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School Group General Information

What can you do at the Desert Museum?

You can tour with the aid of one of our downloadable field guides, and add an up-close live animal program or touch experience. Your students will enjoy real-world discovery of Adaptations, Structure & Function, Ecology, Ecosystems, and Conservation Issues. Read about these programs after you read this general information. Reservations with programs require a 30-day minimum advance notice. Live Animal Interactive Theater Programs and Green STEM Labs are offered Mon, Tue, Thurs & Fri.
Stingray Touch is offered 7 days a week.
All programs are scheduled based on availability. Early registration is always recommended.

The reservation is confirmed when your confirmation letter with reservation number has been emailed to you. Please allow 15 business days for response.

Changes: We expect the number of students and adults might vary by a few. It may not be possible to add an additional program or change a date. Remember availability is limited. Please contact us as soon as you need to make a change at 520-883-3025 or email: [email protected].

Cancellations: Please notify us as soon as possible of a cancellation. Cancellation with less than 48-hour notice prior to reservation date will be billed the full amount. Contact us at 520-883-3025 or email: [email protected].

No shows: Groups will be billed the entire reservation amount.

At the Museum

Orientation Video

Help your students prepare for their field trip by showing them this short video, which explains what they will see and learn at the Museum, what the Museum environment will be like and how to behave to get the most out of their visit. Please share this link with your chaperones as well.

Reservations for the school/youth rate are limited to groups of 10 or more people and are granted based on availability. Groups must enter as a group. The instructor/teacher or leader should come to the ticket window to pay for and/or check in the entire group. Latecomers will pay the appropriate individual rate — not the discounted rate.
The school/youth group rate will not be honored for reservations submitted less than 15 days in advance of your earliest requested date.

Payment: Purchase orders (preferred) or checks may be used to pay in advance or upon arrival. The ticket window will also accept Visa, MasterCard or cash (in one lump sum). Discount coupons and guest passes are not honored with the school/youth group rate.

Late Arrivals for theater or lab programs: Depending on availability, leader may be given the option of shortening or combining programs. The school/youth group will be billed for the entire amount of the reserved program fee.
No refunds for missed Stingray Touch.

Food: Snacks and lunches are allowed only in the picnic area and food must remain in vehicles until ready to eat. Fourteen picnic tables are available in our lunch ramada next to the bus-loading zone. Typically space in the ramada is first-come, first-served. During busy times it may be necessary for us to schedule school lunch times. Scheduled lunch times may depend on your time of arrival/departure and other factors. Due to tighter schedules, schools with Education programming will receive priority. Small groups may be scheduled to eat together. The Museum is not able to store lunches, backpacks, or any personal belongings during your visit. Water bottles are permitted on the grounds.

Dining Options are available for elementary school/youth groups at our Ironwood Terraces Restaurant.

Supervision: We require 1 adult chaperone per 5 students/youths in grades K-8; 1 adult chaperone for every 10 students/youths in grades 9-12. Before you arrive, assign chaperones to their group of students. Enter the grounds in small groups of no more than ten students. Groups should tour the grounds in different directions. Adults are responsible for behavior of students in their group. Chaperones must stay with their group at all times. All chaperones are expected to read and adhere to the chaperone guidelines.

View chaperone guidelines here.

All individuals in the group should have adhesive nametags with their name and name of school or organization.

If a student/youth is lost or injured, contact a Museum Docent or Staff and/or go to the Entrance Patio ticket window.

When You Arrive

View Map to ASDM and parking (PDF)
View Self-Guided Visit map

Parking map and Chaperone Guidelines will be included in mailed letter.

Have separate count of adults and students/youths. Everyone must enter as a group to receive school/youth rate. Latecomers pay full amount.

Students should bring hats and sunscreen and each person should have their own refillable water bottle.

Arriving by bus:

Self-guided visits: Teacher/Group Leader should proceed to the ticket window to pay for the group while the group stays together on bus or at bus-loading zone. Teacher will return to escort group to the entrance after paying at ticket window.

If your visit includes a Stingray Touch, Theater Program or Green STEM Lab: Please stay on the bus until you are greeted by Museum Staff. Buses use bus-loading zone near picnic area to load and unload. Buses must park in bus/rv parking area. Bus drivers are admitted free of charge. Make sure all chaperones know what time to meet back at the school or picnic ramada at the end of your visit.

Arriving by cars:

Self-guided visits: Groups should assemble at the school or picnic ramada near the bus zone while teacher pays for entire group at ticket window. Please keep waiting group off central patio area.

Self-guided visits with Stingray Touch, Theater Program or Green STEM Lab: Groups should assemble at the school or picnic ramada until greeted by Museum Staff.

Make sure that all chaperones know what time to meet back at the school or picnic ramada at the end of your visit.

At your School/Location

Full Payment is due at least two weeks in advance by purchase order or check. Purchase orders can be faxed or mailed. Checks need to be mailed. Additional fees for more than 50 miles outside Tucson area.

Mailing address: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743, ATTN: Education Department. Fax: 520.578.8020

Parking: Please have a place for us to park our vehicle as close to the program room as possible.