Looking for free things to do in Tucson with your family and friends? The Old Pueblo offers a few fun options from water and art to live music and history. You’re sure to find something fun (and free) to do in town!
1. San Xavier Mission
The San Xavier Mission was established by Father Kino in 1732. A great stop for anyone who appreciates Spanish colonial architecture, art, or history. Watch the 20 minute video prior to checking out the small on-site museum. You’ll learn about the history of the mission, the area, and Father Kino. The church itself is still in use and beautifully restored. Save room to buy Indian Fry Bread from local vendors outside the mission; it’s delicious!
2. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum
Learn about the history of transportation in Southern Arizona at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. Located in the former Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in downtown Tucson, it’s a small museum for both train fans and history buffs. Visit on Locomotive Saturdays to connect with steam locomotive experts from 10AM-1PM.
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Speaking of Saturdays, visit downtown Tucson on the second Saturday of any month and enjoy live entertainment. 2nd Saturdays doesn’t cater to kids but the live shows and entertainment are family friendly. Plus restaurants are open later and food vendors are also available during the event. Plan a fun evening outside and enjoy free entertainment!
4. Brandi Fenton Splash Pad
Brandi Fenton Splash Pad is the best place to cool off for free in Tucson! The splash pad offers a variety of water features designed for kids 12 years and younger. Playgrounds, bathrooms and covered ramadas are also available on site. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive water experience, the Oro Valley Aquatic Center offers a splash pad, water slide and pools for an admission fee.
5. Degrazia Gallery In The Sun
Enjoy a wide variety of art and architecture by renowned Arizona artist, Ted Degrazia at the Degrazia Gallery In The Sun. The primary focus of Degrazia’s work was the history and culture of the native people in the Sonoran Desert. There are 6 permanent collections of Degrazia’s work on display and rotating exhibits of even more. The 10 acre site nestled against the Catalina Mountains is designated as a National Historic District.
6. Saguaro National Park
Saguaro cacti are certainly an iconic symbol of Arizona and the West. Seeing hundreds of these extremely tall and protected cacti is a must when visiting Tucson. You can visit (and hike) Saguaro National Park for free on designated fee-free days, there are nine this year. The next fee-free National Parks day is August 25th to celebrate the National Park Service’s 99th birthday. Otherwise pay $10 for a 7-day pass, good for everyone in your vehicle.
Looking for more fun in Tucson? Don’t miss these kid friendly museums in Tucson: International Wildlife Museum, Pima Air & Space Museum and Children’s Museum Tucson.