Reciprocal Month with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens  August 1 – 31  August is here and again we are thrilled to partner with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to provide this wonderful benefit to members of Great Explorations.  Please keep in mind that reciprocation is limited to two adults and two kids per visit that can visit Selby Gardens free of charge.   Enjoy this wonderful benefit and thank you for continuing to support Great Explorations as members.  Find information on Great Ex memberships and reciprocal benefits on our membership page linked here.    Toy of the Month  School Supplies by Stephen Joseph  A long summer full of play and fun has come to an end!  With that, it is time to go back to school which is exactly where the August toy of the month comes into play. All products from Stephen Joseph, our colorful back to school line, are 25% off!  So, stock up on essentials to look cool for school.   Sale pricing:   
  • Bento boxes – 7.50  
  • Lunchboxes – 12.75  
  • Backpacks – 19.50  
  • Mini-Backpacks – 16.50 
  • Sunglasses – 6.00  
  • Pencil pouches – 6.75  
  • Silverware – 6.00  
  • Bottles – 9.00 
  Great Connections  August 11 10 am to 12 pm  Great Connections is a monthly, sensory-friendly program for children with special needs and their families. Great Explorations will modify lights and sounds and will provide a “cool down” room for families who need to take a break.  This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other families and community resources while the kids enjoy the power of PLAY!  Cost: $5 per person and is free for Great Ex members!  Contact Lael Arango at 727-821-8992 x 209 or for more information.     Terrific Tots at Sundial  August 13, 20, 27 9:45 to 10:30 am  Every Tuesday join us at 9:45 am in the outdoor plaza at Sundial to participate in this iconic Great Ex program. Terrific Tots at Sundial is for children ages 1-4 along with their caregiver and includes songs, stories, creative expression opportunities through art and movement, and community time with fun and engaging toys.  The program will encourage curiosity, communication, creativity, and critical thinking! This program is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Lael Arango at  Themes this month include: 
  • 8/13:  Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (exploring and beauty in nature) 
  • 8/20: Barnyard Tracks by Dee Dee Duffy (farm animals and animal traits) 
  • 8/27: Just Like You by Emma Dodd (family and woodland adventures) 
  Terrific Tots – Members Only Wednesdays & Fridays* Starts August 21  9:30 am   On Wednesday and Friday mornings while Pinellas County Schools are in, before we open to the public, members are invited to join us for songs, movement, art and story time in Great Beginnings at the museum! Terrific Tots is a unique bonding experience for children ages 1-3 and their caregivers. This is a great community time for tots and their adults! This program is FREE and is available for Members only.  Explore art, music and language with your little one in this fun and safe environment. At the beginning of each class, we will join in sing-a-longs that encourage movement and caregiver involvement. Please note that on Fridays we tend to get MESSY with our activities, so we encourage participants to dress accordingly!  For questions, please visit or call 727.821.8992 x 226.  *when Pinellas County Schools are in session   

Totally Tots Week August 26 – 30  10 am – 12 pm each day 

The big kids are back to school and it is time to focus on our fabulous tots with a week full of special resources from community partners and hands-on activities geared for children under 5 facilitated by museum staff. More details will be posted soon on our website and Facebook calendars!    Blue Star Museums  Free Admission for Active Military  Great Explorations is proud to announce free admission for all active military families (up to 5 guests) from now through Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museum program!  We salute our incredible military families that sacrifice so much on our behalf to ensure that we are able to enjoy the freedom to create, play and explore.    OPEN for Labor Day  September 2  Great Explorations will be open for regular business hours on Labor Day – Monday, September 2nd.  We hope you will come join us for a fun day of playing, creating and exploring!    Memory Mondays  September 9  10 am – 12 pm  Due to the Labor Day holiday, the September programming date will be Monday, September 9th as originally planned and will take place in the exhibit gallery of Great Explorations Children’s Museum.  Please note Memory Mondays will continue despite the museum being “closed” on Mondays in the fall for general gallery play.      Great Explorations will host a FREE program for adults with memory loss. Participants will take part in programs focusing on art, music, movement and stress reduction and will enjoy quality time with others. This monthly event is sponsored by AARP and presented in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. Additional support is provided by Harmony Home Health.    For more information please email Lael at    Makeover Mondays – CLOSED  September 9th – October 21st   Great Explorations will be CLOSED on Mondays for regular business starting September 9th and running through October 21st.  We use this time each year to refresh our exhibits with updates, repairs if needed, improvements and an extra special deep clean!        Family Game Night  September 13  6 – 9 pm   Gather your crew and join us for Family Game Night on Friday, September 13th from 6-9 pm.  We will have board games, giant games, WII games and some family challenges involving our exhibits.   We are excited to have the amazing ‘Emcee Johnny G’ as our live DJ to keep the party hopping!    The event cost for members is $40 for up to 5 family members and for non-members is $50 for up to 5 family members.  Additional individual tickets can be purchased for $10/per person if needed.  All children under 12 months are free.  The cost covers entry and games.  Food and treats will be available for purchase at the event.    Space is limited so advanced ticket purchase is encouraged through our event website linked here.     For more information, please contact Marthanne Gillen, at, or call 727-821-8992 x 210.    After-School Explorers  Great Ex is happy to introduce our After-School Explorers! We offer one-hour programs for 6- week sessions to take place at your school! We offer a variety of interactive and engaging programs for explorers in grades K-5th. Have your school contact to find out about how to bring the After-School Explorers club to your school this year! 


Donor Spotlight

This month we are proud to spotlight our friends at Freedom Green Clean!  Freedom Green Clean is a fullservice, familyowned carpet cleaning company with over 10 years of experience.  Great Ex can vouch for the commitment of this company to doing the job right the first time. They stand behind their work and offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.  Freedom Green Clean has generously supported Great Explorations for years and has done a wonderful job keeping the museum and classrooms clean and safe for our kids and families.  Please join us in thanking these generous partners for supporting Great Explorations in so many ways!    Vote for Great Ex  Good ‘Burger Award Finalist & Best of the Bay Finalist  Great Ex has been nominated for two local awards and we need your help to vote!   Lael Arango, our Director of Community Initiatives and Volunteers, has been nominated for ‘Most Valuable ‘Burger’!  We are so proud of Lael and excited to spotlight the work she and her Outreach team do all year long to support the community.  Vote here before August 16th!  Great Ex has also been nominated for ‘Best Museum’ in the Best of the Bay awards competition.  Vote daily here before August 28th!    Great Extravaganza:  Stetson Speakeasy  October 19th   5:30 – 11 pm Tickets and more information linked here.