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Cool Summer Nights - June 6 through September 5 - A New Theme Every Saturday Night! - Open 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Children using black lights to search for scorpions in rock wall

Guests under floodlit canopy in the Desert Garden

Dining on summer Saturday evenings at the Museum is a culinary delight as the upscale Ocotillo Café is open for dinner. The intimate setting is the perfect backdrop for savory Sonoran recipes.
Reservations are strongly recommended by calling 520-883-5705.

Children using black lights to search for scorpions in rock wall

Photos above by Rhonda Spencer and Josh Schachter

Beat the heat and enjoy refreshing summer evening breezes during Cool Summer Nights. With stunning sunsets, star-lit skies, gourmet dining, and animals reappearing from their daytime estivation, it is understandable why these enchanting Saturday nights have become so popular.

Plan your escape from the city with a scenic drive through the Tucson Mountains. Relax. Unwind. And unplug! A visit to the desert at night is transforming as the desert’s ethereal aura saturates your senses. The desert’s nocturnal animals become active, bats turn into insect-seeking missiles, and scorpions glow under black lights.

Each summer Saturday night has a unique theme, special programs and family activities. Plan to arrive early for the best parking! Check the schedule below for weekly themes and activities.

Ongoing Nightly Events on Cool Summer Nights

Look for Museum Docents and Jr. Docents interpreting live animals, celestial desert skies, fluorescent minerals, animal eye shine, Sonoran Desert insects, night sounds, bats, kissing bugs, scorpions, and/or rattlesnakes.

Check the Plan Your Visit board at the Entrance Patio for times and locations!

Weekly Themes & Activity Schedule

(See previous Saturday schedules)

August 29 — Full "Blue Moon" Festival

The moon has long been an inspiration for artists from all different cultures and tonight the Arts — visual art, music, and poetry — take center stage. Tonight’s “blue moon” is particularly special and happens when there are two full moons in one month. As the sun sets and the moon rises, take a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Experience hands-on art activities or a free photography workshop. Enjoy live musical performances in three unique venues, including one especially for children!

Scheduled Activities:

Cool Photo Tools with Jay Pierstorff and Phonda Spencer. Photo Contest Winners Announced! August 29, 2015, 5:30 p.m., Warden Oasis Theater 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Cool Photo Tools Workshop
Join Art Institute instructor Jay Pierstorff to learn about new photography tools and techniques. Plus, learn about the Desert Museum’s photography contest. Contest Rules and Submission Form
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Vanishing Circles
Check out the Ironwood Gallery’s latest art exhibition and join in the family art activities.
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Art Activities
Free, fun, & friendly desert-at-night-inspired art activities and crafts-in-a-jiffy - for all ages and skill levels.
6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Live and (sort of) on the Loose
See rattlesnakes and Gila monsters up close & personal and learn about these most misunderstood reptiles.
6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Jazz Telephone
Enjoy this mixed musical style quartet featuring saxophone, bass, organ, and drums inspired by music and sounds from around the world.
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Napskippers
Live musical performance especially for kids & families.
7:15 to 8:00 p.m. Naim Amor
Listen to this smokey-voiced Parisian transplant whose troubadour style is filled with dreamy, soft instrumentation and classic French pop.
8:00 to 8:45 p.m. Jazz Telephone
Enjoy this mixed musical style quartet featuring saxophone, bass, organ, and drums inspired by music and sounds from around the world.
8:00 to 8:45 p.m. Live and (sort of) on the Loose
See rattlesnakes and Gila monsters up close & personal and learn about these most misunderstood reptiles.
8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Mr. Nature’s Music Garden
Experience an hour of high energy song and dance. Old favorites plus a few originals! Family fun designed especially for children!
8:45 to 9:30 p.m. Naim Amor
Listen to this smokey-voiced Parisian transplant whose troubadour style is filled with dreamy, soft instrumentation and classic French pop.

September 5 — End of Summer Fiesta / Fiesta de Fin de Verano

Celebrate the Mexican heritage of the Sonoran Desert region! As the sun sets behind the mountains and the stars come out, experience the magic of the desert at night. Take a relaxing stroll of the grounds, explore the animal exhibits, and enjoy four unique venues featuring musicians influenced by our Spanish culture. We are proud to partner with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for this very special night.

¡Celebre la diversidad cultural y la herencia Mexicana del Desierto Sonorense! ¡Disfrute del desierto al atardecer y mientras las estrellas salen; visite los jardines del Museo, vea los animales en sus exhibiciones, y disfrute de la música con influencia Española en cuatro sitios únicos! Estamos orgullosos de asociarnos con la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Tucson.

Scheduled Activities:

6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Vanishing Circles
Visit the Ironwood Art Gallery to see the latest art exhibition and join in the family art activities.
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Interpretation Stations
Check out the interpretation stations hosted tonight in Spanish and English.
6:30 p.m. Take a tour of the Desert Museum
Learn about the plants and animals native to the Sonoran Desert region. Tonight’s guided tours will be presented in Spanish and English.
6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Mariachi Music
Get in the spirit of the night with traditional mariachi music by Los Changuitos Feos
6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Music and Dancing
Enjoy the music and watch traditional dancing by Ballet Folklórico Tapatío
7:00 to 7:45 p.m. Animals & Ancient Cultures of Mexico
Enjoy this bi-lingual presentation by Conservation Research Scientist, Sergio Avila.
7:15 to 8:00 p.m. Classical Guitar
Sit back, relax and surround yourself with this classical guitar performance by Dr. Eduardo Costa.
7:30 p.m. Take a tour of the Desert Museum
Learn about the plants and animals native to the Sonoran Desert region. Tonight’s guided tours will be presented in Spanish and English.
7:30 to 8:15 p.m. Tesoro
Celebrate the end of the summer with the contemporary sounds of Tesoro!
8:00 to 8:45 p.m. Mariachi Music
Get in the spirit of the night with traditional mariachi music by Los Changuitos Feos
8:15 to 9:00 p.m. Music and Dancing
Enjoy the music and watch traditional dancing by Ballet Folklórico Tapatío
8:00 to 8:45 p.m. Creatures of the Night
See live animals and learn about their nocturnal lives in this bi-lingual presentation by Education Specialist, Jesus Garcia.
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. All About Cats
Learn about the felines that inhabit the Sonoran Desert region; a bilingual presentation by Conservation Research Scientist, Sergio Avila.
8:45 to 9:00 p.m. Classical Guitar
Sit back, relax and surround yourself with this classical guitar performance by Dr. Eduardo Costa.
9:00 to 9:45 p.m. Tesoro
Celebrate the end of the summer with the contemporary sounds of Tesoro!
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Vanishing Circles
Vea nuestra mas reciente exhibición en la Galería de Arte “Ironwood Art Gallery” y participe en actividades familiares.
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Estaciones de interpretación
Visite las estaciones de interpretación con información interesante en Español e Ingles solo por esta ocasión.
6:30 p.m. Caminata por el Museo del Desierto
Acompañe a nuestros guías en una caminata por el Museo del Desierto para aprender sobre las plantas y animales del Desierto Sonorense. Las caminatas guiadas serán en Español e Ingles por esta ocasión.
6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Música de Mariachi
Entre en el espíritu de la noche con la tradicional música de Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos.
6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Música y los tradicionales bailes
Disfrute de la música y los tradicionales bailes del Ballet Folklórico Tapatío
7:00 to 7:45 p.m. Fauna Silvestre y Culturas Antiguas de México
Disfrute esta presentación bilingüe con Sergio Avila, Científico de la Conservación del Museo del Desierto.
7:15 to 8:00 p.m. Guitarra clásica
Tome asiento y relájese con la música de guitarra clásica del Dr. Eduardo Costa.
7:30 p.m. Caminata por el Museo del Desierto
Acompañe a nuestros guías en una caminata por el Museo del Desierto para aprender sobre las plantas y animales del Desierto Sonorense. Las caminatas guiadas serán en Español e Ingles por esta ocasión.
7:30 to 8:15 p.m. Tesoro
Celebre el fin del verano con los sonidos contemporáneos de Tesoro!
8:00 to 8:45 p.m. Música de Mariachi
Entre en el espíritu de la noche con la tradicional música de Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos.
8:15 to 9:00 p.m. Música y los tradicionales bailes
Disfrute de la música y los tradicionales bailes del Ballet Folklórico Tapatío
8:00 to 8:45 p.m. Criaturas de la Noche
Vea animales vivos y aprenda sobre sus vidas nocturnas en esta presentacion bilingüe de nuestro Especialista en Educacion, Jesus Garcia.
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Todo sobre los Gatos
Aprenda sobre los felinos silvesres que habitan el Desierto Sonorense en esta presentacion bilingüe de Sergio Avila, Científico de la Conservación del Museo del Desierto.
8:45 to 9:00 p.m. Guitarra clásica
Tome asiento y relájese con la música de guitarra clásica del Dr. Eduardo Costa.
9:00 to 9:45 p.m. Tesoro
Celebre el fin del verano con los sonidos contemporáneos de Tesoro!

Co-hosted by:

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - Southern Arizona - Mexico

Thanks to our Media Sponsors:

La Buena 94.3 (990 AM) La Caliente 92.1 y 93.7