Museums & Planetariums
rocket launches, exhibitions, and one-of-a-kind artifacts, the state of
Florida is renowned for its world-class museums. During your next vacation,
experience a cultural side of Florida with a visit to one of the states
many museums and planetariums. Whether you simply enjoy stargazing or discovering
something new, the experience will be memorable for your entire family!
[ Cocoa ] The Brevard Community
College Planetarium and Observatory offers several unique ways to explore
outer space. Underneath its signature 70-foot dome, the 207-seat planetarium
features a first-of-its-kind dual star projection system, a fully accessible
observatory, a hands-on demonstration hall, and a 174-seat large-format
In the Discovery Movie Theater, action springs to life in large format
films like Mysteries of Egypt, SolarMax, Whales, and more! The three-storey-high
screen is powered with 10,000 watts of sound, creating a stunning spectacle
visitors won't soon forget.
In the Planetarium Theater, the magnificent Minolta Infinium star projector
is the next best thing to viewing the real sky. Combined with the magic
of Digistar, the planetarium offers breathtaking vistas guests experience
nowhere else in the galaxy! Also playing in the planetarium theater every
Friday and Saturday evening are laser light shows. The visual environment
of the planetarium matches perfectly with the auditory onslaught of great
bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
In the observatory, view the REAL night sky through one of the largest
telescopes in Florida. The rooftop observatory is home to 12 and 24-inch
reflectors and a superb 6-inch refractor.
321-433-7373 | www.brevardcc.edu/planet
[ Bradenton ] The South Florida Museum is the largest natural and cultural
history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast.
The museum interprets the region from the Pleistocene to the present,
with stunning, life-size dioramas and dramatic exhibits based on its extensive
collections of anthropological artifacts and biological specimens. Featuring
fossil evidence of Florida's earliest marine and mammal inhabitants and
archaeological materials representing paleoindian, archaic and pre-contact
cultures, visitors of all ages, from around the world, find the Museum
an enthralling, educational and entertaining experience.
Attached to the museum is the Bishop Planetarium, a state-of-the-science,
all digital full dome theater, featuring a wide variety of astronomy-related
presentations, thrilling sound and light shows and specialized wide screen,
and large format programs. It is also a popular venue for live musical
events, lectures, corporate training opportunities and other private gatherings.
Matinee and evening shows are available.
941-746-4131 | www.southfloridamuseum.org
[ Davie ] Located on the grounds of the Broward County Community College,
the Buehler Planetarium offers a broad spectrum of planetarium events.
Its erection was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the
Emil Buehler Trust. With a Zeiss M 1015 projector and modern audiovisual
equipment, this is one of the most advanced planetariums in South Florida.
Although a number of shows are ideal for the entire family, In My Backyard
features a delightful program filled with songs and stories about seasons,
the Moon, stars, and planets. Guests of all ages will find out about the
bears and the lion in the sky, and join in the planet rap, all while discovering
things found in your own backyard. Narrated by children's entertainer
Fred Penner, this is the perfect show for young scientists.
954-201-6681 | www.iloveplanets.com
[ Jacksonville ] Within the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), the
Alexander Brest Planetarium provides visitors with entertaining and informative
information on what lies beyond our horizon.
For those with a penchant for the unusual, Cosmic Concerts, which range
in style from hard rock to classical symphonies, combine a full-color
laser projection system and hundreds of special effects on the planetarium's
60-foot dome with an 18,000 watt sound system to immerse visitors in a
total visual and auditory music experience.
904-396-6674 | www.themosh.org
[ Miami ] The Miami Science Museum and Planetarium, which is affiliated
with the Smithsonian Institution, serves as an international cultural
destination in Miami.
When the Miami Planetarium opened its doors to the public on November
4, 1966, it has entertained and educated children of all ages about astronomy
and the wonders of the night sky ever since. The Planetarium, home to
Jack Horkheimer's Star Gazer, the world's first and only weekly television
series on naked-eye astronomy, houses a 65-foot diameter domed projection
screen with 231 seats. At the heart of the Planetarium is a SPITZ "Space
Transit Planetarium" star projector, which is capable of accurately
reproducing the stars and planets as seen from anywhere on Earth at any
time during the year.
The Weintraub Observatory houses two powerful Meade telescopes. At 8 p.m.
each first Friday of the month a free Planetarium show precedes the Observatory
session. This once a month free star show is not dependent on the weather
as is the Observatory. Observatory hours from 8:30 - 10 p.m. Peer through
the telescope to view the planets, the four moons of Jupiter, the rings
of Saturn and deep sky objects such as galaxies, nebulas and double stars.
305-646-4224 | www.miamisci.org
[ Orlando ] In a city famous for providing magic and wonder, the Orlando
Science Center does its part by encouraging visitors to reach for the
The aluminum-domed Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center
houses Florida's largest publicly accessible refractor telescope. A one-of-a-kind,
custom-built telescope, along with several smaller scopes are available
for night sky viewing on Friday and Saturday nights. Peer through the
powerful, 10-inch lens of the refractor telescope to view the planets,
the four moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and deep sky objects such
as galaxies, nebulas and double stars.
At Dr. Phillips Cinedome, guests can experience the world's largest Iwerks
domed theater and Digistar II planetarium, with 28,000 watts of digital
888-OSC-4FUN | www.osc.org
[ Tampa ] The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is the home to The
Saunders Planetarium and after 14 years in its present location, The Saunders
Planetarium is moving and changing.
Thanks to the generosity of The Saunders Foundation and construction by
the R.R. Simmons Construction Corporation, the Planetarium opened its
doors on October 3, 1992. Since then nearly 700,000 visitors have experienced
the wonders of astronomy under its dome. The original star projector --
a Spitz A3P-R -- will be retired and replaced with the Goto Space Simulator
Generously funded by Dick and Cornelia Corbett, and the William Stamps
Farish Fund, the amazing new projector will display the sky for any time
- past, present, or future - and transport the audience to any viewing
site on Earth or in the solar system, in 20 seconds or less! The rest
of the $1 million project which includes a new theater in Kids in Charge!,
The Children's Science Center at MOSI, a new projection dome, a new high-resolution
video projection system, and new seating will be completed through the
generosity of The Saunders Foundation the group responsible for opening
the Planetarium in 1992 alongside the Andrew Krusen Family. The newest
version of The Saunders Planetarium to open in fall 2008. Visitors can
help support the completion of the new projector by adopting a star in
The Saunders Planetarium! Purchasers will receive an official adoption
certification and have their star charted on a map in the new planetarium.
[ Tallahassee ] The Tallahassee Museum is home to some of Florida's most
historic and natural sights. As visitors stroll through the nationally-recognized,
52-acre grounds, they can discover how the past has come to shape today's
The museum features a discovery center, with changing exhibits, stimulating
programs, computer activities, hands-on experiences, and a multitude of
interactive resources that highlight the natural and cultural history
of North Florida.
In addition to historic sights, The Tallahassee Museum features a live
display of native Florida animal species, several of which are no longer
present in the wild. This display is the state's only zoological collection
solely devoted to indigenous wildlife.
850-576-1636 | www.tallahasseemuseum.org
[ Winter Park ] Home to the world's most comprehensive collection of works
by Tiffany, the Morse Museum recently presented its new season collection.
Opening in November, The Quest of Beauty - Louis Comfort Tiffany's Life
and Art, will present, alongside some of the main known facts of Tiffany's
life, some of the personal objects Tiffany owned, various records and
awards, and many of his artistic creations to provide an appreciation
that biography can bring to art.
Always on view at the Morse Museum are the artist's celebrated 1893 chapel
interior as well as his jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and famed
leaded-glass lamps and windows.
From November through April, a slate of free Friday Night at the Morse
events includes live music and gallery demonstrations.
407-645-5311 | www.morsemuseum.org
[ Ocala ] The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala is one of the South's premier
art repositories and education centers. Built to display and preserve
the collection of Arthur I. Appleton, the museum has expanded to include
traveling exhibitions, educational programs, and cultural events. The
travertine-clad museum is home to more than 16,000 objects ranging from
antiquities to contemporary art.
The Appleton is located seven miles east of I-75 at 4333 E. Silver Springs
Blvd. (closed Mondays)
352-291-4455 | www.appletonmuseum.org
[ Fort Myers ] The Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium invites the
public to discover and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds Florida.
The 105-acre site features the museum, three nature trails, a planetarium,
butterfly and bird aviaries, and meeting and picnic areas.
The 1,000-square-foot screened aviary is home for 30 different species
of Florida butterflies and has been designed with a brick walkway that
ushers visitors from the Museum through the butterfly aviary to the Audubon
bird aviary. It is the largest butterfly display between Tampa and Fort
If you have a penchant for the sky, the onsite Planetarium provides daily
shows and commentaries.
239-275-3435 | www.calusanature.com
[ St. Augustine ] Highlighted by its unique approach to the curious, Ripley's
Believe it or Not! Museum is located in Castle Warden, a historic Moorish
Revival style mansion built in 1887, by millionaire William Warden.
Visitors to the museum can experience a world of weird, bizarre, and unusual
as more than 800 artifacts are on display to amaze guests, regardless
of age! Current attractions include many objects from Robert Ripley's
904-824-1606 | www.st.augustine-ripleys.com