Hiking: Our sunny winter wanderland

This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by Children's Museum Tucson, offering a Black Friday sale on Family Fun memberships, Nov. 29 through Dec. 3! Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!

'Tis the season for turkey dinners, tamales, your family's favorite holiday traditions and work office parties. 

And, oh yeah, all your out-of-town visitors. 

You really can't blame your family for choosing your house (again) for holiday gatherings. Fall and winter are pretty darn great here in Tucson. Crisp mornings that mostly melt into warm afternoons, longer daylight hours than other places, and some of the best places to eat in the country (hello, UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation), what's not to like?

While we can't plan your Thanksgiving menu, or help with all those last-minute house chores, we can help you with a few family-friendly places to take your guests.

Explore Saguaro National Park

Park guide Jeff Wallner, right, leads visitors Matthew Hudson, 16, Scott Stebbins, 15, and Jenna Stebbins, 5, around the cactus garden during a scavenger hunt for National Junior Ranger Day.

Of course you gotta see some saguaros 🌵 

Visit either the East or West parts of the park, and hit some of the easier trails. Don't forget your hat, sunscreen, and lots of water. It's still hot in the sun ya'll. 

Make a stop at the Visitor's Center to pick up a Junior Ranger Book which guides kids through fun activities about the desert plants and animals, wilderness safety and petroglyphs, and takes about 1-3 hours to complete. You can also download the guide in advance and print from home here. When the book is complete, turn it back in at the visitor's center and your kid will be officially sworn in as a Junior Ranger, and will get to take home a cool pin badge and certificate. The book can also be completed from home and mailed in to redeem the swag. 

Spend the day at the UA

Two-year-old Eyvah Montiel tries to get into the tailgate action and play catch next to her uncle C.J. Carpio before the Wildcats’ game against NAU earlier this season.

Sports, space, stories... whatever your family is into, you're likely to find something on the UA campus they'll go wild for 😻 

Make a day of browsing the campus museums, or stroll the grounds and see some of the unique features like the turtle pond or the adorable unicorn statue, tucked away in a garden near the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. Find a longer list of ideas here


A strawberry raspado with sweetened condensed milk and ice cream. 

Another perk of Tucson's mild fall and winter? We get to enjoy icy treats nearly all year round 🍧 

Treat the fam to a raspado at any number of small shops that specialize in this sweet Mexican dessert.

The basic raspado consists of shaved ice drizzled with fruit syrup and topped with chunks of fruit (strawberry and mango are among the favorite flavors). You can also add all sorts of yummy things like ice cream, Mexican candies, chili powder, and sweetened condensed milk.

Brush up on your raspado lingo before you go here

Get $20 off a Children's Museum Family Fun Membership 

Get a Family Fun Membership for your family or give one as a gift for $20 off during the Black Friday sale, Nov. 29 through Dec. 3 only.

Not only do members get free admission every day, they also enjoy other great benefits, including: members-only hours and events at your member museum; four one-time-use guest passes good for both locations; 20% off birthday parties; 10% off facility rentals; monthly email newsletter; and members-only guest admission discount, available when member is present.

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