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Children's Museum Tucson fundraiser offers play time for families, small groups

Children's Museum Tucson fundraiser offers play time for families, small groups

  • Updated

Shane, left, and Roland Symms enjoy a science experiment at the Children’s Museum Tucson during the Save Our Summer FUNdraiser. The benefit allows families or small social groups to rent the museum for a three-hour period for $300.

The Children’s Museum Tucson is sending out an SOS and offering a lifeline to parents and children during the summer of COVID-19.

“The ‘Save Our Summer FUNdraiser’— with an emphasis on fun — has a double meaning. It benefits both the museum and the families looking for a place to get out of the house with their kids,” said Teresa Truelsen, director of marketing for the museum.

The unique SOS Play Day events offer three-hour time slots during which a family or small social group can receive private access to the entire museum, located downtown at 206 S. Sixth Ave., for a $300 donation.

Two Play Day spots are available each day on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and three spots are available daily on Fridays and Saturdays.

Additionally, two Play Day spots will be randomly gifted each Tuesday during Give Back Tuesday, offering free access to the program for families unable to donate $300.

The program began last week and will continue through Aug. 16; registration is available online at

Each Play Day spot is limited to a group of 10 or less and all guests over the age of 5 are required to wear face masks so the events adhere to guidelines set by local health experts to minimize spread of the coronavirus, according to Truelsen. The museum is also sanitized between each play session.

“We have missed having children in the museum, and while we have put the time to good use by making updates throughout the museum, it has been way too quiet. Our reopening plans keep being put on hold due to the pandemic, so we thought this was a great way to get kids back in the museum,” said Truelsen.

The event was a hit with museum members Annie and John Symms and their five children: Lavender, Shane, Roland, Tyson and Magnus.

Annie said they rented a spot last week to celebrate Roland’s third birthday and the staff made the celebration extra special with an age-appropriate science experiment (available to members) in addition to the many regular exhibits.

“It is just fantastic. You get to rent the entire museum for three hours for $300 — how awesome is that? It feels like that movie, ‘Night at the Museum.’ It is just a fantasy experience to have the whole museum to yourselves,” said Symms.

She said her family also appreciated both the change of scenery and the unique opportunity to support the nonprofit museum during this difficult time.

Contact freelance writer Loni Nannini at


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