Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg
By Laura Byrne
The Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg is a place your child can truly enjoy being a kid, a place where you won’t find kids playing on mobile devices because instead, they are using their creativity and imagination to explore and learn to play.
It’s a place my 6- and 2-year-olds love. In fact, I took them there to write this story and I was once again reminded of the pure joy they get when visiting this gem. The 23,000-square-foot museum is filled with exhibits and activities to stimulate learning through creativity, play and exploration. Designed for children 10 and younger, this small museum has a lot to do!
Here are five of our Great Exploration faves!
My First Market: A child-sized Publix supermarket allows kids to stroll aisles and look for food items with their own shopping cart or basket. Kids shop for their own products, but they can also pretend to be a cashier with a register and scanner to check out others’ shopping.
Pet Vet: Kids can learn about the importance of caring for a pet.The exhibit features microscopes, a grooming table with working blow dryer, x-ray viewers and an exam table.Kids can also use ribbons and bows to groom their play pet.
News Station: Kids can experience the thrill of seeing themselves on TV.They can sit at a Bay News 9 News Desk to write a story or read a prewritten script.The camera puts them into their own newscast.There’s even a button to push and hear a breaking news animation used in real newscasts.
The Touch Tunnel: Crawl through on your hands and knees past different obstacles, inclines, and textures. In the complete and total darkness, you must use your sense of touch to feel your way out of the 100-foot long tunnel.
Pizza Kitchen: Kids can pretend to work at the BellaBrava’s pizza restaurant.They can pretend to make their own pizzas with soft sculpture ingredients.They can also put their own pizzas on a pretend oven and serve fellow café guests.
The museum also recently added Longo’s Cove, a 26-foot tall aquatic-themed climbing structure thanks to a donation from Evan Longoria and his wife Jaime! The museum is also in the middle of a $2 million capital campaign to renovate and expand the museum to serve even more children each year, so stay tuned for exciting additions! They are expected to be complete in 2019.