, the Desert Museum does not currently participate in the AZA Reciprocity Program or offer reciprocal benefits to other institutions.

Children and grandchildren (age 17 and under) of the named adult member(s) are included on Desert Museum memberships in the Family category or higher. Youth must be accompanied by an adult member. See the Desert Museum Membership page for additional information regarding membership categories & benefits.

Of course! Simply present a photo ID at one of the ticket windows on our front patio and a Guest Service Assistant will be happy to validate your membership for admission and print a replacement card upon request. After a replacement card is printed, your previously issued cards will no longer be valid.

Yes! We think you would love being a member of our Pack, but we understand if you want to see for yourself before joining. You may apply the cost of your admission tickets to the purchase of a membership the day of your visit. The number of tickets that may be applied depends on the membership category.

Student / Individual: Apply up to 1 adult admission ticket.

Dual: Apply up to 2 adult admission tickets.

Family / Turquoise / Copper / Silver / Gold: Apply up to 2 adult & 2 youth admission tickets.

Present your admission tickets or receipt at a ticket window on your way out of the Museum and a Guest Service Assistant will be happy to help you Join Our Pack!

Community Access Program

The Desert Museum is for everyone. We are committed to providing guests with an experience that will inspire them to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. We believe everyone should be able to experience incredible connections to nature and wildlife, regardless of economic status or other factors. This program allows the Desert Museum to be more accessible to low-income households.

Any cardholder of valid, non-expired Arizona state-issued EBT card with valid photo ID and up to three (3) additional individuals at the discounted price.

No. The EBT cards can only be used to show that cardholders are eligible for Desert Museum CAP rate. They must use a method that the Museum accepts to pay – cash or credit/debit cards.

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