The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd

Florida children's museum to relocate and add new learning galleries

Explorations V Children's Museum in Lakeland, Florida, has announced a plan to move to a new 47,000sq ft (14,325sq m) facility in the city, where it will introduce six new galleries and develop a children's museum that it says will "re-define informal learning beyond 21st century teaching".

Located at Bonnet Springs Park, a 180-acre park in downtown Lakeland marked with giant oak trees and a gurgling clear stream, the new Explorations V Museum will also conduct research to advance the understanding of how children learn, how families achieve together, and what Central Florida needs as it raises succeeding generations.

The new galleries are listed as:

• Watermelon Seeds – a vastly expanded area for infants and toddlers compared to the current site, where the children can learn about the importance of farming to the locality

• Design Park – an opportunity for children to practice design thinking and create from a variety of materials

• The Front Yard – a 7,000sq ft (2,133sq m) outdoor, enclosed area with a 100ft long (30.5m) and 23ft (7m) wide climbable alligator, enabling kids to learn how the iconic Central Florida alligator came to be

• City Play – where kids can dress up and role play in commercial and professional situations

• Blackbox Theatre – a mixed-use area for performance art, travelling exhibits and special events

• Creative – an idea still in development but which will "help bring something creative and customised to our community"

With the new building expected to open in Q2/Q3 2021, Explorations V will continue to operate from its existing building in Lakeland for at least another couple of years, and although it characterises the relationship with Bonnet Springs Park as a partnership, it will continue to operate independently as a non-profit organisation.

Speaking to local media, Kerry Falwell, executive director of the museum, said the expansion of the space dedicated to toddlers would enable the museum to "do all of the developmentally-appropriate activities that are just for them", while the Front Yard feature means it will be able to "talk to the kids about fossils" and "dig in the dirt and grow food". The cost of the project is estimated at US$22m (€19.34m, £17.33m).

Explorations V  Explorations V Children's Museum  Lakeland  Florida  Bonnet Springs Park 
Explorations V Children's Museum in Lakeland, Florida, has announced a plan to move to a new 47,000sq ft (14,325sq m) facility in the city, where it will introduce six new galleries and develop a children's museum that it says will "re-define informal learning beyond 21st century teaching". Located at Bonnet Springs Park, a 180-acre park in downtown Lakeland marked with giant oak trees and a gurgling clear stream, the new
VAT,HAM
An artist's rendering of the proposed new facility in Bonnet Springs Park
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The Leisure Media Company Ltd
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