AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park (Tempe)

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

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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.

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!

Fred Harvey and the Harvey Hotels of the Great Southwest

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

Thursday, May 12 at 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Train travel in the early 20th Century could be dangerous to your health!  Rail travel was primitive at best: wooden bench seats, smoke-filled air, no food, no water, no bathrooms. When the train stopped in tiny towns for fuel and water, the unfortunate passengers had only railroad eating houses that served unsavory food of questionable quality.  There is a reason why the food was called “grub”, and the hotels along the way, “flea bags”.

All this changed dramatically with Fred Harvey, who helped to civilize the Wild West with his restaurants, hotels, and railroad dining cars.

Join us for Bill Harrison’s presentation filled with exciting stories and amazing tales of Fred Harvey, the Harvey Girls, and the Harvey Hotels that still grandly serve travelers across the Southwest.

$5.00 admission, $4.00 for AHS members.

Book your seats by calling 480.929.0292

The Secret History of America’s Spy Planes:

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

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Tuesday, May 24, 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 1950’s, 1960’s 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 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,92.3FM. 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 Mc Mahon.His websites are: and

Children’s Summer Programming

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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

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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