Maricopa County is encouraging people to be active and learn about the desert this March by offering dozens of free programs at Usery Mountain Regional Park. They range from night walks to archery classes and cater to all ages and abilities.
The park is located at 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. To learn more or to register, call 480-984-0032 or visit maricopacountyparks.net. Admission is $6 per vehicle.
Homeschool: “Rock ‘n’ Kids”
Explore the different rocks at Usery Park and learn about how they were made. Kids will also learn what the scientific names are for each rock and what substances they are made of.
Stop on by the archery range to try this ancient sport. Beginners will be able to learn the basics and then practice their skills. Equipment will be provided and no registration is needed. Children must be 8 years or older to participate and minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Movie Night in the Park: The Living Desert
Watch a fun Disney movie full of amazing desert animals. Children will delight in seeing dancing scorpions and other shenanigans. After the movie, guests can watch a live snake feeding.
Kid’s Desert Scavenger Hunt
Solve puzzles and discover parts of the park in this exciting scavenger hunt. The 1-mile Merkle Trail is paved so it can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs.
All About Rattlesnakes
Learn all about rattlesnakes in this one-hour presentation in the Nature Center. Ranger B will teach hikers what to do if they ever encounter a rattlesnake along with common misconceptions about these desert reptiles.
Kid vs. Wild
Kids can learn exactly what to do if they get lost in the desert with this hands-on program. Some skills that will be taught include how to signal for help and build an emergency shelter. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Strange and Silly Saguaros
Look at some of Ranger B’s pictures of some of the funniest- and weirdest-looking saguaro cacti in Arizona. Guests will also learn how cacti get their shape and how they survive in the desert.
Hiker’s Choice Full Moon Hike and Campfire
Experience the desert at night on either a guided or self-guided hike through the park. Afterwards, roast a free marshmallow under the stars and enjoy the campfire.
Kid’s Photo Scavenger Hunt
Grab a camera and hit the trail to take pictures of the afternoon desert. After children collect their photos, they will be projected on a screen for everyone to see. Cameras will be provided.