Go back in time at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. We came here for the first time for a birthday party and have been going ever since. Lots of people refer to this as the dinosaur museum but there is so much more than just dinosaurs! It is a little bit of a drive for us since we live in Phoenix but it is worth the drive.
You walk into the lobby and are welcomed by a large wholly mammoth dinosaur and a fish tank with turtles. Check in at the front desk and don’t forget to grab a baggie for panning for gold later.
The first stop is the Dino zone with a mini playground with a slide.
Next head back in time to the Wild West-
- Pan for gold and rubies in the real mining sluice. Prepare to get your hands dirty and feet wet!
- Mine tour- If you dare, take a tour of the Lost Dutchman mine with twists and turns and even real artifacts from the mining heyday in Arizona.
- Visit the territorial jail- This is the real jail from the 1880’s. See how outlaws served their time back then.
- Dig for bones- Slide down to walk into the archeological dig site. Its right past the mining sluice. Take a brush and see if you can find hidden bones.
After all the is there is still another half of a museum! Sometimes we can only make it through this half depending on how much time we have. The other half has 3 floors each with a specific theme. We usually start on the top floor and walk down the ramp through each floor. There are also stairs and elevators to get places faster.
Middle Floor- Dinosaur Floor
From the lobby you walk back in time to a three-story indoor waterfall on Dinosaur Mountain with animated dinosaurs. See a flash flood on the mountain, and watch volumes of water cascade down three stories approximately every 23 minutes! You can even spotlight each dinosaur on the mountain and learn more about them.
Dinosaur Hall is filled with awe-inspiring dinosaur skeletons. Roar along with this massive and awe inspiring dinosaurs.
Ancient Cultures and Native American Culture Floor- Top Floor
This floor has amazing artifacts that I love looking at and learning about and 3 interactive kids activities.
- Pretend bead making
- Mayan block building and
- Rug pattern weaving
Space Zone (That’s what I call it) /Orgins Hall
In a galaxy far, far away…or right in the museum. Check out real meteorites and see stars. My kids love to touch a real meteorite that can from space. I always love having fun while learning and this area is perfect for that mix. It also shows a number of stones and gems which for my rock lover son is great.
This area is filled with tons of hands on activities.
- Fishing for dinosaurs
- Reading nook with books
- Create fossil drawing
- Dinosaur play zone filled with play dinosaurs
- Get up close and personal with Maya the Nothronychu (a life size dinosaur)
Address and Admission
53 N. Macdonald
(One block north of Main St.)
Mesa, AZ 85201
There is plenty of parking on the street and in free public parking areas around the Museum. Open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Closed on Monday.
- $10 Adults
- $7 Children 3-12
- $8 13+ Students with ID
- Children under 3 Free