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Brand New Florida Children’s Museum Opening in Lakeland in 2022

Florida Children's Museum Lakeland Florida

A brand new children’s museum is opening in Lakeland in 2022! The building will be new, the name will be new, but the team behind the museum is NOT new to Lakeland and Polk County.

Explorations V Children’s Museum (our current children’s museum located in Downtown Lakeland) is building the future with a new name and brand identity – the Florida Children’s Museum.

The rebranding initiative reflects the growth of the museum and will debut when the new state-of-the-art facility opens in Bonnet Springs Park in May 2022. The rebranding includes a modern, whimsical logo, a new website and a social media presence that makes it easy to stay informed of the latest building updates and new programs. 

Here at Lakeland Mom, we are very excited about this transition and the future play opportunities for children in Lakeland, Polk County, and across Florida.

Explorations V Children’s Museum will become Florida Children’s Museum when the 30-year-old institution relocates to Bonnet Springs Park in 2022. For now, visitors to the current Museum location in Downtown Lakeland will continue to see the Explorations V Children’s Museum logo and branding.

Florida Children's Museum Polk County FL (1)

New museum logo + website – visit the full website to learn more.

Why is the name change being announced now?

A public campaign kicks off on June 19, 2021 in anticipation of the move to the new Bonnet Springs Park location. Over the next year {and beyond} the community can help support the Florida Children’s Museum through memberships, sponsorships, and partnership opportunities.

“We are not building a bigger place. We are building a bigger purpose,” said Kerry Falwell, CEO of Explorations V 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.”

Where will the Florida Children’s Museum be located?

The Florida Children’s Museum will be located within Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland.

Bonnet Springs Park is a brand new 168 acre park being built in Lakeland that will also open in 2022. It is located at the intersection of George Jenkins Blvd., Sikes/Kathleen Road, and Memorial Blvd. You can get a sneak peek driving along any of these 3 roads. (MAP IT)

Learn more about Bonnet Springs Park on their website. Learn more about how you can join me {April Mucci of Lakeland Mom} as a Founding Friend of Bonnet Springs Park.

What will the Florida Children’s Museum look like?

The new children’s museum will be a 47,800 square-foot facility and will welcome an estimated 100,000 annual on-site visitors, which is double the current average attendance. 

Intentional Inclusivity is important at the Florida Children’s Museum. A big investment has been made to design 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.

New exhibits and programs will serve an expanded age range of children from birth to 12 years-old. Visit the Florida Children’s Museum website for more details on new exhibits, and stay tuned for future updates. Some of the announced play areas include:

Harrell Family Charities Front Yard – Take healthy risks in Blinky, the 100-foot-long climbable alligator made possible by Greg and Ansley Masters. Then, dig to find Florida under our feet in the Mosaic Dig Pit. Seasonal fruits and veggies are grown throughout the space so don’t be shy about observing and tasting these growing creations. {This is an outdoor play area that is going to be amazing!!}

Watermelon Seeds – Transport your little one into the world of colorful fruit! Grow along with watermelons, strawberries and more as children transform into their unique, colorful selves.

Design Park – Design the vehicles of the future! Work in design pods or on your own at the designer’s bench before racing your floating vehicle in the Rodda Construction Testing Alley.

City Play – Kids rule this town! Pick the person you want to be while living in a city built for play. Grownups have costumes, too, to extend the fun for the whole family!

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. One SPLAT room features a kitchen to expand the Museum’s culinary programs.

AND MUCH MORE!

Get a sneak peek of the Florida Children’s Museum galleries

Check out the 3D renderings of the new museum in this fly through video. The video includes interior galleries as well as the outdoor play areas.

When will the Florida Children’s Museum open?

The new Florida Children’s Museum is scheduled to open in May 2022. An official opening date has not been announced. Look for updates on Lakeland Mom – we’ll be sure to shout it from the rooftops as soon as we have more info!

Can I still visit Explorations V Children’s Museum in Downtown Lakeland?

YES! Explorations V Children’s Museum is still open will continue to welcome children and families through Spring of 2022. Explorations V provides 3 floors of kid-powered, hands-on exhibits and mind-stretching programs, and is open 7 days a week. Daily admission is available, and memberships at the current historic Kress building location are for only $15 per month through February 2022. Click here to learn more.

How you can Support the Florida Children’s Museum

There will be many opportunities that we, as a community, can show our support for the museum over the next year and once they are open.

Get Member Perks – Purchase your membership early for special benefits not available to everyone.

Become a VIP – If you’re passionate about helping kids explore the world around them, learn more about Volunteers In Play.

Sponsorships + Donations – Make your mark or leave a legacy. Florida Children’s Museum is a 501c3 nonprofit that will sustain from an involved community committed to helping children explore.

More details coming soon!

Visit the Florida Children’s Musem Website to learn more.

Summer Fun Guide

Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun for Summer Camps, Things to Do Around Lakeland, Things to Do at Home, Open Playgrounds, Places to Play Outdoors, FREE Bowling, Swim Lessons, 4th of July Events, Reading programs, Online Camps, and much more!