Times have certainly changed. Back in the "old days" there weren't any children's museums and most regular museums weren't very kid-friendly.
Now nearly every major city has a children's museums and many "grown-up" art and science museums have special exhibits and activities designed with children in mind.
Children's museums tend to offer a nice blend of science and art and nearly all the exhibits are "hands on". Children's museums also try to appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests, so parents can take the whole family and there will be something to interest everyone.
Regular museums often have exhibits that children enjoy, including colorful glass sculptures, modern art furniture, collage and cartoons. A word of caution when attending "grown-up" museums... not all art is G or even PG rated. Ask for guidance at the information desk and be prepared to steer clear of exhibits that might be too mature or intense for your child.
Children's museums and other museums that have a lot to offer children are listed below. Click on the links to reach the museums' web pages where you'll find a summary of attractions, prices, hours, and directions.
Polk Museum of Art - Lakeland
Ringling Museum of Art - Sarasota
The Dali Museum - St. Petersburg
Salvador Dali Museum - St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art - St. Petersburg
Henry B. Plant Museum - Tampa
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts - Tampa
Tampa Museum of Art - Tampa
USF Contemporary Art Museum - Tampa
Tampa Bay Auto Museum - Pinellas Park
Florida Air Museum - Lakeland
Fantasy of Flight - Polk City
Historical Museums (see Historical Fun)
Nature Museums (see Animals)
Natural History Museums (Dinosaurs!)
South Florida Museum - Bradenton