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Children's Museums

TUCSON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

200 S. 6th Ave., POB 2609, Tucson, AZ.  85702 – 520/792-9985www.tucsonchildrensmuseum.org

By Linda Foster

The Tucson Children’s Museum cites its mission as being able “…to excite children about learning, inspire them to set goals important to their future, and challenge them to reach their full potential through experiences in the arts, sciences, and humanities.” This is quite an ambitious mission and one that this Museum fully achieves. Over 74,000 children and families visit the Museum annually and it would be hard to believe that any of them leave disappointed.

The Tucson Children’s Museum offers a variety exciting exhibits providing hands-on activities for the young and the young at heart.  Just a few of the current exhibits are Dinosaur World, Ocean Discovery Center, ZOOMzone™ and Wee World.  In Dinosaur World, children witness robotic animation of four life-sized dinosaurs: a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Kentrosaurus, a Protoceratops, and a Deinonychus. Dinosaur movements are orchestrated to a video that provides background information about their behaviors and physiology.  The exhibit also includes a replica fossil bed with preserved dinosaur eggs and older animal skeletal remains.

Ocean Discovery Center is a colorful, hands-on exhibit offering children a chance to learn about marine life and conservation as well as careers in oceanography and marine biology. Visitors will experience the underwater environment of a submarine, hear whale sounds and find out what fish look like on the inside. They will also meet 11-year-old scuba diver, Emily.

ZOOMzone™ is a hands-on science exploration exhibit offering children an opportunity to learn and participate in science activities outside the classroom.  What is particularly exciting about this exhibit is that all of the experiments are ideas and activities that have been submitted by children from around the country. In ZOOMzone™, children use everyday items to discover that science is everywhere.

Wee World is a fun and developmentally-stimulating soft sculpture environment designed specifically for preschoolers.

Each month at the Tucson Children’s Museum is filled with a different selection of special events. For example, December features the Harvest Festival (Middle East), Ancient Egyptian Art Festival, Hanukkah Festival, Kwanzaa Festival and the German Christmas Festival. Each of these exciting events offers an opportunity for all visitors to explore and begin to understand diverse cultures through their traditional music, dance and art.

If you’re looking for a venue for your child’s next birthday party, the Tucson Children’s Museum offers two special birthday packages. The Frolic Package is designed for up to 20 persons including adults and includes a special T-shirt for the birthday child, free passes for partygoers good for a future Museum visit, a private room for 2 hours and unlimited access to the Museum for the full day. The Jubilee Package includes all of the offerings in the Frolic Package and adds helium balloons, paper goods, and a choice of one make-and-take birthday activity.

In an effort to further meet the mission of exciting and inspiring children to learn, The Tucson Children’s Museum offers groups a fun learning experience through its Adventure Learning Tours. All of the age-appropriate tours include guided learning, an activity or demonstration, and Museum exploration. Groups can learn about marine life and natural see formations in Depths of the Sea; they can experience hands-on science activities in the ZOOMzone™ or they can explore grown-up life through role playing and dress-up activities with the When You Grow Up tour.

The Tucson Children’s Museum offers something for everyone. The wide variety of exhibits is designed to encourage visitors to discover the world around them through hands-on experiments and activities. For additional information about the Tucson Children’s Museum, please visit www.tucsonchildrensmuseum.org. L.F.


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