First, I would like to apologize for how long Josh and I have been offline from the blog. We had COVID-19 go through our household twice in the past 6 months. Dealing with that kind of threw a wrench into our working on the blog. It is now springtime in Tucson though and things are beginning to open back up, so we should hopefully be able to post regularly again. We do post more often on our Facebook blog page with different everyday happenings, like what silly thing our son’s cat, Mitzi, did that day or pictures of the birds that visit our backyard.

Now, on to the fun part of the blog post!

On Sundays, we drive 40 minutes to get to church in Tucson. Because it is a long drive to go back home and then return again for Sunday School classes at 5 PM, we have been using Sunday afternoons as a time to explore different areas in and around Tucson.

When Josh and I drove cross-country in 2008 during a move from coast to coast, he took me to see The Thing. I had never visited The Thing before and had no idea what to expect. He told me how amazing it would be.

Amazing is not the word I would use.

But I was now inducted into a family tradition. I had visited The Thing.

The Thing billboards are everywhere on the I-10 to and from Tucson.

Of our six kids, only our second oldest has seen The Thing. One of the caveats for visiting The Thing in Josh’s family is that you don’t talk about what The Thing is to anyone who hasn’t seen The Thing. So of course, whenever Josh and I would talk about The Thing, the kids (minus our second oldest) never figured out what it is. I told Josh a few weeks ago that we should take the rest of the kids to see The Thing so that they too could be inducted into the family The Thing club. And so, one of our Sunday afternoon family outings was decided!

The Thing is located about an hour east of Tucson, between Benson and Willcox. When Josh and I visited in 2008 and even when our second oldest visited a few years ago, the museum around The Thing was full of odd curiosities that you could study on your way to see The Thing. My second oldest remembers only that he found a dime on the ground and that The Thing was not that amazing.

The Thing museum has now received an overhaul and is very different from what we remember!

The admission price to the museum has gone up quite a bit from $1.00 a person to $5.00 a person or $10.00 for a family. The $10.00 admission was great for us though since there are eight of us.

The museum now has an alien versus dinosaur theme. We were greeted upon entering the museum by an alien riding a dinosaur. Fortunately, none of the figures are animatronic, which I’m sure would have scared my youngest, who is 3 years old.

The following corridors have signs depicting an alternate history of the world. Whoever wrote these signs had a lot of fun! We had a lot of fun reading them. In fact, we often felt that we were in the middle of a Doctor Who episode!

The dinosaurs will be a big hit with kids.
Jackalopes are real!
This gave me vibes of the Doctor Who episodes with The Silence… My 3 year old didn’t like the alien driving the car.
That’s a lot of conspiracy theories!
Sorry, no spoilers!

I have pictures of The Thing and the kids standing by The Thing, but I won’t be posting them here, because that would spoil the fun!


If you would like to read more about The Thing, Roadside America has a spoiler-free article about the new The Thing museum as well as an article about The Thing before 2018.

There is also a gift shop at The Thing; if you are looking for Arizona souvenirs during a trip through, this would be one place to get them! Josh is a huge fan of quirky T-shirts, so of course, he had to get a The Thing t-shirt.

D you need to console a family member after seeing The Thing? Buy them some ice cream at the Dairy Queen that is in the same building!

There is also a Shell gas station here if you need to fill up your car before driving through Benson or Willcox.

The Thing


2631 N. Johnson Road

Benson, AZ 85602


6 AM to 8 PM

Masks recommended

Social Media:

Bowlin’s The Thing on Facebook

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