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:

Father’s Day Celebration
4th of July Free 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 7-11 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; $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 7-11

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.


March 9-13 – Spring Break Camp: Pirates, Explorers and More!

“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: $8/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 You can also download and print a registration form here.

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:

April 10, 2015 – Historic Ybor City Walking Tour

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.


February 28 – Caroline

March 28 – Josephina

April 25 – Julie

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

*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.