It’s that time when museums show the community some love by offering free admission on Saturday, like early Christmas for art lovers. Two events are the same day; Smithsonian magazine’s nationwide Free Museum Day and St. Petersburg’s Arts Alive Free Museum Day. Some participating museums of the Smithsonian’s offer will require a ticket obtained from smithsonianmag.com/museumday, so play it safe and grab one. And while some of the venues participating in Arts Alive are always free, a few offer special discounts.
Some restrictions apply. Both the Dalí and the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art offer free admission to Pinellas County residents only, but other guests will receive a voucher to return free in a limited time frame.
Make sure not to miss Florida photographer Clyde Butcher’s dramatic images of Dalí’s homeland at the Dalí. This would also be a great time to check out the Imagine Museum’s studio glass collection or the James Museum, if you haven’t already. You’ll be impressed by both. Consider using one of downtown St. Petersburg’s trolleys to hit up all the venues.
Note that the Tampa Museum of Art will be closed Saturday to prepare for another event, but will be honoring Free Museum Day on Sunday. There’s still time to catch the excellent "Vapor and Vibration: The Art of Larry Bell and Jesus Rafael Soto" exhibit at the Tampa Museum of Art, where you can also visit the monumental Aphrodite Reimagined sculpture.
Here’s a complete list of participating venues:
Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live
Dalí Museum, 1 Dalí Blvd., free for Pinellas County residents only (also part of Arts Alive)
Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg (also part of Arts Alive)
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg,
255 Beach Drive NE (also part of Arts Alive)
Imagine Museum, 1901 Central Ave., St. Petersburg (also part of Arts Alive)
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art,
600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs
Cracker Country, 4800 U.S. 301, Tampa
Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, 310 N Boulevard, Tampa
Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts,
200 N Tampa St., Tampa
(NOTE: FREE MUSEUM DAY IS OBSERVED HERE SUNDAY): Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza
Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota
South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton
St. Petersburg’s Arts Alive Free Museum Day
Chihuly Collection, 700 Central Ave.,
Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S
Florida Craft Art, 501 Central Ave., 10 percent off all gallery purchases more than $25
James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, 150 Central Ave., Pinellas County residents
Morean Arts Center and Glass Studio,
719 Central Ave.
Morean Art Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S.
St. Pete Store, 100 Second Ave. NE, 10 percent off store purchases