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Tampa Bay CityPASS Makes It Easy and Affordable to Plan Family Vacation Fun.  Tampa now has a pass which offers discounted, prepaid admission to the best attractions for families. The Tampa Bay CityPASS® ticket booklet provides users with a savings of 54%. Penguin Beach at Lowry park Zoo Tampa

Here’s the scoop. If the Tampa Bay CityPASS® savings sounds to good to be true, do the math, it is true. The pass booklet includes admission to Busch Gardens® Tampa, The Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and the pass holders have a choice between the Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center or the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). I have assembled a short overview of the participating locations and included bonus points for families. 

Combine Sesame Street®, Serengeti Railway, and Madagascar Live!  At Busch Gardens Tampa interactive entertainment, thrilling rides and exotic animal encounters are all part of the mix. Ride the Serengeti Railway Express perfect for three generations or try a mini coaster ride created just for tykes. In Jungala®, a three-story play area created for families to explore the different levels of jungle life. Go on an adventure of imagination with Elmo and his friends.  The list of ways to have fun is extensive with topnotch entertainment guaranteed.  Perfect for families: “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” is now showing at Busch Gardens® Tampa. The original live musical show features singers, dancers and rock/pop music performed by a live band. Details: Busch Gardens 3605 E. Bougainvillea Drive Tampa, FL 33612. (813) 987-5090 or Busch Gardens Tampa.Sky Bike at MOSI in Tampa

Experience MISSION: Moonbase.  Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is the activities in the largest science center in the southeastern United States populated by more than 450 hands-on activities. MOSI general admission includes gallery exhibits, one Saunders Planetarium show, one standard IMAX® film and “Kids In Charge!” plus Sky Trail® ropes course. From MISSION: Moonbase offering the chance to experience life inside a lunar colony and Disasterville, featuring WeatherQuest—a  look at  tornados, hurricanes, wildfires to the tranquil BioWorks Butterfly Garden and Back Woods Forest, engaging in science can be oodles of fun. Perfect for Families: The Saunders Planetarium provides the chance to share the universe with your kids. Not-to-be-missed: The 3D Printing the Future exhibit demonstrates 3D printing's boundless and mind-blowing potential to re-shape how we live, work and play. Details: Museum of Science and Industry 4801 E. Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL  33617. Toll-free Toll free: (800) 995-MOSI, (813) 987-6100 or www.mosi.org.Giraffe feeding at Lowry park Zoo Tampa

Dine with a giraffe. Lowry Park Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals that dwell within a complex of natural habitats providing guests with unique ways to watch and sometimes engage. The Zoo provides nature-based entertainment, free rides on a log flume and carousel plus a Wallaroo roller coaster, and splash ground water play areas. Touch tanks allow slippery encounters with rays and at Wallaroo Station kids have the opportunity to pet and feed goats, and walk with wallabies.  Lorikeet Landing, the bird aviary, enables brightly colored birds and zoo goers to comingle. Perfect for Families:  The Safari Africa interactive experience provides participants the chance to meet eye-to-eye with giraffes and feed them lettuce. Details: Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 West Sligh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604. (813) 935-8552 or www.lowryparkzoo.com.Explore a Shore and splash at Florida Aquarium Tampa

Splash about and watch Penguin Promenades. Named one of the top five "Kid-Friendly Aquariums" by Parents Magazine, it is not surprising to find that Florida Aquarium offers exceptional interactive experiences to families of all ages.  With dozens of windows on water which enable sea life watching and touch tank experiences certain to yield giggles to the two-acre outdoor water adventure zone with pirate ship, no two visits will ever be the same. During the Penguin Promenades guests may have the chance to be face-to-beak with endangered penguins or additional cost there are several behind-the-scenes adventures including a ray feeding tour and a penguin encounter. Perfect for Families: It is possible for guests nine or older to swim in a reef tank (without SCUBA certification) with more than 1600 fish including sting rays, barracudas, sea turtles and sharks. Details: Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 273-4000 or www.flaquarium.org.

Visit the home of Winter - the dolphin. Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers uniquely interactive experiences for all ages from sea-friendly story time sessions including how Winter lost her tale to touch tank experiences and dolphin encounters. Watch the inspiring true story of the aquarium’s most famous dolphin "Winter, the Dolphin that Can." Perfect for Families: The Aquarium has created a series of exception encounters. For an additional charge it is possible to feed a puffer fish, one of the two pelicans from Dolphin Tale or meet and assist in feeding two resident nurse sharks. Details: Clearwater Marine Aquarium 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767. (727) 441-1790 or www.seewinter.com.

Enjoy the synergy of art and architecture. At Morean Arts Center see the works of glass created by Dale Chihuly. Docent-led tours of the unique collection are conducted weekdays and provide guests with insights about several popular series works including Macchia, Ikebana, Niijima Floats, Persians and Tumbleweeds. Visit to the Glass Studio & Hot Shop to a get behind the scenes view of glass artists in the process of creating. Demonstrators showcase the process of creating works of art with glass. Perfect for Families:  For a memory making moment, the Hot Shop Personal Glass Experience allows one person 11 years of age or older to create a blown glass ornament or paperweight. Details: Morean Arts Center 719 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 822-7872 or www.moreanartscenter.org.

Make it happen. Tampa Bay CityPASS may be purchased on line from CityPASS.com or at any of the CityPASS partner attractions listed above. The pass booklet is valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Here's the deal! Users who redeem all of the booklet’s tickets will save more than $70.00 on combined admission to the included attractions.

About CityPASS.  For more than 15 years, CityPASS ticket booklets and admission cards have offered users significant savings in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Hollywood, Southern California, Toronto and most recently, Tampa Bay. 

Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for theFamilyTravelFiles.com. Images courtesy MOSI, Florida Aquarium with images from Lowry Park Zoo provided by Ashlee Gaudet (giraffe) and Robert LaFollette (penguins). Copyright 2017.

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