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Biosphere 2 in Tucson, Arizona

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We have been to many museums and zoos, but on a recent trip to Tucson, Arizona my family decided to see an attraction that was totally different. As science enthusiasts, my family enjoyed touring Biosphere 2. Biosphere 2 is located just minutes north of Tucson and is now a research facility run by the University of Arizona. If you have kids who like science, visit Biosphere 2 in Tucson on your next vacation.

Biosphere 2 was built to study how a self-contained environment could thrive in space. Two missions, one in 1991 and another 1994, sealed scientists inside the glass of Biosphere 2 to measure survivability. The scientists eventually had to exit the facility due to nutrition concerns, but the missions were considered successful because of the new knowledge that was gained.

A view of the ocean and coral reef in Biosphere 2

A view of the ocean and coral reef inside Biosphere 2.

There are five different ecosystems in Biosphere 2. They include an ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, a savannah grassland and fog desert. My kids loved that on the tour you were quickly transformed in to each ecosystem with just a few steps. A highlight was “the lung” which is the innovative air expansion system. There is also an underwater viewing facility of the ocean.

You can only enter Biosphere 2 on a guided tour. The tour lasts about an hour and there is a lot of walking. Strollers would not be permitted in some sections so check the restrictions if you plan on bringing young children. My kids were very interested in what they saw, but I will warn you that if you have very young kids, they might not appreciate all of the scientific facts or questions from the tour. The tour moves quickly, but if there is a tour participant that asks a lot of questions, you may find yourself moving at a slower pace.

The tropical rainforest inside Biosphere 2.

The tropical rainforest inside Biosphere 2.

Overall, we loved what we learned about this amazing research facility. Biosphere 2 was a different attraction than we usually see on vacation. When visiting Biosphere 2, a fantastic place to stay is the nearby Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort.

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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 12 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…

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