September 2019 Newsletter

By August 29, 2019Newsletter

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!


Great Connections

September 8
 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

September 9, 10, 17, 24
 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:

  • 9/3 – Monkey’s Friends by Ruth Brown (jungle animals & outdoor fun)
  • 9/10 – Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia (happiness & global groove)
  • 9/17 – Fire! ¡Fuego! Brave Bomberos by Susan Middleton Elya (rescuers and vehicles)
  • 9/24 – Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown (our wonderful differences)


Terrific Tots – Members Only

Wednesdays & Fridays* 

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


Memory Mondays

September 9

10 am – 12 pm

Great Explorations Children’s Museum
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.


Worldwide day of play at Great Ex

September 21 (DATE HAS CHANGED TO 29th)

12 – 3 pm

Join us on September 21st to celebrate Worldwide Day of Play from 12-3 pm! Join Great Ex for an afternoon of gross motor activities including an obstacle course created through our Imagination Playground exhibit, Dance Time led by our Education Guides at the Raymond James Theatre Stage, Hula Hoop play and so much more!

All activities are included with membership or general admission.


Super Hero

September 29 (DATE HAS CHANGED TO 28th)

10 – 2 pm

Tap into your own superpowers and perfect your superhero look at Great Explorations on September 29th! Explore Superhero Science, Design your own superhero mask, hunt for Kryptonite and much more! All activities are included in admission.


Clothes for Kids

Clean out your closets for the last week of September. Great Explorations is hosting a clothing drive for Clothes To Kids. Saturday, September 28th we will offer a buy one get one admission for anyone who brings clothing in and would like to assist with sorting and labeling the donated clothing. Learn more about Clothes to Kids at



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 Good Vibes Kayak Rentals. They deliver the fun to you! So grab your sunscreen, pick your favorite water spot in St. Pete and they will meet you there. Online booking is available here or you can call them at 727-565-6421. For the entire month of September, Great Explorations will receive 15% of the proceeds from all kayak rentals through Good Vibes Kayak Rentals. Don’t forget to mention Great Ex when you book!


Volunteer with us

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic volunteers to join our team! From greeting visitors and helping them find the perfect play space to getting your groove on during one of our famous dance parties to working side by side with our gallery educators to make science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) come alive through our exciting educational programs, volunteers are an important part of the Great Ex team. But, volunteering at Great Ex isn’t just kids’ play – you’ll gain valuable experience in customer service, performance, education and more. Ages 14 and up should reach out to for more information.


Great Extravaganza:  Stetson Speakeasy

October 19th

5:30 – 11 pm

Tickets and more information linked here.



August Plushy Pal update

In August, we had a terrific turnout for our members-only Plushy Pal Party. We were completely “sold out”! Thank you for everyone who signed up for this free event and brought their special stuffy friends. Also, a big thank you Chick-fil-A who provided breakfast! Stay tuned for even more member-only events coming soon.




Sydney Merrell

Author Sydney Merrell

More posts by Sydney Merrell
Branded by Stevie & Fern