This past Saturday was SPF 2016- Arts Alive and it was a blast! This idea of offering a free day to introduce culture and history through local museums was adopted from the Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live which began 12 years ago.
We began preparing our day the night before by planning out the museums we wanted to see and mapped our route since we would park and walk to them all. While this is a wonderful way to spend the day with the entire family, my husband and I decided we needed some us time and opted to make this a date.
The first on our list was the St. Pete Museum of History. This beautifully located museum was very much a favorite on our list. Their displays range from baseball to ancient Egypt and current house a fun and vibrant Cuba exhibit.
I can’t stress enough how much of a surprise and how exciting the Egypt exhibit was for us! We love history, facts, and details so this part snared us from the moment we spotted the little alcove into this wonderful world.
After the our first stop on our planned tour for Free Museum Day we stopped at one of the local hot dog carts for an early lunch before museum number 2. Finding good all beef hotdogs our our walk made the little kid in me giggle as we walked on toward the Dali Museum. This walk along Bayshore Drive’s water front and Marina.
Salvador Dali is best known for his surreal works of art and flamboyant persona as that is what you will find inside and out at the Dali museum. The building itself is enough to draw in your attention and study of the twists and blends of materials used. Inside a huge winding staircase will lead you up to the exhibits of art that will ignite anyone’s imagination. Even the gift shop is filled with unique treasures sure to give inspiration and strike up conversations.
Our third stop took us a little further into Downtown St. Pete to the Florida Holocaust Museum. This spot was the longest wait time and once inside we fully understood why.
The Florida Holocaust museum offers 3 floors of one of the darkest times in our history. Each unique item has an extensive story and each photo allows you to really see the person and what their life was like. The first floor drew us along piece by piece reading and learning more as we walked along. This was a striking display and we a grateful for the knowledge we gained by visiting.
It was past noon at this point and began to rain just as we stepped outside and onto the last bit of our museum tour. We hurried along Central Avenue only stopping quickly to re-hydrate and to check out the Morean Arts Center. Chihuly was one I had looked forward to but wasn’t on the list for this year due to a move. We are already planning a visit here later this fall.
The part of our day in St. Petersburg Florida was winding down to an end as we rambled on back toward our car making note of all places we wanted to visit next time we had a date downtown. The city, the water, and shops all command equal attention here and we’re grateful to spend so much time enjoying them.
Please check back for our post on the Armed Forces History Museum which was the last stop on our Free Museum Day Tour.
If you would like to visit St. Pete next year for free museum day or check out free offers in your area please visit the links below. Keep in mind we only visited a small few of the museums offering free days. Most museums only offer free tickets to residents or vouchers for non-residents for upcoming dates. Please visit each museums website for rules and details.
Planning your visit:
St. Pete has numerous parking areas all ranging in price but very much affordable. Wherever you choose to park you will be close to everything and if you’re not into walking in the unforgiving Florida sunshine, hop on a trolley and cruise the city in comfort.
We hope you enjoyed taking this journey with us and that you to can explore your local museums! Have a wonderful day!
Mandy- Wild Red