Looking for an educational experience for all the family to enjoy?

 Biosphere 2 is an active scientific-research facility located just north of Tucson here in Arizona! Our family finally decided to take the 90 minute drive south to see what this scientific phenomenon was all about!

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The world renowned Biosphere 2 was created to better understand how natural environments generate conditions appropriate for life. B2 is the largest closed system ever created and was once home to live-in mission teams who explored the workings of Biosphere 1 (the Earth) by living here for almost two years. The University of Arizona now runs public tours to help pay for the facility and support education programs like summer camps and teacher development.

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Guided Walking Tours are offered every 30-45 minutes daily from 9:30- 4 p.m. The 75 minute tour is the only way you can go inside and explore Biosphere 2’s simulated tropical rain forest as well as the ocean, savannah and coastal fog desert biomes. If you are an active family, you will find the 1 mile journey very easy. There are quite a few stairs and the tour begins a short walk from the admission center, so do wear comfortable walking shoes. We were told it would be very hot and humid inside, but that wasn’t the case for us at all. We were actually very cold, so I suggest to wear layers so you are comfortable!

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Admission is $20 for adults and $13 for kids 6 to 12.

Save your tickets stubs, as they are partially tax-deductible since you are supporting research! We actually bought our tickets in advance on TravelZoo, which was perfect because I’m sure we would’ve kept putting off our visit here except for that lingering expiration date was fast approaching! You can also buy a SciPass for $30 enabling you to visit three UA Science attractions for one adult admission to the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, and Biosphere 2.

Most days I take for granted what an amazing physical world we live in. Every April 22, Earth Day reminds us to take care of our planet and be mindful of the footprint we are leaving on our environment. This Earth Day there’s a role for everyone. Small actions do matter and add up to make a world of difference for the planet we all share.

Here are some simple ideas for your family to do their part on Earth Day today!

1. Go on an Earth Dayte

Keith and I like to seek out festivals on this day or go eat at a new, healthy restaurant. Use Earth Day as an excuse to get out in your community and serve a local business or cause.

2. Head to a local farmers market and don’t forget to bring your reusable bags

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If you are in Arizona, check out Wednesday’s Uptown Market

A local farmers market just simply makes me happy. Buying organic produce and sustainable products locally is something we should all be doing when we can!

I have been using reusable bags ever since I lived in Europe many years ago. Europeans all bring their own bags for their shopping and we should get in the habit as well! My favorite reusable bags are my Envirosax. I’ve been using them for years and they’ve held up perfectly. You can throw them in the washing machine and they fold up tiny to carry in your purse!

3. Volunteer your time or join the Nature Conservancy

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There are many local events going on for you to get involved in. The Nature Conservancy is an amazing resource and you can check for local events right here.

You can be the one to help ensure that nature’s most vulnerable lands and waters are given the care, the love and the protection that they need by becoming a member of the Nature Conservancy or  Adopt an Acre® to help protect natural places you love – like the majestic forests of the Rockies and Central Appalachians or the acres of iconic coastal cypress in the Gulf Coast. With your help, we can ensure that amazing natural treasures like these get the urgent protection and restoration that is critical to their survival.

4. Make Earth Day snack cups and popcorn for your kids

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These are the cutest things I’ve seen! If only my kids were younger. But, all of you with little ones get on this! I loved this idea from Rebecca Cooper at Simpleasthatblog!

5. Seek out a Recycling Event

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So happy our local Whole Foods is having an electronics recycling event this week! I’ve been holding on to old laptops and video cameras for years. Even donating your clothing to a thrift store is a perfect thing to do today as well!

How do you like to celebrate Earth Day?

June is Great Outdoors Month and the perfect time to reminisce about the amazing National Parks we were able to visit on our motorhome family sabbatical around the USA. If you haven’t made your summer plans yet, think about heading to Zion National Park in Utah. It was our family’s favorite because of the beautiful hiking we were able to do!

Family Hikes in Zion National Park

Tips for Hiking With Your Kids in Zion National Park

Personal vehicles are not allowed throughout Zion in the summertime, so you will have to park at the Visitor’s  Center and board one of these free shuttle buses. We learned a lot about Utah’s First National Park through the narration on board, which was a bonus.

Family Hikes in Zion National Park

There are approximately 18 different hiking trails to choose from here in Zion.  The three that we chose to do in our first National Park visit were- the Narrows, Emerald Pool Trails and Weeping Rock.

THE NARROWS

The Narrows hike was spectacular and a definite highlight of our entire 6-month trip!  We highly recommend doing this if you’re up for it!

Family Hikes in Zion National Park

WEEPING ROCK

It is a pretty short, but steep climb up to Weeping Rock. The kids enjoyed cooling off in the dripping water.

Family Hikes in Zion National Park

EMERALD POOLS

Lower Emerald Pool trail is a beautiful low key hike! It is definitely tougher to reach Upper Emerald Pool trail especially when it’s hot out, but we were glad we did it!

What other family hikes have you enjoyed in Zion National Park?