Mesa, AZ

Walk with dinosaurs at the Arizona Museum of National History

Scott Murdoch

MESA, AZ — When you’re in the Phoenix area, be sure to check out the Arizona Museum of Natural History (formerly Mesa Southwest Museum). It is the only natural history museum in the greater Phoenix area and is located at 53 N Macdonald, Mesa, AZ 85201. It exhibits the natural and cultural history of the Southwestern United States.

The museum was founded in 1977 in what was Mesa City Hall, which was built in 1934 and expanded to house additional galleries in the 1980s and 1990s. Its exhibits include the cultures of the Ancient Americas, Native Cultures of Western North America, dinosaur exhibits, and more. It also offers the Paleo Dig Pit, a fossil site simulation.

At the Arizona Museum of Natural History, the dinosaurs are the main attraction, not least at Dinosaur Mountain, where there's a three-story waterfall and where you can see and hear specimens from the Mesozoic Era.

The Dinosaur Hall has skeletons of theropods, sauropods, ceratopsians, and iguanodonts, and the aforementioned Paleo Dig Pit lets children dig for fossilized eggs and bones.

As of July 2021, there have been new three new exhibitions including one that will take visitors 75,000,000 years into the past to walk among dinosaurs.

If you or your children are big on dinosaurs and the general natural history, the Arizona Museum of Natural History can be your next site. Just remember that the museum is open every day except for Monday. Admission to the Arizona Museum of Natural History is $7 for children ages 3-12 and $13 for ages 13 and up; museum members are free. At the i.d.e.a. Museum, admission is $9 for ages 1 and up. Members and babies 11 months and younger are free to enter. Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum is free, but reservations are recommended.

For more information on hours and visitation, click here.

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