Children & Families

Children & Families

Visiting with children? They will love the History Center! Our galleries areas are filled with lots of opportunities to look, touch, listen and play. Kids can jump in the saddle and ride with the cattle ranchers, play with tiny Tampa trains, dress up like a pioneer in our Cracker cabin and row a boat up the Hillsborough River.

The Tampa Bay History Center presents a variety of family friendly programming throughout the year.  Be sure to check out calendar for upcoming events such as:

Easter Egg Hunt
Mother’s Day Celebration
Father’s Day Celebration
4th of July $5 Day
Smithsonian Museum Day
Night at the Museum Family Trick-or-Treat
Kids, Cocoa, and Crafts
When school is out, learning and fun are in at the Tampa Bay History Center! Themed camps with creative activities, streetcar field trips and interactive exhibits take place during Hillsborough County’s school holidays, spring break and summer vacations. Week long adventure Camps are open to ages 7-13 (ages vary by camp) and include arts and crafts, games, music, literature, splash park fun and interactions with historians and other experts. Camps are led by experienced educators dedicated to providing unique and engaging experiences campers won’t soon forget. New activities keep camps fresh from year to year!

COST: $180 TBHC members (family level or higher); $200 non-members
WHEN: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Extended care available from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for $25/week)
WHO: Ages 7-13 (Ages vary by camp)

Camps limited to a camper/instructor ratio of approximately 20:1
Campers must bring their own lunch and two snacks.
Camps may include field trips through downtown Tampa and Ybor City on the TECO Line Streetcar.
Registration will remain open until the Friday prior to each camp start date.
A refund, minus a $25 administration fee, will be issued if a written cancellation request is received at least 10 business days prior to the first day of said camp.

Every Friday, weather permitting, campers cool off in our splash fountains and play water games in the park. Visiting the museum store is also a Friday treat.


Chopped! Food – Florida Style August 3-7 (Ages 10-13) SOLD OUT
Chop and stir things up: sample Tampa’s exciting food traditions, explore eco and solar cooking, create foodie crafts, boost your food prep and nutrition talents while preparing tasty daily snacks including Cuban sandwiches, ice cream and more. Hop on the streetcar for a behind the scenes tour of Ybor’s Columbia restaurant and tour the Marriott Waterside’s hydroponic veggie garden!

Retro Mania! August 17-21 (Ages 7-11) SOLD OUT
Dive into the food, games, crafts, and music of the atomic 1950s and 60s! Travel back in time to Florida’s “space coast” and an era filled with songs by the Elvis, TV shows like The Flintstones, and the beginning of air conditioning. Taste Tang, bowl at Splitsville, make silly putty, create lawn art for your Florida-friendly yard, and get a lesson playing 1950s guitar licks from the best musicians in Tampa Bay!

“Both of my kids love absolutely everything about camp. I love that they love it and there is never any complaining about going. They beg to stay until the very end of the day and get mad if I pick them up early! I also like that they are learning while having fun!”
“The girls loved the connection with the galleries and activities associated with the galleries. In particular, they so enjoyed the pioneer experience. As to activities, the girls played with their crafts each evening so it was a major success.”
“This is first and only time I have had my son in ANY after school activity or summer camp that the directors have let me know so thoroughly everything about the camp and what was going on. It was the best experience both my son and I have had with any camp hands down. I have already been recommending the History Center to everyone I know.”

Scout Tours
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, navigate up the Hillsborough River in a boat, or design your own fruit crate label and email it to family and friends.Register Now!

Group Admission:

Scout Groups (min. of 10 /max. of 30): $6/scout
Chaperones (1 per 5 students): Free
Additional chaperone: $9/adult

For no additional charge, a knowledgeable docent will lead your tour through Tampa’s exciting past while encouraging thoughtful and interesting discussion amongst the group.

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 all Scout tours pre-registration is required. For more information contact Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson at or 813.675.8960.

Make a day of it by dining in the Columbia Café (with kid’s fare!), shopping in our kid-friendly museum store, or cool off in our play fountains, waterfront park, and playgrounds.

*Badges are not provided by the History Center. Please contact your troop leader regarding the purchase of badges and other scout materials.

To register, contact the History Center’s Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson at 813-675-8960 or

Make the History Center your classroom! Visit on a designated Home School History Day to enrich your social studies curriculum. Our galleries have an abundance of primary sources, interpretative materials and opportunities to delve into the region’s rich past.

Home School History Days provide a fun self-paced, hands-on-learning environment. History days are value priced and have a specific theme, with activities tailored to different age groups. We even provide take-home materials!

Coming Up:

Please check back soon for upcoming home school history days.

Space is limited. Registration required in advance. For questions contact Julie Matus at or 813-675-8981.


Travel through time with your favorite dolls! Peek into the past as we enjoy crafts, games, and snacks as well as hands-on gallery experiences. All activities reflect the time period or theme of each doll. American Girl© dolls are welcome but not required for participation. Designed for ages 6-12, space is limited and pre-registration is required.

*This is a “drop off” program. Parents may wish to wait with a cup of café con leche and a guava pastry in the Columbia Cafe after viewing our permanent and traveling exhibits.


Please check back soon for upcoming My Doll and Me programs.

Cost: $18 TBHC members; $20 non-members (Fee includes child’s admission to the galleries)