Water parks, hiking trails, museums and more

A complete guide to summer recreation on land and water

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G WIZ: THE GULFCOAST WONDER AND IMAGINATION ZONE, 1001 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota (941-309-4949). Sarasota's only science and technology facility features newly installed hands-on exhibits every few months by ExploraZone, a well-respected science facility in San Francisco. Currently, G Wiz presents How People Make Things: Inspired by the Mister Rogers' Factory Tours, which offers firsthand info about tools and processes used to make everyday objects, May 24-Sept. 7. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.- Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. Admission is $9 adults, $8 seniors, $6 ages 3-18 (free admission for kids 2 and younger). gwiz.org.

GREAT EXPLORATIONS: THE HANDS-ON MUSEUM, at Sunken Gardens, 1925 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg (727-821-8992). This museum for kids has interactive exhibits like the Fit4Allkidsville healthy lifestyle exhibit. Other amusements include "Dinosaurs Hollywood Style" as well as a child-size (faux) market place, veterinary office, fire house and plenty else. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-4:30 p.m. Sun. Admission is $9 ages 2 to 54, $8 seniors (free admission for members and ages 11 months and younger). greatexplorations.org.

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY (MOSI), 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa (813-987-6300). The not-for-profit educational institution is the largest science center in the Southeast. Museum highlights include two replica diplodocus dinosaur skeletons; the IMAX Dome Theatre and its 82-foot hemispherical movie screen; BioWorks Butterfly Garden, an engineered ecosystem that emulates natural wetlands; the Back Woods, 40 acres of special water conservation elements and outdoor exhibits; Kids In Charge! The Children's Science Center, an educational center created from theories about intergenerational play, learning and skill-building; and two permanent exhibits, Demystifying India, which features items reflecting India's history, culture and contributions, and Disasterville, which consists of dramatic simulations that demonstrate the science behind natural disasters occurring throughout the world. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. A traveling exhibit, Magic: The Science of Illusion, consists of artifacts, films and hands-on exhibits that track the history, art and science of magic, and show how physical science, math and psychology used in magic relate to everyday life, through May 26. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun.. Admission is $23.95 adults, $21.95 seniors, $17.95 ages 2-12 (includes a standard length IMAX film and entry to all exhibits). mosi.org.

SCIENCE CENTER OF PINELLAS COUNTY, 7701 22nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg (727-384-0027). The Science Center features a Native American village, 30-seat planetarium, the Carol Samuels Observatory and its Meade telescope, 600-gallon marine "touch tank," 12 classrooms/labs, White and Xeriscape gardens, and numerous exhibits, including Discoveries by African-American Scientists and Inventors. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., with planetarium shows on Fridays at 3 p.m. Admission is $5. sciencecenterofpinellas.com.

ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE PLANETARIUM AND OBSERVATORY, SPC-Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Avenue N., St. Petersburg (727-341-4320). The planetarium's shows are at 7 and 8:15 p.m. every Friday while school is in session (summers included). The domed observatory on the roof of the Natural Science Building houses several telescopes and is open for viewing following the Friday evening shows, weather permitting. Free admission.

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