I think we’ve found the perfect place to spend a fun day with kids in Tampa! The Glazer Childrens Museum in Tampa is one of the best we have visited (and we’ve done a few!) It's relatively new, built in 2010 so everything still works perfectly, is relevant and totally hands on. This is how we spent our day.
Situated in Downtown Tampa and right next to the Tampa Museum of Art, the Glazer Childrens Museum overlooks the Curtis Hix Park, a lovely green space by the Tampa River Walk with a fun splash pad for when the weather is warm (most of the time in Tampa!). You might want to bring a swimsuit and some spare clothes, the kids will probably get wet in the museum as well!
The first thing you’ll come across when you visit is the huge water play area – the Kids Port where kids can play at navigating a ship canal, create dams, build bridges, work with pulleys and levers and generally have fun getting wet.
I love how this area introduces kids to the importance of water to Tampa (being a bay area) and teaches them about the city they are visiting.
Most of the rest of the exhibits are located on the 1st floor which feels plenty spacious even with all the fun crammed in.
They have an area which is a lot like Kidzania with various places of employment, perfect for some role play. There’s a vets, firestation, hospital and even a Publix! The Museums tag line “Dream it. Be it” really comes into its own here!
Piper dreams of being a vet when she grows up so spent ages sorting the pets (stuffed toys), giving them injections and feeding them. One of things I love about these kinds of museums when we’re traveling, we can never take too many toys so it really gives her a chance to be imaginative and play happily with other kids, not just her parents!
My little drama queen loved performing at the Twinkle Stars Theatre and even roped her Dad into unleashing his inner thespian. There are plenty of costumes to try on, different lighting and sound effects and plenty of sets to stimulate little imaginations.
You can even watch their performance from the screen outside.
My favourite section was the Get Moving area which has a small climbing wall which is more horizontal than vertical making it safer for the little ones.
There’s also a brilliant racing area where the kids can race against various creatures.
And a fun climbing structure if they need to burn off anymore energy.
For lego fans there's an excellent construction area where you could spend hours building various creations, we made sure to write our names with the little bricks and leave a bit of us behind.
If you need a sit down, head to the arts and crafts area. They have various themes and suggestions for things to make, when we visited it was all about robots and we spent half an hour getting crafty and using the many art supplies available.
For the adrenalin junkies there’s a huge climbing roped area where children can pretend to be drops of water and climb down to the lower floors.
If your kids are anything like Piper, they are constantly building dens, hanging blankets from chairs and bouncing on various scatter cushions but are less good at tidying up.
This is a perfect place to let their inner builder free, they can go to town with play wardrobes, chairs, sheets and mops, it’s a great place for a game of hide and seek.
For travel junkies like us, the international area is great fun and brilliantly educational.
We played dress up, explored the globe, checked the time around the world and practiced our drumming skills in a West African Drum hut.
The play house is another great opportunity for imaginative play, kids can grow things in the garden, learn about electrical systems and practice their plumbing skills.
There’s also the essential STEM area, we learnt about currents, making our own circuit boards, following intructions which got gradually more and more complicated.
Piper loved the opportunity to practice animation and made a brilliant little movie …..
Mr AWTYK loved the dance zone and threw some rather 80s moves, much to the amusement or other visitors!
The museum is perfect for little ones but I think any kids under 11 will get a lot out of it, to be honest I think Mr AWTYK and I had as much fun as our 7 year old!
110 W Gasparilla Plaza,
Tampa FL 33602
813 443 3861
Open 7 Days a Week
There is a Subway in the museum or you can bring your own and eat at one of the designated areas.
We took advantage of the fact you can leave and re-enter the museum and wandered into Tampa, visiting Eddie and Sams New York Pizza for one of the biggest and best pizzas I’ve eaten!
Covered Parking is available in the adjacent Poe Parking Garage on the corner of Ashley Drive and Cass Street. We loved this mural on the way to the museum – Stay curious always!
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