Museum opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Saturday | Noon to 5 pm Sunday Closed Mondays | Parking Information: Click "Visit" under the "Things To Do" tab PLEASE NOTE: The Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium is undergoing maintenance and currently has no manatees in the habitat. Museum admission is discounted $6 per ticket at this time. We expect for work to be finished by mid-March. Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience.

201 10th St. W

Bradenton, FL 34205



To learn more about the Connect Campaign, the Master Campus and Programming plan that it will support or to make a donation, please contact Martha Wells, Director of Community Engagement, at 941.746.4131, ext. 135, or


The world around us is a grand place to explore…

The vast reaches of the universe. The sweeping historical and cultural stories of humankind. The wonders and beauty of our natural environment.

At the South Florida Museum, we’ve been helping you explore the world around you for generations — engaging audiences, encouraging understanding and inspiring all ages to connect to the past, present and future of the planet we all share.

We are now creating the museum of the future — a home to exciting new exhibitions, programs built on innovative technological advances and new spaces that connect us more deeply to our community. The new Museum will be a model for the museum community to follow — and exciting and innovative hub for learning and exploration and an extraordinary educational resource for the community.


The South Florida Museum holds 60,000 objects in our permanent collections, each with stories to tell that enhance people’s lives with knowledge of history…

Of culture. Of science. Of the natural world.

Right now, the Museum cannot share all of the stories the objects and animals in our collections have to tell — there’s simply not enough space or time. But what if we could? What if you could choose what stories to investigate, based on your own interests? And what if there were new spaces where you and your children could explore and develop new stories of your own?

To make this new kind of museum experience possible, we are creating new programs and new learning spaces that will provide creative interpretations, engaging storytelling and new technologies that connect you to the world as never before. These new experiences will themselves create a ripple effect of community-wide discovery and knowledge-sharing by students, teachers, visitors, volunteers and staff.


Our ambitious Master campus and Programming Plan positions the South Florida Museum as a regional leader in the museum field and focuses on creating new, dynamic experiences for all of our visitors while enhancing the size, scope and beauty of our visitor spaces.

Major Campaign Components

The Mosaic Backyard Universe (MBU)
A new early learning resource for the region, the MBU is a new wing of the Museum that provides kids ages 2-8 and their families with opportunities to explore and understand the world around them in a familiar setting: a typical backyard. Indoor and outdoor components will total more than 5,000 square feet. The MBU will allow investigation and interaction with the simple wonders of nature — rocks, soil, water, weather, seasons and living plants and animals. Active discovery and exploration of the connections and interactions between the earth, water, air and life will inspire curiosity, make learning fun and lay the foundation for further investigation in our Planetarium, Museum and Aquarium.

The Commons
A new lobby/gathering space connecting the Mosaic Backyard Universe to the rest of the Campus will also create a meeting location for public programs and school groups — addressing a community need for a larger public venue. A new Museum store and café will also be in this area.

Exhibition Space Renovations
Renovations will further connect the ideas and assets of the Museum, building on the current foundation. Many exhibitions will be updated, new areas developed (a Hall of Planet Earth, a Florida Geology Gallery), more of the collection brought out on display (including the Bradenton Mammoth), better illustrating the stories of our universe, Earth, life, human development and ecosystems. New exhibits will be created in ways to allow for updating and moving them so we can easily incorporate new scientific developments.

Our innovative new Pathways Program will marry our physical spaces with our intellectual capital, integrating technology into the Museum experience for our guests and for students, allowing customization for themes, grade-levels and learning styles. This revolutionary program will transform the way visitors experience the Museum and provide new ways to evaluate student learning and visitor experiences.

Planetarium Technology Upgrades
State-of-the-art, world-class upgrades to the Planetarium’s hardware, software and projection systems, make it the region’s premier astronomy education facility with stunning new multimedia capabilities.

Relocation of Administration, Education and Facilities Departments
New behind-the-scenes spaces on the second floor will allow for the expansion of public exhibit areas that help enhance the visitor experience.


Campaign Newsletters

Press Announcements