Since 1922, St. Petersburg Museum of History has preserved the heritage of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula with expansive collections and four galleries that host annually rotating exhibits. Its permanent exhibits, meanwhile, trace the area’s history from Native Americans to the present day through artifacts such as a cannonball fired by Union sailors and replica of a parlor car from the Orange Belt Railway. Elsewhere, the World's First Commercial Airline Gallery charts commercial aviation history with a full-size working replica of the Benoist Airboat and the first-ever pterodactyl to earn a commercial-flying license. Visitors looking to delve deeper into the past can explore more than 32,000 artifacts in the museum archives or partake in one of its educational programs such as tours, community classes, and camps.
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After Sweet! By The Cake Factory’s bakers pull the day’s cupcakes out of the oven, they stop short of slathering them with swirls of buttercream frosting or sprinkling on M&M's or nuts. Instead, they invite guests to decorate their own confections at a cupcake bar stocked with cookie and candy toppings. This hands-on approach lends itself to lively birthday parties, wherein a photographer snaps children in aprons, chef’s hats, and rubber Julia Child masks as they decorate six cupcakes each. The bakery’s Sweet to Others campaign proffers a predesigned cupcake each month whose proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.
Much like professional skydivers, wily coyotes, and other careers that involve a degree of danger, most professional glassblowers aren’t self-taught. Joshua Poll, however, learned to harness the glass furnace all by himself, today imparting more than a decade of self-taught experience to Zen Glass Studios, where he and fellow glass smith David Walker create custom works of art by hand. Together they shape glass into authentic and unique pieces, including custom glassware and jewelry to wear while meeting a spouse’s goldfish for the first time.
Within their studio, Joshua and David teach workshops and classes, during which students survey basic to advanced glass-blowing techniques, crafting their own handmade objects such as ornaments, beer glasses, and vases. The duo also runs a full glassblower training program, which follows a syllabus structured to arm all students with all the necessary skills to set out on their own in the industry, just as Joshua did all those years ago.
From tie-dye ($35 per child) to garden-themed parties ($25), Pikasso's children's classes fresh-squeeze creative juices for the grade-school set. During a feet-print-platter class ($45 per child), kids create an adorable plate marked with their footprints. Adults can hone painterly techniques at clay, fused glass, or wire-wrapping and beaded-jewelry classes. Wheel-thrown pottery classes, taught by an expert potter, are available at $50 per person for a two-hour session (two-student minimum). Offsite events and parties add color to corporate events, birthdays, and home fumigations, and Practically Pikasso can supply 20–200 painters with supplies, helpful staff, and instruction (call ahead to inquire about costs).
From corporate gatherings to sweet 16s to wedding receptions, Hyde's Professional DJ & Event Services knows how to start the party. A master of ceremonies can narrate and guide parties, and a DJ can create soundtracks of popular music. They also stock party rentals—tables, linen, fog machines—and photo and video booths, which come with props that may help guests in federal witness protection feel more comfortable about recording their birthday greetings.