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Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa

Orlando, FL, USA


The Museum of Science and Industry, or MOSI, in Tampa sounds like a world-class museum but turns out to be a big disappointment. Excitement builds as you approach the museum because it is housed in a modern and beautiful building. But once inside, wow does the excitement deflate. Many of the exhibits do not work. And the ones that do are incredibly boring. I tried one with my daughter about eyesight. You press the button and get a quiz. The quiz says, "What is the most common cause of eye problems?" Answers start out as, "1: Diabetes which the retina." At that point she ran off in tears. I could sit at home at my computer and look up about diabetes and eyesight if I was even interested in that. I don't need to pay money to sit at a computer for a quiz like this, and kids certainly don't have any interest whatsoever in such a quiz! What a dud! 
We love Science museums so much and drove three hours to see this one so the disappointment of this place set our vacation on a bad note for the whole first day.
The Kid's section also has many broken and abandoned areas, including a Publix make-believe supermarket that is not supervised and has very few of the toys left in it. There is one section where most kids gravitate and that is the Weave a Web which is a fun tight-rope play area. The kids section has a life-size checkers board which is fun, a drum kit which one boy banged away at for a long time, and tables with blocks for the little kids. A really cool optical illusion exhibit allows you to climb in and put your head on a plate- mirrors hide your body so that it's a Head A La Carte! There is also a tug-of-war exhibit where the rope is lower on one side so that the strong parent can lose against their child who is pulling from the other side. A bed of nails allows you to lie down, and as long as you don't move, not feel pain despite the fact that you're lying on hundreds of sharp nails (this is safer to leave to the older kids).
There is also a ropes course, rollercoaster simulator, and planetarium, which we didn't try.
If you live in Tampa, an annual membership ($65 for two people) might be worth it just for your child to play in the kid's area in the AC during the summer.
Nearby, hike along the shady boardwalk and see alligators in the wild at beautiful Lettuce Lake Park.

Photo Gallery

Dinosaur replica in the lobby.

Twister exhibit.

Fire truck to play in.

Broken exhibit.

Weave a Web play area.

Blocks for the little kids.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Museum of Science and Industry is located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa FL 33617, call (813) 987-6000.
Open daily 10-5. Closed Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov) and Dec 25.
Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors aged 60+, and $8 for children aged 3-12. If you live in Tampa, it makes more sense to buy an annual membership which is $65 for two people. Museum's for All is a program with less expensive admission for low income families, $3 with an EBT card.
Parking costs $5, but is free for members.
The museum is accessible.
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