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Now Open! The Florida Children’s Museum: Central Florida’s Newest Family Attraction

Bonnet Springs Florida Children's Museum Lakeland FL

The Florida Children’s Museum – a brand new children’s museum in Central Florida – is now open in Lakeland!

This amazing new place to learn and play includes everything you’d expect in a children’s museum and more – toddler play areas, dress-up play, career play, technology areas, stop motion animation, a green screen film area, a music room, STEM building, outdoor play, Blinky – a 100-ft climbable alligator, out of school camps, summer camps, daily programs, hands on workshops, birthday parties, field trips – all in a whimsical, brand new 47,800 square-foot facility in Central Florida.

The building is new, the name is new, but the team behind the museum is NOT new to Lakeland and Polk County. Explorations V Children’s Museum (our former children’s museum located in Downtown Lakeland) has a new name and brand identity – the Florida Children’s Museum.

The Florida Children’s Museum is located in Bonnet Springs Park (also new – visit our link for photos and videos) so you can play at the museum and go out and explore the park and playgrounds for a full day of family fun.

“We are not building a bigger place. We are building a bigger purpose,” said Kerry Falwell, CEO of Explorations V Children’s Museum/Florida Children’s Museum. “Almost 2 million people have given Explorations V the opportunity to serve their family over the last 29 years. Florida Children’s Museum will carry on the tradition with pride and well into the future.”

Explorations V Toy Dragon
DOT – the Dragon Of Toys – moved from Explorations V to the new Florida Children’s Museum!

Video of the Florida Children’s Musuem

Hands-On Galleries + Play Areas at the Florida Children’s Museum

The Florida Children’s Museum has two floors of hands-on exhibits plus an outdoor play area, and a large flexible space for traveling exhibits and special events. The museum aims to educate through exploration, and your kiddos will learn while they play in each of these areas.

First Floor Exhibits + Play Spaces:
Watermelon Seeds – Oranges, strawberries, watermelons, oh my! Your little ones will love this huge play space filled with colorful fruit designs and hands on activities. This area is specially designed for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers ages 0 – 6.

Design Park – Design the vehicles of the future! Create your own flying vehicle at the designer’s bench and send it floating/racing down the Testing Alley.

Front Yard – Explore outdoors in this amazing outdoor play area that includes Blinky, the 100-foot-long climbable alligator, and a fossil dig pit.

Second Floor Exhibits + Play Spaces:
City Play – Kids rule this town! Pick the person you want to be while living in a city built for play. This HUGE play area will allow kids to use their imagination and explore the Publix Supermarket, JBurns Pizza Kitchen, Grove orange juice factory, news station, fire truck and police car, and so much more.

TBD Gallery – Inspired by the generation of Tik Tok, TBD Gallery focuses on virtual creation. Kids can utilize the Stop Motion Lab, Green Screen Stage, and Sound Booth to learn about technology and create videos {and try to teach the adults a thing or two!}

SPLAT Workshop Rooms Join exciting daily programs presented by a talented team of educators. Daily programs are themed around SPLAT—sensory, project-based, language building, art and tech, plus a kitchen to expand the Museum’s culinary programs.


Intentional Inclusivity at the Florida Children’s Museum

Intentional Inclusivity is important at the Florida Children’s Museum. Many hours of research and conversations with experts went into designing an inclusive building.

This includes special shades to control sunlight, predictive floor patterns to show pathways to public spaces, sound dampening wall treatments, no automatic hand dryers, wheelchair access and so much more. The goal is to help all children feel safe and secure.

In addition to special design features inside the building, The Florida Children’s Museum also works in partnership with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (C.A.R.D.) at the University of South Florida to be Autism Friendly.

A social story is available on the FCM website, and sensory kits can be checked out at the front desk including noise-reducing headphones, sunglasses, and a handheld fidget toy. Learn more about Sensory Inclusion at the Florida Children’s Museum.

Special Programs + More To Do

In addition to being open 7 days a week (closed on holidays) for play, learning, and exploration, the Florida Children’s Museum also has special programs each day including Story Sprouts (storytime for children 12 months to 5 years old), Design Park Engineer Challenge (new project of the day designed for ages 6+), Stop Motion Animation with an Educator, plus an End of Day Parade every day!

The fun doesn’t stop there, you can also visit the museum for a field trip or with a group, host a birthday party or special event, attend homeschool workshops, or book a spot in a winter break camp, spring break camp, or summer camp.

Visit the FCM Website to learn about these programs.

Parent Friendly Design

Parents and grandparents – you’ll be thrilled to discover that the Florida Children’s Museum includes some special features to make your lives easier! Huge stroller friendly elevators, stroller parking areas, kid-friendly bathrooms, and lockers for diaper bags, purses, and other items you don’t want to carry all over the museum with you.

Plus the museum is located just steps from the Bonnet Springs Park cafe where you can get lunch, drinks, and ice cream when the kids {or parents} start getting hangry!

Annual Memberships

Annual Memberships to the Florida Children’s Museum start at $120 for 1 adult and 1 child, additional qualifying family members can be added for $20. This is an amazing deal for a full year’s worth of unlimited play!!

Additional perks and reciprocal benefits are also included in your membership – visit the Florida Children’s museum membership page to learn more.

You can also pay per visit – Admission to the museum is $15 for ages 2+.

Florida Children’s Museum Discounts

Discounts are available for teachers, seniors 65+, military, EBT Snap Cardholders, AAA members. ID is required, information can be found on the FCM website.

The last Monday of each month is also Money Mondays which means FREE admission to Florida Children’s Museum! Made possible by United Way of Central Florida, visitors gain free entry to the Museum between 12 and 5 pm on the last Monday of each month.

Florida Children’s Museum Location

The Florida Children’s Museum is located at 600 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33815 – inside Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland.

Bonnet Springs Park is a brand new, privately funded 168 acre park that is free and open to the public in central Lakeland. Bonnet Springs Park opened in October 2022.

To find the Florida Children’s Museum you’ll enter the park gates, follow the road past the first parking lot and Welcome Center/Gift Shop, and continue until you come to the next large parking lot. Look for Blinky – the large yellow alligator playground – and the colorful windows.

Florida Children’s Museum – from the Family Lawn at Bonnet Springs Park

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center (formerly Family Fundamentals) is also located in the same building as the Florida Children’s Museum.

The Children’s Resource Center offers weekly classes for children from infants through age 5 where parents and children will learn and socialize as they participate in fun, stimulating, developmental activities. Learn more about free classes and parent resources at The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center.

When does the Florida Children’s Museum open?

The new Florida Children’s Museum Grand opening is November 4, 2022. Members get early access and can play from October 30 – November 3 – another reason to sign up for an annual membership!

Learn More

We hope you love the Florida Children’s Museum as much as we do here at Lakeland Mom! This incredible new space for children to learn and play will impact families in our community and across Central Florida for generations to come.

Connect with the Florida Children’s Museum:
Florida Children’s Musem Website | Facebook | Instagram

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