One particularly wet and wild Floridian day, we headed to one of Tampa’s best attractions for small children – The Glazer Museum.
Having visited before, our older two were able to show their little brother around, and introduce him to the best bits they remembered (although he wasn’t interviewed for a news channel like they were last visit!)…
The vast downstairs waterway system (look out for the rain – a spare change of clothes for tiny people may well be advisable here) was definitely his favourite part of the entire place, and he would happily have spent the day guiding boats along the waterways and sending them from one side to another via the crane system there is to play with.
The museum covers two floors and includes the water play system, weather education display, a “sand” play area downstairs. Upstairs you will find a “supermarket”, a “vet’s practice” a “pizza parlour”, “fire station”, “house” and creation labs set aside for specific activities at various times. There’s also a great building area, a sports play area and the most wonderful climbing frame built around the theme of rain and how it falls (quite topical given the weather on the day we visited!). I saw a few adults in there too, it really is that inviting!
The Museum obviously works on various themes throughout the year, and during our visit the theme was global citizens of the world. We enjoyed learning about African Music with various instruments to play with and learned about the differences between a child’s life in Japan compared to the US.
In all honesty, the Glazer Children’s Museum probably works best for those under the age of ten. Given the shocking state of the weather on that particular day however, I didn’t hear many complaints from my older two who even took part in a few experiments when they thought I wasn’t really paying attention. This included den building, constructing huge towers “for their little brother”, and I noticed they spent a LOT of time playing with the paper aeroplane launching machine…
Although there are a lot more of these types of interactive play museums around now compared to our first visit 6 years ago (it really was a novelty back then), it still a formula for a great day out (especially in bad weather, but obviously this makes for a busier visit!), and the 3-year-old loved everything about it. It’s also a non-profit organisation with a mission to “To create a learning laboratory where children play, discover, and connect with the world around them to develop as lifelong learners and leaders”…
If I had any complaints, it would be the limited eating options (there’s a Subway in the foyer and that’s it). Ask for a wrist band when you buy your ticket though, and you can leave and come back in again, which is how we ended up a Sam and Eddie’s New York Pizza by the Slice just around the corner for lunch.
Grab a drink first, and join the lengthy queue. Don’t be put off by this though, you will be grateful for the number of people in front of you so you can make a decision about which slices you are choosing, then hand over your money and collect it at the end, before finding a seat in the bustling restaurant. I can recommend the Chicken Parmagiana and the white pizza with truffles and spinach.
Definitely worth getting drenched for, and the best part of the day according to the two teens, ask the three-year-old however, and he will tell you he was happy to head back to the Museum afterwards and straight to that water play system!…
Glazer Children’s Museum,110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa FL 33602
Corey | Fifi + Hop says
Seriously, what did our parents do on rainy days without children’s museums! They are such a god-send. As my girls are older now, it’s been a while, but I remember love visiting all the different children’s museums wherever we went. This one sounds awesome. Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles
I know, they are so valuable! Thanks Corey! : )
Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) says
My kids would have adored that water play system when they were little – I probably wouldn’t have been allowed out of the museum until the doors closed! Great option for a rainy day. Add pizza too and you’ve got a wonderful day out. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
I love those kind of places don’t you? Thanks Clare! :)
Nancy | MapandFamily says
Sounds brilliant and exactly what you want to find when you’re in a rainy town with a few children! Every city should have one. #farawayfiles
I wish there was one in every city! Thanks Nancy!