Mesa has a selection of four quality museums that range in themes from dinosaurs and pre-historic times to ancient Native American artifacts to vintage fighter aircraft to reminders of Mesa’s Wild West historical past.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is one of the premier museums in the southwest. Dinosaur Mountain is the largest dinosaur exhibit west of the Mississippi River. The i.d.e.a. Museum is a child-oriented fine arts center featuring art exhibits and unique hands-on art activities.
The Commemorative Air Force Museum is the home of “Sentimental Journey,” the most authentically restored WWII B-17 flying today. Other authentic warplanes of the era are also on display along with exhibit memorabilia. The Mesa Historical Museum features more than 4,000 collectibles, all donated by local founding families.
At Park of the Canals you can see evidence of a canal system developed 2,000 years ago by the ancient Hohokam Native American civilization. The sophisticated canal system was vast enough to grow crops that fed 200,000 people. The Brinton Desert Botanical Garden, located within the park, displays vegetation from four desert regions and features hundreds of varieties of cacti, trees and shrubs. A large playground area is available for children.