The experience begins with a ticket that’s a printed replica of a 1912 boarding pass, complete with the name of an actual Titanic passenger whose identity you’ll assume for the remainder of your voyage aboard the one-voyage wonder. A fully costumed actor, portraying one of the ship’s famed passengers, leads history hounds and treasure seekers on the approximately 75-minute tour through the 20,000-square-foot exhibit. While learning about the ship’s construction and hearing the hidden stories of those who rode on her, you’ll walk through full-scale re-creations of famous spots such as the grand staircase, an opulent first-class passenger suite, the steamy boiler rooms, and a temperature-controlled promenade deck complete with oceanic stars and an April-on-the-Atlantic arctic breeze. You’ll also venture into the Underwater Room, which houses an eight-foot replica of the ship as she rests in her present-day home at the bottom of the ocean. Marvel at more than 200 artifacts, including movie memorabilia from the ship’s various film incarnations. At the conclusion of the tour, the background of the passenger named on your ticket will be revealed, and you’ll discover their fate on the night the ship sank.
Orange County Regional History Center showcases the area's past inside a building steeped in Orange County history: the 1927 Courthouse. Today, visitors can explore the grand courtroom where the murderous Ted Bundy was allegedly arraigned. Such recent events, however, barely scratch the surface of the 12,000 years worth of history encompassed within the center's permanent exhibitions. Spanning Native American and Spanish roots to the meteoric rise of Walt Disney World, the museum illustrates Orange County's vast lineage.
The building has five floors, four of which house permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions and materials for traveling exhibitions that highlight Florida history throughout the country. An Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum also plays host to programs for all ages, from lunchtime speaking engagements to educational programs designed to spark the imagination and satisfy curiosity. The Emporium offers one-of-a-kind gifts reflecting the cultural history of Central Florida including rare vintage photographs, quirky Florida souvenirs, and delicious Florida treats.
Named the best museum in Orlando by Cityvoters in 2008, Cornell Fine Arts Museum awakens retinas with a vast collection of more than 5,000 artworks. Patrons can meander through this elegant facility overlooking picturesque Lake Virginia, checking out a multifarious slew of permanent and travelling exhibitions, which feature chromatic canvases ranging from the early Renaissance to the modern day. The complimentary Corps Exquis catalogue is a bound anthology of famous etchings, mixed media, poems, and drawings by artists such as Paul Cezanne and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Bring home a copy to inspire burgeoning brush buffs or keep uncultured coffee tables company.
Historically, women artists have often struggled to find a space to express themselves in a field dominated by men. The Florida Museum for Women Artists works to change that by offering 7,300 square feet of facilities and galleries dedicated to promoting and showcasing women artists and their work. Three different galleries allow visitors to gaze upon a selection of contemporary art in exhibitions that rotate ever 10 weeks and include juried shows, selections from collections, and traveling exhibits. Previous and upcoming exhibitions include a variety of ceramic, sculptural, and painted works, along with photographs and textiles. Past shows have even included the innovative exhibit Witness to Creativity, which allowed viewers to watch live as artists created installations over the course of a week. The facility also includes a museum shop and café and also hosts fused-glass jewelry, wineglass painting, and mosaic classes.
Before paved streets and residential blocks took its place, a maze of wetlands rife with rustling wildlife thrived in Central Florida. Such a scene is hard to imagine amid a backdrop of loud car horns, but skeptical visitors to The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science can travel back in time and see it for themselves on a stroll through the museum’s 19.5-acre nature preserve.
This remarkable preserve joins special exhibits dedicated to regional and cultural artifacts in fulfilling the museum’s mission to keep Florida’s heritage alive in the minds of its current inhabitants. Since the nonprofit facility first opened in 1973, an influx of state and philanthropic funding has spawned further expansion. One of the most crucial add-ons, the Taylor Wing, now houses a nonstop procession of visiting exhibitions and the kid-themed Imagination Center, where young hands can touch actual fossils of mammoths and 8-track tapes. Popular ongoing exhibits include large dioramas of local ecosystems and the Windover Story exhibit, which illustrates how the residents of Brevard County lived 7,000 years ago.
Kids learn with all five of their senses—that's literally what puts the V in the name of Explorations V Children's Museum. Spread across three floors, the museum brims with hands-on activities in a range of permanent exhibits. And the organization's interactive approach to learning has helped it earn accolades, such as a grant from Disney's Helping Kids Shine award program.
On the lower floor, an exhibit charting the journey of the Florida orange begins with local history and ends with a look at global ecosystems. On the first floor, the exhibit Marvelous Me! teaches about the human body with an interactive skeleton and memory tests; Water Matters teaches water conservation with interactive stations. At the top of the museum, check out the temporary exhibits and the Dragon of Toys, a colorful sculpture of plastic trinkets. It's also here that instructors conduct daily programs ranging from open art studio sessions to nutritional cooking classes.