Considering a field trip to the History Center? Discover the exciting history of our region through interactive exhibits, films and hands-on fun!
What is the Tampa Bay History Center?
The History Center is a newly-built museum focused on the history and heritage of Florida and the Tampa Bay region. From the earliest native peoples and Seminole Wars, to the growth of transportation and industry, the History Center covers 12,000 years of Florida’s past.
The History Center is in downtown Tampa’s Channel district, right across the street from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Our address is 801 Old Water Street, Tampa FL 33602. Click here for a map.
We welcome student groups of all ages! Our tours are designed for grades 3 to 12, but can be adapted for younger students. Fourth- and eighth-grade teachers find that our exhibits align very well with Florida and U.S. history standards.
We can accommodate up to 120 students at one time. A minimum of 10 students is required for a tour and group rate. One adult chaperon is required for every 10 students.
Field Trip Length
A tour takes two hours to complete, so schedule accordingly! Plan for additional time to check in, get students organized and to use the restrooms. If you arrive late, tours will have to be abbreviated. Remember to schedule extra time if you plan to eat lunch in the park or visit the Museum Store!
During the two-hour guided tour, students explore the significant people, ideas and events that have helped shape our region and state. Who were Florida’s early native peoples and how were they affected by the arrival of European explorers? What key events caused Seminole Indian culture to change and adapt over time? Which industry put Tampa on the map and who were the immigrants central to that story? For a brief overview of all exhibits, click here.
Field Trip Admission:
|Student groups (min. 10/max. 120):||$6/student|
|Teachers/chaperones (1 per 10 students):||Free|
Bring your preschool class and explore the fun side of history during an hour-long program designed specifically for children ages 3-5. Led by a museum educator, programs are filled with stories, songs, crafts and hands-on exploration of the galleries.
Experience a day in the life of Florida pioneer boys and girls. Dress up in pioneer clothes in our cabin, play exciting games from days past, and even make butter the old fashioned way!
Tampa’s planes, trains, and ships abound here at the museum. See how many you can spy in our galleries. Games, songs, and crafts round out the revelry.
A Pirate’s Life for Me!
Ahoy, Mateys! Listen to sea chanteys as you play pirate games, listen to stories of adventures in Florida’s waters, and create your own crafty treasure!
Junior archaeologists dig in to Florida’s past with archeology adventures! Learn about Florida’s early Indians, and dig up some tasty “artifacts” by carefully unearthing a chocolate chip cookie.
|Student Groups (minimum of 10/maximum of 30):||$8/student|
|Teachers/Chaperones (1 per 5 students)||Free|
Gallery admission is included in the fee. Pre- egistration is required. For more information contact the education department at firstname.lastname@example.org 813.675.8960.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can fulfill “Go See It” and “Try It” activities by exploring the Tampa Bay History Center’s hands-on galleries. Dress up and experience the chores of a Florida pioneer in our rustic Cracker cabin, pretend to navigate up the Hillsborough River in a boat, or design your own fruit crate label and email it to family and friends, and much more!
For an additional cost, purchase one of our Field Guides complete with fun activities and trivia or rent a backpack filled with games, puzzles, scavenger hunts, and more! Both activities are appropriate for ages 6-12.
For no additional charge, a knowledgeable docent will lead your group on a tour through Tampa’s exciting past while encouraging thoughtful and interesting discussion. Scouts will learn about Florida’s early native peoples and how they were affected by the arrival of European explorers; the key events that caused Seminole Indian culture to change and adapt over time; and about the industry put Tampa on the map.
For a brief overview of all exhibits, click here.
Scout Group Admission:
|Scout Groups (min. of 10 /max. of 30):||$6/scout|
|Chaperones (1 per 5 students):||Free|
For all Scout tours pre-registration is required. For more information contact Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson at email@example.com or 813.675.8960.
Field trip reservations must be made at least four weeks in advance.
Dates fill quickly, so make your reservation as early as possible to avoid disappointment. To request a field trip date simply click the “Reserve Now!” button on the right. If you have specific questions email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-675-8981.
Once you have booked your tour we’ll send you a detailed planning checklist. Be sure that you get a Reservation Summary back from us!
A $50 deposit is required after making your reservation. Invoices are available upon request. The balance of your admission is due in a single lump sum payment when you arrive and will be based on the number of people in your group. We accept cash, credit card, or checks made payable to the Tampa Bay History Center.
After you have reserved your date, read through the Field Trip Planning Guide for all the details to prepare your group for their visit. It includes directions to the History Center, a planning checklist, and all the other important details that go into preparing for a field trip.
To cancel or make changes to your reservation, please call 813-675-8981 no later than ten business days prior to your visit. If you cancel your field trip before that time you will receive a full deposit refund.
Drop-off and Parking
Buses should pull up to the History Center’s entrance to allow students to disembark. Drivers will be directed to an off-site parking lot; no parking fee is required for school buses. If you are chartering a bus, please let us know so we can make arrangements for you. Parking for personal vehicles is available in the Tampa Bay Times Forum East Lot, next to the History Center. There is a $5/car parking fee, which is payable by cash or credit/debit card; this fee is subject to change due to events at the Forum.
Arrival and Check-in
A museum docent will greet your bus upon arrival. The docent will instruct you on where to pay your admission, store lunches and park the bus.
Once you arrive it takes us 10-15 minutes to get students organized and ready to begin their tour. In order for your students to receive a full two-hour tour, please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled time. Due to our tight field trip schedule, late arrivals will receive an abbreviated tour.
Lunch Options and Facilities
We’re happy to store lunches while you visit the galleries, and most field trip groups enjoy eating lunch right outside at Cotanchobee Park which boasts open green space, picnic tables, benches and restrooms. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee a lunch space in case of inclement weather.
The History Center does not have a cafeteria or vending machines, but boxed lunches are available for pre-order through the Columbia Cafe at a rate of $5.95 for students and $11.95 for adults. Click here for boxed lunch menu. Please note that the Columbia Cafe is a small restaurant, not a cafeteria, and they cannot accommodate same-day food orders, nor use of their restaurant tables.
We have a wonderful Museum Store with fun and educational items starting at $5. We welcome student groups, but ask that no more than 15 students visit the Store at once, and that all groups in the store be accompanied by an adult chaperone at all times. We appreciate your help!