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 60,000-square-foot 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 behind the Amalie Arena. 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 150 students at one time. A minimum of 10 students is required for a tour and group rate. One adult chaperone is required for every 10 students.
Field Trip Length
A tour takes one and a half to two hours to complete from the time your students enter our galleries. Plan for additional time to check in, get students organized and to use the restrooms. If you arrive late, your tour 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 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. 150): $7/student
Teachers/chaperones (1 per 10 students): Free
Additional adults: $10/adult
PRESCHOOL GUIDED TOURS:
Bring your preschool class and explore the fun side of history! Preschool groups can enjoy an engaging, age-appropriate tour designed specifically for them. Experienced docents lead children and chaperones through our galleries for an hour of hands-on exploration and discussion.
Preschool students are welcome to touch our hands-on exhibits and role play as they explore our pioneer cabin, go on a cattle drive, put together Cuban Sandwiches made from felt, and more.
We can accommodate up to 60 preschool students at one time. A minimum of 10 students is required for a tour and group rate. One adult chaperone is required for every five students.
Field Trip Length
A tour takes one hour 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 tour, students explore in age appropriate ways the significant people, ideas and events that have helped shape our region and state. What tools did Florida’s early native peoples use and what were they made from? How has the Seminole Indian culture added to Florida’s rich history? Which industry put Tampa on the map and what role did kids play? For a brief overview of all exhibits, click here.
Student Groups (min. 10/max. 60): $7/student
Teachers/chaperones (1 per five students): Free
Additional adults: $10/adult
Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact the education department at email@example.com or 813.675.8987.
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 life of a Florida pioneer in our rustic Cracker cabin, ride along with a Florida cattle drive, learn about working in Florida’s largest port, and much more!
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 can 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 that put Tampa on the map.
Our Field Guides, complete with fun activities and trivia are available or, you can rent a backpack filled with games, puzzles, scavenger hunts, and more! Both activities are appropriate for ages 6-12. 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 Cotanchobee Park, located right next to the History Center that features a splash pad and playgrounds.
For a brief overview of all exhibits, click here.
Scout Group Admission:
Scout Groups (min. 10 /max. 30): $7/scout
Chaperones (1 per 5 students): Free
Additional Chaperone: $10/adult
*Badges are not provided by the History Center. Please contact your troop leader regarding the purchase of badges and other scout materials.
For all Scout tours pre-registration is required. For more information contact our Youth and Family Programs Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813.675.8987.
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 email@example.com or call 813-675-8960.
A $50 deposit is required after making your visitation 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 requested your date, read through the Field Trip Planning Guide. 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 813-675-8960 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 provide you with parking information. Parking for personal vehicles is available in the Channelside Parking Garage. Chaperones driving personal vehicles will receive a complimentary parking token with their paid admission. Please note: parking availability is subject to change during events at the area.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Downtown Tampa is undergoing a variety of street repairs and re-alignments. Please reference this site and check current traffic conditions prior to arrival.
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 complete 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. A boxed lunch menu and order form are available in the “Boxed Lunches” tab above. 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. Note that all food orders must be paid with a check or credit card directly to the Columbia Cafe.
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!
Columbia Cafe Boxed Lunches
Planning for a picnic lunch on the day of your field trip? Give your students a little taste of Ybor City with delicious Columbia Cafe boxed lunches! Student and adult boxes are available, and must be pre-ordered at least five days prior to your visit. The Cafe requires a minimum order of 10 boxed lunches. To submit your order, just click on the blue button on the right.
BOXED LUNCH SELECTIONS
C1: Pressed Cuban sandwich (ham, salami, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickle, mustard)
C2: Peanut butter & jelly on white bread
C3: Ham & American cheese on Cuban roll
All student lunches come with an apple, chocolate chip cookie and bottled water.
A1: Pressed Cuban sandwich (ham, salami, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickle, mustard)
A2: Grilled eggplant w/ roasted red peppers, provolone, lettuce, tomato & pesto mayo on ciabatta roll
A3: Grilled chicken w/ peppers, onions, black olives, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and feta in a flour tortilla with herbed cream cheese spread
All adult lunches come with fresh fruit salad, plantain chips, chocolate chip cookie, bottled water.
THE FINE PRINT
- Full payment is due on the day of your field trip, and must be separate from your field trip admission payment.
- Cash, credit cards and checks (payable to the Columbia Cafe) are accepted.
- If your school/organization is tax exempt, you must submit a copy of your certificate of exemption with your payment.
- Your complete order must be received no later than 5 business days prior to your field trip date.
- Once your order has been submitted, boxed lunches are non-refundable.
- Boxed lunches are designed as a “to go” option and may not be consumed at Cafe tables. Picnic space is available in Cotanchobee Park, right in front of the History Center.
If you have questions, please contact the Columbia Cafe at 813-229-5511.