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Best Florida museums for families

Museums are a great family activity because they combine both learning and fun. The Florida Association of Museums has over 400 museums listed in the state of Florida! Here are a few of our all-time favorite museums for Florida families.


Museum of Science and Industry

Also known as MOSI, this Tampa museum is the largest science center in South Florida at over 400,000 square feet housing more than 450 exhibits. In addition to being home to Florida’s only IMAX Dome Theatre, MOSI is also known for its Kids in Charge! program. This program is uniquely designed for children 12 and under and is based on cutting-edge theories about learning and skill building. It emphasizes the value of learning through play by bringing together science, creative thinking and inspiring the imagination. Some of the exhibits for Kids in Charge! include Activate!, Investigate!, Kids Create!, Fields to Meals and Astronaut Training Adventure. There are also permanent exhibits including the BioWorks Butterfly Garden, Diplodocus Dinosaurs, MaxFlight Simulator, Disasterville, Bay New 9 WeatherQuest, the High-Wire Bicycle and the Amazing You.


General admission for MOSI is fairly priced with all the activities you and your children will be able to experience. A basic membership is $45 for single person, $79 for two members, $99 for up to five family members and $10 per additional family member after five. One membership card is printed per family.


4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617. Hours: Monday through Friday 9am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm. Admission: Members are free, non-member adults (ages 13-59) $25.95, Seniors (ages 60+) $22.95, Children (ages 2-12) $19.95, Children under the age of 2 Free.


Great Explorations Children’s Museum

This Tampa museum draws educational content from the arts, sciences and humanities that encourage creative thinking, problem-solving and discovery. Exhibits invite the participant to touch and explore or role play. Program lessons are presented in a multidisciplinary context and interactive style. Great Explorations is home to the Foster Great Futures initiative which includes the Early Explorations Preschool and VPK as well as the Camp Explorations, Youth Leadership, and AmeriCorps Great Explorations programs. Other exhibits include Engine Company 51 Fire House, FIT4ALLKIDSVILLE, Great Splash, I Can Construct, My First Market, Orange Grove, The Veterinary Office: Be a Great Pet Vet, St. Pizza, Animation Station, Bernoulli Station, Pull Yourself Up, Raceway, Robot Lab, Sound Wave, Tennis Ball Launchers, and Touch for Sound.


Basic Membership is $100 and the benefits include unlimited membership for up to five members for one year, 20% off birthday parties, 10% off in the museum store, invitations to members only parties and previews, subscription to Great News newsletter for one year and early registration and discounts for camps. Gold Membership is $125 and includes all the benefits of basic membership plus free admission to over 300 science museums nationwide (including MOSI), admission to over 140 children’s museums nationwide and free admission to local museums.


1925 Fourth Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-4:30pm, Sunday 12pm-4:30pm. Admission: Members: Free, non-members (age 2 to 54) $9, Seniors (ages 55+) $8, Children under the age of 2 Free.


{headline}Southeast Museum of PhotographyThe Southeast Museum of Photography recently moved to a new contemporary, multi-purpose complex at the main campus entrance of Daytona State College. Directly on International Speedway Boulevard gives the museum a very high profile in the community on the most-traveled public street. The landmark cultural complex enhances the museum’s ability to serve the community, the region and visitors to the area. It includes increased gallery space of 9,000 square feet and education, workshop and office space, a theatre-style lecture area, seminar rooms, a public access reference library and photographic resource center, a new museum bookstore, coffee shop and a cinema/screening room.


The museusm currently only has one permanent exhibit, Double Exposure, which showcases vintage photographs from the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s historical collection of art and artifacts with photo-based art by contemporary African-American artists. This landmark exhibition comprehensively explores the African American experience through an examination of representation in photographic works from the 19th and 20th centuries. It highlights African American history, as well as the history of photography and includes photographs, albums, and cased images, as well as contemporary art that incorporate vintage photographic imagery. They also house traveling exhibits, which have included Kiss the Sky by Henry Diltz, The Idea of Cuba by Alex Harris, On the Beach: Chance Portraits from Two Shores by Douglas McCulloh and Jacques Garnier, Lifestories: Photographs and Film 1981-2007 by Eric Brietenbach and Florida Wetlands by Lee Dunkel.


1200 International Speedway Blvd, Building 1200, Daytona, FL 32114. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 12pm-4pm, Closed on Mondays. Admission: Free.


Wings Over Miami Air Museum

This museum serves as a tribute to those veterans and aviators who pioneered civilian and military aviation. The museum seeks to educate visitors about the rich history of aviation, the scientific basis of flight, and the many challenges faced during the evolution of flight. There are several aircrafts on display including General Electric C1610 Turbojet Engine, F4U-1 Corsair Engine, cutaway exhibit and 1943 Kawasaki Ki 61 Hein, wings only exhibit in the Pacific Room area. As well as, the Brown Racer, 1951 Iskrus Aero 3-A, 1942 Ryan PT-22, 1953 North American T-28 Trojan, 1974 Aero Vodochody L- 39C Jet, 1961 Yellowbird, Schweizer 1-26 Sailplane, 1945 North American SNJ-6, 1943 North American AT6D, 1972 Nanchang CJ-6A, 1968 Aero L29-R Delfin Jet, 1992 Grumman F14D, 1995 Yakovlev Yak 52, Grumman F-14 Tomcat, and the Ultra-light in the Inside Hanger. And still more in the outside collection including a 1943 Consolidated PBY-5, 1945 Douglas C-117D and A-26 Invader. Throughout the year, they have various events and on Friday nights they have “Friday Night at the Museum.”


14710 SW 128th St, Miami, FL 33186. Hours: Thursday through Sunday 10am-5pm, Closed Monday through Wednesday. Admission: Adults (ages 13-59) $10, Seniors (ages 60+) $7 and Children (ages 12 and under) $6.


Florida Museum of Natural History

Located at the University of Florida, the Florida Museum of Natural History is Florida’s state museum of natural history, dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. While the museum’s primary geographic strengths are in Florida, the Southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean, its collections and research programs span the globe to include every continent and nearly every island group on earth. The Florida Museum of Natural History offers “Overnight at the Museum.” Members are $50 for parent/child pair and $20 per additional person. Non-members are $65 for parent/child pair and $25 per additional person. This overnight program is designed for families with children ages 6-12. Program begins at 7pm and runs until 9am the following morning. Your exciting evening will include crafts, games, activities and more! A late-night snack and light breakfast is included.


University of Florida Cultural Plaza, SW 34th Street and Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm, Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas. Admission: Free, but donations are accepted. Butterfly Rainforest and CSI: Crime Scene Insects exhibits are extra.

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