1. Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center: The new St. Pete Pier in downtown St. Petersburg decided to forego its big July Fourth party and instead opened quietly on Monday. This first week of the Pier opening, the city has put in a reservation system at stpetepier.org, where visitors can pick a day and time they plan to visit. Once there, you can get out of the heat in this air-conditioned center devoted to telling the story of Tampa Bay and its unique ecosystem. There are educational displays, an aquarium that showcases many of the species found in local waters and a giant sand box with projected images of turtles, sea urchins and other marine life. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 12 and younger. The center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays. The Pier is at 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Face masks are required.
2. Great Explorations Children’s Museum: The engaging museum that is best for ages 10 and younger reopens this week after a three-month closure due to COVID-19. Families can expect new play policies and procedures, including timed tickets and face masks. Ticket reservations are strongly encouraged. All exhibits remain open, but the museum is making some modifications to limit the number of touchable components. New exhibits include the Great Exploratorium, a whimsical steampunk science lab, a Fossil Wall and a refreshed My First Market miniature grocery store. The museum hours have shifted to 4:45 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, and there’s a new option for families who prefer to play in private groups. Private rental sessions will be available for small groups on Saturdays and Sundays in two-hour increments. If private rental sessions aren’t reserved, timed play sessions will be made available for reservation. Admission is $12 for ages 1 to 54, $11 for ages 55 and up. 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992. greatex.org.
3. Go fishing: You can escape from the crowds while on the water by avoiding beaches and finding a fishing spot instead. Tampa Bay is the largest open-water estuary in all of Florida, so that comes with its perks for fishing. Try the Sunshine Skyway bridge fishing pier, where snook, pompano and grouper can be hooked. You can also cast a line in Bishop Harbor, located in the Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, just north of Interstate 275 and west of U.S. 41 near Bishops Harbor Road in Tampa. Be sure to purchase a fishing license before leaving at myfwc.com. They start at $17 for freshwater or saltwater.
4. Crayola Experience: The Florida Mall attraction in Orlando will be limiting attendance to 50 percent capacity, mandating face coverings, screening temperatures and encouraging reservations. The former one-day admission of $24.99 will now be considered a “2020 Unlimited Pass” good for unlimited visits to any Crayola Experience attraction through the end of the year. There are more than 25 activities throughout 70,000 square feet of color. For information, see crayolaexperience.com.
5. Virtual museum visit: At the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, this week brings Artifact Wednesday to highlight artifacts from the museum’s collection. A question-and-answer session with the curator follows. You can watch it live at 1 p.m. Wednesday on the museum’s Facebook page at facebook.com/TheFHM.