Your guide to the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Children Museum in Dunedin
There is a hidden treasure within in the Dunedin Fine Art Center you need to check out… a small but amazing children’s museum! That’s right, mid- and north-Pinellas families don’t not need to drive to Tampa or St. Pete for their children’s museum fix.
And the best part? It is a fraction of the cost of the big children’s museums in our area.
The Children’s Art Museum is about the size of two classrooms but it is packed with 40+ different interactive activities. I have NEVER had my children say they were bored and wanted to go home when we visited. I always have to promise to bring them back soon to get them to leave.
It gives your child the chance to be creative and stretch their mind in so many different ways, and as an adult you will enjoy playing alongside them too!
Let’s check out the best parts of the Children’s Art Museum and help you plan your visit!
The Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Children’s Art Museum is a highly interactive and fun children’s museum. They completely change over their theme every September and this year’s theme is “A Toy Story: New and Beloved Favorites.”
Not only is admission really cheap, the DFAC also has reasonably priced family memberships and Children’s museum admission is free for members.
Note: The museum has a lot of holiday and seasonal hours so always double check before going (for example, they close for summer camps).
Best Activities At DFAC Children Museum
1. Groovy Green Screen
This is my eldest’s favorite part of the museum. They have a beautiful green background painted on the wall that allows kids to experiment with the magic of green screen.
There are three videos you can play behind you, as seen in our pictures below. Our favorite is one that allows you to be dancing with the Toy Story’s character (complete with a fun surprise in the middle encouraging you to hit the ground).
You can have the video emailed to you after too!
2. Stop Animation
At this station, your child gets the chance to create a stop motion picture. It is at the level an early elementary school student could handle it but any age can enjoy this neat art.
They don’t give you the opportunity to email it to yourself on this one but its not too hard to tape it with your phone camera.
3. “Pre School” Play Spot
The area designed for the littlest kids is a decent amount of space with lots of blocks, lots of books, some stuffed animals, and comfy spots to sit.
I put the “Preschool” in quotes, because that is what it is labeled but my elementary school kids also really enjoy building with the blocks. They look so realistically like hard wood, cement and brick, but they are all actually foam.
We think this is a great spot for playdates.
4. Draw and Sketch Areas
At the heart of the room is a giant table with paper, markers, crayon, scissors, tape, glue and stencils in the center. Its allows children of all ages to create. My kids have brought home so many neat pictures they are proud of.
Just past it is a new area where you can use Mr. Potato-head as the model and draw with nice oil pastel crayons. Personally I enjoy experimenting with the oil pastels and other new mediums.
5. Building Opportunities
The museum has lots of building materials, including magnet block (pictured above), K’nex blocks (pictured above), Lincolns logs, and large waffle blocks. Building blocks is a great creative starting place for many kids.
Even if you own similar blocks at home you might be surprised how a different space can make them feel brand new and encourage kids to spend more time creating with them.
6. Floor Games
They have projectors that shine interactive games on the ground. Some of the games are organized and others are just popping balloons or moving bubbles, which is great for all ages.
There are too many great things to do at this museum that it’s hard to nail down a top list. Here are some more “honorable mentions” I think are awesome.
But don’t worry, there are still so many more things not highlighted here to play with and create memories with your children doing.
Other Useful Information
Each month there is a weekend where you can visit for free. The upcoming 2024 weekends are: Jan 13th, Feb 17th, Mar 23rd, Apr 13th and May 11th.
Hours for these free weekend events are Fridays 5-7pm, Saturday 11:30-1pm, Sunday 1:30-3pm
Student art exhibit
There is a room off the children’s museum where they exhibit students art. They are all elementary school kids and can be inspirational for your young artist.
There are classes available at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. If you have multiple kids and only some will be taking classes the ability to play with your other kids in the children museum is a game changer. Check out the class list on their website.
Looking for more Dunedin fun? Check out our list of things to do with Dunedin with kids.