The Arizona Museum of Natural History has been a part of Mesa since 1977 and a vivid part of my childhood memories as well. This museum is often referred to as the "Dinosaur Museum" but it is also so much more. I enjoyed watching my girls touch an actual dinosaur bone, walk amongst the dinosaurs, feel beautiful rocks and gems and petrified wood. And that was only in one area. We walked through pictures of our beautiful Arizona, making us once again pause to appreciate the diversity of our state. We were amazed by the exhibit on earth and space. There were a few interactive exhibits, like picture matches, true/false quizzes, or building your own dinosaur. Right now the museum has a special exhibit, "The Sea of Cortez."
The other side of this historic building explores more of Arizona, our prehistoric past, our geology and native roots. Then you can't but help finish off with a tour of Mesa's territorial jail, take a walk through a mine and pan for gold outside. We were glad we saved panning for gold last, as my girls found a way to get pretty soaked. While outside we also enjoying unearthing bones in the paleo dig pit.
I loved watching my girls explore the exhibits and get such an up close and personal education. I would have to say that the toddlers didn't appreciate this museum as much as my older girls, but it is definitely worth checking out and exploring. In my opinion, wonderful for the 2 1/2 years+ crowd. The plus means, this isn't just a museum for children!
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is located at:
53 N. Macdonald in Mesa
(One block north of Main Street in downtown Mesa)
Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Check out more information on their website here.
The Arizona Museum is also available for hosting birthday parties or special events. They offer classes and special nights where you can sleep in the museum. Go here for more information.
Please enjoy a little visual tour and then make sure to go check it out for yourself.