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  • Museum of Science and IndustryMuseum of Science and Industry Tampa, Florida
    The Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Florida is the biggest science center in the southeastern part of the country and contains the only IMAX theater in the state. It has over 450 hands-on interactive exhibits and displays, making this one of the most favorite museums in the region. The museum is better known as MOSI, the initials of the name and easier for folks to talk about. There are numerous exhibits that will certainly thrill you, like the hurricane simulator that lets you feel what it would feel like if you were here when one of those storms ever hit, or the high wire bike ride, and so many more that would be more enjoyable to you if you went, rather than have someone discuss the good, bad or ugly. There is a marvelous exhibit called Kids in Charge, and it is one of the best family displays that you could enjoy. Be sure to try that with your kids since they are sure to love it and perhaps bring everyone a little closer in the meantime. Depending on your tastes, or interests, you could easily spend half the day here, but make sure to schedule a full day so that you won't have to rush around trying to do everything. The Amazing You display has kept a lot of folks busy, learning and finding out where the various parts of the body are, but not everyone is into that kind of exhibit. Be sure to inform your children what they will likely see so that they don't freak out when they see the various bodies, shapes, and somewhat odd looking if you haven't seen these displays before. It all sits on 74 acres of landscapes and the architecture is something else in itself. That study alone could be hours as you walk around this unique structure and enjoy the sunny hot weather. The museum contains more than 300,000 square feet of exhibits and adventures, with the aforementioned Kids in Charge, that is just about the biggest science center in the country that is devoted to children; Weatherquest, Disasterville, Our Place in the Universe and so much more to see and enjoy. The Amazing You is the human body exhibit, Disasterville is 10,000 square feet of interactive displays about natural disasters and their effects on us, and the Verizon Challenger Learning Center that is a living memorial to the crew of the Challenger, Gulf Coast Hurricane lets you feel what it is like to be in the force of a category 1 hurricane with winds at 74mph and gives you some insider tips on how to handle it and get ready for it. Another is Demystifying India: The Exhibition, that offers some ideas of the Indian culture and its people; and Our Place in the Universe: An Exhibition on Space, Flight and Beyond that showcases the realm of space exploration and astronomy that includes the newest technological advances that have been made in aviation. The museum also has a science-to-go store, the Science Works theater, Saunders Planetarium, Bioworks Butterfly garden, the Historic Tree Grove and the Red Baron Cafe.  The planetarium is the only one located in Tampa, and the Whitney Andrews Lang Center for Learning make this venue one of the best and most exciting adventures in the city. 

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  • Tampa Museum of ArtTampa Museum of Art Tampa, Florida
    The Tampa Museum of Art is found in downtown Tampa, Florida and contains 20th century artworks, plus Roman, Etruscan and Greek antiquities that opened in 1979 on the lovely banks of the Hillsborough River. Even when the planners started the museum, they knew that the original structure would be way too small to house all the works of art that the museum would hold, and proposals for enlarging it or relocating it were discussed for many years. But whatever plans were made, it wasn't until 2006, that the museum and the city came together and agreed that by using public and private funds, they could construct the 66,000 square foot new museum with the $33 million they had amassed so that the Curtis Hixon Park would have another venue on the Riverwalk project next to the river. Stanley Saitowitz designed a very unique building that looks like a huge metal box sitting on a huge glass pedestal, that uses glass, aluminum and fiber optics to change the exterior lights so that the outside of the museum would become something of a work of art itself. The Tampa History Center and the Children's Museum will be constructed nearby, making this area one of the best attractions in the city, kind of a one stop for museums. The old museum had to be destroyed and taken away to make room for the new one, and the collections had to be moved to the historical Centro Espanol building in West Tampa, which had been vacant. Groundbreaking began in April of 2008 and the new museum was completed in February, 2010.  A few examples from the Greek and Roman antiquities includes an unusual grave altar of Lucius Caltilius from the Roman period of 140 AD., a Greek black figure amphora from 510 BC. that is ceramic, a Cineraium that is Etruscan and from about 150-100 BC., a Greek black figure column krater from about 510 BC, and a torso of Aphrodite from the 1st century in Rome and is made of marble. Some of the finest painters included are; Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Neil Welliver, William Pachner, Jon Corbino, Willie Cole and Purvis Young. Photographers include; Berenice Abbott, Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, Abelardo Morell, Clyde Butcher and Adolphe Braun.  A few of the newest acquisitions includes a painting by Leslie Lerner, a print by Burk Uzzle, an oil on panel by Bruce Marsh, a colored lithograph by Los Carpinteros, mixed media assemblage by Rocky Bridges and photograph on plexiglas by Horst & Daniel Zielske.

January 11, 2011