Local’s Guide: Pinellas Library Museum Pass Program


Have you heard of the Pinellas County Library Cooperative’s ‘Museum Pass Program’? It gives Pinellas residents with a library card access to check out passes for FREE admission to many of our area’s best museum. It’s such a fun and free activity for families in our area.

We both use the museum pass program regularly and want to help other families take advantage of it. We’ve learned some tips and tricks to share, and also put together a description of all the participating museums (so you don’t have to look up every museum on the library webpage like we were doing before we wrote this ๐Ÿ˜†).

Let’s dive into the museum pass information!

How to Use the Pinellas Library Museum Passes

Typically, one library pass grants you free entry to the museum you request for up to two adults and three children that you have a week to use (I clarify below a few exceptions that are NOT 2 adults and 3 kids). Passes, pictured below, are checked out in-person at any library location on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A receipt from the St. Pete library that is the free museum pass being held up by a hand
Example library museum pass

You don’t have to go to the library where you got your library card; for example, a Palm Harbor library card holder can check out a pass from a St. Pete library location.

The most popular museums check out fast so we recommend you check museum pass availability online before you make a trip to your library. To find out where these passes are currently available, you can visit the museum pass catalog page or simply log into your library account.

Depending on the museum, libraries either have their own passes (so two passes per library) or share passes for the whole county. The county shared ones are harder to snag.

Here are some of our tips for getting the more popular passes:

  • If it is a county-held pass, go to the library with the earliest opening time. Since they’re first-come, first-serve, people at a library that opens at 8am will get them before other libraries even open (looking at you, Seminole library branch snagging all the Glazer Children’s museum passes!)
  • For library-help passes, get to your library when it opens
  • Glazer Children’s Museum has county-held passes and library-held passes only at the St. Pete libraries and Oldsmar library. I managed to finally get a pass by going to a less busy St. Pete library.
  • Your library card works at any other Pinellas library. Don’t be deterred by passes only held at St. Pete libraries (like Sunken Gardens), you can still check them out!
  • You can check out more than one museum pass at a time (we’d recommend this for Sunken Gardens & Great Explorations since they’re next to each other)

Participating Museums

Now let’s take a look at all the cool places you can visit with a Pinellas library museum pass. Note that the museum webpages are linked in the heading for easy access.

Note: this was last updated April 2024. Keep that in mind, sometimes they add new options and sometimes they take some away.

Sunken Gardens

ADDRESS: 1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

This is a beautiful and historic garden located in St. Petersburg. You can only pick these library free museum passes up from a St. Pete library (but a library card you got in north county can be used at these libraries as well). This is a new option as of April 2024 so they are going fast for now.

๐ŸŒง๏ธ Not a good rainy day activity since it is outdoors
๐Ÿ›’ It is mostly stroller friendly
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in St. Pete
๐Ÿšธ Kids aren’t their target audience, but they can enjoy walking around outside. A scavenger hunt could make it more thrilling for them too.
๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ With little ones this might be only an hour or so

Other tips: It is located right by Great Explorations so you could pair together.

It is normally $15 for adults and $8 for children.

Glazer Children’s Museum

ADDRESS: 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

This is a large, top notch children’s museum located in downtown Tampa. It has many interactive areas including grocery store, farm, vet’s office, pizza parlor, fire station, playhouse, and fort building.

๐ŸŒง๏ธ Amazing rainy day activity!! The only time you would be outside is the walk from the parking garage inside.
๐Ÿšธ This place is great for ages 0-10, but I would say the peak is 2-7.
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in Tampa
๐Ÿ›’ I always love bringing a stroller to store all the essentials that aren’t valuable so you aren’t lugging it around while you are playing with your kids. But there isn’t too much walking once you are in so you don’t necessarily need it for that.
๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ My family could spend 4 hours there easily and are normally limited by someone getting tired.

Other tips: Here is our guide to this museum. There is a parking garage right next door making parking easy, and it’s easy to add more time from the park mobile app.

Tickets are normally $18 a person 1 years old and older.

Farm play area at the Glazer Children's museum that looks like a barn

The Collection on Palmetto

ADDRESS: 2116 Palmetto St, Clearwater, FL 33765

I love the museum pass for the Collection on Palmetto because we probably wouldn’t have paid to go to this small museum, but my toddler loved it. It’s a personal collection full of old cars that actually run! They arrange them chronologically so you can see how technology advanced.

Inside Collection on palmetto in Clearwater showing a big open room with the walls lined with old antique cars

The highlight of our visit was the free model train rides that happen on Tuesday and Saturday. There was no one else there when we went so we got to ride it twice.

They are open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10-3.

๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in Clearwater
๐Ÿš‚ Model train rides
๐Ÿšธ Good for school aged kids

The tickets are normally $12 for adults and $10 for kids, seniors and veterans.

The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

ADDRESS: 150 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

“The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art provides experiences that inspire human connection and transformation through art depicting the peoples, landscapes, and history of the American West, and wildlife of the world. More than 400 premiere works of art including sculpture, paintings and jewelry are on display in the museumโ€™s 26,000 square feet of gallery space.” – PPLC website

๐ŸŒง๏ธ All indoors
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in St. Petersburg
๐Ÿšธ Its an Art Museum so depends more on the kid than the age, but a scavenger hunt would make it more fun and interactive.
๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ The docent was really nice and showed us around during our visit
๐Ÿ–๏ธ. There is a small kids area with coloring activities

Tickets are normally $23 for adults $10 for kids 7-18 and free for 6 and younger.

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Dunedin History Museum

ADDRESS: 349 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698

Located in a old train station this museum is a great place to learn about the founding and growth of Dunedin, FL. It is about 4-5 rooms showing the history of the area since its founding.

There are some interactive areas for the kids, and everything they can’t touch is behind glass so it’s a low stress experience for parents.

๐ŸŒง๏ธ All indoors
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in Dunedin
๐Ÿšธ Very interesting, though with little kids you would need to read it to them.
๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ It is small and can be done in under an hour with children

Other tips: It is right in the heart of Dunedin (an amazing, water front, happening town) so I would recommend pairing it with another Dunedin activity (like something from our list of fun things to do in Dunedin with kids!).

Its also located right by the Pinellas Trail and Lane’s Lemonade, with well priced treats such as soft pretzels with cheese, soft serve ice cream, milkshakes, root beer floats and lemonade. See the picture below for prices as of April 2024.

Tickets are normally $8 for adults and $5 for teachers, kids and seniors.

BONUS: We also made museum bingo cards that you can play with your family while walking through the museum.

Tampa Bay History Center

ADDRESS: 801 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602

This is a big city sized interactive museum where you can learn some of the history of Tampa, Florida. They currently have a great exhibit on “treasure hunting”.

๐ŸŒง๏ธ All indoors
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in Tampa
๐Ÿšธ Good for school aged kids. Has some things for kids to interact with.

Tickets are normally $17 for adults and $13 for youth 7-17 years old.

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

ADDRESS: 600 E Klosterman Rd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Arts in Tarpon Springs, Florida, “is a modern and contemporary art museum with a collection of more than 6,000 works of 20th and 21st century art. The museum is located on the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College”. โ€” PPLC

NOTE: This museum doesn’t require a fee so we’re not sure why you’d use the library museum pass for it ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

๐ŸŒง๏ธ All indoor
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in Tarpon on the SPC campus

There is no required fee to enter only a suggested donation of $10.

Henry Plant Museum

ADDRESS: 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

The Henry Plant Museum is the old Tampa Bay Hotel turned into a museum (and UT campus). It’s exhibits include all the original turn of the century furniture from the hotel.

๐ŸŒง๏ธ Mostly inside but would be better on a pretty day.
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in Tampa

Other Tips: I find it a good excuse to walk around part of the gorgeous UT campus and see parts of downtown. Its also a nice place to snap nice pictures of your kids with an epic background.

Imagine Museum

ADDRESS: 1901 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

This is a beautiful glass art museum with collections from all over the world and all different types of glass art.

๐ŸŒง๏ธ All indoors with parking that isn’t too far away, so a very good rainy day option
๐Ÿšธ School age would be ideal. Most things are not behind glass so you need to able to trust that your kids won’t touch things.
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in St Pete
๐Ÿ›’ Stroller are easy there and were ideal for me to keep my toddler in so she didn’t touch anything.
๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ There is some cool parts that might catch your children’s eye, but even with that I would things most families would be through in around 2 hours.

Other tips: Ask if they have scavenger hunts. When I went last they had little mini glass sculptures hidden around the museum to look for like a easter egg hunt.

Tickets are normally $15 for adults and $10 for kids and free for 6 and under.

Great Explorations

ADDRESS: 1925 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

This St. Pete museum is the biggest children’s museum. It is all in one giant room vs. the 2+ floors of Glazer’s in Tampa. It has exhibits such as newscasting, fire house, grocery store, vet office, dentist office, and a big play area.

publix grocery exhibit at great explorations children's museum

๐ŸŒง๏ธ An amazing rainy day activity
๐Ÿšธ It is made for kids 0-10, but I think the peak enjoyment is 2-7
๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Located in St Pete right next to Sunken Gardens
๐Ÿ›’ Stroller would likely be used more like a unlocked locker because it isn’t that big (and you would taking a walker in and out of it frequently)
๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ You could spend 3+ hours. We are normally limited on someone getting tired or hungry

Other tips: Check out more tips and tricks from our visits to Great Explorations.

great explorations museum in st pete

Tickets are normally $15 for people 1-17 and $12 for adults.

Museum of Fine Arts

ADDRESS: 255 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Museum of Fine Arts is one the premier museums in St. Pete. It is located right by the St. Pete Pier so you can easily make a whole day adventure when you visit. I’ve yet to go back with kids but loved it on solo trips.

front steps of the museum of fine arts in st pete florida

๐Ÿ…ฟ๏ธ Most parking isn’t free but there is lots of paid parking lots on the streets and pier parking lots at a reasonable price ($1.50-2.00 per hour). You can snag some free 2-hour spots on the side roads but they’re likely to be hard to find during peak times.
๐ŸŒณ Don’t miss the beautiful kapok tree outside the museum and the banyan trees just north of the museum

Tickets are normally $22 for adults and $12 kids 7+.

Florida Holocaust Museum

ADDRESS: 55 5th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

The Florida Holocaust Museum is a museum with exhibits and educational programing on the Holocaust, genocide and character education.

The museum has a small parking lot and there is limited street parking nearby.

The Florida Holocaust Museum usually costs $20 adults, $10 children

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

ADDRESS: 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

NOTE: This pass is only available at St. Pete library locations

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is a cool nature park in St. Pete that usually has a small entrance fee ($3 adults, $1.50 kids). They have lots of trails and put on nature programming for families.

๐Ÿš‹ They also have daily guided nature tram tours for an additional cost.
๐Ÿ›‘ Closed on Mondays

Safety Harborย Museumย and Cultural Center

ADDRESS: 329 S Bayshore Blvd, Safety Harbor, FL 34695

Safety Harbor Museum is a little house near Main Street, Safety Harbor that teaches about Safety Harbor and local history. I’ve never gone with kids but going solo, it’s a pretty quick visit.

๐Ÿ•› Only open Thursday-Sunday
โœ๏ธ Probably best for school aged kids

Florida CraftArt

ADDRESS: 501 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

NOTE: This pass gives you a 10% discount at the gift shop

Florida CraftArt is a non-profit art gallery in St. Pete. It isn’t a traditional museum with admission fees. Instead, your library museum pass gives you 10% off gift shop purchases.

Florida CraftArt also runs mural tours in St. Pete for a fee.

Read More:

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