Tampa’s weather can be unpredictable, with summer’s heat – and hurricane warnings – often lingering on through the autumn months. By early winter the temperature has leveled off to a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit, more or less. But both fall and winter in Tampa have this in common – they are a great time to visit the Glazer Children’s Museum. Located in Downtown Tampa off I-275, the museum is open 7 days a week all year round, with the exception of major public holidays. There is one slightly unusual condition to admittance: every child below the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and every adult must be accompanied by a child 12 or under, for safety reasons. Most areas are stroller and wheelchair accessible, and the museum is suitable for young and old.
With 2 action packed levels and over 170 engaging “interactivities,” the biggest question will be where to begin and how to fit all the activities in. It’s recommended to check out the map listing all the museum areas, to plan ahead which ones your gang would most like to visit. Particularly appealing is the Water’s Journey, sponsored by the South Florida Water Management District, is highly educational, without any of the stuffy overtones that word sometimes implies. Kids – and grownups as well (come on, Mom and Dad!) – are given the opportunity to become virtual drops of water, mimicking the water’s journey from aquifer to clouds and back, as they climb the challenging 35 foot structure.
Play and Work
The youngest children will enjoy the Tugboat Tots area where they can play at fishing and driving a boat, followed by group story time. Older kids will be put to work … in a play bank, a simulated health clinic, a veterinarian’s, the mock Outback Cafe and so on, where they can learn about both the world around them and the body they live, while exploring various “professions.” In Art Smart, youngsters of all ages can experience the creative process using a variety of formats, including sculpture, dance, face painting and much more. My House, Your House gives a homey taste of international cultures through media such as food, music and art.
A Special Place
To help children and their families get to know the museum, there are daily guided explorations of the exhibits Monday through Friday. Watch for unique events such as Sunshine Sunday, November 24 2013 and January 26 2014, when the museum will be reserved all morning for children with special needs. On Target Tuesday, the first Tuesday of every month, afternoon admission is free for all children. The Museum has a gift shop which features educational toys and an on-site SUBWAY restaurant, complete with kids’ menu selection.
Tampa and the Tampa Bay area has so much to see and do that you’ll appreciate staying in a comfortable hotel with easy access to everything. The nicer and lower priced Tampa hotels tend to fill up fast, though, so it’s a good idea to reserve in advance.
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