Yesterday I visited the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. This was the first time I had ever been there. I can't believe I've missed out on such an interesting place for so long! I've driven by it hundreds of times, yet never stopped in to check it out!
I was quite surprised at how big it really is. There are actually 3 sections. The South Florida Museum, the Bishop Planetarium and the Parker Aquarium. All 3 are connected and you get to visit all of them when you pay the admission.
There was a lot to see there and I found it pretty interesting! They had a mastodon display, fossils, archaic murals and artifacts, medical gallery, Model T Ford, an old boat building shop, a pioneer cabin from the 1880's, old war uniforms and artifacts, a Spanish home, Spanish chapel, fountain and statue of Hernando DeSoto, discovery place for kids, the new state of the art planetarium and of course the aquarium where snooty the manatee and 3 others are at.
We were able to catch one of the shows at the Planetarium while we were there. We watched a fascinating show about black holes. At some points in the show, it felt almost like 3-D and you were right there in the sky or floating along the streets. It was pretty cool! I wish we could have saw a couple of the other ones, but we missed them!
We also got to see the manatees being fed and learned a little bit more about them. Snooty is currently the oldest living manatee in captivity. He is 59! The other 3 manatees are only there for a short period, and then they will be released back out into the wild.
The South Florida Museum
201 10th Street West
Bradenton, Florida 34205
January through April and the month of July: Open 7 days a week.
Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m.
All other months: Open 6 days a week.
Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day.
The Museum is closed for annual maintenance the last two weeks in August, re-opening the first day after Labor Day.
Admission is as follows:
- Adults: $15.95
- Seniors (60+): $13.95
- Children (4-12): $11.95
- Children (under 4): Free
It's well worth the money I think. Once you pay, you can stay there all day if you want. They will let you leave and come back later too as long as you leave your sticker on they give you. So if the kids get hungry, you can go have lunch and still come back to see the rest!
On Saturday March 1 from 10am-9pm, they are celebrating heritage days. Explore Florida's rich history while commingling with historic figures, observing rare artifacts and reenacting activities of yesteryear. There will be snacks, games and engaging activities for everyone to enjoy.
Enjoy a screening of Fantasia on the big screen in the planetarium at 4:15. Learn about Florida's past, present, and future through engaging activities for the whole family. Explore John James Audubon: Birds of Florida in the East Gallery. Live Star Talk with Jeff Rodgers at 7:00, Infinity Express at 7:30, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at 8:00. Admission is half price after 4pm. Members are always free. Food is available for a nominal price.
Here are some of the photos that I took and a couple short video clips of the manatees!