By JENNIFER AKERS
The Tampa Bay area hosts a variety of incredible museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Dali Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Here are a four local museums you may not know much about. We thought you'd love their local and national importance. Be sure to explore all they have to offer, including special exhibits and upcoming events.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (The Cube at Rivergate Plaza, Tampa): Founded in 2001, the museum is dedicated to photographic arts and exhibits historic and contemporary works from nationally and internationally known photographic artists. Its mission is to show the importance of photographic arts to our life and culture. Every month, they host a First Friday event, where locals can enjoy exhibit openings, lectures, social hours and more. Open daily: free for museum members; $10 suggested donation for non-members.
Palm Harbor Museum (Hartley House, Palm Harbor): The Palm Harbor Historical Society, incorporated in 1983, was formed by dedicated, long-term residents who wanted to preserve the city's history and culture. The current museum, the Hartley House, was given to the Society in 1996 for its care. The rehabilitated house and grounds opened in 1996. Its upcoming exhibit "The Way We Worked" is a traveling exhibit by The Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit, running November 1 through December 13, dives into the variety of American professions and the importance of work to our individual identity and social culture. Visitors can explore jobs throughout America's history, industries and their transformations, workplace settings and clothing, technology, tools, and audios of individuals discussing their industry and careers. Open Wednesday through Saturday. Contact the museums about its upcoming exhibit and docent tours for the public.
Dunedin Museum (Main Street, Dunendin): This museum preserves a variety of items in its collection of local and Florida history, including 2,000 artifacts and 2,500 photographs. Visitors can explore: Over 200 volumes of history Clothing, tools and artifacts from Dunedin pioneers, from 1870 through 1900's. Electronic archives of the Dunedin Times Newspaper, from 1924 to 1965. Be sure to find out more about their Living History Programs, such as "History Comes Alive" where actors re-enact the historic lives of locals buried in the cemetery; and Pinellas Vintage Base Ball League, with players re-enacting the sport rules of 1890's, including historic uniform and equipment. Open Tuesday through Saturday: $3 admission; free admission for kids 12 years and young.
Armed Forces Museum (Largo): Founded in 1996, the museum is dedicated to preserving America's military history and offering education about our military's history and sacrifices. Displays, genuine artifacts, military vehicles and more are housed in its 35,000 sq.ft. building and 15,000 sq.ft. outdoor display areas. Visitors can journey through the country's wars and explore genuine clothing, photos, vehicles, and interactive displays, such as the Virtual Voyager, a 7-passenger motion simulator ride. The Voyager offers fun and exciting adventures through simulation of 10 different scenarios, such as a recon mission in the Battle of Iwo Jima; aerial tricks of the 1920's barnstormers; launch of an aircraft carrier during the Desert Storm conflict; a ghostly roller coaster ride; a time travel trip to the days of Columbus and more. Open Tuesday through Sunday: $17.95 admission: free admission for kids 3 years and younger: free admission for active and retired military with military ID.
Jennifer Akers is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg. She can be reached through her website, jenniferakers.com.
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