Staying Toasty in Tucson
There are lots of fun things to do in Tucson that do not charge admission, like the downtown city walking tour, but there are more that do. I would suggest buying the Tucson Attractions Passport, it's only $18 and gives you buy one get one free savings all over the city as well as other locations in southern Arizona. If you go to 3 or more attractions, you save money. Attractions that we visited and think are worth the visit (and are in the passport book) include the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac and the Mini-Time Machine,
Pima Air and Space Museum chronicles flight from the Wright Brothers to modern aircraft and over 100 years of Aerospace history. The docent tours through the hangers (1-5) are informative and entertaining. The 80 acre AMARG or 'bone yard' bus tour is overwhelming in the sheer number of airplanes in storage.
The Mission San Xavier del Bac is one of the finest examples of mission architecture in U.S. southwest It's an active parish on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Call or check on-line for tour schedules of the 45-minute tour of this 214-year old mission.
The Mini-Time Museum was one of the last places we visited in Tucson and it was surprisingly good. Opened in 2009 by miniature collector, Pat Arnell, it features dollhouses and miniatures from all over the world. The oldest dollhouse, the Nuremberg Kitchen, was built in 1742! This extraordinary collection appeals to visitors of all ages, interests and talents. My husband did comment that he only enjoyed himself because we took one of the docent led tours. He said looking at dollhouses was not something he could do more than 5 minutes, however, hearing the historical references and having the scale pointed out to him, made it memorable. One highlight is the only complete Brooke Tucker house, a masterpiece spanning 13 feet. I was amazed to learn that there's a whole mini industry and people that put together these fantastic rooms and houses.
We loved our time in Tucson and plan to be back again next year. We keep discovering fun new things to do while we warm our winter-weary bones.