As first published by Family Friendly Tampa Bay on August 25, 2016.
Living in or visiting Florida creates an imaginary contract mandating that free time be spent outside enjoying our glorious beaches and soaking in our boundless sunshine.
That is, until the average temperature reaches ninety-six, the heat index is immeasurable or a sudden rainstorm interrupts outdoor plans.
When in the Tampa area and the outdoors isn’t attractive, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is an excellent option for family fun. My family experienced MOSI on one such soggy day last week.
We found MOSI to be fun, interactive and educational. The museum’s exhibits can simultaneously hold the attention of an often-eye-rolling older child while ensuring the safety of a newly-toddling little one.
The versatility of the MOSI was obvious as my kids recalled their favorites from the visit.
Yosef, age 10, enjoyed “A Beautiful Planet”, an IMAX movie about the International Space Station and the visible impact of climate change from space. The movie held the attention of my entire crew – from a 3 year-old to this old dad.
Lynden, age 8, was captivated by the “Drone Zone” – his first ever chance to pilot a variety of machines he’d previously only experienced in video games. He enjoyed steering the drones through water, around a mocked-up soccer pitch and flying a drone in a confined space. Note that my sons both laughed constantly as the drone soccer match was commentated by a bubbly MOSI volunteer looking on.
Vivi, my 6 year-old, loved the kitchen area of the “Kids in Charge” exhibit. My budding restaurateur succinctly recited her menu before meticulously taking my order. I must say, though, the plastic food was a bit overcooked – but please don’t tell her.
My ornery 3 year-old, Everett, spent nearly an hour banging on percussion equipment and building a fort with oversized, foam blocks. The ability of the exhibits at MOSI to hold Everett’s attention for more than a few seconds is certainly a glowing recommendation!
My infant daughter was along for the ride as well. She was content in the “Crawler Zone” which was stocked with soft, clean mats to break her inevitable face-plants. This space was positioned in the center of “Kids in Charge”, a perfect vantage point to watch my other children without their baby sister interrupting their fun.
My family enjoyed MOSI for different reasons – proof positive that its diverse exhibits will delight kids of all ages. From adults to infants, there is truly an exhibit for everyone.
If in Tampa, be sure to check out MOSI today – the beach can wait until tomorrow.