Why the Coati Club?

The Coati (co-AH-tee) is a relative of the raccoon with a long nose, masked face, and a striped tail. Coatis are curious and energetic, just like kids!

Coati Club News, January 2022

The Coati Kids Club — a Desert Museum Treasure

If you wander the wildlands of southern Arizona, you might have the rare pleasure of spotting coatis (a.k.a. coatimundis). These masked raccoon relatives are an unusual sight as they clamber up canyons and treetops, tails aloft, searching for food with their long, flexible noses. Coatis are curious and agile, and that’s why they were chosen as the mascot for the Coati Kids Club, a unique museum membership for children ages 6-12 and their favorite adults. Like its namesake, the Coati Club is an uncommon regional treasure.

For nearly 30 years, Coati Kids Club member families have discovered the desert through tailored programs that combine natural history, art, and culture in engaging ways. Each year, eight new member events foster learning and love of the Sonoran Desert region at the museum and beyond. Here’s a sample of a few, and what we are doing in 2022!

Outdoor Adventures:

Coatis have ranged far and wide with hikes in the Tucson and Waterman Mountains, Cienega Creek, and Mt. Lemmon. In 2022, we will explore King Canyon history and geology, and also watch wildlife at Sweetwater Wetlands.

Animal Encounters:

Museum programs always include visits with our animal ambassadors. The pandemic innovated a new model that doubles our animal fun: paired events feature a virtual introduction followed by an in-person program to further explore the theme. These allow kids from near and far to connect to the museum, each other, and the topic — when members come for the in-person events, they are ready to launch into deeper discovery.


Club members get exclusive visits with staff, sneak peaks at new exhibits, and even help with future planning. When we were building our Packrat Playhouse, Coati families gave valuable feedback in its design phase and got to play inside before its grand opening. In 2022, we will meet our Herpetology Keepers and learn about their work with stingrays and the aquarium.

In addition, new member children receive a stainless steel reusable water bottle and a family go guide full of ideas to further explore the desert. Members also receive project materials and ideas to extend the learning at home.

Silhouette Icon

Support Desert Museum Education!

A donation of any size will help sustain our educational efforts. Simply select- Education, Conservation, Science, Research for your designation.