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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Museums and art galleries

Museum visits prompt inspiration and perspective in kids and adults alike. So get out and explore! We update these listings regularly, but policies can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please call ahead or click through on the links we’ve provided to verify prices and hours of operation.

Visit our online calendar of events, sign up for our FREE eNewsletter or follow @RAKmagazine on Twitter to learn about more things to do.


Gilbert Historical Museum
10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert
480-926-1577 •
Thousands of artifacts displays in themed rooms re-create life in early Gilbert. Museum site is the original Gilbert Elementary School, built in 1913. 9am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. $5; $3 ages 5-12; free to ages 4 and younger.

museums, Arizona, Gilbert

Gilbert Historical Museum. Photo:


Arizona Doll and Toy Museum
5847 W. Myrtle Ave., Glendale
623-939-6186 •
Antique and collector dolls. 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sunday-Monday. $5; $2 for children.

Glendale Police Museum
6835 N. 57th Drive, Glendale
623-920-3486 •
Memorabilia reflecting more than 100 years of Glendale Police Department history. 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Historic Sahuaro Ranch
9802 N. 59th Ave, Glendale
623-930-4200 •
The 17-acre Historic Sahuaro Ranch features 13 original historic buildings and structures, a rose garden, barnyard and orchards. Lush grounds include citrus, figs, date palms, olives, apricots, peaches, pecans and grapes. Visitors will see peacocks, chickens and small animals. Activities, exhibits and guided tours keep the history of early settlement in the Valley alive. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Sundays, September through May. Free.


Arizona Museum of Natural History
53 N. Macdonald, Mesa
480-644-2230 •
Exhibits exploring Arizona through time: Dinosaur Mountain, Southwest cultures, the Spanish in Arizona, Lost Dutchman’s Mine, Terrritorial Jail, a gold-panning experience and more. 10am-5pm Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday. $12; $7 ages 3-12, free for children younger than 3.

i.d.e.a. Museum
35 N. Robson St., Mesa
480-644-2467 •
Art education and creative play designed to instill a lifelong appreciation for art. Build a master project on Rigamajig, design a dream robot in Robot Corner, create with pixels, gears and more in Wee Design and Play in Artville, a socks-only space designed specially for children from birth through age 4. 9am-4pm Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 9am-6pm Friday, noon-4pm Sunday; closed Mondays and most holidays. $9; free for infants younger than 1.



Arizona Capitol Museum
1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix
602-926-3620 •
Four floors and more than 20 exhibition areas describing Arizona government past and present. 9am-4pm Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm Saturday (September through May). Free; donations welcome.

The copper-domed Arizona Capitol Museum in downtown Phoenix. Photo courtesy of the museum.

Arizona Science Center
600 E. Washington St., Phoenix
602-716-2000 •
More than 300 hands-on exhibits plus a SkyCycle, IMAX theater and planetarium. Permanent exhibits focus on the body (how it works and functions), the science of flight, forces of nature, the brain, financial literacy, electricity, digital communication technology, renewable energy and more. 10am-5pm daily. $12; $10 ages 3-17 (additional charges for SkyCycle, IMAX and planetarium shows).

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N. 7th St., Phoenix
602-253-0501 •
Hands-on, interactive, learn-by-play exhibits designed for ages 10 and younger. 9am-4pm daily. $12; free for infants (under age 1).

Deer Valley Rock Art Center
3711 W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix
623-582-8007 •
Archaeology museum and 47-acre Sonoran Desert preserve features the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the greater-Phoenix area. $7; $4 students, $3 ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and younger. [Editor’s note: As of July 1, 2017, the center was closed. It was expected to reopen in late summer 2017.]

Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
6101 E. Van Buren, Phoenix
602-275-3473 •
More than 90 restored pieces of fire apparatus dating from 1725-1969 originating in America, England, France, Austria, Germany and Japan. The National Firefighting Hall of Heroes honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty or been decorated for heroism. Another gallery explores the history of wildland firefighting in the U.S. 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday, noon-4pm Sunday. $7; $5 ages 6-17, $2 ages 3-5, free for ages 2 and younger.


Heard Museum
2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
602-252-8848 •
Celebrates traditional and contemporary American Indian art and cultures. “It’s Your Turn” is a hands-on interactive art experience for children that reflects themes in current permanent and traveling exhibitions. 9:30am-5pm Monday-Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday. $18; $7.50 ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and younger. Free general admission during First Fridays (does not include admission to specially tickets exhibitions or events).

Musical Instrument Museum
4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
480-478-6000 •
More than 6,500 instruments from around the world, classes for kids, concerts, signature cultural events and more. 9am-5pm daily. $20; $15 ages 13-19, $10 ages 4-12, free for children 3 and younger.

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
602-257-1222 •
American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, fashion and photographer. To make your visit more meaningful for kids, pick up a Scavenger Hunt card at Visitor Services. 10am-5pm Tuesday, 10am-5pm Wednesday-Saturday; noon-5pm Sunday; closed Monday. $18; $9 for ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and younger. Free to all from 3-9pm each Wednesday, 6-10pm each First Friday, 10am-5pm each Second Saturday and noon-5pm each Second Sunday.

Phoenix Police Museum
101 S. Central Ave. #100, Phoenix
602-534-7278 •
Exhibits include a mock-up of an early 1900s police station, police car, motorcycle, equipment and 9/11 memorial display. Children of all ages can try on a real Phoenix Police uniform and get sworn in as police officers while visiting the museum. 9am-3pm Monday-Friday; closed on all City of Phoenix holidays Free; donations are accepted and appreciated.

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix
602-495-0901 •
Located on a 1,500-year-old archaeological site left by the Hohoham culture, the museum features a fully accessible 2/3-mile trail through prehistoric ruins with a partially excavated platform mound, ball court and replicated houses. Three indoor galleries display Hohokam artifacts and a children’s hands-on gallery offers activities to help kids understand the science of archaeology. 9am-4:45pm Tuesday-Saturday; 1-4:45pm Sunday; closed on major holidays and on Sundays and Mondays from May through September. $6; $3 ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and younger.

Rosson House Museum
113 N. Sixth St., Phoenix
602-262-5070 •
A restored Victorian-era home depicting Phoenix life during late territorial times. Children ages 4 and older will received a complimentary activity backpack to guide exploration of historic rooms and artifacts. 10am-4pm Wednesday-Saturday; noon-4-pm Sunday; closed on holidays. $9; $4 for children.

museums, Arizona, Rosson House, Phoenix

Rosson House Museum in Phoenix. Photo:

Shemer Art Center and Museum
5005 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
602-262-4727 •
Traditional and non-traditional works by Arizona artists. 10am-3pm Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sunday-Monday. Free; suggested donation of $7 per person or $10 per couple. Also offers art-instruction classes for adults and children.

Wells Fargo History Museum
Wells Fargo Plaza Building
145 W. Adams St., Phoenix
602-378-1852 •
Exhibits include an authentic 19th century stagecoach, a replica stagecoach children can board, an interactive telegraph and the largest public display of N.C. Wyeth’s western-themed work. 9am-5pm Monday-Friday; closed on bank holidays.


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale
480-874-4666 •
A museum dedicated to contemporary art, architecture and design. The SMoCA [email protected] Gallery (seasonal) displays teen artwork from Valley high schools. Noon-5pm Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday; noon-9pm Thursday-Saturday; closed Monday and major holidays. $10; $7 students. Free to all on Thursdays and after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Western Spirit – Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale
480-686-9539 •
Permanent exhibits feature paintings, sculptures, saddles, spurs and other quintessentially western items; and photographs features people past and present who have made contributions to the American West. 9:30am-5pm Tuesday-Wednesday, 9:30am-9pm (November-April) or 9:30am-5pm (May-October) Thursday, 9:30am-5pm Friday-Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday; closed Monday and major holidays. $13; $8 ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and younger.


Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park
1300 N. College Ave.Tempe
480-929-0292 •
Explore Arizona’s history with a tour of the center’s Centennial Museum, which takes you from western frontier days to war times and the post-war building boom. Learn how water makes life possible in the  desert and discover the beauty and variety of Arizona’s vast natural resources. 10am-5pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-4pm Friday-Saturday, closed on Sunday. $12; $8 ages 7–17, free for ages 6 and younger, military and veterans.

ASU Art Museum
Nelson Fine Arts Center on ASU’s Tempe campus
51 E. 10th St., Tempe
480-965-2787 •
Offers a variety of programs each month in conjunction with current exhibitions; many events are free. Stop by the museum any Saturday afternoon to participate in creative art-making activities guided by museum ambassadors. Family Days (with art stations for children ages 4-12) are scheduled throughout the year and revolve around current exhibitions. 11am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-8pm Thursday (during academic semesters), closed Sunday, Monday and university holidays.

museums, Arizona, ASU Art Museum, things to do with kids

Hands-on art at ASU Art Museum in Tempe. Photo courtesy of the museum.

Halle Heart Children’s Museum
2929 S. 48th St., Tempe
602-414-2800 •
The American Heart Association’s only cardiovascular learning facility in the nation. Exhibits and interactive activities focus on eating a balance diet, getting enough physical activity and saying “no” to tobacco. 9am-4pm Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm Saturday (Memorial Day through August); 9am-4pm Monday, noon-4pm Tuesday-Thursday, 9am-4pm Friday and 9am-2pm Saturday (September through May). $5; free for ages 3 and younger.

Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
480-350-2867 •
The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts offers rotating exhibits include a wide variety of local and regional artists and themes of popular and cultural interest. Periodically offers free Family Arts & Sciences Workshops. 10am-5pm Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-7:30pm Friday, 11am-7:30pm Saturday. Free.

Tempe History Museum
809 E. Southern Ave., Tempe
480-350-5100 •
Exhibits feature Tempe history and contemporary life. 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday; closed Sunday and major holidays. Free.


Desert Caballeros Western Museum
21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg
928-684-2272 •
Art exhibitions and educational programs that preserve the cultural legacy of the West. Permanent exhibits include work by Wickenburg High School art students, gem and mineral displays, historical dioramas, American Indian art and artifacts, a small-scale ranch and a life-scale reconstruction of parts of the town as it looked 100 years ago. 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday, noon-4pm Sunday; closed Mondays from Memorial Day to Labor Day; closed Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day. $12; free for ages 17 and younger.


More things to do with kids in Arizona


magazine provides resource directories as a community service and a starting place for your research. We do not independently evaluate nor do we imply endorsement by including particular organizations. If you know of additional museums we should list, please contact us.

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