South Florida Museum Connection: Holiday Hours, Star of Bethlehem SOLD OUT & more!

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December 23, 2015

Hours & Information:
Monday – Saturday:
10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: Noon to 5 pm
(Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.)
Admission Prices:
Adults – $19
Seniors (65+) – $17
Children (4-12) – $14
Children 3 and under –
Free with paying adult
Museum Members – Free

Active Military / Florida Teachers –
Free with proper ID

For more info, call

941-746-4131, ext. 0 or visit

Holiday Hours: 
The Museum will be OPEN from 10 am – 5 pm on Mondays, beginning next Monday, December 28. 
The Museum will be CLOSED on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day. We will be OPEN all other days for regular Museum hours and admission. 
holiday logo small

Looking for Last Minute Gift Ideas?

The Museum Store is OPEN on Christmas Eve from 10 am – 5 pm. 

Gifts for Everyone!
Don’t forget to shop local and support the South Florida Museum! South Florida Museum Members, plus our NARM and Smithsonian Affiliate reciprocal guests, will receive 10% off all purchases in the Museum Store with valid Membership card and ID! The Museum Store will be open during all Museum admission hours (no admission necessary to visit the Store).
The Museum Store has a wide array of gifts for everyone from astronomy buffs to nature lovers. Whether you’re looking for a book about Florida history or a beautiful piece of aquatic art – we have something to meet your gift-giving needs. And don’t forget to pick up a plush Snooty stuffed animal for the kids!
Holiday Manatee Ornaments
You can decorate your Christmas tree or just display a festive Snooty souvenir with these manatee ornaments from the Museum Store.
Buy Museum Admission Tickets Online as Gifts!
If “Cyber Monday” is more your speed, you may also purchase individual Museum admission tickets on our website by clicking here. Online admission tickets are available year-round and make great gifts!

Give the Gift of the Museum with Discounted Membership Certificates!
15% Off Museum Membership Gift Certificates Through the End of the Year!
Membership Gift Certificates are now available at a 15% discount through the end of the year – there’s no better time to pass on the love of learning! These holiday discounted gift certificates are only available in the Museum Store at 201 10th Street West (open during regular Museum admission hours; no admission necessary) or by calling 941-746-4131, ext. 128.
They are not available for sale online. The sale will end December 31, 2015. Don’t miss out on this exceptional value! Stop by the Museum Store soon.

SPECIAL YEAR-END OFFER with Gratitude for the Support of Our Museum Members
If you are not yet a Member – or if you are coming up on your renewal date – now is the time to renew! If you sign up for a new membership – or renew or upgrade your current membership – between now and the end of 2015, you may use the promotional code THANKS15 online (also available for purchases made in person at the Museum or by phone at 941-746-4131, ext. 117) to receive a 2 month extension on your membership term! (Instead of a 12 month membership, you will be upgraded to a 14 month membership.) Click here to purchase or renew your membership now! (And don’t forget to use promo code THANKS15 for your FREE 2 month term extension!)
For more information, please email Laurie Voight or call 941-746-4131, ext. 117.


Upcoming Programs
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Museum Awards
2014 Tampa Bay Business Journal Nonprofit of the Year Award Winner in Arts, Humanities & Culture
(2015 Finalist)


2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Winner – click here to rate us on TripAdvisor now!
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our Corporate Partners
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Museum programs sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

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Merry Christmas from the South Florida Museum!
Snooty, his manatee pals and everyone here at the South Florida Museum wishes you a very Merry Christmas. Please come visit us with your families and have a happy holiday season.
Reminder: The Museum will be closed on Christmas Day, this Friday, December 25. The Museum is open for regular business hours on Christmas Eve, December 24 (from 10 am – 5 pm) and will return to normal business hours on Saturday, December 26 (from 10 am – 5 pm). We will also be closed on New Year’s Day, next Friday, January 1, 2016.
Beginning next Monday, December 28, the Museum will be open on Mondays from 10 am – 5 pm through the end of April. We hope to see you soon.

Tonight’s Star of Bethlehem Programs are Sold Out
Star of Bethlehem Live Planetarium Presentation with

Howard Hochhalter
Wednesday, December 23 at 5:30 pm & 7:00 pm
Back by popular demand, our Star of Bethlehem Planetarium presentation allows you to explore the question “What was the Star of Bethlehem?” Howard Hochhalter, one of South Florida Museum’s staff astronomers, will lead you on this journey to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago using the Planetarium’s ability to travel through time and space. Take a look at the skies and see what the magi saw. Was the star a comet, a supernova or something else entirely?
Thank you for supporting the Museum’s astronomy programs!

Our Holiday Planetarium Presentation Ends Tomorrow!
SPECIAL HOLIDAY PLANETARIUM PRESENTATION – Let It Snow: The show will play on 12:05 pm this Thursday, December 24 for the last time this season. Let it Snow features a variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning multi-media finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, special effects and all-dome scenery. The 32-minute program is a fun and entertaining experience for all ages, especially families.

Support the Museum’s Operations to Help Inspire Curiosity and Foster
Life-Long Learning for All Ages!
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to help support the Museum’s operations throughout the year.
If you prefer to make your gift via check, please make it payable to “South Florida Museum” and mail it to:
PO Box 9265, Bradenton, FL 34206

If you have any questions about making a gift to the South Florida Museum, please contact Community Engagement Manager Dannie Sherrill at 941-216-3457 or by email at [email protected].

NEW! “Photos from the Quad Competition”
on display in the Curator’s Choice Gallery through January 2017
Many of the photographers whose work was scored as the top 24 photos in the competition, which are now on display at the Museum, attended a private reception on December 2.
The Quad competition is a friendly photo competition between four local photography clubs: Sun City Center Photography Club, Suncoast Photography Club, Sarasota Photography and Lakewood Ranch Photography Club. This year’s top 24 scored photographs from all four clubs combined are on display in the South Florida Museum’s Curator’s Choice Gallery through January. The Museum’s collection of more than 75 vintage cameras spanning the time-frame of post-civil war to current 3D scanning is displayed and interpreted in the Visible Storage galleries adjacent to the photographs.

Photographer Bob Cameron with his selected photograph Ruby Beach in Washington.
The Winner of this years Quad Competition is Sarasota Camera Club. Congratulations to the Sarasota Camera Club and to the 24 photographers whose photos are now on display!
The Curator’s Choice Gallery is on the Museum’s second floor. Special Exhibitions are included in Daily Museum Admission and open during all regular Museum hours. Photos from the Quad Competition will be on exhibit through January.

And don’t miss these breathtaking special exhibitions still on display at the Museum! 
East Gallery: Clyde Butcher’s
Photo taken by Clyde Butcher of the East Gallery with his exhibition, 
Cuba: The Natural Beauty
 on display. 
“As we traveled down Via Escencia the beauty and similarity to Highway One in California repeatedly occurred. I had a great time photographing the area …
so many textures and shapes!”
~  Clyde Butcher

The South Florida Museum presents Clyde Butcher’s photography exhibition Cuba – The Natural Beauty as the focal point of several Cuba related exhibitions and program components through January 16, 2016.
Commissioned by the United Nations to create a portfolio of the mountainous lands of Cuba in 2002, Clyde Butcher set out on three week-long expeditions into unfamiliar lands. He explored the island country’s varied geographic regions, from the Sierra Maestra Mountains in Cuba’s eastern Granma province, to the southern coast between Manzananilo and Santiago de Cuba. He ventured to places including Baracoa in the northeast, the southern waterfalls of the Serra de San Juan, and the mogotes of the west in the Pinar del Rio region.
“It is my hope that these photographs open to the world unseen beauty that lies just 90 miles to the south of Florida,” Butcher said.
Also in the East Gallery: Lynne Buchanan’s 
 Lynne Buchanan’s Cuba On the Brink of Change – running concurrently with Clyde Butcher’s Cuba – The Natural Beauty through January 16, 2016. (Included with Museum General Admission) Lynne Buchanan visited Cuba in the Fall of 2014, capturing the faces and landscape of a country on the verge of change.
Ms. Buchanan says, “The purpose of this project was to document and connect with the culture and spirit of the people before the doors are fully opened to the United States and development. Through my work, I attempted to capture their fresh spirit and willingness to connect with me, an outsider looking in with a great desire to understand and an appreciation of the environmental bubble they have been living in, which is partially due to economic and political sanctions.”
The Great Coprolite Collection
on view on the Museum’s First Floor 
On August 1, 2015 the South Florida Museum hosted an epic Guinness World Records record attempt – a fossilized poop count! On August 13, 2015 Guinness World Records officially recognized the coprolite collection as the world’s largest. The grand total was 1277 individual coprolites from 8 countries and 15 U.S. states.
Museum Education Director Jeff Rodgers, a coprolite collector in his own right, is especially enthusiastic about this special exhibition. “This isn’t just any poop. This is fossilized poop. Scientifically, we call the prized nuggets coprolites, or ‘dungstones.’ They are beautiful, in their way, and they are important because they can actually tell us quite a bit about the plant and animal life that flourished in ecosystems that disappeared millions of years ago.” Rodgers served as the official witness to the count and loved every minute of it. “Twenty million year old crocodilian coprolites! Spirals of fossilized fish poop! Bags of mineralized frog feces! That is a good day at work.”
The world’s largest coprolite collection debuted at the South Florida Museum on October 3, 2015 as part of the National Fossil Day celebration. The collection will remain on exhibit at the Museum through summer 2016. Visit the Poozeum website here.
Special exhibitions are included in Daily Museum Admission. Call 941-746-4131, ext. 0 or visit us online at for more information. 

Upcoming Programs –

Family Night – “Photography Fun”
Saturday, January 2, 2016 from 3-8 pm
From daguerreotypes on polished silver to instant Polaroids and selfie sticks, photography has an incredible history.

Capture the moment with a night of exploring the art of photography.

Strike a silly pose in the “Say Cheese Photo Booth” then use Adobe Photoshop to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art or place yourself in historical photos for the ultimate photo bomb. Bring your own camera to learn new tricks and ideas from local photography experts!

Family Night offers reduced Museum Admission after 3 pm! Adults – $9, Seniors (65+) – $8, Children (4-12) – $7, Children 3 & under are FREE. 

NEW! IQuest is a monthly program for middle school students grades 6-8. While each IQuest is different, you can always expect challenging projects and games that inspire out-of-the-box solutions to real world problems. IQuest is always the 2nd Saturday of the month from 4 – 8 pm.
January 9, 4 – 8 pm: Time Warp Breakout Challenge!
Can your team solve the cryptogram riddles to unlock the secrets of the past to escape the exhibit before time runs out? The clock is ticking!

Tickets: $5 Students ONLY – Space is limited; reservations required. Admission includes a slice of pizza and a drink. Click here to purchase tickets now or contact Ms. Sam at [email protected] or call 941-746-4131, ext. 131.


think + drink (science) – “Cuba on the Brink of Change” with Lynne Buchanan
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 7 pm
Join photographer Lynne Buchanan for a photographic journey to Cuba. Explore the fresh spirit of the Cuban people as captured in stunning color photos that celebrate the culture of this unique island on the brink of ecological, social and economic change.
Tickets: $3 Museum Members / $5 Non-members. Click here to purchase tickets now.
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