Summer Kids’ Activities at the South Florida Museum

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Summer Kids’ Activities at the South Florida Museum


*The South Florida Museum Will Celebrate “Summer Learning Day” on June 19th

*Mystery of the Mayan Medallion Family-Friendly Special Exhibition Opens June 25th

*Summer Science Camps Weekly from June 15th – July 24th – Spots Still Available

*Send Snooty a Birthday Card for the Chance to Win Great Prizes – Deadline July 5th

Celebrate “Summer Learning Day” on June 19


The South Florida Museum will highlight the importance of summer learning opportunities during “Summer Learning Day” at the Museum on Friday, June 19 from 10 am until 5 pm. The event, which is part of more than 300 Summer Learning Day activities serving more than 300,000 youth nationwide, will offer FREE Museum Admission to Manatee and Sarasota County students – up to age 12 (children 3 & under are always free) – along with one adult chaperone. Students will receive a “Summer Survival Booklet,” which will guide them in Museum activities, encourage reading, and provide opportunities for free return trips to the Museum!

According to the National Summer Learning Association, research shows that without access to quality learning opportunities, children can lose more than two months of achievement during the summer. Along with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Museum is participating in this nationwide day of learning to help families identify resources for fun, engaging learning opportunities that are available in their own backyards. “Summer Learning Day” provides families and children who may not normally have the means to visit the Museum to participate and to keep returning throughout the summer!

“Summer learning is crucial to a child’s long-term learning and we are very pleased to offer this opportunity to the community,” says Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio. “We partner with the school district in many different ways and we have many camps and activities for young learners, so this is a natural fit. Plus, the Museum is fun for all ages!”

The Museum will provide all of the children who attend “Summer Learning Day” on June 19th with a “Summer Survival Booklet” which highlights the opportunities to engage children’s reading and math skills in the Museum, Planetarium, Aquarium – and at the downtown Manatee County Central Library located just down the block from the South Florida Museum! A portion of the “Summer Survival Booklet” also includes a summer reading log. For every 5 hours of reading a student logs in their booklet, they will be able to return for an additional Free Museum Day at the South Florida Museum along with one free parent or guardian throughout the summer. The summer reading log offer will run through Saturday, September 5 – which is the date of the Museum’s “Family Reading Festival” during Family Night at the Museum from 3 pm – 8 pm. (Students may use their 5 hours of logged reading time for admission to the September 5 Family Night.)

(For more detailed information about the National Summer Learning Day initiative, please see the additional attached press release. )

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion Family-Friendly Special Exhibition Open June 25


Beginning June 25, 2015 South Florida Museum visitors are invited to expand their knowledge about the sophisticated Mayan civilization, celebrated for its advanced writing and mathematical systems and knowledge of astronomy when The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion special exhibition opens. Visitors will uncover the secrets of an ancient world as they “travel” to Palenque, deep in the rainforest of Mexico, where the Maya prospered for thousands of years. The archaeology-themed exhibit will be on exhibit for South Florida Museum guests through September 13 and is included in general Museum admission.

In this immersive exhibition, families are transported to a dig site where an archaeological team has mysteriously disappeared while investigating rumors of a priceless jade medallion buried in the ruins. Children and adults are challenged to follow the clues the team left behind to locate the treasure. But visitors must be careful to heed the warning signs they encounter to avoid the same fate as the missing archaeologists. As they attempt to find the priceless jade medallion, they will need to translate glyphs, discover which rainforest animals are venomous, learn how the Mayas recorded dates, take rubbings from a sarcophagus and interpret a “battle” mural. Exhibit components include archaeology, biology and astromathematics field stations, an observatory and a tomb area that yield clues to the medallion’s whereabouts.

The exhibition kicks-off with an Opening Reception on Thursday, June 25 at 5:30 pm. The reception is free for Museum Members and $5 for Non-members. The reception will offer plenty of opportunities for kids and adults to interact with the hands-on exhibition. There will be light refreshments and a cash beer and wine bar. Visit or call 941-746-4131, ext. 13 for reservations. The exhibition will continue until September 13 and is included in regular Museum admission: Museum Members – Free, Adults – $19, Seniors (65+) – $17, Children (4-12) – $14, Children 3 & under – Free.

Summer Science Camps from June 15 through July 24 – Spaces Still Available!


The South Florida Museum is offering THREE levels of Summer Science Camps this year for students entering grades 1-2, grades 3-5 and grades 6-8. All courses take place daily Monday – Friday from 9 am – 4 pm and include snacks. Students need to bring their own bag lunches each day. The week- long camps cost $200 for Museum Members, $250 for Non-members and there is a 10% discount for each additional camper in a family per week of camp. For registration information, please call Sue McCarthy at 941-746- 4131, ext. 13 or via email at [email protected].

Junior Elementary Level Summer Science Camps are offered for students entering 1st and 2nd grades. Senior Level Elementary Summer Science Camps are offered for students entering 3rd – 5th grades. Our elementary

camps offer 6 weeks of camp with 6 different themes for one WILD time! The weekly themes this year are: June 15-19 – Storm Chasers: Wild, Wild Weather!; June 22-26 – Walking with Dinosaurs; June 29-July3 – GROSS!- ology; July 6-10 – Fishing University; July 13-17 – Shells, Shells Everywhere!; and July 20-24 – CSI –Forensic.

Middle School Level Summer Camps are offered for students entering 6th – 8th grades. Campers will be able to participate in activities like painting, filmmaking, writing, building, web projects, and crafts. They will use arts and technology to explore the environments and natural resources of North America as seen through the culture of major Native American groups.


Snooty’s Birthday Card Contest Open through July 3 & Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash will be held on Saturday, July 18 from 10 am – 2 pm


Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival is quickly approaching and the South Florida Museum is excited to welcome submission for the Annual Birthday Card Contest! Students entering preschool-6th grade are encouraged to submit a birthday card for Snooty for the chance to win great prizes. Birthday cards will be judged for creativity and originality… so have fun! The Museum’s Director of Living Collections Marilyn Margold, who cares for Snooty and the rehab manatees and marine life in the Museum’s care said, “Every year Snooty sets an even higher benchmark for how long manatees can live! Every day he’s with us, we learn more about manatees

and he shows us how long it is possible for these incredible animals to live. We want to invite kids from around the country – and all over the world – to celebrate Snooty’s life by wishing him a happy birthday and participating in the contest.”

All submissions are due by July 3, 2015 at 5 pm. Late submissions and submissions without a completed entry form will not be judged. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in to the top cards in each of four age categories immediately following the crowd serenading Snooty with “The Birthday Song” at noon during Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Awards will be announced and prizes distributed in the Museum’s Spanish Plaza. To be judged, all entries must include an entry form with name, home address, telephone number, age and child’s school grade (2015– 2016). Entry forms can be picked up at the Museum (201 10th Street W, Bradenton, FL 34205) or online at Call 941-746-4131, ext. 30 for more information.

Make your cards now and mark your calendars for Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival on Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 10 am until 2 pm! Admission to the outdoor Birthday Bash in the Spanish Plaza and on 10th Street will be FREE, while General Admission to the Museum’s indoor Galleries, Aquarium, and Planetarium is discounted by more than half for the day! All attendees to the Festival will have the opportunity to say hello to Snooty in the Spanish Plaza’s underwater view of the manatee pool – and sing him “Happy Birthday” at noon.

About the South Florida Museum

The largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs which interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions – offering something new to discover with each visit. The facility also includes both the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system, the Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier astronomy education facility with stunning new multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with young manatees from the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership.

These injured or orphaned animals are taken care of by the Parker Aquarium staff until they are ready to be released into the wild. For more information about current exhibitions and special programs, membership, hours, or admission prices please call 941-746-4131 or visit


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