1. Life & Culture

What's new at local attractions

Here's what's new this year at local attractions.

Adventure Island: The water park next to Busch Gardens brings back Island Nights, with live entertainment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening June 13 through Aug. 10. DJs rev up the energy with music, dancing and games on the beach. Street performers, stiltwalkers and a steel drum band keep the party going until 9 p.m., included with park admission; $46 for adults, $42 for ages 3-9, but go to for the best advance deals and park hours, which vary. Adventure Island, 10001 N McKinley Drive, Tampa.

Florida Aquarium: The Tampa aquarium has expanded its wetlands trail so that it feels like you are walking through a state park, past the alligator-infested Suwannee River. The Stingray Beach debuts this weekend, where visitors can stroll the boardwalk, touch multiple species of stingrays and sharks as well as get up close to local shore birds. The Florida Wetlands Trail dome's architectural design is composed of 1,100 glass panels and mimics the outer spirals of a nautilus shell, a theme continued inside the aquarium as well. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Admission: $21.95, children under 12 $16.95, under 2 free. Discounts for seniors and online at

MOSI: The Tampa science museum's Sea Monsters Revealed exhibit, the world's largest collection of "plastinated sea creatures" from the makers of the Bodies exhibit, will remain on display through Labor Day weekend. Don't miss the World Ocean's Day celebration June 8 with Dr. Seuss characters on hand to celebrate One Fish, Two Fish style. On Aug. 4 MOSI salutes the Discovery Channel's Shark Week with games, hands-on activities and a study of the inner workings of a shark, included with admission. For Sea Monsters, admission is $18.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and $12.95 for ages 2-12. For $5 more, you get admission to all MOSI exhibits. (813) 987-6000.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: The home of the movie star dolphin without a tail, Winter, rescues and rehabilitates injured marine animals, but it also has exhibits where you can pet stingrays, see dolphins do tricks and see a shark feeding. New this year are a number of personal experiences, from dolphin photo ops to being a trainer for a day. You can catch a free shuttle by trolley or boat to Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure (included with admission) to see displays from the movie, Dolphin Tale. 249 Windward Passageway in Clearwater. Admission: $19.95, ages 3-12 $14.95, seniors $17.95. (727) 441-1790.

Glazer Children's Museum: The Tampa children's museum now has a reciprocity agreement with Great Explorations that allows members at the top two tiers of each museum's membership programs free admission to both museums. Coming up June 8 is a special Summer Celebration, with a chance to make leis in the Art Lab, join a conga line around the museum, and dance along to a DJ, included with admission; $15, children $9.50, under 1 free; military and seniors $12.50 at 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa;

Lowry Park Zoo: The zoo's playground of animatronic dinosaurs is coming to an end Tuesday for the daytime visitors, and the last DinoNites are this weekend. The zoo's Summer Safari Nights return June 29 (with a ladybug release) and July 13 with a "fairy tales and frogs" theme. During Safari Nights, the zoo stays open late with free unlimited rides and animal encounters. Extended hours are included with zoo admission: $24.95, $19.95 for kids 3-11. The zoo is at 1101 W Sligh Ave. Tampa. (813) 935-8552.

Tampa Bay History Center: Opening on Saturday the history center will look at Florida's part in the circus, with a collection of vintage photographs on loan from the Ringling Museum (story, Page 12). On July 4 there will be free admission to the museum, and re-enactors from various wars will fill the galleries. This also happens to be a great location in the Channelside district to see the fireworks. 801 Old Water St. in Tampa; (813) 228-0097. Admission is $12.95, $10.95 for seniors and kids 13-17, $7.95 for children 4-12. Under 3 is free.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer