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    "From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery." ~Alfred North Whitehead



    Museums have something for everyone - anthropology, art, history, nature, science, and more. This page contains a list of many museums around the state. Explore what they have to offer...and see all of the fascinating things there are to discover!

    Adobe Mountain Railroad Museum - 23280 North 43rd Avenue #75, Glendale, 623-974-0125. Ride a small, narrow-gauge 1884 locomotive, see model railroad layouts and prototype historical displays. Display themes change regularly.

    Amerind Museum
    The name "Amerind," a contraction of American Indian, illustrates the purpose of this museum, which is located in the Dragoon Mountains of Southeastern Arizona. It is devoted to archeological research and to the study and interpretation of Native American cultures. The library, consisting of some 30,000-plus volumes, is of particular value in the study of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. Archaeology, anthropology, and history are at the core of the collection. School tours are normally given Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Reservations should be made at least two weeks prior to your visit.

    Arboretum at Flagstaff
    Explore 200 acres of gardens and natural habitats with over 2,500 plant species representing everything from high desert to alpine tundra. The arboretum also offers on-site school programs covering grade-specific curriculum in the natural sciences for students in pre-school through sixth grade.

    Archaeological Research Institute (Arizona State University)

    Arizona Capitol Museum - 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, 602-542-4675 (info), 602-542-4581 (tours). This National Register site served as both the Capitol of the Arizona Territory and the State Capitol and has been restored to its 1912 appearance.

    Arizona Doll & Toy Museum

    Arizona Hall of Fame Museum

    Arizona Historical Foundation

    Arizona Historical Society - Northern Arizona Division (Flagstaff)

    Arizona Historical Society - Central Arizona Division (Papago Park)

    Arizona Historical Society - Southern Arizona Division (Tucson)

    Arizona Historical Society - Rio Colorado Division (Yuma)

    Arizona History Museum - 949 E. Second St., Tucson AZ 85719, 520-628-5774. Interactive and traditional exhibits about Arizona's dynamic past, including an underground copper mine, early ranch and town life, Victorian-era period rooms, the archaeology of Tucson?s downtown, an original stagecoach, and a 1923 Studebaker.

    Arizona Military Museum

    Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum - 1502 West Washington, Phoenix, 602-255-3795. One of the largest and finest mineral museums in the Southwest. Features permanent and changing displays of ore and minerals from Arizona and other states. Over 3,000 minerals on exhibit; highlighting the collection are the colorful minerals from Arizona’s copper mines. Exhibits on the lapidary arts featuring gemstones, carved semi-precious bowls and spheres, well-known Arizona specimen localities, and fluorescent minerals. Free admission. Open weekdays from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturdays from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, closed Sundays and State holidays. Phone: 602-255-3795.

    Arizona Museum for Youth - 35 N. Robson St., Mesa, 480-644-2467. An innovative, nationally recognized fine-arts museum for children. The exhibits encourage creative expression in a "hands-on" environment.

    American Museum of Nursing

    Arizona Science Center - 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-716-2000. Explore 350 hands-on science exhibits, travel to space in a planetarium, and experience the excitement of an Imax theater. Enjoy science demonstrations and traveling exhibitions.

    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson) - A world-renowned zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden all in one! Also features a faux limestone cave, an exceptional collection of regional minerals, fossils, and geology exhibits.

    Arizona State Museum (Tucson) - 1013 E. University Blvd., Tucson AZ 85721-0026, 520-621-6302. Experience the vibrant indigenous cultures of Arizona and northern Mexico through exhibitions, educational programs, a research library, and a museum store. The museum's scholars and extensive collections are among the most significant resources in the world for the study of Southwestern peoples.

    Arizona State University Art Museum

    Arizona State University 1907 Archive Gallery

    Arizona State University Museum of Anthropology

    Arizona Street Railway Museum

    Asarco Mineral Discovery Center - Tucson - Exhibits illustrate the deposition, extraction, and uses of copper. Hands-on exhibits, video theater, cactus garden, picnic area. Free admission. 15 mi. south of Tucson on I-19 and Pima Mine Road.  Phone: 520-625-7513.

    The Bead Museum (Glendale)

    The Bible Museum 2000 N. Litchfield Rd., Goodyear AZ 85338 (623)536-8614
    Take I-10 West to Litchfield Rd. Head North and continue 2 Blocks just North of McDowell. Located in The Hampton Inn & Suites Hotel in Goodyear. Open 24 Hours - 365 Days A Year! Private tours available by appointment only.

    Biosphere 2 Center (Oracle, AZ)
    Explore the environment at this center for teaching, learning, and research about Earth, its systems, and its future.

    Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum Displays on mining and life in this mining town at the turn of the century. Admission fee. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm daily. 5 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee, AZ 85603. Phone: 520-432-7071.

    Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum - 37615 East US Highway 60, Superior, 520-689-2811. Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden features thousands of plants from the world's deserts. 323 acres with miles of nature paths and specialty gardens.

    Buckeye Valley Museum

    Butterfly Lodge Museum

    Casa Grande Valley Historical Society

    Cave Creek Museum - 6140 E. Skyline Dr., Cave Creek, 480-488-2764. Living history of the desert foothills. Displays of pioneer living, ranching and mining. Indian artifacts from the Hohokam, Yavapai, and Apache. Restored 1920s tuberculosis cabin and 1940s church. Gift shop with additional resources.

    Center for Creative Photography (Tucson)

    Challenger Learning Center - 21170 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria, 623-322-2001. A space themed learning environment includes a Mission Control Center, Space Craft, interactive exhibit area, video theatre, Galaxy Gift shop, and exhibitions. Reservations can be made to fly a simulated space mission, Rendezvous with a Comet.

    Champlin Fighter Aircraft Museum

    Chandler Museum

    Children's Museum of Phoenix
    Acting on the principle that learning is a joy, the Children's Museum of Phoenix provides hands-on exhibits and educational programs to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and their families - while promoting cooperative interaction, fostering cultural understanding and enhancing parenting skills. Organizers plan to raise approximately $11 million to pay for the exhibits and renovation of the historic Monroe School building at 7th and Van Buren streets. With a projected opening date of 2007, the building will feature four exhibit areas to appeal to different levels of child development. A Place to Grow will have exhibits for young children from birth to three years, including things to stack, touch and explore that allow parents to see their children in action and experience their child's learning. A Place to Work incorporates imaginative role-playing with a grocery store, bank, mechanical shop, and a costume shop complete with a stage. A Place to Live will feature exhibits that demonstrate the cultural diversity of Phoenix and the rest of the world. A Place to Create will have activities such as printmaking, drawing, painting and ceramics using quality art supplies with Artists in Residence. In March 1999, the museum began touring publicly with a permanent exhibition on board the Museum on Wheels bus. Visit their website and check out their calendar of events, interesting articles, and activities. Click on "Museums without Walls" for fun exhibits that you can "bring home"! Make a donation or sign up to volunteer.

    Deer Valley Rock Art Center - 3711 W. Deer Valley Rd., Phoenix, 623-582-8007. View more than 1500 ancient petroglyphs in a protected desert preserve, plus indoor exhibits and video.

    Desert Botanical Garden - 1201 North Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, 480-941-1225. World's largest collection of desert plants in a natural setting. Tours, demonstrations, interactive exhibits, workshops, special events, café, gift shop, plant shop. Trails: Desert Discovery, Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert, Sonoran Desert Nature, Center for Desert Living.

    Desert Caballeros Western Museum - 21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg, 520-684-2272. Regional exhibits, period rooms, a re-created street scene, mineral collection, Indian artifacts, Western Art Gallery, and a park with native plant landscaping.

    Discovery Park (Safford)
    Southeastern Arizona's Space, Science, and Cultural Center. Discovery Park offers you the opportunity to explore 200 acres of scientific, historical, and cultural exhibits. Currently open to visitors is the Gov Aker Observatory, containing a 20-inch optical telescope, the world's largest known Camera Obscura, and many fascinating science exhibits and programs, including a state-of-the-art space simulator ride, the "Shuttlecraft Polaris". Gov Aker Observatory often hosts meetings of the Desert Skygazers Astronomy Club and is the official visitors' center for the Mt. Graham International Observatory (MGIO), a division of Steward Observatory, the research arm for the department of astronomy at the University of Arizona. "Nature's Hideaway" features a wildlife habitat, native flora and fauna in a desert - riparian setting. You will be able to access the refuge from Discovery Park's hiking trails, or take the Discovery Park Express narrow-gauge train to the old ranch setting. Future Attractions include exhibits on mining, agriculture, and the Tunnel of Time, a fascinating journey exploring over 12,000 years of area history.

    George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

    Glendale Arizona Historical Society

    Glendale Community College Art Collection

    Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting - 6101 East Van Buren, Phoenix, 602-275-3473. 90-plus restored pieces of vintage fire apparatus, dating from 1725 to 1968; plus children's activities and a fire engine to climb aboard.

    Halle Heart Center - 2929 S. 48th St., Tempe, 602-414-2800. The Halle Heart Center offers visitors the opportunity to learn how to join in the fight against the No. 1 cause of death in America - cardiovascular disease - in an innovative, hands-on way that will educate and entertain.

    Heard Museum - 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-8848. Experience the cultures and art of Southwestern Native Americans in a world-class collection of exhibits, traditional and contemporary artwork. Get a taste of what the Heard Museum is about at its branch location, Heard Museum North, El Pedregal Festival Marketplace, Carefree Hwy. and Scottsdale Rd. Or visit the newest satellite location, Heard Museum West, in Surprise AZ.

    Heritage Square

    History of Pharmacy Museum

    Hoo-hoogam Ki Museum

    Hopi Cultural Center (Second Mesa)

    International Wildlife Museum (Tucson)

    Katydid Insect Museum - 5060 W. Bethany Home Rd., Glendale, 623-931-8718. This museum features all kinds of insects and arachnids, both native and exotic.

    Lowell Observatory
    Lowell Observatory offers extensive outreach activities to educate visitors about the exciting world of astronomy. Choose from a variety of daytime, nighttime, and offsite programs for school children to enjoy.

    Manistee Ranch

    The Medical Museum

    Mesa Historical Museum

    Mesa Southwest Museum - 53 N. MacDonald, Mesa, 480-644-2169. This museum of cultural and natural history features permanent and changing exhibitions on Arizona and the southwest, from dinosaurs to ancient Indians, from the old west to the space age. Accessible exhibits for a family audience.

    Meteor Crater Museum of Astrogeology

    Mohave Museum of History and Arts (Kingman)

    Museum of Contemporary Art (Tucson)

    Museum of Northern Arizona
    View exhibits relating to the Museum's four main disciplines: anthropology, biology, geology, and fine art. Experience the arts, sciences, cultures, and history of the Colorado Plateau through the museum's Discovery Program. Creative and enthusiastic educators lead unique hands-on activities, workshops, classes, and tours for students of all ages. Displays include geologic models, fossils, and mineral specimens. Admission fee. Located three miles north of Flagstaff on U.S. Highway 180, Open daily 9 am - 5 pm, except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Phone: 928-774-5213.

    Northern Arizona University Deaver Herbarium (Flagstaff)

    Northern Arizona University Art Museum (Flagstaff)

    Old Pueblo Trolley - An Operating Transit Museum (Tucson)

    Petersen House Museum

    Phippen Art Museum (Prescott)

    Phoenix Art Museum - The largest in the Southwest, the museum features about 16,000 art works in its collection of American, European, Asian, Latin American, Contemporary and Western American art. Not to be missed are the Thorne Miniature Rooms of historic interiors and the interactive ArtWorks Gallery for children. Take advantage of the audio guide to create your own tour, visit the Museum Store for unique gifts, and attend art classes, gallery talks and family programs.

    Phoenix Museum of History

    Phoenix Police Museum

    The Phoenix Zoo - 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, 602-273-1341. One of the nation's largest non-profit zoological parks, it is home to more than 1300 animals, including 200 endangered or threatened birds, mammals and reptiles from around the world.

    Pima Air and Space Museum (Tucson)

    Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum - 3901 W Pioneer Rd., Phoenix, 623-465-1052. 90-acre walking area of history and lifestyle of territorial Arizona. Self-guided tours, interpreters in period costumes, historic Opera House, special events.

    Powell Museum - 6 North Lake Powell Blvd., Page AZ 86040, 928-645-9496.

    Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park - 4619 East Washington, Phoenix, 602-495-0901. The park includes a 1,500-year-old Hohokam culture ruin along an interpretive trail as well as an onsite museum with three exhibit galleries and a theater featuring exhibits of the Hohokam and other cultures of the Southwest. The site also includes some of the last remaining intact Hohokam irrigation canals. Explore these prehistoric Hohokam Indian ruins, and let your children discover the excitement of archaeology in hands-on exhibits.

    Robert S. Dietz Museum of Geology, Arizona State University - Includes mineral displays as well as vertebrate fossils, a Focault pendulum, and a working seismograph.  Free admission. Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon. Located in ASU's Physical Sciences Complex, F-Wing.  Phone: 480-965-7065.

    Rosson House Museum

    Sahuaro Ranch - 9802 North 59th Ave., Glendale, 623-939-5782. This 1885 homestead contains 17 restored original buildings. Changing exhibits, home tours and special events highlight the agricultural history of the west valley.

    Scottsdale Historical Museum

    Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

    Sedona Heritage Museum - Located at 735 Jordan Road in Uptown Sedona, the museum at Jordan Historic Park focuses on Sedona's first industry - raising apples. Drive across the bridge on Mormon Wash and park in the lot; then take one of the scenic pathways through the fruit orchard and past vintage farm implements to the museum. Expect to spend at least an hour or as many as three hours looking at the exhibits and touring the historic buildings. The 4000-square-foot Apple Barn houses a 40-foot-long apple sorting machine from the 1940's. The museum opens daily at 11:00 am, admission is $3.00, and the last tour of the day begins at 3:00 pm.

    Sharlot Hall Museum (Prescott) - Museum dedicated to providing educational adventures in human and natural history of Central Arizona.

    Shemer Art Center and Museum - The Shemer Art Center and Museum is a historical site operated since 1984 by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department as a family-oriented art education center and museum. Shemer's range of exhibitions is diverse, including traditional and nontraditional works by contemporary Arizona artists. Admission is free for most shows.

    Sirrine House

    Sky Harbor Art Program

    SRP Heritage History Center

    Sunnyslope Historical Society

    Superior Historical Society - Bob Jones Museum

    Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum (Apache Junction) - Includes exhibits on the geology of the area, military history, mining artifacts from the town of Goldfield, and, of course, an exhibit on Jacob Waltz and the Lost Dutchman Mine. Admission fee. Open Daily 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Located at Goldfield Ghost town, 4 miles northeast of Apache Junction on the Apache Trail (State Route 88). Phone: 480-983-8888.

    Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum

    Taliesin West

    Teeter House

    Telephone Pioneer Museum

    Tempe Historical Museum

    Titan Missile Museum

    Tohono Chul Park (Tucson)

    Tucson Children's Museum
    Fun, interactive, educational exhibits and hands-on programs to excite children about learning and challenge children to reach their full potential.

    390th Memorial Museum

    Tucson Museum of Art

    University of Arizona Arizona State Museum - The museum brings to life the cultural history of the southwest.

    University of Arizona Campus Arboretum

    University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium - Hands-on science exhibits, exciting shows in the planetarium theater & science workshops.

    University of Arizona Herbarium
    A herbarium is a museum for plants. Plant specimens are collected, preserved, and stored for future study. The U of A Herbarium is open to the public Monday through Friday 9am - 12pm and 1pm - 5pm #113 Shantz Building on the U of A campus. Use the herbarium to research class projects, to identify weeds as well as to help in identifying rare plants.

    University of Arizona Mineral Museum - Minerals, gemstones, and meteorites from around the world. Over 1900 minerals on display as well as an additional 6,000+ micro mount specimens. On the University of Arizona campus in the Flandrau Science Center.

    University of Arizona Museum of Art
    Changing exhibitions and a growing permanent collection of art ranging from 15-century to contemporary art.

    University of Arizona Pharmacy Museum
    A collection of over 60,00 artifacts from pharmacies in Arizona.

    Wells Fargo

    West Valley Art Museum

    Additional Resources

    Central Arizona Museum Association
    A guide to more than 50 museums in the Valley of the Sun. Central Arizona museums have something for everyone - history, art, science, anthropology - explore the diversity!

    May Museum Month
    The Central Arizona Museum Association and Robinsons-May department stores offer a "May Museum Month" Promotion. Participating museums give 2 for 1 admission or a free memento during the entire month of May. Museum Passports are available at Robinsons-May stores around the Valley. May 18, considered International Museum Day, is the inspiration for this annual event. Visit for more information on May Museum Month.

    Museum Ed-Ventures Resource Guide
    This guide contains information about many of the state's cultural institutions, related educational resources and field trip opportunities. It was designed to provide a starting point for teachers to plan the ultimate education experience for young minds. Visit and click on Museum Educator's Council of Arizona (MECA) for more information and to download a Museum Ed-Ventures Resource Guide.

    Tucson Association of Museums
    Their Educator's Resource Guide is your "one-stop shop" for information on educational opportunities offered by Tucson-area museums. They provide links to the finest cultural, historical, and educational facilities in southern Arizona, many of which have special programs for teachers and students.

    Do you know of another museum in Arizona that is not listed here?
    Please submit additional museum information on our contact form.

    These pages are a continuous work in progress.
    Copyright © 2000- by Teri Ann Berg Olsen


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