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What to see, what to do in the never-boring Old Pueblo

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Washingtonans Bob and Pat Mccord experience one of the many hands-on science exhibits within the Flandrau Science Center. Students and their families will be granted free admission from 1 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Sunday.

By Jessica Suarez

Friday October 26, 2001

Who says there's nothing to do in Tucson? In and around this deceptively small college town are museums and attractions worthy of a metropolis, as well as places that are uniquely Tucsonan. See modern and indigenous art, see native and not-so-native animals and take a walk through some of Tucson's historic neighborhoods.

Start your Tucson exploration right on campus. The Arizona State Museum, by the Main Gate, has exhibits about Native American culture in Arizona and northern Mexico. This admission-free museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 621-6302 for details.

The Center for Creative Photography, in the University of Arizona Fine Arts complex, is on par with some of the best photography centers in the country. Best known for housing the archives of photographer Ansel Adams, the CCP has photo exhibits and lectures. The current exhibit is "The Garry Winogrand Game of Photography, Part 1: The Known." The Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and it's free. Call 621-7968 for more info.

Planetary Science is a UA specialty. Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium at the east end of the Mall, has science exhibits and planetarium shows. Call for programs and shows. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays and 7 to 9 Wednesday-Saturday nights. Evening shows and weekend matinees are $5 adults, $4.50 students and $4 ages 3-13. Children younger than 3 are not admitted. Call 621-7827 or 621-4515 for more info.

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Rob Brander, studio arts senior, glimpses various works of the Garry Winogrand show in the Center for Creative Photography. The gallery will be open until 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The UA Fine Arts Complex is near the intersection of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard, and has several exhibits going on. The School of Art Annual Faculty Exhibition, features artwork by UA faculty members. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission to the galleries is free. Call 621-7567 for more information.

Cooler weather calls for some outdoor activity. Visit Colossal Cave Mountain Park, at 16711 E. Colossal Cave Road for horseback riding and hiking tours. The park is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Park admission is $3 per car of six passengers. Tours and horseback riding are extra. Call 647-7275 for more information.

Part museum, part zoo, part botanical garden, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum at 2021 N. Kinney Road has live animal demos all over their outdoor grounds. The Museum is open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year. The museum is in the Tucson Mountain Park, west of Tucson. Admission is $9.95 for adults. Call 883-2702 for more info and directions.

If you don't get enough of the stars at the Planetarium, visit the Kitt Peak observatory, 56 miles southwest of Tucson. Kitt Peak has lots of telescopes, a bookstore and a visitor's center. It's open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come at night for their stargazing program. Admission is free, but their stargazing program is $35 for adults and $30 for students. The observatory information line is 318-8726 at 1100 S. Randolph Way.

The Reid Park Zoo, inside Reid Park, isn't huge, but it does have some cool animals. It's open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Admission is $4 for adults. Call 791-3204 for more info.

Tucson Botanical Gardens, at 2150 N. Alvernon Way, has examples of native fauna and flora on display. Come see it 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $4 for adults. Their number is 326-9686.

There are lots of ways to explore Tucson's history. The Arizona Historical Society is located just off campus at 949 E. Second St. The museum's current exhibits are "Life on the Edge: A History of Medicine in Arizona," "Exploring 1870s Tucson" and "100 Years of Fashion: Social History and Self-Image." The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Call 628-5774 for more information.

Downtown, there's the Arizona Historical Society's Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House by the Tucson Convention Center, 141 S. Granada Ave. This adobe house, which used to be home to the governor when Tucson was the state capitol, features period furniture and artifacts. Another exhibit features the Chinese history in Tucson. This is also free, and hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. Call 622-0956 for more info.

The just-restored Mission San Xavier del Bac at 1950 W. San Xavier Road is a beautiful Spanish mission from the 1700s. It's open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and it's on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Admission is free, but donations help maintain the mission's fragile interior and exterior. Call 294-2624 to find out more.

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block is in Tucson's historic El Presidio neighborhood, at 140 N. Main Ave. Exhibits include modern art as well as pre-Columbian artifacts. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Get in at $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for ages 12 and under. Call 624-2333 to find out more.


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