Sonoran Desert BeePeople who have never been to the desert usually envision tumbleweeds blowing across a sea of barren sand with a lonely cactus standing guard against the forces of nature. Those of us who have vacationed or lived in the desert know better. The Sonoran Desert is home to some of the most vibrant and resilient wildlife in the world. If you’ve ever seen cactus in bloom, you understand.

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix contains 65 cultivated acres of more than 50,000 plant displays and is one of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. Their research and conservation departments are incredibly important assets to the Sonoran Desert. The garden hosts special tours, field trips and many events throughout the year.

Here are some of the Desert Botanical Garden’s upcoming events:

National Geographic Live: Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the one and only Jacques Cousteau will be speaking about ocean exploration at the garden’s speaker series. It is the second year that they have partnered up with National Geographic (kind of a big deal).

The Great Pumpkin Festival: Until October 24th, pick out a pumpkin, hop on a hayride or find your way out of the Amazing Hay Bale Maze.

Mariposa Monarca: From now until November 24th, walk among hundreds of live monarch butterflies and learn more about their migrating patterns. It’s truly a unique experience.

Fall Concert Series: Through November 12th listen to live bands amidst of the beauty of the botanical garden. During the concerts you can enjoy a gourmet meal, a glass of wine and show off your moves on their new professional ballroom dance floor.

The Desert Botanical Garden is maintained by volunteers and paying members so while you can attend many of these one time events at a low cost, you may want to consider donating your time or financial support.