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Many bay area museums free on Saturday

By Michelle Stark

Times Staff Writer

The annual national Museum Day was created by Smithsonian magazine in the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., which offers free admission daily. From Lakeland to Sarasota, a slew of Tampa Bay area museums are offering free admission in conjunction with the event Saturday. (There are also a few locations that are unaffiliated with the official event that will offer free or reduced admission.)

Most of the museums affiliated with the Smithsonian event require a free ticket, but some don't. We say play it safe and get one regardless; many places will not let you in for free without a Museum Day ticket. Sign up for a ticket for two free admissions to one museum at the Smithsonian magazine website:

If your chosen museum isn't on the list, it might still be free. Some locations in Pinellas County are opening their doors for free from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of a local Arts Alive Museum Day. (Look for them noted in the list.)

The Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, will hold its $5 Day to coincide with Museum Day. Admission to the museum Saturday will be $5 for everyone. Through Sunday, the Glazer's Children Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, also offers $5 admission for everyone.

If this seems confusing, that's because it is. The bottom line: There are plenty of opportunities to visit the area's cultural gems at little or no cost — as long as you're willing to wade through the details and fend off some major crowds.

Museums offering free admission on Saturday


Chihuly Collection (Arts Alive), free admission for Florida residents only, 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg

Creative Clay (Arts Alive), 1124 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Dalí Museum (Arts Alive), free admission for Pinellas County residents only, 1 Dalí Blvd. (Bayshore Drive and Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs

Museum of Fine Arts (Arts Alive), 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg

Morean Arts Center galleries, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; and Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg (Arts Alive)

Ringling Museum of Art and Circus Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, 200 N Tampa St., Tampa

Florida Craftsmen Gallery, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Polk Museum of Art, 800 E Palmetto St., Lakeland


Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum (Arts Alive), 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg

Florida Holocaust Museum (Arts Alive), 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg Museum of History (Arts Alive), 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

Great Explorations Children's Museum (Arts Alive), 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg

The Pier Aquarium (Arts Alive), 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

Armed Forces Military Museum, 2050 34th Way N, Largo

Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales

Cracker Country, 4800 N U.S. 301, Tampa

Ybor City Museum State Park, 1818 E Ninth Ave., Ybor City

Florida Air Museum, 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland

Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa

Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa

Many bay area museums free on Saturday 09/24/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:42pm]
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