For parents, this may mean just hanging out by the pool, but for kids, it’s always great to have options for an active, entertaining, and educational vacation experience. In and around Marana, parents can enjoy family-friendly activities alongside the kids, or, if you’re looking for a break, you can sign them up for a fun-filled day at a local camp (we promise we won’t tell). Southern Arizona abounds with exciting adventures that kids of all ages will love. Here’s what you need to know to plan the perfect vacation for your family.
Pima Air and Space Museum
Southern Arizona is home both to cutting edge observatories and leading aerospace engineering firms. The Pima Air and Space Museum captures the fascinating worlds of both industries and puts them on display so that visitors of all ages can engage with their discoveries (whether or not you have a PhD in astrophysics). All summer long, they’re hosting workshops and events for kids. During Night Wings on July 23, the museum will offer extended hours, staying open until 9pm. During the cooler evening temperatures, you can explore the museum’s extensive plane collection and even participate in activities throughout the hangars. When you start to get hungry, head over to the Flight Grill, which will be serving dinner all night long.
Of course, the museum also hosts daytime events throughout the year. On July 16, August 20, September 17, and October 15, Pima Air and Space Museum invites you to attend their “How Things Fly” program. Together, kids and parents will learn about air pressure, aircraft stability, and the four forces of flight through a series of experiments that the kids build and test. This isn’t staring at wing diagrams in a textbook; this is actually figuring out how a plane takes flight with your own two hands. And the bonus? At the end of the class, your youngsters will get to take their experiments home with them.
Reid Park Zoo
Interested in a more terrestrial kids’ activity? Look no further than Reid Park Zoo, which is offering an array of kid-friendly adventures throughout the summer.
Events like Giant Giraffes on July 8. For under $20, children ages 2-5 can spend 90 minutes learning how giraffes eat, drink, and even sleep. Everyone’s tall to a little kid, but giraffes are in a category all their own. Sign up your little one for this exciting summer activity!
For older kids (ages 6-12), there’s the Zoo Keeper in Training Program. Through this dynamic class, participants will prepare meals for the critters, diagnose animal maladies, and even help clean out an enclosure. Hopefully they’ll take the tiger out before the cleaning begins, but you never know!
All summer long, the whole family can take advantage of the mild evening temperatures and visit the zoo at night. At Summer Safari Nights, you can wander the zoo under the stars and check out what all those critters get up to after the lights go out. Parents, you can even partake in a glass of wine or beer!
International Wildlife Museum
This unusual museum features fascinating creatures from around the world, all prepared by expert taxidermists. In order to introduce kids to this wild collection, the Museum hosts activities all summer long that will keep them engaged and teach them all about the animal kingdom.
During the second week of July, kids ages 10-15 can venture “Into the Wild,” a weeklong experience featuring archery, air rifle safety and marksmanship, wildlife conservation games, and encounters with some of the Museum’s live animals.
At the end of the month, on July 29, kids can participate in the International Wildlife Museum’s Archery camp, where they will learn the basics of archery and bow maintenance, as well as practice their skills using compound bows and Olympic-style and 3D targets. By the time you pick them up at the end of the day, you’ll have a regular Robin Hood on your hands.
With great discounts at local hotels, summer is one of the best times of the year to Discover Marana. Hanging out by the pool has to be part of any summer adventure. Once you’ve soaked up enough rays, head out with your kids to one of Southern Arizona’s many kid-friendly summer events. If you still need more pool time, drop them off in the morning and then head back to your lounge chair. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure no one takes it while you’re gone. Discover Kid Adventures when you Discover Marana.