fun to do kids tucson north   Travel for Kids
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Tucson - North

tohono chul park
  Tohono Chul Park – Not only a Sonoran desert botanical garden, Tohono Chul is a great spot for kids. For younger kids, the Garden for Children is an imaginative play area, with wacky bird houses, music chimes, copper saguaro sculpture, tiled sundial, murals with javelinas, flowers and butterflies, and a flowing water fountain to splash and play.
      At the Sundial Plaza don't miss the re-creation of Hohokam petroglyphs carved into the rocks – spirals, dancing figures, stick figures, game animals, squiggles and geometric figures.

    Walk down the Desert View (you might see javelinas) and Saguaro Discovery nature trails. In the cactus loop trail, discover different kinds of cactus (they're all labeled) – torch cactus, Easter cactus, mission cactus, octopus cactus, Christmas cactus. And everywhere you'll hear the sounds of birds who make the park their home.
    On-site is a lovely restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, and you can picnic in designated areas.
    Farmers Market (St. Phillips Plaza) – On Sundays, head for the farmers market to pick up pastries, coffee cake, cookies (including mesquite cookies), baked goods, locally grown fruits, nuts, empanadas, tamales, and salsas, barbeque and sandwiches.
  Picture Rocks – Picture Rocks is a collection of more than 100 petroglyphs made by the Hohokam between 800-1300 AD. On the rocks are hunting and dancing scenes, spirals, and animals that look like mountain sheep. Archeologists think this rock art may have been used to mark the seasons. The petroglyphs are a short walk from the road, and don't climb on the rocks.
    The petroglyphs are located on private property, 7101 W. Picture Rocks Rd., at the Redemptorist Renewal Center, northwest of Tucson. Stop into the center office, and they'll give you a brochure about the petroglyphs and directions where to park.
catalina state park
  Catalina State Park (Hwy 77) – Nestled at the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this state park is an easy way to get out and explore the desert. Picnic areas and campgrounds are available.
    Hikes – The one mile Canyon Loop Trail has good views of the saguaro cactus forests. Older kids will want to hike up along the Romero Canyon Trail, which has pools in a year-round creek.
    Take the Romero Ruin Interpretive Trail (3/4 mile loop trail) to explore ruins of a 19th century ranch house and the site of a Hohokam village, inhabited from 500 - 1300 AD. Marked with explanatory plaques, the trail goes through the remains of a prehistoric compound and along an shallow depression which was a Hohokam ballcourt. There aren't extensive ruins to see, but just walking around the promontory, it feels like a mystery under your feet.
    Horseback riding – The foothills are a wonderful areas for trail rides. Pusch Ridge Stables and Spanish Trail Outfitters have 1 hour, 2 hour trail rides, half day and private rides, and lead line rides. For kids 6 and up.
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