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If you’re searching for fun things to do in Florida this weekend with the kids, look no further than our collection of family-friendly museums. Boasting interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that are perfect for budding scientists, paleontologists, and artists, these museums highlight anything from pirate treasures to life-size skeletons and circus memorabilia. Capture the attention of even the littlest sightseer at one of these best kid-friendly museums in Florida.
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A mecca for family-friendly fun, the Orlando Science Center features an array of experience-based opportunities to learn about science and technology. There are four floors of exhibits to explore, including exhibit halls like DinoDigs that take you to the prehistoric age and NatureWorks that lets you get up close to reptiles, while there’s also an observatory with a telescope that offers space enthusiasts a chance to go on galaxy gazing adventures.
One of the most unique museums in the Sunshine State, The Ringling is a top attraction in Sarasota. You’ll find a fine art museum with 21 galleries, while kids will be enthralled with the Circus Museum where they can explore memorabilia dedicated to the “Greatest Show on Earth” and gets on with an interactive gallery. You’ll find a collection of colorful props, costumes and wagons, while a 44,000 piece Circus Model replicates the magic of the show.
Located in Titusville just a short drive from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is where to go to find a fascinating collection of space-related history. The entire family will be mesmerized by the exhibits in this world-renown attraction, as a tour of the center reveals space travel artifacts and a chance to book a lunch with a real-life astronaut. You can also snack on popcorn while you watch an exciting 3D space movie at the Imax Theater, tickets to which are included with admission.
The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum in St. Augustine boasts the largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts while taking a hands-on approach to learning. You’ll discover a fascinating collection of themed vignettes, and learn how pirates sailed, lived and died on Florida’s shores, all told through exciting tales and displays featuring 400-year-old treasures. One of the most popular ways to explore the museum is on a treasure hunt, where kids are encouraged to find hidden markers on the Discover Drawers tour.
Located in downtown Tampa, Glazer Children’s Museum is a great destination for families. Spend the afternoon exploring the interactive exhibits, where you can sculpt a masterpiece in the Artsmart room and learn the basics of banking in the Central Bank before spending your money to power a train or launch a rocket. The Design + Build will spark curiosity in future architects and designers, while the Global Cafe celebrates worldly cultures with an African drum Hut and Japanese Pagoda.
Creativity comes to life at Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Pete, where creative play is enhanced through real life, practical learning experiences. Kids can build with various materials and discover their inner architect, learn how to cultivate and grow vegetables and see themselves on TV on the Live On Air display. They can also burn off energy by climbing through the Longo’s Cove playground, crawl past obstacles in the Touch Tunnel and watch live shows with music and dance at the Explorations Theater.
Located on International Drive in Orlando, the Skeletons: Museum of Osteology is a first-of-its-kind museum that features over 40 exhibits with over 500 real animal skeletons. It offers a one-of-a-kind experience, both entertaining and educational, where kids can examine unique displays like two-headed calves. There are skeletons of all sizes here, from tiny mice to giant whales, and it’s hard not to be impressed by the intricate internal structure of these fascinating creatures.
While Miami is known for its buzzing nightlife, families will delight at the kid-friendly exhibits found in the Miami Children’s Museum. You’ll find a range of innovative exhibits centered around a miniature world, where replicas of a grocery store, music recording studio and making newscasts offers kids the chance to learn new life skills. There’s a neat replica of a cruise ship, while the Castle of Dreams features a two-story sand castle and the Sketch Aquarium creates animated art from the children’s artwork.
Southwest Florida’s first museum designed for children and families to learn through play, Golisano Children’s Museum in Naples features an extensive range of hands-on exhibit galleries. Kids can take an immersive journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, or climb a two-story banyan tree. Create masterpieces in the Art Studio, learn about agriculture on the Farm, or learn about seasonal changes in Mother Nature’s House.
Founded by parent volunteers, the Explorations V Children’s Museum in Lakeland is the only hands-on museum in Polk County. The kids are sure to have a blast exploring the three floors of kid-powered exhibits that celebrate the five senses. Admire the artwork in the children’s art gallery, learn the basics of music, art and theatre in the “Our Town” exhibit, or head to the Lower Floor to pick, pack and sort Florida oranges in an interactive grove display that takes visitors on a journey around the world.
A living history museum in Tampa, Cracker Country was created with the purpose of preserving Florida’s rural heritage. The museum has a collection of 13 original buildings that date back to 1870 that were relocated from across the state of Florida. Kids are able to step back in time here as the historically furnished buildings and costumed interpreters recreate what life was like as Florida pioneers, with a blacksmith shop, caboose and cane mill.