Glazer Children's Museum
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|Former name||Kid City, Children's Museum of Tampa|
|Location||110 W. Gasparilla Plaza|
The Glazer Children's Museum is a children's museum located in downtown Tampa, Florida, next to the Tampa Museum of Art and Curtis Hixon Park, alongside the Tampa Riverwalk. It is part of the Waterfront Arts District.
Housed in a 53,000-square-foot facility in downtown Tampa, the museum features 170 interactive exhibits in multiple themed areas. Traveling exhibits occasionally supplement the museum's permanent collection as well.
The Children's Museum of Tampa, Inc. was founded in 1986 by community volunteers and with support of many private and public partners. The Children's Museum of Tampa served children and families in the Tampa Bay Area for over two decades. From humble beginnings in a small storefront location, the museum provided exhibits that gave children a safe place to learn and play.
In 1989, with support from the City of Tampa, the museum relocated next to the city zoo. This site operated under the name Kid City and consisted of a series of outdoor miniature buildings simulating a small town. From 1989 to 2003, Kid City was an ideal space for the museum to provide curriculum centered on the value of community. Kid City served over 750,000 visitors from the Tampa Bay Area and became an important part of the cultural and educational fabric of the community.
In 2003, museum volunteers and staff began looking at the next step of expansion to meet the needs of its community. After conducting a feasibility study and gathering input from more than 400 people, plans were drawn for a new 53,000-square-foot state-of-the-art children's museum in downtown Tampa's new Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. After a $22 million capital campaign to build the new building, the museum opened in September 2010 as Glazer Children's Museum. In its first year of operation, the museum served 250,000 guests, donated more than 25,000 admission tickets to underserved youth populations, and saw approximately 26,000 children during school field trips and educational programs.