Museum Day returns in September

The annual event organized by the Smithsonian magazine will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free entry to anyone with a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to upload one ticket per email address. The ticket offers free general admission on Saturday, September 17, 2022 for two people.

There are currently 34 museums in the state of Florida expected to participate in the event. Four of them are in Tampa Bay:

land of crackers

Location: 4800 Highway 301 N., Tampa

Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cracker Country, located at the Florida State Fairgrounds, is Tampa’s only living history museum. Explore thirteen structures built between 1870 and 1912 that have been relocated from across the state of Florida, restored, and furnished to represent various aspects of family life, commerce, and transportation as were seen in many rural communities just before the beginning of the 20th century.

Tampa Bay History Center

Location: 801 Water Street, Tampa

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The 60,000 square foot Tampa Bay History Center features three floors of interactive exhibits that tell the story of 12,000 years of Florida history. While you’re there, be sure to visit the History Center’s ‘Treasure Hunters: Conquistadors, Pirates, and Shipwrecks’ gallery, as well as the new ‘Cuban Trails’ and ‘Kitschy Cartography’ exhibits.

Leepa-Rattner Art Museum

Location: 600 E. Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Leepa-Rattner is a museum of modern and contemporary art with a collection of over 6,000 works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, including notable artists like Picasso, Chagall and Léger. The core of the museum is a permanent collection of works by Abraham Rattner, his second wife Esther Gentle and his son Allen Leepa. Museum Day festivities include arts and crafts activities, guided tours and more.

Henry B Plant Museum

Location: 401 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Henry B. Plant’s lavish hotel on the banks of the Hillsborough River once hosted guests such as Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth. Today it has been transformed into a museum that allows visitors to experience the grandeur of the hotel which opened in 1891 and is now listed as a National Historic Landmark. Be sure to visit the museum shop, which features an enchanting collection of antique reproductions and accessories, jewelry, books, paper dolls, and many other unique and romantic treasures.

Museums worth visiting

If you’re up for a road trip, several participating museums are within a few hours drive of Tampa Bay.

In the quaint Orlando suburb of Winter Park, the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens is a small but intriguing stop for art lovers. The museum houses works by Czech artist Albin Polasek, including 200 works of art and his three-acre home, studio, and sculpture garden with stunning views of Lake Osceola.

In Lakeland, you’ll find an impressive community museum that’s free every day of the year. The Polk Museum of Art invites visitors of all ages and interest levels to explore, learn, and find something to appreciate in the world of art. Until October 2022, enjoy a traveling exhibition by the famous sculptor Rodin. Enthusiasts of the beautiful ‘Painted Ladies’ of the Victorian era will enjoy a visit to the May-Stringer House Museum. This seven-gabled, 14-room, three-story Victorian house, originally built in 1856, is perched atop a hill overlooking the town of Brooksville and displays more than 11,000 artifacts.

A little further, the American Space Museum in Titusville offers an insight into the history of space. Visit the Women Making Space History gallery as well as the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle, and Cape Canaveral galleries. Take part in a scavenger hunt and chat with guides who have worked in the space program.

Click here for a full list of Florida museums participating in Museum Day.

By Karen Ring

About Charles Holmes

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