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“Exceeded all of my expectations!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium

South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium
Ranked #3 of 73 things to do in Bradenton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs that interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions -- offering something new to discover with each visit. The Museum includes the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Celebrating its 50th anniversary year, the Bishop Planetarium is the Gulf Coast's premier astronomy education facility, outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system with stunning multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County's official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, as certified by Guinness World Records. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with other manatees that have been injured or orphaned and are being rehabilitated for return to the wild as part of the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
“Exceeded all of my expectations!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2009

Even though the actual museum exhibits are just average, you MUST go to see the planetarium and the manatee aquarium. The planetarium burned down several years ago, and the new one is state of the art. The guy that runs the shows and lectures is awesome, and if there are no crowds, will give you a very personalized show. Seeing Snooty and the rehabilitation manatees was an awesome experience...everyone I saw seemed enchanted with the manatees. I also enjoyed that it wasn't overly crowded on the weekend. This is a very worthwhile place to visit!

1 Thank theconstantwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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639 reviews from our community

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East Linton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Great place for a young family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2008

I took my wife and two kids (10 & 8) to this museum and we were delighted with it. The museum offers so much to see - from exhibits about the prehistoric life in Florida to modern day animals, industry, cowboys and the planetarium. The highlight for us was the briefing on Snooty the manitee. The young ladies who gave the briefing were happy to chat for 30 minutes and took all sorts of daft questions about the manitees from our two boys. Snooty's life story is very interesting and he seems quite content. Overall, we were very impressed by this facility and we easily spent 3 hours there without any fuss from the boys.

1 Thank slowman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2008

Small in scale but Great local attraction. We discovered this gem a few years ago. Family fun at very reasonable prices. The Bishop planetarium is "State of the Art" and boasts a digital projection system that rocks the universe!! Forget your parents planetarium with the clunky robot with lights in the middle of the room thingy. Museum has exibits on geologic/anthropological ancient Florida and a Manatee tank with the famous "Snooty" (40 yrs old!) Location is right on downtown riverfront marina.

1 Thank kccricket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“We went to see the Manatees but saw much more.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2008

We really enjoyed our trip to this museum. The museum has three main parts, the museum itself with Florida and local history, the aquarium with the manatees, and also a planetarium where we saw a movie about space. One price gets you into the whole thing. The staff were all friendly and helpful.

I really wanted to see Manatees as I had not had the chance to see them in the wild. The aquarium is a large tank with three manatees when we visited, including Snooty who was raised in captivity. They were lovely to see.

It is well worth a visit. It is not too large - we spent about three hours including the movie.

It is located in downtown Bradenton next to a very nice marina so a pleasant place for a walk.

Highly recommended for all ages.

3 Thank RonDorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bradenton, FL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Small, But a Good Value”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2007

If you are expecting something great, this isn't it. If you are looking for a nice afternoon with the kids and a few nice things to look at, for a reasonable price. You've found the place.

They've remodeled recently, so everything looks much nicer than the last time I was there. My kids loved the "real" animals, and my youngest was even a little afraid at first! The upstairs area really didn't interest them much, but they did love the manatee area and the hands-on play area in the back.

We did watch one of the shows, and the kids (and I) absolutely loved it! This was the hilight of the day, and the kids actualyl thought they were on a ride. The show lasted about 45 minutes and my two year old even made it through without getting restless.

Well worth the price, and if you get the annual pass, it includes G-Wiz and MOSI in the cost as well as 1/2 off the Florida Aquarium. We'll have this pass every year I'm sure!

2 Thank brenda1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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