AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park (Tempe)

AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park
1300 North College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

Courtyard in spring 2016_v2

At the AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park, we connect with people by sharing Arizona’s history and engaging in meaningful conversations about how history impacts our lives today and tomorrow. 

With a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century history, the Museum exhibits take visitors on a trip through time – from early settlements to World War II and the post-war rise of desert cities, to Arizona’s pop culture. Discover the beauty of minerals and gems from Arizona and around the world, and see a scale model of an Arizona copper mine. While visiting the Museum, take time to enjoy the lush desert landscaping and scenic vistas.

Located at the edge of Papago Park in Tempe, the central location is convenient to most of the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m./ Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Reduced Summer Admission Rates! Effective June 1, 2016:

Adults: $10.00; Seniors 65+: $8.00

Ages 7 – 17: $6.00; Ages 6 and under: Free.



Amazing Arizona Kids! Summer Program schedule is here!

See details below.


General Admission:

Adults: $12.00; Seniors 65+: $10.00

Ages 7 – 17: $7.00; Ages 6 and under: Free.

AHS members and Veterans/Active Military: Free.

Parking is always free.


Coming Events!


The Secret History of America’s Spy Planes:

The U-2, A-12 and SR-71 and Future Designs

Dr Sky headshot

Tuesday, May 24 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Join us as Radio/TV Host Steve Kates, aka “Dr. Sky,” takes us on an incredible journey into the history of some of America’s most guarded secret spy planes of the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. Hear the stories behind the U-2, A-12 and SR-71 like you have never heard before!

During this special two-hour multimedia experience, we will penetrate the secret wall of the CIA and other government agencies. Special guests who had an active role in the CIA’s A-12 program, as well as Lockheed’s SR-71 program, will join us via phone/Skype.

Young or old, if you are a fan of aviation history, or just want to know the inside story of spy planes, then this program is for you! Join us for a fascinating evening with Dr. Sky!

Cost: $10.00 general public; $9.00 for AHS members.  Book in advance at 480-929-0292. Special event fee does not include admission to the museum.

Steve Kates- “Dr. Sky” is President/CEO of Dr. Sky Inc., a multimedia company with expertise in the realms of Astronomy, Space, Aviation and Weather. Dr. Sky is a locally and nationally known broadcaster with his own branded show, The Dr. Sky Show, on KTAR/NEWS,92.3 FM. He is also a regular contributor to the largest night time radio show, COAST TO COAST, with George Noory. He appears with regular commentary on FOX 10 in Phoenix and AZ TV, with legendary broadcaster Pat McMahon. His websites are and



 John Wayne, Legend of Monument Valley

A presentation by Bill J. Harrison, “Arizona’s Road Scholar”

John Wayne

Wednesday, June 22 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

An undisputed American icon, John Wayne is recognized the world over for his signature drawl and confident swagger: the ultimate personification of American courage and honor.

But it wasn’t always that way. Early in his career, John Wayne starred in dozens of poorly written and amateurishly directed B-movies that were quickly relegating him to the scrap heap. Then three things changed his life: John Ford, the famous movie director; Harry Goulding, an Indian trader and sheep farmer; and Monument Valley.

This presentation will introduce the participants to a unique chapter in the legend of John Wayne. Participants will enjoy this remarkable true story that not only launched John Wayne’s career, but also introduced the world to the grandeur and mystery that is Monument Valley.

Join us as Bill Harrison shows us how Harry Goulding saved John Wayne from obscurity and from fading into the background of Hollywood!

Cost: $5.00 admission, $4.00 for AHS membersBook your seats by calling 480-929-0292.



Children’s Summer Programming:

Amazing Arizona Kids!



Tuesdays and Saturdays*

June – July 10:00 to 12:00 noon. 

*Check schedule for dates

All events are free. No drop offs, please.

We’ve packed the summer with fun (and educational) activities for kids ages 6 – 12.

No reservations needed; just drop by! See you soon!


Arizona Rocks!  Natural History series

Learn about Arizona’s natural history, with learning enhanced by hands-on activities. Snacks provided.

June 18 – Rocks and Minerals                          June 25 – Mining Madness

July 9 – Volcanoes                                            July 16 – Fossils


Storytelling from a series of books by Albert Quihuis, followed by related hands-on activities. Snacks provided.

June 7 – Sofia’s Awesome Tamale Day                 June 14 – Search for the Lost Art of                                                                                                                        Making Tortillas

June 21 – Isabela’s Treasure                                   June 28 – Sofia’s Summer Adventure

Arizona Desert  

Learn about life in the desert. Related hands-on activities. Snacks provided.

July 12 – Whew, It’s Hot! Keeping Cool in the Desert

July 19 – Let’s Grow! Agriculture in the Desert

July 23 – Drip-Drop: Saving Water

Art History

Learn about the history of these arts in Phoenix, and make your own art! Snacks provided.

July 26 – Mosaics                  July 30 – Puppets                 July 30 – Yarn Art


Summer Sizzle!  July 30, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

sunJoin us as we wrap up our Amazing Arizona Kids! summer program with a full day of fun and learning. Some activities indoors, others outdoors. Educational, hands-on activities, food and fun!  Enjoy the cool museum and all activities free of charge all day! Check back soon for more details.



Now Open! Copper Mine Exhibit

Mining Day! Scale Model of an AZ Copper Mine

On display now, the exhibit features a scale model of an Arizona copper mine, and brings to life the process of taking copper ore from the earth in order to turn it into the products we use everyday. Educational videos, interesting facts, mineral and ore displays and Geology Activity Booklets for children – it’s all at the AZ Heritage Center!



Wedding and Corporate Event Facility Rentals

event images

The AZ Heritage Center features a wide array of venue options for your next corporate event, wedding, or gala celebration.

Choose from:

♦ Romantic Brick Courtyard with water feature

♦ Majestic Sandstone Lobby with grand staircase

♦ Bright and airy Courtyard Pavilion

♦ Steele Auditorium (272 capacity)

♦ Brown Theater (50 capacity)

♦ Scenic Desert Terrace

♦ Expansive Orientation Point

View our online brochure.

Contact our Event Planning Department at 480-387-5367, email: or visit us on