LAKELAND, Fla. — The Explorations V Museum in Lakeland is planning a major move in the next few years, one that will, in the words of the museum's executive director, "completely modernize the visitor experience."

  • Museum plans to build new 47,000 square-foot facility in Bonnet Springs Park
  • New museum will have 5 main galleries, black box theater space, more
  • Expected to open summer 2021
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The museum plans to move into a brand-new 47,000 square-foot building it plans to build in Bonnet Springs Park. The cost of the project is estimated at $22 million.

The plans for the new facility include five main galleries which will house hundreds of hands-on exhibits. One of those galleries will be dedicated entirely to toddlers.

“We have about 200 square feet dedicated to [toddlers] in the current facility," said Executive Director Kerry Falwell. "We’re going to expand that by about 15 times in the new facility in a gallery called "Watermelon Seeds," and that’s going to give us a chance to do all of the developmentally appropriate activities that are just for them."

The other galleries include a Design Park, City Play, Black Box Theatre and The Front Yard. 

“We’ll have 7,000 square feet of outdoor play that’s enclosed and part of the museum," Falwell explained. "We’re going to talk to the kids about fossils, and we’re going to get to dig in dirt and grow food."

Falwell hopes they won’t have to close the current location for more than three months when it’s time to move. She said they’ll probably sell the museum's current building in downtown Lakeland, which faces Munn Park. 

The goal is for doors to open the start of area schools' summer break in 2021.