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.

Upcoming Events

Change mode Current mode - list
Instructor Amy poses with a Desert Tortoise!
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Featuring our Animal of the Week, this live virtual yoga class for adults will refresh your mind and body. This session is perfect for a midday work-from-home pick-me-up! We will stretch, breathe, relax, and maybe sweat a bit, alongside our Desert Museum animal friend, who will share yoga-related wisdom! $10 Members / $11 Non-Members.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Adults, this one’s for you! Grab a bevy and tune in to laugh and learn at this virtual and educational happy hour. This week we’ll meet Zoë Rossman, a Ph.D. student at UNM studying urban coyotes. She knows everyone has a coyote story. What’s yours? Be silly. Be surprised. BYOB!

Friday, March 5, 2021
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Learn all about the variety of shrubs, trees, cacti, and wildflowers that grow in Tucson and their amazing adaptations for surviving in the desert on this 2-mile outing at King Canyon! Each Botany Hike outing will begin at a different trailhead, and group size is limited to 9 participants per hike. $30 Members / $33 Non-members.

Saturday, March 6, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Girl Scouts will come for a self-guided visit and explore the grounds using a special passport booklet especially for them. They will earn a special badge.

Thursday, March 11, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Curious how animals like Rue overcome stage fright? Join us for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes opportunity to watch training sessions (in person) and talk to our expert keepers while they work! Each training sessions features several cute animals and lasts for one hour, with limited capacity.

Saturday, March 13, 2021
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Learn all about the variety of shrubs, trees, cacti, and wildflowers that grow in Tucson and their amazing adaptations for surviving in the desert on this 2-mile outing at Yetman (the easiest of the three Botany Hikes)! Each Botany Hike outing will begin at a different trailhead, and group size is limited to 9 participants per hike. $30 Members / $33 Non-members.

Thursday, March 18, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Meet the Desert Museum at the Mission Garden! This one-day camp focuses on outdoor exploration through a variety of hands-on activities. Campers will learn to use a nature journal, be exposed to the history and culture of the Mission Garden, and search for interesting plants and wild animals that call this area home. The Mission Garden is rich in history and a beautiful place for your camper to spend the day! (Photo taken pre-COVID.)

Thursday, March 18, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Curious how animals like Rue overcome stage fright? Join us for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes opportunity to watch training sessions (in person) and talk to our expert keepers while they work! Each training sessions features several cute animals and lasts for one hour, with limited capacity.

Friday, March 19, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Meet the Desert Museum at the Mission Garden! This one-day camp focuses on outdoor exploration through a variety of hands-on activities. Campers will learn to use a nature journal, be exposed to the history and culture of the Mission Garden, and search for interesting plants and wild animals that call this area home. The Mission Garden is rich in history and a beautiful place for your camper to spend the day! (Photo taken pre-COVID.)

Thursday, March 25, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Curious how animals like Rue overcome stage fright? Join us for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes opportunity to watch training sessions (in person) and talk to our expert keepers while they work! Each training sessions features several cute animals and lasts for one hour, with limited capacity.

Friday, April 2, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Calling all kids! Get connected with nature at the Desert Museum. Campers will have close up encounters with live animals, explore the desert, and make cool crafts. Campers will leave with activities to help wildlife and discover nature in their own lives. Camp is rounded out with lunch time, stories and songs, and play.

Thursday, April 8, 2021
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

“Zoom” into this cholla bud harvest from the comfort of your own home! We will show you which plants to harvest from and demonstrate how to pick, de-spine, boil, and prepare cholla buds into a few delicious dishes! $15 members; $17 non-members.

Friday, April 9, 2021
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Harvesting and preparing cholla buds is a centuries-old springtime ritual in the Sonoran Desert. In this class you will learn which plants to harvest from and how to pick, de-spine, cook, and pickle them into delicious dishes! Take your harvest home—along with new natural and cultural history knowledge! $40 members/$44 non-members. Limited to 18 people, separated into two groups.

Saturday, April 10, 2021
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Harvesting and preparing cholla buds is a centuries-old springtime ritual in the Sonoran Desert. In this class you will learn which plants to harvest from and how to pick, de-spine, cook, and pickle them into delicious dishes! Take your harvest home—along with new natural and cultural history knowledge! $40 members/$44 non-members. Limited to 18 people, separated into two groups.

Thursday, April 22, 2021
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Santa Cruz Stories: Part 1 (Online Introduction.) When the Desert People first settled Tucson over 4,000 years ago, they named it for the place where water flowed at the foot of a mountain. Later settlers called that water the Santa Cruz River. We’ll learn about and celebrate this river and its importance to people and other animals.

Saturday, April 24, 2021
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Santa Cruz Stories: Part 2 (In-person at the Mission Gardens.) When the Desert People first settled Tucson over 4,000 years ago, they named it for the place where water flowed at the foot of a mountain here. Later settlers called that water the Santa Cruz River. We’ll learn about and celebrate this river and its importance to people and other animals.

Saturday, August 14, 2021
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Poisonous or Venomous? Part 1 (Online introduction.) These words are often used interchangeably, but they mean two different things. From poisonous plants and animals to venomous creatures, we will discover the differences and why they produce poison or inject venom.

Saturday, August 21, 2021
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Poisonous or Venomous? Part 2 (In-person at the Museum.) For our in-person meeting, we will explore the museum in the cool of a summer evening to look for some of our most famous venomous and poisonous residents.

Saturday, October 23, 2021
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Ancient Arizona—Clues from the Past: Part 1 (Online introduction.) Arizona and the Sonoran Desert looked very different in the past. Paleontologists have uncovered clues that show us! We will stomp in what once was a swamp, puzzle over some seemingly normal rocks, stalk ice age mammals, and more as we sleuth out the clues that paleontologists use!

Saturday, October 30, 2021
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Ancient Arizona—Clues from the Past: Part 2 (In-person at the Museum.) Arizona and the Sonoran Desert looked very different in the past. Paleontologists have uncovered clues that show us. We will stomp in what once was a swamp, puzzle over some seemingly normal rocks, stalk ice age mammals, and more as we sleuth out the clues that paleontologists use!