Classroom globes

Sometimes you just want to get away.

And just because you can't immediately hop aboard a plane bound for another continent doesn't mean you're out of options. 

We've got a few ideas. 

Here are five ways you can travel the world without ever leaving Southern Arizona.

Yume Japanese Gardens

Patricia Deridder, co-owner of Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, says the rocks in this display are from Bear Canyon. She wanted this display to look like three islands and each one has an uneven number of rocks. 

These gardens and museum at 2130 N. Alvernon Way showcase the serenity of Japanese gardens and the artistry of Japanese handicrafts. The museum regularly hosts workshops on topics including origami and flower arranging, along with tea ceremonies and traditional musical performances. 

The gardens and museum closed for the summer and will reopen on October 1. Admission is $13 for adults, $6 for kids ages 3-15 and free for children younger than two. 

For more information, visit

Worlds of Words

The collection at Worlds of Words is impressive — especially when you consider that the thousands of titles now lining the shelves originated with a first-grade-teacher-turned-professor who began acquiring books years ago.

This hidden library in the University of Arizona's College of Education building has 40,000 global children and teen books. While you can't check anything out from this library, you can definitely spend an afternoon soaking in stories set around the world. 

Worlds of Words, 1430 E. Second Street in Room 453, is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

For more information, go to

United Nations Association of Southern Arizona Center

The UNICEF store has items from around the world. 

Who needs tacky airport souvenirs? This gift shop sells artisan-made goods from around the world. Plus, the proceeds support UN programs such as UNICEF. You'll find folk art, textiles, jewelry and more at this shop at 6242 E. Speedway

The volunteer-run shop also has regular talks about global issues and hosts artisans IRL. 

For more information visit

Tucson Greek Festival

The Samarias dance group performs during the 2014 Tucson Greek Festival.

Fill up on gyros, spanakopita and dolmades at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church's annual festival. Every year, the church at 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road transforms its property into a lively Greek party, complete with festive music and performances, savory smells and a colorful market. 

This year, the Tucson Greek Festival is Thursday, Sept. 26 - Sunday, Sept. 29. 

Go here for more information. 

Biosphere 2

The ocean ecosystem at Biosphere 2 in Oracle where scientists do experiments on sea life and climate change.

Park once and explore the rain forest, ocean, savanna and more at Biosphere 2, 32540 S. Biosphere Road in Oracle. The 3-acre research facility run by the University of Arizona is like a gigantic greenhouse housing multiple biomes. 

Admission costs $21 per person for adults and $14 for kids ages 5 through 12. 

Go here for more information.