Central Florida offers an abundance of museums for your cultural side! Many are either very reasonably priced or even free. Spend a day away from all the tourism hot spots and discover the historical side of Central Florida. Save some cash and learn about a variety of subjects from art to the Native Americans who once thrived in Florida.
ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDENS: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday (gardens only); 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park; $4 seniors, $3 students, free ages 12 and younger; 407-647-6294. Visit their web site at polasek.org.
CASA FELIZ HISTORIC HOME MUSEUM: with “James Gamble Rogers II Studio” architecture exhibit: 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday and Thursday, noon-3 p.m. Sunday; 656 Park Ave., Winter Park; free; 407-628-8200. Visit their web site at casafeliz.us.
CENTRAL FLORIDA RAILROAD MUSEUM: railroad artifacts and memorabilia with a particular emphasis on Central Florida: 1-5 p.m. daily; in former Tavares & Gulf Railroad Depot, 101 S. Boyd St., Winter Garden; free; 407-656-0559. Visit their web site at cfcnrhs.org.
DELAND HOUSE MUSEUM: home of the West Volusia Historical Society: noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday with docent-led tours noon-3 p.m.; 137 W. Michigan Ave., DeLand; $5 adults, $3 age 6-11, free age 5 and younger; 386-740-6813. Visit their web site at delandhouse.com.
FLORIDA CARRIAGE MUSEUM & RESORT: with carriage rides and horse farm: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday (with Hunter-Jumper horse shows Saturday-Sunday); 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale; $10 adults, $5 age 17 and younger; 352-750-5500. Visit their web sit a fcmr.org.
FORT CHRISTMAS MUSEUM: replica of 1837 fort built during Second Seminole War: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; County Road 420, 2 miles north of State Road 50, Christmas; free; 407-568-4149. Visit their web site at nbbd.com.
HANNIBAL SQUARE HERITAGE CENTER: Winter Park historical archives, with “125 Windows into Historic Community” and “Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park” exhibits (through Sept. 25): noon-5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park; free; 407-539-2680. Visit their web site at hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL RESOURCE AND EDUCATION CENTER OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland; free; 407-628-0555. Visit their web site at holocaustedu.org.
KISSIMMEE AIR MUSEUM: aircraft displays and exhibits: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 233 N. Hoagland Blvd. at Kissimmee Gateway Airport, Kissimmee; $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12; 407-870-7366. Visit their web site at kissimmeeairmuseum.com.
LAKE MARY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: houses a collection of artifacts, photographs, documents and other materials related to the history of Lake Mary and the surrounding communities. Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 10am-3pm; Wednesday, Thursday: 10am-6pm; 158 N. Country Club Road, Lake Mary; free; 407-324-3002. Visit their web site at lakemarymuseum.com.
MAITLAND HISTORICAL MUSEUM AND TELEPHONE MUSEUM: with “Maitland’s Founding Families” exhibit (through Oct. 24): 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 221 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland; free; 407-644-2451. Visit their web site at maitlandhistory.org or read this article by the Smithsonian Magazine.
MOUNT DORA HISTORY MUSEUM: 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; 450 Royellou Lane, Mount Dora; $2 adults, free age 11 and younger; 352-383-0006. Visit their web site at mountdorahistoricalsociety.com.
MUSEUM OF THE APOPKANS: Native American artifacts and exhibits on the historic industries of Apopka: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday or by appointment; 122 E. 5th St., Apopka; free, donations accepted; 407-703-1707. Visit their web site at apopkamuseum.org.
MUSEUM OF SEMINOLE COUNTY HISTORY: 22 rooms of displays and exhibits, with “Where the Wild Things Are” Florida wildlife art exhibit (through Aug. 14): 1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; 300 Bush Blvd., Sanford; $3 adults, $1 children, free age 3 and younger; 407-665-2489. Visit their web site at seminolecountyfl.gov.
NEW SMYRNA MUSEUM OF HISTORY: with artifacts and ongoing exhibit “The Early Surveying and Mapping of Southeast Volusia County”: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 120 Sams Ave., New Smyrna; free; 386-478-0052. Visit their web site at nsbhistory.org.
ORANGE COUNTY REGIONAL HISTORY CENTER: Embark on a journey and unlock the door to the fascinating history of Central Florida as a five-story masterpiece takes visitors back 12,000 years through a series of interactive permanent exhibits, providing hours of fun and entertainment. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday (with guided tours at 11 a.m. Saturdays); Central Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue, downtown Orlando; $9 general, $7 students, seniors and military, $6 age 5-12; 407-836-8500. Visit their web site at thehistorycenter.org.
ORLANDO FIRE MUSEUM: items and vehicles from the history of area firefighters: open by appointment; 814 E. Rollins Ave. (entrance through Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park), Orlando; free; 407-898-3138 or 407-246-3128 for appointments. Visit their web site at cityoforlando.net.
PIONEER MUSEUM: Osceola County history is comprised of a permanent collection of authentic structures which once upon a time stood in different areas of Osceola County. They were carefully relocated to our present location and gently preserved to demonstrate how life was once lived before our modern times. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; 750 N. Bass Road, Kissimmee; donations of $5 adults, $2 ages 6-12, free age 5 and younger; 407-396-8644. Visit their web site at osceolahistory.com.
PIONEER SETTLEMENT FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS: working 1900’s village and folk arts center: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1776 Lightfoot Lane, Barberville; $6 adults, $4 ages 5-12, free age 4 and younger; 386-749-2959. Visit their web site at pioneersettlement.org.
POLK COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; 100 E. Main St., Bartow; free; 863-534-4386. Visit their web site at polk-county.net.
SANFORD MUSEUM: exhibits on local history and life of city founder: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday; 520 E. First St., Sanford; free; 407-688-5198. Visit their web site at sanfordmuseum.org.
ST. CLOUD HERITAGE MUSEUM: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday or by appointment; 1012 Massachusetts Ave., St. Cloud; free (donations accepted); 407-957-7587. Visit their web site at stcloudheritagemuseum.com.
MUSEUM OF MILITARY HISTORY: educating the world about the cost of freedom: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am to 6:00pm; 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee 34746; Adult $7, Seniors $6, Students $5, under 5 no charge, Active Duty Member no charge, 100% Disabled $4, Veterans and Retired $5; 407-507-3894. Visit their web site at www.museumofmilitaryhistory.com.
WATERHOUSE RESIDENCE AND CARPENTRY SHOP MUSEUM: restored 1884 Victorian home and carpentry shop: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 820 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland; free; 407-644-2451. Visit their web site at maitlandhistory.com
WINTER GARDEN HERITAGE MUSEUM: with displays including citrus history and occupations, schools, businesses, transportation, early residents and pioneer living: 1-5 p.m. daily; 1 N. Main St., Winter Garden; free; 407-656-5544. Visit their web site at wghf.org.
WINTER PARK HISTORICAL MUSEUM: with “Fine Feathers” peacock exhibit: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; 200 W. New England Ave. (north end of Farmers Market), Winter Park; free; 407-647-8180. Read this article at museumsusa.org.
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