Regardless of age or background, everybody loves going to the beach. It’s the perfect space to simply get away from it all, to forget about the worries of regular life and flee from the noise and pollution of city spaces. Breathing in the fresh sea air and relaxing on the soft sand is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, and that’s why beaches have proven to consistently be some of the most popular places to spend sunny days all around the world. Even when the sun isn’t shining, a beach can be a lovely place to relax with friends or family, but when the sun does come out and the temperatures rise, beaches offer all kinds of excitement both on the sand and out in the water. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.St Pete Beach
3.Sand Key Park
5.Fort De Soto
5 Best Tampa Bay Beaches
- Clearwater Beach, Photo: Margaret/stock.adobe.com
- St Pete Beach, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Sand Key Park, Photo: Paulo/stock.adobe.com
- Caladesi Island, Photo: JEROME LABOUYRIE/stock.adobe.com
- Fort De Soto, Photo: genlock1/stock.adobe.com
- More Info, Photo: Jeff Kinsey/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of JEROME LABOUYRIE - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: Straz Center for the Performing Arts
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa Bay, Florida, is the largest performing arts center in the region and the only center to feature a performing arts conservatory on the property.
The David A. Straz, Jr Center for The Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that began in 1987, formally known as the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Since the 1990’s, The Straz Center has established a mission to make arts education in the Tampa Bay community a priority through partnerships with public and private school systems, homeschool groups, and outreach programming to seven counties in the area.
In addition to theatrical productions, orchestras, concerts, recitals, comedy, Broadway and Opera, whose ticketing and events schedule can be found on the website, and other performing arts, the Straz Center offers artist residency programs, after school and summer programs for students, a theater day camp with full production for 100 children, and is the home of the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra.
The Straz Center features indoor and outdoor artistic exhibits that are interactive and hands on. Each exhibit is a community art project that fosters artistic growth in the local community and engages residents in the arts.
Art on the Walk- This series was launched in 2015 and is a permanent exhibit on the Riverwalk. Art on the Walk also features temporary exhibitions from time to time that highlight local artists and are themed.
Dr. Jay and Ann McKeel Ross Fine Art Exhibit- The Dr. and his wife are fine art collectors who rotate pieces of their personal collection at Morsani Hall in temporary one year exhibits that are exchanged every September.
Performance in Sculpture- This exhibit is juried by the National Sculpture Society and the Straz Center. The current exhibit showcases 13 pieces that will remain on display through 2017 when new pieces are chosen. All sculptures are available for purchase through the Straz Center.
String Theory’s Fin Harp- This outdoor exhibit was assembled by String Theory, a LA based performance group who turned the corner on riverside into a working, 200-foot, public harp.
The Cube by The Urban Conga- As part of the 2016 Cube Project, this interactive installation promotes artistic expression in the community. Set up blank, five local artists were invited to use markers and paint pens to do whatever they wanted to the cube for one month. The Cube is in Jaeb Courtyard.
Why Sit When You Can Play?- Also by The Urban Conga, this interactive musical bench can be found on the Straz grounds on the riverfront. Make music on the 18-foot sculpture that is a permanent part of the campus.
The Patel Conservancy is part of the Education Department at Straz Center and makes training in performing arts accessible to the community. There are free and discounted opportunities provided through partnerships with community resources for classes in the arts, lectures, talk-backs, participating in performances, and workshops. There are also educational outreach programs for those unable to attend the Straz Center in person. Some of the instructional classes offered at The Patel Conservancy include Ballet, Jazz, HipHop, and Flamenco, choral, Chamber Music, Broadway, play acting, and musical theater.
Broadway Star of The Future- This program began in 2009 and is an awards ceremony honoring exceptional high school productions and production members. The Broadway League developed the adjudicated model and the program occurs in the spring.
Field Trips- Throughout the school year, The Straz Center hosts productions that are suitable for school aged children. Staff can provide educators with a study guide that explains how the production fits into the FCAT posed by the State of Florida. Field Trip days are always posted on the Straz website.
Conservancy to go- this fee based program utilized talent and educators from the Straz Center in outside organizations to be able to access educational experiences in the performing arts close to home. Teaching artists travel to your location to produce an art education experience for your group or program. Cost is based on each individual case.
There are 3 restaurant options at Straz Center. As well as a coffee shop located on the south side of the campus by the gift shop.
Maestro’s Restaurant- Found upstairs from the Shimberg Playhouse and Jaeb Theater, reservations are recommended at this restaurant which offer table service and a unique menu inspired by each show. Dinner is a fixed menu with a children’s entrée available.
Maestro’s Café- This buffet is found in the Ruth Silbiger Lobby in Morsani Hall and is open evening prior to performances. Reservations are accepted.
Maestro’s on the River- located outside of the Center with a view of the Hillsborough River, this restaurant serves light options such as hot and cold appetizers, wine and cocktails. Open when weather permits.
1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place Tampa, FL 33602, Phone: 800-955-1045
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More Ideas: Glazer Children’s Museum
The Glazer Children’s Museum offers a fun way for children to learn, encouraging them to play with a purpose within an educational, fun, and interactive environment. The museum offers an interactive laboratory for learning, along with specially curated programs, in a nurturing, warm, and safe environment. Children are given the opportunity to explore their potential through numerous different fun, yet educational activities. Kids try out several identities as they explore at the Glazer Museum, whether as a vet at the Vet Clinic, an engineer in the Engineers’ Workshop, or a doctor in the Hospital among many others.
The Design and Build exhibit is a yellow house at the Glazer Children’s Museum that is always in need of renovation. Young carpenters, designers, and architects are invited to act as an engineer, gardener, and plumber to help renovate the small house. Artsmart welcomes children to explore the world of art.
The Engineers’ Workshop is the perfect workshop for any young inventor. Younger children can build with block or giant LEGOs, or design a train route. Older children can create a LEGO design on the exhibit’s LEGO wall of fold and then launch paper airplanes. The Glazer Children’s Museum also features a new robotics lab called Gadget Garage. This lab lets kids and adults alike explore the robotics and gadgets of today.
Central Bank at the children’s museum lets kids explore the world of commerce and banking through interactive games. Children can learn the basics of earning and saving money with physical activities, matching, and simple math. Kids can then use their money to light up City Hall, launch a rocket, and more. Climbing aboard the Cruiseship gives kids a chance to be an explorer, sailor, or captain as they search for buried treasure or set sail.
The Firehouse at Glazer Children’s Museum lets children try their hand at being a firefighter as they pretend to save the day. Kids can put on safety gear and then slide down the kid-size firehouse’s fireman’s pole. There is also a fire truck simulation in which children can drive a fire truck through Tampa Bay, turning on the lights and playing the siren.
Children can create forts for imaginative play in the Forts area of the Glazer Museum. Kids can use pillows and sheets to build an epic fort or reading spot. Get Moving offers fun physical challenges for children to test their speed, endurance, and strength. Activities include climbing in the museum’s new indoor playground, racing an array of animals, and climbing the miniature climbing wall.
The Ocean Sandbox at Glazer Children’s Museum allows children to create the topography of the ocean by moving and shaping the sand. Kids can use their hands to sculpt caves, underwater channels, islands, and mountains to see the augmented reality marine landscape brought to life with treasure chests, ocean creatures, and much more. KidsPort features a large water table on which kids can navigate cargo ships through channels similar those in Tampa Bay. Children can pretend to be engineers, harbor pilot, and dock workers as they learn more about the movement of water.
110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-443-3861
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More Ideas: Tampa Bay History Center
The Tampa Bay History Center is found on the Riverwalk of the Channel District in Tampa Bay, Florida and features 12,000 years of Florida and local Tampa Bay history, the Witt Research Center, shopping, dining, and an event hall.
The Tampa Bay History Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate organization featuring interactive and educational exhibits and programming highlighting 12,000 years of Florida history. The History Center has access to over 130 million artifacts in the Smithsonian’s collection that are featured in both permanent and temporary exhibits. Nearly 3 million Hillsborough County residents and tourists visit the History Center annually.
The building was also awarded a Silver LEED certification in 2012 as being Green from the U.S. Green Building Council. The History Center sits on reclaimed land and is built from recycled materials. The bricks in the parking garage are recycled from historic streets in Tampa and the center features optimal natural lighting through glass windows and recycled rubber flooring, smart lights, and other green resources.
Collections and Exhibits
The collection at the Tampa Bay History Center features artifacts, artworks, and documents with a relevance to Florida and the region. The collection begins as early as the prehistoric Gulf Coast and reaches to modern day through all spheres of life. Some collections are only available to educators and many of the artifacts are on loan through the Smithsonian. The permanent collection owned by the Tampa Bay History Center holds more than 60,000 objects. Donors can adopt artifacts in need of conservation.
The History Center is two floors. On the first-floor Visitors will find permanent exhibits related to the first people of Florida and original artwork by Theodore Morris, Panfilo Narvaez’s landing at Tampa Bay almost 500 years ago, European exploration of Florida, Spanish and French settlers of the 16th century, Seminole War and Native cultures, and Cigar City.
The second-floor exhibits include history local to Tampa Bay, cattle ranching, natural resources of the bay, recreational and social activities in the area, civil rights, urban development, and wars since 1830. There is also a hands-on discovery center based on the novel A Land Remembered, The touchton Map Gallery, and A gallery of artworks from local school children on the second floor of the History Center.
The Tampa Bay History Center offers many different options for family and educational programming throughout the year at the facility. All events are on the website calendar with annual special events occurring on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Smithsonian Museum Day. There are also special fall events for trick-or-treating and Holiday celebrations in December.
History Adventure Camps- These summer camps are offered to children age 7-11 and includes tour of Ybor City, field trips to cultural site, lectures by historians and educators, and many hands-on activities. Each camp is one week long. There are also American Girl, Archaeology Mystery, Pirates and Explorer, Museum, and Hysterical History themed summer camps from June until August annually.
My Doll and Me- This program is designed for children age 6-12 and requires preregistration. Parents drop of children for the day where they explore the past with their dolls and tour the museum with a docent.
Sangria and Stories- This adult program is a casual mixer to hear stories of the permanent exhibits collections with guest lecturers and adult beverages. Dinner is served before and after the presentation at the Columbia Café.
Florida Conversations- This monthly lecture program explores the history, art, politics, culture, and current events of Florida with top scholars, writers, and artists. This event is coproduced by TBHC and University of Southern Florida and the Public Media and is free to the public.
Book Group- The Book group meets the third Thursday of each month and reads books about Florida that are written by local authors. Books such as history, nonfiction, and fiction, mysteries, and the environment are often read. Coffee is served before the meeting starts.
Walking Tours- Docent lead tours from the History Center and through Tampa’s most historic neighborhoods are 90 minutes long and require registration. Groups of up to 25 can be accommodated.
Field Trips- The History Center is best for grades 3-12 with 4th-8th grade educators finding the exhibits in line with Florida and US History Standards. A museum tour takes about 2 hours to complete with additional time for lunch or visiting the museum store after the tour concludes. Docents will lead all field trips and tours will lead students through exhibits that explore the early peoples of Florida through industry of Tampa Bay.
801 Old Water Street, Tampa FL 33602, Phone: 813-228-0097
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