With Spring Break just around the corner, parents need some interesting places to take the kids and enjoy the spring weather here in Arizona. This time of year is our reward for enduring the melting temperatures of the summer. One great place to explore is the Superstition Mountain Museum and it’s several out buildings and walking paths.
You enter the main building in their cute gift shop – my kiddos wanted to spend their allowance on many of the cool treasures. After paying my $5 (kids are free), we continued on to the museum. It’s on the small side, but they make good use of the space and cover a wide variety of topics from minerals and mining equipment to Indian artifacts to military uniforms. One corner was devoted to books about the Superstition Mountains.
The first stop of our explorations outdoor explorations was the Elvis Memorial Chapel where ceremonies are still being held. Inside there are movie posters and memorabilia from several Westerns filmed at the chapel and its original home, Apacheland.
Back outside, the kiddos climbed in the stagecoach. Talk about a great photo op! No Wild West study is complete without a Sheriff’s office and jail. It was pretty funny watching my kids take turns pretending to be the Sheriff and then trying out the other side of the bars as a prisoner. Hopefully this isn’t indicative of things to come!
We continued up the path to the rustic ‘Rifleman’ barn with plenty of horse parking. Inside the barn, we found old wagons and related paraphernalia along with more celebrity photos and movie memorabilia from its days on the Apacheland set. Tucked in the corner was small saloon with swinging doors, an old piano and of coarse the bar so my kids could have a little taste of tending bar. Don’t worry, that’s all they tasted – it’s an alcohol free zone.
We ended our tour with a brief cruise through “Boot Hill”. Let’s just say that a lot of those cowboys died from less than noble causes, and while the tombstone descriptions were often humorous, they led to questions I’d rather not explain to the under 10 crowd.
Overall, the Superstition Museum is a great place to spend a couple of hours learning about the landmarks and history in our own backyard, especially during this Centennial year. Share your favorite hang out!