The non-profit animal rescue and rehabilitation organization Southwest Wildlife Conversation Center is open to the public and eager to connect families with native wildlife. Once a month on select Saturdays the center opens its doors for Southwest Wildlife Family Day. There are three Family Days remaining through the end of 2022: Oct. 22, Nov. 26 and Dec. 26. 

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This special event is easily accessible for families with toddlers or energetic children. The center advises arriving at 9:00 a.m. to begin the self-guided tour of the sanctuary. Guests can show up after 9:00 a.m., but keep in mind that the sanctuary animal viewing ends at 11:00 a.m. To ensure adequate time to see all the creatures, the center recommends setting aside an hour and a half to explore the grounds and meet the animals with the help of experienced trail guides at each enclosure.

Families can get to know the local wildlife by seeing how they live and hearing their heartwarming stories of rescue and rehabilitation. In residence are native animals such as mountain lions, Mexican gray wolves, bobcats, coyotes, coatimundi, mule deer, black bears, foxes, great horned owls and red-tailed and Harris’s hawks. The tour is outside where these animals live so it’s advisable to dress accordingly. 

If you miss the last three remaining public Saturday tours, the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center also offers Walk with Wildlife guided group tours by reservation only — tickets must be purchased online in advance. There are also several fun tours and events hosted by the sanctuary, including a Happy Howl-o-ween Celebration event taking place Oct. 29 at 5:00 p.m. with a wild scavenger hunt, pumpkin patch (for children ages 12 and under), games and a family photo opp spot. 

Prices for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center start at $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12 and children under age 3 are $5.