Two family-friendly museums in Downtown Mesa – the Arizona Museum of Natural History and the i.d.e.a. Museum – will offer free admission 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday, May 10, as part of the City of Mesa’s Museum Discovery series.  Additionally, Mesa Contemporary Art Museum – which is always free – will be celebrating the opening of five new exhibitions that evening, with a free public reception from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Free admission FYIs

Complimentary access is part of a move toward offering Museum Discovery events on select days or evenings by the three City of Mesa cultural institutions. These free days and evening events are aimed at making science, art and hands-on activities accessible to families of all economic backgrounds.

Free days are very popular and attract crowds. If a museum nears visitor capacity, the staff at that museum may implement timed tickets at the door on a first-come, first-served basis to better serve guests. No advanced tickets will be distributed.

Dinos and more at AZMNH

The Arizona Museum of Natural History, located at 53 N. Macdonald, has dinosaurs that roar and so much more. Visitors can try their luck at gold panning, wonder through an ancient Hohokam village or take a selfie with a T. rex. There is something exciting for everyone.

Creative fun at i.d.e.a.

At the i.d.e.a. Museum, guests can enjoy imaginative and creative experiences in ArtVille and the HUB Gallery. They are encouraged to journey into current art exhibition, Junkyard Jungle, to learn more about rainforests and recycling through creative and hands-on activities, including imaginary play as biologists, entomologists, zoologists and ecologists, and exploring the black light rainforest.

New exhibitions at MCAM

Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum will feature five new exhibitions, along with live entertainment and a cash bar during the public reception. Exhibitions are: Cartomancy – The Seni Horoscopes, by Shay Bredimus; Docents Select: Zoo, from the permanent collection; True and Livin’ by Aaron Coleman; Petrichor, by Esao Andrews (originally from Mesa, AZ); and Allure, a site-specific installation by Crystal Wagner.

Discounted admission program

Please note: AZMNH and the i.d.e.a. Museum participate in Museums for All – a discounted admission program for economically challenged families, so they may experience the museum without the crowds typical on free days. Families who present their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card qualify for a $2 admission per person (up to 6 people) and may visit both museums during business hours that are convenient for their families.

More museum activities can be found online at, and


Mesa’s Department of Arts and Culture includes the Arizona Museum of Natural History, i.d.e.a. Museum and Mesa Arts Center, all located in downtown Mesa, Arizona. The mission of the department is to strengthen, for all, the creative, social and economic fabric of our community and region through inspiring, relevant, engaging and transformational cultural experiences and cross-sector collaborations.