Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa
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The Museum of Science and Industry, or MOSI, in Tampa sounds like a world-class museum but turns out to be a big disappointment. Excitement builds as you approach the museum because it is housed in a modern and beautiful building. But once inside, wow does the excitement deflate. Many of the exhibits do not work. And the ones that do are incredibly boring. I tried one with my daughter about eyesight. You press the button and get a quiz. The quiz says, "What is the most common cause of eye problems?" Answers start out as, "1: Diabetes which causes....to the retina." At that point she ran off in tears. I could sit at home at my computer and look up about diabetes and eyesight if I was even interested in that. I don't need to pay $23 each to sit at a computer for a quiz like this, and kids certainly don't have any interest whatsoever in such a quiz! What a dud!
We love Science museums so much and drove three hours to see this one so the disappointment of this place set our vacation on a bad note for the whole first day.
The Kid's section also has many broken and abandoned areas, including a Publix make-believe supermarket that is not supervised and has very few of the toys left in it. There is one section where most kids gravitate and that is the Weave a Web which is a fun tight-rope play area. The bounce house costs extra- after you've already spent $87 for admission for a family of four! The kids section has a life-size checkers board which is fun, a drum kit which one boy banged away at for a long time, and tables with blocks for the little kids. A really cool optical illusion exhibit allows you to climb in and put your head on a plate- mirrors hide your body so that it's a Head A La Carte! There is also a tug-of-war exhibit where the rope is lower on one side so that the strong parent can lose against their child who is pulling from the other side. A bed of nails allows you to lie down, and as long as you don't move, not feel pain despite the fact that you're lying on hundreds of sharp nails (this is safer to leave to the older kids).
To save money, skip the museum section and pay solely to see an IMAX show here, which is always fun.
There is also a ropes course, zip line, and planetarium, which we didn't try.
If you live in Tampa, an annual membership ($99 per family, not including IMAX) might be worth it just for your kids to play in the kid's area in the AC during the summer.
Nearby, hike along the shady boardwalk and see alligators in the wild at beautiful Lettuce Lake Park.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
Dinosaur replica in the lobby.
Fire truck to play in.
Life-size checkers board.
Weave a Web play area.
Blocks for the little kids.
Museum of Science and Industry is located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa FL 33617, call (813) 987-6000.
Open M-F 9-5, S-Sn 9-6.
Admission is $23 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $19 for children aged 2-12. Admission includes one IMAX show and one planetarium show. If you live in Tampa, it makes more sense to buy an annual membership which is $99 per family, $154 if you include IMAX.
Parking costs $5, but is free for members.
IMAX tickets alone cost $9 for adults and students, $8 for seniors, and $7 for children.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.