General Information

What can you do at the Desert Museum?

You can tour with the aid of one of our downloadable field guides, and add an up-close live animal program or stingray touch experience. Your students will enjoy real-world discovery of Adaptations, Structure & Function, Ecology, Ecosystems, and Conservation Issues. Read about these programs after you read this general information. Reservations for Field Trips require a 15 day notice and booking a Theater Show requires a 30 day notice. Theater Shows are offered Tuesday through Friday.
Stingray Touch is offered 7 days a week.
All programs are scheduled based on availability. Early registration is always recommended.

The reservation is confirmed when your confirmation letter with reservation number has been emailed to you. Please allow up to 7 business days.

Changes or Cancellations: We expect the number of students and adult count may change by a few. Contact us immediately with updated information. If cancellation is made more than 15 days from scheduled date, a $25 administrative fee will apply. No refunds can be made within 15 days. Please notify us as soon as possible of a cancellation or change. Contact us at 520-883-3025 or email: education@desertmuseum.org.

No shows: Groups will be billed the entire reservation amount.

At the Museum

Orientation Video

Help your students prepare for their field trip by showing them this short video, which explains what they will see and learn at the Museum, what the Museum environment will be like and how to behave to get the most out of their visit. Please share this link with your chaperones as well.

Reservations for the school/youth rate are limited to groups of 10 or more people and are granted based on availability. Groups must enter as a group. The instructor/teacher or leader should come to the ticket window to pay for and/or check in the entire group. Latecomers will pay the appropriate individual rate — not the discounted rate.
The school/youth group rate will not be honored for reservations submitted less than 15 days in advance of your earliest requested date.

Payment: Purchase orders are accepted and must be received at least 7 days from your reservation request date to education@desertmuseum.org. For payments made by Visa, MasterCard or cash (in one lump sum) are accepted the day of your visit. Discount coupons and guest passes are not honored with the school/youth group rate.

Late Arrivals for theater or lab programs: Depending on availability, leader may be given the option of shortening or combining programs. The school/youth group will be billed for the entire amount of the reserved program fee.
No refunds for missed Stingray Touch.

Food: Snacks and lunches are allowed only in the picnic area and food must remain in vehicles until ready to eat. Fourteen picnic tables are available in our lunch ramada next to the bus-loading zone. Typically space in the ramada is first-come, first-served. During busy times it may be necessary for us to schedule school lunch times. Scheduled lunch times may depend on your time of arrival/departure and other factors. Due to tighter schedules, schools with Education programming will receive priority. Small groups may be scheduled to eat together. The Museum is not able to store lunches, backpacks, or any personal belongings during your visit. Water bottles are permitted on the grounds.

Dining Options are available for elementary school/youth groups at our Ironwood Terraces Restaurant, contact Anna Boudoin aboudoin@craftculinary.com.

Supervision: We require 1 adult chaperone per 5 students/youths in grades K-8; 1 adult chaperone for every 10 students/youths in grades 9-12. Before you arrive, assign chaperones to their group of students. Enter the grounds in small groups of no more than ten students. Groups should tour the grounds in different directions. Adults are responsible for behavior of students in their group. Chaperones must stay with their group at all times. All chaperones are expected to read and adhere to the chaperone guidelines.

View chaperone guidelines here.

All individuals in the group should have adhesive nametags with their name and name of school or organization.

If a student/youth is lost or injured, contact a Museum Docent or Staff and/or go to the Entrance Patio ticket window.

When You Arrive

View Map to ASDM and parking (PDF)
View Self-Guided Visit map

You will receive a confirmation letter by email at least 7 days from the date you submit reservation. Your confirmation letter will confirm date and additional details of your reservation.

Have separate count of adults and students/youths. Everyone must enter as a group to receive school/youth rate. Latecomers pay full amount.

Students should bring hats and sunscreen and each person should have their own refillable water bottle.

Arriving vehicles:

Self‐guided visits: Teacher/Group Leader should proceed to the ticket window to pay for the group. Provide an accurate head count for students and adult chaperones. A Museum Staff/Volunteer will then greet and give instructions of where to unload and quickly go over rules and behavior expectations. If your visit includes a Stingray Touch or Theater Program, you will be given additional instructions.

Buses use bus‐loading zone near the picnic area to load and unload. Buses must park in bus/rv parking area. Bus drivers are admitted free of charge. Remember: keep all food on buses until it is your scheduled lunchtime if eating at the picnic area. Make sure all chaperones know what time to meet back at your bus or picnic ramada at the end of your visit.

At your School/Location

Full Payment is due at least two weeks in advance by purchase order or check. Purchase orders must be emailed to education@desertmuseum.org. Checks need to be mailed. Additional fees for more than 50 miles outside Tucson area.

Mailing address: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743, ATTN: Education Department. Fax: 520.578.8020

Parking: Please have a place for us to park our vehicle as close to the program room as possible.

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