All About the Arizona Museum of Natural History
The next time you find yourself passing through Mesa, AZ, be sure to pay a visit to the Arizona Museum of Natural History. This renowned educational facility first opened back in 1977 as a small museum. Since that time, the place has undergone several expansions and renovations. Today, the museum encompasses 74,000 square feet. As the only natural history museum in the area, it’s a popular destination for school-aged children and their parents.
As the premier museum in Mesa, AZ, the Arizona Museum of Natural History features several different exhibit halls. Each one focuses on a different topic, and guests are encouraged to visit as many as they like. Some of the most popular exhibits include the paleo dig pig and dinosaur hall. You can also all about ancient civilizations, including Mesoamerica. There are even art and geology collections you can view.
Schools throughout the Mesa, AZ area, can book the Arizona Museum of Natural History for different field trips. Most field trips last about two hours, and educators can design their tour to line up with their current school curriculum. As part of their field trip, some schools also choose to visit the Mesa Grande, Cultural Park. This facility features outdoor activities that allow students to participate in archeological adventures.
There are three levels at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. The main level is the largest and features the theater and several changing exhibitions. On the lower level, you can take a journey to many different eras, including Paleozoic Arizona, Jurassic Arizona, and Triassic Forest. There is also a living fossils aquarium on this level. The upper floor features Dinosaur Mountain and the Sonoran Desert Walk.
To make sure the space is inclusive to all guests, the Arizona Museum of Natural History is accessible to those with varying levels of disability. Children with a sensory processing disorder will also feel at home here. The museum provides sensory guides to guests, which details the level of sensory stimulation at each exhibit. This guide is helpful you want to plan a trip for a child with autism or another neural delay.
Before you leave the Arizona Museum of Natural History, make sure you drop by the Museum Store. This gift shop features a wide assortment of novelty items and toys to help you remember your trip. You’ll find shirts, books, and even fossils for sale. Since the museum is a non-profit organization, all proceeds from gift shop purchases go towards improving the exhibits and providing educational opportunities to local schools. Best of all, you can visit the Museum Store in Mesa, AZ, without buying an admission pass. It’s open to the public.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa, AZ, remains open throughout the year. You can plan a visit on Tuesday-Friday from 10-5 pm. On the weekends, the museum is open from 11-5 pm. The museum is not open on Monday and all federal and city holidays. Admission is very affordable. Adults can get in for $12, while children ages 3-12 can buy tickets for $7. Mesa Grande Cultural Park is also a popular destination. Although operated by the museum, it is off-site. The hours of operation vary throughout the year and are dependent on the weather.
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