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Museums to see for free

In the spirit of the upcoming season and in collaboration with Smithsonian Magazines Museum Day Live!, many museums around Tampa Bay area are admitting visitors for free this Saturday.

Free entry isnt limited to strictly art museums an array of museums, including the Florida Holocaust Museum and The Pier Aquarium are also offering free admission.

Tickets can be found on, and offers one person plus a guest free admission to one museum. A list of museums supporting the event can also be found, though some museums that are not listed may still be free. These are located in St. Petersburg and are listed on as participators in the local Arts Alive Free Museum Day, all of which will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be discounts and various performances downtown.

For those who want to stay within walking distance of campus, the USF Contemporary Art Museum is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Also on Saturday, MOSI will charge only $5 per admission. The Oracle recommends the following free museums:

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, 200 N. Tampa St., Tampa
While students usually pay $8 for the museum, patrons can enjoy current exhibitions, including Americas Civil War Selections from the Drapkin Collection and Larry West and Portraits of Power by Platon, which will stay until mid-October and mid-November respectively, as well as permanent displays such as Natural Fashion, a collection of portraits of Ethiopian women, for free Saturday. The museum also offers photography classes and lectures at ranging fees.

Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg
The Museum of Fine Arts, which offers the broadest selection of European, Greco-Roman, Asian and pre-Columbian art in the Bay area, normally costs $10 for college students with valid IDs. Traveling
exhibitions include a 19th century photography collection and a contemporary print collection by American women. The museum has a gift store and cafe to check out as well.

Chihuly Collection, 400 Beach Dr., St Petersburg
Part of the Morean Arts Center, the Chihuly Collection is usually open to students for $10.95. But to experience the iridescent, floor-to-ceiling works of Dale Chihuly for free is a bargain not worth passing. While there, its well worth stopping by the Glass Studio and Hotshop to watch a live glass-blowing demonstration.

Cracker Country, 4800 N U.S. 301, Tampa
As Tampas only living history museum, on the Florida State Fairgrounds and a field trip destination for many Hillsborough County public schools, Cracker Country offers a glimpse of history that is often washed over. From churning butter to making maple syrup, visitors can get a taste of life in Tampa as it was more than 100 years ago.

Ybor City Museum State Park, 1818 E. Ninth Ave., Ybor City
Though the museum usually charges a nominal $4 fee, on Saturday patrons can trace the history of Ybor city, rich with diversity and cultures including Spanish, Italian and Cuban, from the first waves of immigration to the birth of the cigar industry. Ferlita bakery, the home of Cuban bread in the 1920s, and Casita, the initial cigar factory, are still open for tours.

Ringling Museum of Art and Circus Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota
Ringling was not just about clowns and acrobats. The wealthy, part-time Sarasota resident was also a patron of the arts. Typically $5 for students, the luscious grounds offer plenty of attractions for visitors including circus costumes, European art and the Venetian CadZan mansion.