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Explorations V Children’s Museum

Whats Next For Explorations V Childrens Museum

Central Florida Attraction – Explorations V Children’s Museum in Lakeland, Florida

Explorations V Childrens Museum has been here in Lakeland for 27 years, but what a lot of people might not know is that were moving to a brand-new location, says Eddie.

Theres a new park being built right now, right off of downtown called Bonnet Springs park. A brand-new childrens museum is going to be built on that site. Were looking forward to being in our new building, which will be a larger structure and with more employees and lots more people coming through.

Keep an eye out for when the new Explorations V Childrens Museum location opens up itll undoubtedly offer Lakeland children even more ways to learn in a fun and stimulating setting.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

About Home School Workshops

Home School Workshops at Explorations V Childrens Museum are designed in collaboration with Central Floridas home school communities. This partnership means that topics align with your work at home and bring your lessons to life.


Come explore interesting topics picked by the local home school community and delivered in our unique hands-on setting.


Explore nutrition and cooking in this weekly all-ages cooking class lead by registered nutritionist, Nutrition ReSet.

Lakeland Childrens Museum Changing Its Name Moving To New Location

Florida Children’s Museum expands, moves locations

The Florida Children’s Museum in Lakeland is moving locations and will feature indoor and outdoor hands-on exhibits.

LAKELAND, Fla.Explorations V Children’s Museum in Lakeland, a fixture of the city’s downtown, is becoming the Florida Children’s Museum at Bonnett Springs Park.

“Explorations V Children’s Museum was founded in downtown Lakeland in 1991,” stated Kerry Falwell, CEO of Explorations V Children’s Museum. “We’ve spent the last 30 years building a culture in Central Florida investing in early childhood and the importance of hands-on learning.”

Families familiar with the location on Kentucky Avenue know the educational benefits of the brain-teasers and other building blocks of creative learning through music, art, history in addition to traditional subjects.

The move to Bonnett Springs Park is going to create more learning space.

“This is the first opportunity that we’re going to be able to do outdoor education,” said Falwell.

There is an entire outdoor garden planned with living and growing learning space outdoors for children to feel, touch and experience.

“The centerpiece of the front yard is Blinky’. He was an icon in downtown Lakeland in the ’70s. He was a real alligator with one eye,” Falwell explained.

The Blinky alligator sculpture will be a huge attraction in the outdoor play area.

“He’s going to be 100 feet long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, and is 17 feet tall,” stated Falwell.

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Building A Bigger Purpose

This article is part of the Forged in Fire: New Models issue of Hand to Hand.Click here to read other articles in the issue.

When the pandemic hit and local businesses here in Lakeland, Florida, began to close, Explorations V Childrens Museum leadership staff and the board looked for something to serve as our institutional lighthouse. Our organization was in the midst of a capital campaign to build a new museum, and needed a broadly informed document to guide hard decisions about what programs and offerings to cut, change, or move to virtual in the present while continuing to plan for the future. When George Floyd was murdered, leadership once again found ourselves without a clear way to express to the community the museums stance that all children deserve equitable access and that Explorations V is committed to anti-racist practice.

The work that followed became a board, community, and staff directive to re-define the mission and guiding principles of the institution. The first decision was to develop a new mission statement to serve as an anchor and guide for the work of the museum. In October 2020, the board adopted the following new mission:

Curating the world for all children to explore.

The next step was to develop a set of standards to inform all decisions and justify resource allocation. These guiding principles serve as a contract between the museum and the community we serve. If these principles are lived daily, the museum will enact its mission.

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Explorations V Childrens Museum Inc


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Legal name of organization: Explorations V Childrens Museum, Inc.

Explorations V, Incorporated – Lakeland’s Museum for Children

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What Is Explorations V Childrens Museum All About

When getting to know Explorations V Childrens Museum, a good place to start is their name. Why the v?

That roman numeral in our name, V, is representative of the five senses that humans have, says Eddie. When we have children and parents come into the museum, we want them to experience exhibits with all their senses if we can possibly do that.

This is indicative of the interactive, holistic approach that Explorations V Childrens Museum takes to childrens education. They understand that effective learning doesnt always happen when the child is sitting still and expected to absorb information. They have to be a part of the process and that process should be fun.

We strongly feel that play is extremely important for children its different than school, says Eddie. Were all about educating the child, but were doing it through play. Its so important that its unstructured, where the child can make decisions, they can fail at something, but then try it again. We follow this mantra where children need to use their brains at this young age, not just go to an exhibit and push a button, but really interact with something.

In this interactive and engaging setting, Explorations V Childrens Museum offers a range of different programming. Regardless of what a child may be interested in, they can likely find something to enjoy at Explorations V Childrens Museum.

Explorations V Childrens Museum Launches New Brand

Lakeland, FLAExplorations V Childrens Museum is building the future with a new name and brand identityFlorida Childrens Museum.

The rebranding initiative reflects the growth of the museum and will debut as the new state-of-the-art facility opens in Bonnet Springs Park in May 2022. The rebranding includes a modern, whimsical logo, a new website, and a social media presence that makes it easy to stay informed of the latest building updates and new programs.

We are not building a bigger place. We are building a bigger purpose, said Kerry Falwell, CEO of Explorations V Childrens Museum. Almost 2 million people have given Explorations V the opportunity to serve their family over the last 29 years. Florida Childrens Museum will carry on the tradition with pride and well into the future.

Museum attendees will continue to see the Explorations V Childrens Museum logo and branding at its current location in the Historic Kress building in Downtown Lakeland.

As Central Florida increasingly serves the needs of its citizens and visitors, Lakeland is the grateful home of the Florida Childrens Museum, said Bill Mutz, Mayor of Lakeland. Invite the thriving young minds in your life to experience fun, creative thinking activities as we invest together in the minds of our future adults!

For those interested in supporting the mission, programming, and operations of the Florida Childrens Museum, visit ExploreFCM.org for sponsorship, partnership, and volunteer opportunities.

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Why Is The Name Change Being Announced Now

A public campaign kicks off on June 19, 2021 in anticipation of the move to the new Bonnet Springs Park location. Over the next year the community can help support the Florida Childrens Museum through memberships, sponsorships, and partnership opportunities.

We are not building a bigger place. We are building a bigger purpose, said Kerry Falwell, CEO of Explorations V Childrens Museum. Almost 2 million people have given Explorations V the opportunity to serve their family over the last 29 years. Florida Childrens Museum will carry on the tradition with pride and well into the future.

Explorations V Children’s Museum

Explorations V Children’s Museum

This Lakeland museum is filled with interactive,hands-on exhibits geared to children aged two through twelve. Amongthe many exhibits are Bank With Interest, Explore Store, Nature!,Transportation Vehicles, Asian Impressions, and the most recentinstallation, Artrageous! Some exhibits, such as Asian Impressions,are supplemented by guest artists, performances and workshops. Themuseum also sponsors Exhibit in a Trunk, a mobile unit designed toreach children in outlying areas. The museum is documented in textand photographs.

Originally submitted by: Charles T. Canady, Representative .

More Local Legacies…

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Harrell Family Charities Front Yard

Take healthy risks in Blinky, the 100-foot-long climbable alligator made possible by Greg and Ansley Masters. Then, dig to find Florida under our feet in the Mosaic Dig Pit. Seasonal fruits and veggies are grown throughout the space so dont be shy about observing and tasting these growing creations.

Media In Category Explorations V Children’s Museum

The following 2 files are in this category, out of 2 total.

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Where Will The Florida Childrens Museum Be Located

The Florida Childrens Museum will be located within Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland.

Bonnet Springs Park is a brand new 168 acre park being built in Lakeland that will also open in 2022. It is located at the intersection of George Jenkins Blvd., Sikes/Kathleen Road, and Memorial Blvd. You can get a sneak peek driving along any of these 3 roads.

Learn more about Bonnet Springs Park on their website. Learn more about how you can join me as a Founding Friend of Bonnet Springs Park.

Data Sources: Irs Forms 990


The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. .

Previous: Finance & Accountability / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

Impact & Results

This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

Impact & Results Score

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O Is For Oranges From Seed To Our World

The lower floor exhibits introduce children to local history and the world through an interactive orange factory and cultural displays. Exhibits include an orange grove, tree house, truck, stand, juice factory. Additional exhibits include Fossils of Florida and International Impressions of Africa, Asia, Australia and America.

What Will The Florida Childrens Museum Look Like

The new childrens museum will be a 47,800 square-foot facility and will welcome an estimated 100,000 annual on-site visitors, which is double the current average attendance.

Intentional Inclusivity is important at the Florida Childrens Museum. A big investment has been made to design an inclusive building. This includes special shades to control sunlight, predictive floor patterns to show pathways to public spaces, sound dampening wall treatments, no automatic hand dryers, wheelchair access and so much more. The goal is to help all children feel safe and secure.

New exhibits and programs will serve an expanded age range of children from birth to 12 years-old. Visit the Florida Childrens Museum website for more details on new exhibits, and stay tuned for future updates. Some of the announced play areas include:

Harrell Family Charities Front Yard Take healthy risks in Blinky, the 100-foot-long climbable alligator made possible by Greg and Ansley Masters. Then, dig to find Florida under our feet in the Mosaic Dig Pit. Seasonal fruits and veggies are grown throughout the space so dont be shy about observing and tasting these growing creations.

Watermelon Seeds Transport your little one into the world of colorful fruit! Grow along with watermelons, strawberries and more as children transform into their unique, colorful selves.


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About Bonnet Springs Park

The new Explorations V Childrens Museum will be at Bonnet Springs Park, a breathtaking 180-acre park at the corner of Kathleen and George Jenkins Blvd in downtown Lakeland.

Picture a place, close to downtown Lakeland, yet a place where mother natures healing powers are revealed through magnificent giant oak trees and a clear gurgling stream that rises out of the earth and flows to Lake Bonnet below. This very special regional park will provide social and economic benefits, help provide that blended urban/natural park, and make the quality of life for future generations of Lakeland better.

Explorations V Childrens Museum

Great Explorations Children’s Museum to host ‘A Night at the Brewseum’

Explorations V Childrens Museum is a non-profit organization here in Lakeland that develops interactive, educational programs and exhibits for children and youth. They have been a core part of the Lakeland community for 27 years, and the Alltek team is proud to be their IT partner.

Recently, Allteks Taher Hamid sat down with Senior Director Eddie Kleisser to talk about Explorations V, what they do, and what their future looks like. Click PLAY below to check out the full interview.

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Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Museum, zoo, planetarium, etc.

Other youth organization or activities

Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170


Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary .

About Explorations V Children’s Museum

Kids learn with all five of their sensesthat’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.

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Restaurant & Hotel Discounts

  • Crispers

    Bring your receipt or membership card to Crispers Downtown location to receive a free kids meal with purchase of an adult meal.

  • bd Mongolian Grill hosts an annual fundraiser for Explorations V Childrens Museum. Check the calendar and email updates for this years date and support Explorations V with a yummy dinner.

How You Can Support The Florida Childrens Museum


There will be many opportunities that we, as a community, can show our support for the museum over the next year and once they are open.

Get Member Perks Purchase your membership early for special benefits not available to everyone.

Become a VIP If youre passionate about helping kids explore the world around them, learn more about Volunteers In Play.

Sponsorships + Donations Make your mark or leave a legacy. Florida Childrens Museum is a 501c3 nonprofit that will sustain from an involved community committed to helping children explore.

More details coming soon!

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Lakelands Explorations V Childrens Museum To Join Bonnet Springs Park As Anchor Institution

Found on TheLedger.com. Click here to view.

LAKELAND Bonnet Springs Park organizers selected Lakelands Explorations V Childrens Museum to be the central cultural and scientific partner for the planned, 180-acre park project.

Being located within that park land will benefit the museum and its mission, the museums executive director, Kerry Falwell said.

I cant imagine a more natural partnership than Bonnet Springs and Explorations V. The V or five in our name stands for the five senses. Our founding families wanted to create a space for children to learn through their five senses. Being in a downtown building with limited access to the outdoors and nature learning has been a barrier to fully living up to that vision. This move will truly honor our commitment to sensory learning, Falwell said.

Bonnet Springs is calling Explorations V its anchor institution.

To us, means that were right in the center of the plans, so its really a natural place for families to come and explore and learn and thrive together, Falwell told The Ledger. Were really anchoring the park as a destination.

Explorations V will move from its downtown Lakeland location along Munn Park, but plans to continue operating at its current spot at 109 N. Kentucky Ave. for at least the next two years, Falwell said.

Explorations V Board President Joe Lauk announced the partnership at the museums annual Night at the Museum event Saturday.

Exploring The 5 Senses

Pint-sized shoppers can mimic an outing to the local supermarket while filling their own kid-sized grocery cart in the Explore Store. If they would rather be in the middle of the action, the First Responders Gallery, complete with a handmade fire truck and police car, both built by first responders themselves, gives them plenty of room to explore the lives of their heroes. Young minds can delve into breaking news or Floridas wacky weather live on the set at the News Station or play as if they are beyond the clouds after they hop on the Space Shuttle in the Travel section.

If your child enjoys creative endeavors, tiny actors and playwrights can perform on stage in the Theatre area, or learn all about the wonders of music and sound, as well as behind-the-scene magic, in the Music and Sound Studio. For those kids who are more hands-on, the Maker Space with an ever changing variety of materials with which to build is available as well.

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