Summer at the Museums: Adults and kids can enjoy our area’s museum offerings all summer long
Tampa Bay is home to some pretty awesome museums. Some are just for children, but even the ones you think are for adults have some great kid activities. So if you ruled out places like The Dali until the kids are older, think again. Try visiting some of these great museums for some summer fun and re-visit the museums you already know because the kids will love them too.
Want to explore the famous work of Salvador Dali? The Dali museum offers a free event called DillyDally with Dali which takes place on Saturdays and teaches children about Dali’s creative world through arts and crafts, games and puzzles. Storytime at the Dali is a chance for children to hear stories from books found in the museum’s library. It’s a free event and the dates are listed on the museum’s website. Check out the children and families section on the website for more activities at www.TheDali.org.
Glazer Children’s Museum
Can you identify the sounds the body makes? Or correctly place teeth back into a giant mouth? How do you create a balanced meal? Kids will learn the answers to these questions and more at this museum, which is all about the kiddos. Whether it’s pretending to care for animals in the vet clinic, shopping for groceries or using bed sheets and pillows to make their own forts, children will have hours of fun, imaginative play. Gadget Garage is a dynamic prototyping exhibit that allows kids to dabble with robotics. The Hospital exhibit exposes children to medical wonders. You can find prices and event times at www.Glazermuseum.org
Explore every corner of the planet and beyond to the farthest reaches of the galaxy at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry. Exhibits include The Saunders Planetarium so you can connect with the universe in a stargazing show, touch a huge 352-pound meteorite, fly a microdrone at the Touch the Future exhibit, and play with 3D printing and augmented reality. Also this summer, participate in Cardboard Space Adventures where kids get to combine engineering and art to create a huge outpost in outer space with cardboard. If you schedule your visits to take in one of the many IMAX movies, you can explore Wild Africa, the depths of the unknown oceans from a Great White Shark’s perspective and journey to the stars in a Hubble production detailing NASA’s history and milestones. And for the big kids, did I mention the Sky Trail® Ropes Course and Zip Line? Get your adrenaline pumping and defy gravity, 65 feet overhead! For more information visit www.Mosi.org *MOSI closes on August 14th for renovations as it downsizes in preparation for an eventual move to downtown Tampa.*
Great Explorations Children’s Museum
With 24,000 square feet of exhibits and activities to stimulate learning through creativity, play and exploration, this museum allows kids to pretend to be firefighter, news anchor or just use their creative imagination. The museum even has a supervised Summer Play Time for kiddos ages 3-5. This is an opportunity for kids to enjoy the museum while parents work or run errands. The museum is located next to the historic Sunken Gardens on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg. Prices for the museum and its programs are listed on the website www.Greatex.org.
St. Petersburg Museum of History
Do you have a baseball fanatic in your home? If so, this is the place to visit this summer. The St. Petersburg Museum of History located on the downtown waterfront has the largest collection of baseballs of its kind certified by Guinness World Records. The Schrader’s Little Cooperstown exhibit has nearly 5,000 baseballs. You’ll find stories and artifacts from baseball legends like Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Joe DiMaggio and learn about more than 100 years of Tampa Bay’s own history as a spring training destination. Prices and hours can be found at www.Spmoh.com
The Tampa Museum of Art
If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday morning, drop by The Tampa Museum of Art for a program called Art Spot, a free drop-in program that lets children make art projects inspired by works of art on display in the galleries. There is a different facilitator-guided project each week designed by art instructors. The museum also holds several Family Days each year with activities inspired by the museum’s current exhibitions. On Family Days, you can enjoy drop-in docent-led tours, pay-as-you-will admission to the galleries and more. Each Family Day highlights a different exhibition so be sure to check the calendar at www.TampaMuseum.org
The Tampa Bay History Center
Children can learn about 12,000 years of Florida History here not just by immersing themselves in the exhibits, but also by jumping in the saddle and riding with cattle ranchers or playing with tiny Tampa trains. The Tampa Bay History Center offers a variety of family-friendly days throughout the year. This month you can celebrate Independence Day with $5 admission on the 4th of July for all visitors. Costumed reenactors representing several eras of American military history will be on hand to interact with guests. For more information, visit www.tampabayhistorycenter.org.