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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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The Gift of Experience in Tampa Bay: A Holiday Gift List Must

Rather than overloading our kids with more toys and clutter, why not give the gift of experience in Tampa Bay? An annual pass or membership to a local attraction is not only cost effective, it’s a gift that keeps on giving yearround to the entire family. Added bonus- many of the attractions that offer summer camps and school break camps extend special pricing for members and local reciprocal discounts too.

We hesitate to list how much each one costs because there can be flash deals around the holidays and throughout the year, so the numbers here are general and subject to change. Be sure to visit each attraction’s website for the latest pricing information.   

Related: Gifts of Experience for a perfect date night or day date

ZooTampa at Lowry Park  

With over 120 animal species, the Lowry Park Zoo has much to offer your family. You and your family can explore the many different exhibits or go on some of the fun rides. Your membership will also allow you to experience the zoo’s seasonal events.  For one year: $219 for 2 adults, kids and one guest 

Tampa Bay History Center 

The Tampa Bay History Center has many exhibits that are littlekidfriendly like the Treasure Seekers exhibit featuring conquistadors, pirates and shipwrecks. There is a train table for little ones to get hands on the second floor too. Family memberships are $85. 

YMCA  

A YMCA membership is perfect for active families who can take advantage of the many group exercises, outdoor swimming pools, childcare and discounted rates on programs and classes. Per month: $59 to join and $88 per month for a family

Related: Gift of Fitness with the YMCA

Glazer Children’s Museum  

With 19 themed areas and over 170 games, challenges and activities, the Glazer Children’s Museum is set to keep your family entertained all day, no matter how many times you go. Your kids can enjoy exhibits on arts, engineering, forts, banks and more. There are a few new temporary exhibits scheduled to debut throughout the year, so there’s always something new to experience!  For one year: $125 for up to 5 named members

MOSI  

MOSI is perfect for kiddos in elementary age and older! Your kids can learn AND play at the same time, and we love that memberships also include Party of 5 memberships for $99. This allows five people to experience MOSI with only one named Member and includes discounts to 250+ science centers across the country! 

Busch Gardens + Adventure Island 

2022 will be a big year for Busch Gardens with the addition of Iron Gwazi this spring. Even if your kiddos aren’t quite thrill seekers yet, there is plenty to do at both parks for little ones like Sesame Street Safari of Fun. To snag the best deals, we recommend you join the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay email list for alerts on flash deals and special sales! *This is one you definitely want to join the email list to get updates!  

Florida Aquarium   

At the Florida Aquarium, your family can experience exhibits from wetlands to beaches to coral reefs and more. Your kids will love the Splash Pad and 4D Theater. The annual pass also includes discounts on tours and guest swim experiences. For one year: $175 for 2 adults and 2 guests; additional membership packages are available 

Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Located right next door to the beautiful Sunken Gardens in St. Pete, Great Explorations is one of our favorite ways to play. There’s a new animal care exhibit sponsored by the SPCA for your kids to explore and the climbing structure is always a hit! Family memberships start at $100. 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium 

Movie stars like Hope call Clearwater Marine Aquarium home and recently expanded and update its facility giving your family more to love and explore. A Pod of 3 membership is $150 and you can add an unnamed guest for $49 per spot.

CITYPass: Tampa Bay 

If you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge with one attraction, a CityPASS may be exactly what you need. The CityPass allows for one visit to Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and your choice between MOSI or Chihuly Collection.  An adult CityPASS is $122 and a child pass is $109, a 55% savings. The pass is valid for nine days after first day of use.  

LEGOLAND Florida 

Lots of new things are happening at LEGOLAND Florida including the addition of a new ride in 2022 and neighboring theme park, Peppa Pig Theme Park! Annual pass holders get special pricing at the LEGOLAND hotels and shopping discounts. The Awesome Pass is $179.99 and includes free admission with no block out dates, free parking and more perks. There are other levels of memberships too.  


JOIN THE CLUB and root, root, root for the home teams! 

 

Jr. Bucs Fan Club
Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game day tickets and even season passes are always a gift giving WIN! Choose between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lighting, the Tampa Bay Rays! We also love  memberships to Thunderbug’s Kids Club and the Jr Bucs Fan Club as gift ideas!


gift of experience

Is your family already an annual pass holder at one of the local attractions? Consider elevating your next visit by gifting a one on one animal encounter your child will never forget! We’ve listed some of our favorite experiences here to help you choose like this Aldabra Tortoise experience at Busch Gardens


Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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