The Florida Children’s Museum is now open in Lakeland! It’s a great place for kids to learn through exploration. The museum has a designated area for babies and toddlers, daily programs, dramatic play, music area, green screen stage and so much more.
The Florida Children’s Museum (47,800 square feet) is located in Bonnet Springs Park so you can explore the park and playgrounds after spending time at the museum. Formerly known as the Explorations V Children’s Museum when it was located in Downtown Lakeland. The new facility offers interactive exhibits that allow kids to learn through play.
The Design Park is located on the first floor of the museum. It’s inspired by honeybees and focuses on the value of collaboration, communication, and the pursuit of new ideas. The area is designed for ages 3 and up. Supervise younger children while they are engaging with some of the learning experiences.
There are small play stations where kids can get creative with magnetic tiles, build a house, test their engineering skills and more. You will notice hanging notebooks near these stations that provide different example projects kids can make. However, my 3 year old decided to use his imagination to create something on his own.
My son really enjoyed the testing alley which looks like an extended air hockey table. There’s a net at the end that traps items like sponges and scarves that float across the table. Children can adjust the speed using a button.
The Watermelon Seeds gallery is also located on the first floor. This area is for children under the age of six. Your little ones will love this bright and colorful space that includes activities that will help develop gross motor skills, language development, imaginative play, executive function skills and sensory play.
My 3 year old really enjoyed the climbing structure and going down the slide. There’s also a watermelon truck, train set, watermelon washing station and other fun play spaces. You will also find a play area specifically for babies with age appropriate toys.
Time to take the stairs or elevator to the second floor to explore this cool space. Children are encouraged to use their imagination to transform into a cashier at Publix, food truck owner, firefighter, police officer, news anchor and other fun careers.
Children will love the interactive juice factory. They will also enjoy creating their own video in the Bay News 9 center. The city play has something for everyone. A great area for parents and caregivers to join in on the fun with dramatic play.
This space was inspired by the generation of TikTok and focuses on virtual creation. Children can utilize the Stop Motion Lab, Lunz Group Green Screen Landscape, and Tom and Alison Anderson Found Sound Booth to develop videos and sounds of the future. My little one had a great time in the sound booth making as much noise as possible. I love that they include different instruments as well as pots and pans.
Things to Know about Florida Children’s Museum
- Parking is FREE
- Families can check out a Sensory Kit during their visit. It includes noise-reducing headphones, sunglasses and handheld fidget toy. Visit the front desk where you purchase tickets to request one.
- Memberships start at $120.00 which includes one adult and one child.
- Nursing room is in the Watermelon Seeds exhibit.
- The Depot Café is across the sidewalk from Florida Children’s Museum to purchase food including frozen treats.
- There are daily programs throughout the day.
- The last Monday of each month is a Money Monday! Admission is FREE from noon – 5 pm.
The United Way’s Carol Jenkins Barnett Children’s Resource Center is a community-based learning and resource center that provides classes, playgroups, workshops, developmental checkups, community activities, and support for parents and caregivers of children aged 0-6, as well as for expectant moms and dads. Class sizes are limited. Please reserve your space online and be on time. Participants in the programs will also get to stay and play for free at the museum.
Watch the Tour of the Florida Children’s Museum
Check out these awesome ideas for family fun: