Experience South Mountain in a whole new way, every time you visit! Our programs span all ages and so many interests, you’re sure to gain enjoyment and new insights on this special mountain in a special desert.

Program Types

Adults and Older Youth – In addition to visiting our exhibit space and Dottie Gilbert Reading Room, there are great opportunities for learning through our programs, activities and classes, such as Explore the Night Sky, Field Sketching, Birding, SM 101, and our Learning Lecture series.

Kids and Family – These programs offer fun and learning for all ages through a wide range of experiences, including stories, games, classes, adventure packs, and nighttime adventures!

Schools and Groups –Your school or group from small to large can come to South Mountain for special learning enrichment! Schedule time with our education staff for a field trip or our learning ‘nuggets’ programs, or grab an adventure pack for self-guided observations, investigations and fun!

See the great programs available through ACNC at the Phoenix Zoo

City of Phoenix Programming

In addition to classes and activities offered through Arizona Center for Nature Conservation, South Mountain Environmental Education Center proudly hosts programs offered through the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. Check out their site for times and descriptions.


View Programs & Activities Through City of Phoenix

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 1 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
Welcome to the Desert Walks 10:00 am
Welcome to the Desert Walks
Dec 1 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
These brief walks introduce you to our beautiful South Mountain here in the Sonoran Desert. Free, but donations appreciated.
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 2 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 8 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
South Mountain Jr. Explorers 9:00 am
South Mountain Jr. Explorers
Dec 8 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Drop off the kids for outdoor adventures, crafts and desert stories, allowing adults to explore the 60+ miles of trails…
Discovery Hikes at South Mountain 9:30 am
Discovery Hikes at South Mountain
Dec 8 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Join us for “adults only” hikes led by our expert Park Rangers, each focused on a different topic and unique…
Storytime at South Mountain 9:30 am
Storytime at South Mountain
Dec 8 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Join us in the Dottie Gilbert Reading Room to enjoy our favorite desert stories. FREE! Recommended for ages 2 –…
Make & Take Market 10:00 am
Make & Take Market
Dec 8 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Drop in for fun, nature-based “make & take” activities and crafts. No registration required. Recommended for ages 3-10. $3 per…
Welcome to the Desert Walks 10:00 am
Welcome to the Desert Walks
Dec 8 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
These brief walks introduce you to our beautiful South Mountain here in the Sonoran Desert. Free, but donations appreciated.
Nature at Night Walks 6:45 pm
Nature at Night Walks
Dec 8 @ 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Experience and explore the desert at night, guided by your senses and a Park Ranger! Come over starting at 6…
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 9 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
Storytime at South Mountain 9:30 am
Storytime at South Mountain
Dec 9 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Join us in the Dottie Gilbert Reading Room to enjoy our favorite desert stories. FREE! Recommended for ages 2 –…
Make & Take Market 10:00 am
Make & Take Market
Dec 9 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Drop in for fun, nature-based “make & take” activities and crafts. No registration required. Recommended for ages 3-10. $3 per…
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Bugs are Everywhere! 6:30 pm
Bugs are Everywhere!
Dec 13 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Wednesday, 12/13 | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Did you know Arizona has more native pollinators than any other state?  Or…
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 15 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
Welcome to the Desert Walks 10:00 am
Welcome to the Desert Walks
Dec 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
These brief walks introduce you to our beautiful South Mountain here in the Sonoran Desert. Free, but donations appreciated.
Fireside Chats 6:30 pm
Fireside Chats
Dec 15 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Join our Park Rangers for fun and learning about South Mountain around the campfire. No registration necessary. FREE! All ages…
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 16 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
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Phoenix Zoo Wild Science Academy at SMEEC 1:00 pm
Phoenix Zoo Wild Science Academy at SMEEC
Dec 19 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
1-3 p.m. Designed for home school students, but open to all, Wild Science Academy is perfect for any young student…
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 22 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
Welcome to the Desert Walks 10:00 am
Welcome to the Desert Walks
Dec 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
These brief walks introduce you to our beautiful South Mountain here in the Sonoran Desert. Free, but donations appreciated.
South Mountain Aglow 5:30 pm
South Mountain Aglow
Dec 22 @ 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
We light up the darkest night of the year, the Winter Solstice, with a beautiful half-mile, luminaria walk along our…
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Silent Sunday 5:00 am
Silent Sunday
Dec 23 @ 5:00 am – 7:00 pm
Cyclists, skate boarders, wheelchair users and stroller-riding tots can now call the roads of South Mountain Park their own one…
Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 23 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
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Explore the Night Sky 1:00 pm
Explore the Night Sky
Dec 27 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Learn about the universe through an interactive educational session, focusing each month on new astronomical topics. Sunday, 4/28 | Tour…
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 29 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
South Mountain Jr. Explorers 9:00 am
South Mountain Jr. Explorers
Dec 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Drop off the kids for outdoor adventures, crafts and desert stories, allowing adults to explore the 60+ miles of trails…
Discovery Hikes at South Mountain 9:30 am
Discovery Hikes at South Mountain
Dec 29 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Join us for “adults only” hikes led by our expert Park Rangers, each focused on a different topic and unique…
Storytime at South Mountain 9:30 am
Storytime at South Mountain
Dec 29 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Join us in the Dottie Gilbert Reading Room to enjoy our favorite desert stories. FREE! Recommended for ages 2 –…
Make & Take Market 10:00 am
Make & Take Market
Dec 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Drop in for fun, nature-based “make & take” activities and crafts. No registration required. Recommended for ages 3-10. $3 per…
Welcome to the Desert Walks 10:00 am
Welcome to the Desert Walks
Dec 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
These brief walks introduce you to our beautiful South Mountain here in the Sonoran Desert. Free, but donations appreciated.
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Desert Play Space 9:00 am
Desert Play Space
Dec 30 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Release your imagination in our Nature Play Space. Items designed to stimulate movement, creativity and self-directed learning are available amidst…
Storytime at South Mountain 9:30 am
Storytime at South Mountain
Dec 30 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Join us in the Dottie Gilbert Reading Room to enjoy our favorite desert stories. FREE! Recommended for ages 2 –…
Make & Take Market 10:00 am
Make & Take Market
Dec 30 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Drop in for fun, nature-based “make & take” activities and crafts. No registration required. Recommended for ages 3-10. $3 per…
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