Last Friday, Tucson hit 90 degrees for the first time in 2022.

The 90-degree day came five days earlier than usual, according to National Weather Service Tucson meteorologist Gary Zell. Unfortunately for us, the Climate Prediction Center is currently predicting above-average temperatures every month from now until September.

"Obviously that does not mean everyday is going to be above normal, but they're talking monthly outlooks," Zell says.

There's currently no indication of when Tucson will welcome (or should I say reject?) its first 100-degree day. But on average, for the years between 1991 and 2020, Tucson sees its first 100-degree day on May 18. Historically though, from 1895 through 2020, that day has been May 25.

As for those brutal 105-degree days that none of us even want to think about right now: From 1991 to 2020, Tucson typically sees its first 105-degree day on June 6. Historically, that day has been June 11.

"June's typically blazing hot," Zell says, adding that it's typically the hottest month for Tucson.

There is some promising news: The Climate Prediction Center says there's a 50-60% chance that we'll see above-normal rainfall from July to September.

But before we start dreading the arrival of summer and the 100-degree days that accompany it, let's focus on the cooler April days ahead of us.

Here are 10 things to do outside — before it gets too hot. (But most of the places mentioned are open year-round and some even open their doors on summer nights for folks to enjoy the cooler temperatures after sunset.)

Bella Sanders, 8, pets a stingray inside the stingray exhibit at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, in Tucson, Ariz. on March 30, 2022.

1. Bask in the desert beauty at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road, 520-883-2702

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum may not be a hidden gem, but it's a gem no less.

Check out 1,200 kinds of plants, experience the touch of a stingray, walk through a reptile and amphibian hall and see all kinds of desert animals — bobcats, a mountain lion, javelinas, prairie dogs, skunks, hummingbirds and more.

If you visit in springtime, you may even spot colorful cactus blooms in the museum's cactus garden. 

Reid Park Zoo's new Andean Bear Joaquin stares at the camera while walking around his new habitat at Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Ct., in Tucson, Ariz. on Oct. 19th, 2021.

2. Say hello to the animals at Reid Park Zoo

3400 E. Zoo Court, 520-791-3204

Head to Reid Park Zoo where elephant Penzi, lion Kaya, giraffe Sota, bear Joaquin and more than 200 other animals await your arrival.

Beyond the animals, you can feed the giraffes, ride a carousel and have a bite to eat at the zoo's own cafe. 

Heads up: Animals are usually the most active early in the morning and just before closing. 

Each letter on this Tucson Together mural painted by Jessica Gonzales represents a local business: (from left to right) Old Tucson Studios, The Fox Theatre, Hotel Congress, Eegee's, the Gateway Saguaro sign, Hub Restaurant and Ice Creamery, Ben's Bells and the Rialto Theatre. 

3. Take a walking tour of the city

196. N Court Ave., 520-622-0594

Tucson has a lot to see and a lot to love. The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum knows that.

Each month, the museum hosts a series of walking tours around the downtown area — and they almost always sell out.

Guided walking tours include the Turquoise Trail, where you'll see historic buildings and learn a slice of Tucson history; the Mainly Murals Walking Tour, which shows off some of downtown's murals and discusses the artist behind the piece; the Public Art and Murals Walking Tour, which explores public art pieces and murals; and the Barrio Viejo Walking Tour, which takes you through the historic Barrio Viejo neighborhood.

The next available tour dates are April 17 for the Turquoise Trail, April 18 for the Mainly Murals tour, April 20 for the Barrio Viejo tour and April 24 for the Public Art tour.

Alternatively, check out our mural gallery to put together a self-guided mural tour of your own!

Shoppers browse the wares at the St. Philips Plaza Artisan Farmer’s Market in 2019.

4. Get your shopping on

Tucson is home to a number of markets featuring everything from handcrafted items made by local artists to fairs showing off the best collectible and vintage finds.

Here are a few upcoming markets:

5. Put on your hiking shoes and head to your nearest trail

What would this list be if we didn't include hiking?

Hiking trails are all over — short trails leading up to the top of "A" Mountain, the steep walk up Tumamoc Hill, plus there's Enchanted Hills Trails ParkSabino Canyon, Catalina State Park, Saguaro National Park and so many more nearby hiking areas.

While hiking in April is typically significantly cooler than hiking in June, it's still important to hydrate and protect yourself from the sun! Heading out during the cooler morning hours might be best.

Hoyt Phillips, far right, and his husband Neil David “ND” Seibel, center, listen to Jimmy Bultman, owner of Tucson Bike Tour, talk about a mural on the University of Arizona’s Michael J. Drake Building during a murals Tucson Bike Tour throughout downtown Tucson, Fourth Avenue and surrounding areas of the city on Dec. 15, 2021.

6. Hop on a bike 

The Loop is home to more than 130 miles of paved pathways, perfect for bicycling, roller-skating, jogging and horseback riding.

Dust off your bike and head to your closest entrance along The Loop — or explore a section of The Loop you may not be as familiar with. Along the way, check out the dozens of art pieces on the pathways.

If you'd rather hop on a guided bike tour, that's an option, too.

There's FUGA, which hosts monthly bike rides on the south and west sides of Tucson. There's also Tucson Bike Tours, which hosts three different tours centered on history, murals and tacos.

Need a bike? Check out Tugo Bike Share!

Volunteers help yank out the nonnative, invasive buffelgrass at Saguaro National Park East.

7. Get outside and volunteer with a community organization

If you're hoping to soak up the sun all while making a difference, volunteering with a local organization is an option to consider.

Tucson is home to an incredible number of programs that work hard to make our community a better place. Below are some outdoorsy volunteering opportunities, but remember: Volunteers are likely needed every season of the year!

  • Mission Garden — You can be a volunteer gardener and prepare soil, plant seeds, harvest produce and more
  • Pima Animal Care Center — Get the pups out of their kennels and take them for a walk!
  • Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids — Tasks include filling waters, feeding animals, mucking horse stalls and raking the grounds
  • Buffelgrass pulls — Help remove the invasive buffelgrass at a number of pulling events throughout Tucson. Check out the Desert Museum's website for locations!

This capybara was pictured at Funny Foot Farm in 2018.

8. Pet a capybara and a porcupine 

2405 W. Wetmore Road520-399-6555

Funny Foot Farm is not your average petting zoo.

Yes, there are goats and chickens — but there's also a porcupine and a capybara that you can feed and pet. Did I mention Funny Foot Farm is also home to a kangaroo?

Admission starts at $9 and goes up to $30 depending on the kinds of animals you're hoping to see.

The outdoor dining area for LaCo and Tallboys in Old Town Artisans, Tucson.

9. Enjoy your favorite food — on a patio or have a picnic

Tucson is home to countless restaurants with beautiful patios, from the spacious courtyard decorated with twinkling lights at LaCo to the shipping container food hall The Boxyard

Whatever restaurant patio is your go-to, enjoy patio season while it lasts.

Alternatively, pick up food — takeout goodies or picnic ingredients — from a place like Super Carniceria y Pescaderia El RanchitoRoma Imports or Flora's Market Run. Have a picnic of your own at a nearby park!

The Tucson Botanical Gardens located at 2150 N. Alvernon Way is the perfect location to take a romantic stroll.

10. Experience spring with all the flora you could ask for

To get the real spring experience, now's the time to bask in the plants of local gardens.

Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, is home to more than five acres of space, including an area dedicated to butterflies. Until May, you can step into Butterfly Magic and watch as 200 butterflies flutter by.

Also a space for plant lovers is Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, which is home to themed gardens and, of course, the desert's best friend — the saguaro. Each day, you can join a tour of the park to learn about topics like birds, reptiles and butterflies.

Both also have restaurants!


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