Exploring Pinellas Arts with Children

A Family Arts Scavenger Hunt

Through November 30
Throughout Pinellas
Details here

November is considered ART’N Month for the Arts Coast. Last year Creative Pinellas launched their quiz for navigating the arts scene, and this year they’ve launched an especially engaging and expansive scavenger hunt that takes you through cultural hotspots, renowned art galleries and hidden artistic gems throughout Pinellas County.

SHINE Mural by Dasic Fernandez

My three children, my father and I decided to take on the ultimate challenge and participate in the biggest scavenger hunt we’ve ever done. We downloaded the Scavify app, created an account, and searched for the ART’N Month Scavenger Hunt.

We also printed a copy of the tasks so that we could share the pleasure of marking them off as we completed them.

Exploring art all around the Safety Harbor Art & Music Center

Our first task was to immerse ourselves in the Whimzeyland of Safety Harbor Art & Music Center. Of course William, Madeline and Thomas loved walking around this haven of creative expression, marveling at the mosaics, the flowers, and the different spots to soak it all in.

Their favorite part was the large Smiley Face sculpture at the front entrance.

The Bottle Tree at Safety Harbor Art & Music Center

I asked myself, how come we live so close and have never visited? The ART N’ Month scavenger hunt has already prompted us to get out and explore local culture.

Leon Berkowitz’s Big Blue (1970) at the MFA

We headed to St. Pete with the goal of checking off as many tasks as we could in that area, and the second task was to visit the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and take photos on their front steps.

The Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts in downtown St Pete

We benefited once again from the amazing Pinellas County Library Museum Pass Program with tickets for all of us to enjoy an afternoon at the Museum.

Exploring the Chinese Room at the MFA

William’s favorite area was the Chinese and Japanese exhibit room.

Viewing a Jain Shrine from India in the 1700s at the MFA
Studying a Standing Buddha from Myanmar in the late 1800s at the MFA

Madeline enjoyed sketching in every room but was mostly drawn to Peonies in the Wind by John La Farge, a favorite shared by my father.

Meanwhile Thomas could not get enough of seeing himself multiple times in the five-piece mirror sculpture E)A)R)T)H by Brookhart Jonquil.

E)A)R)T)H by Brookhart Jonquil

Probably more than anything the children loved sitting in the sculpture garden and playing on the large Bombax tree outside.

Bombax Tree at the MFA

Following the MFA we walked towards the Dalí Museum for the third task, which was a lot further than we expected so we took a photo from the closest bridge and then walked back to the Pier to let the children have fun at the Glazer’s Family Playground.

By the end of the day we had one more task we could complete which was to check in at the Sewing Seeds mural by Taj Tenfold on Central Ave.

The SHINE mural “Sewing Seeds” by Jamaican artist Taj Tenfold shows a woman repairing the damaged ocean with a watery needle and thread

The only St Pete task we missed was the Opening of the BRIDGES: Future/Present, Future/Past exhibit at The Studio@620 as part of the Afro Futurism Festival but my tired little ones meant it was time to return home.

The SHINE mural Beneath the Shell by Michael Reeder

This ART’N Month scavenger hunt is wonderful because it really drives you (pun intended) to visit a variety of art and cultural locations and to appreciate the variety and diversity of the art scene.

When I first moved to Tampa Bay my parents and I would go geo-caching, and I have fond memories of us exploring different areas and learning about historical sites like Fort De Soto Park.

I wish there was a tangible element to the ART’N Month scavenger adventure, like with the geo-cache boxes – because I think children would find it more rewarding to open something revealing hidden treasures. We have 11 more tasks to find out.

Kehinde Wiley’s Leviathan Zodiac (The World Stage: Israel), 2011 – part of the MFA’s permanent collection

This week we will work on tasks hidden around the Largo/Clearwater area. At the moment the ‘MonzonFam’ are on the top of the leaderboard.

I encourage other families to join in the challenge and beat our score. The deadline to complete all the tasks is November 30, 2023.


Find the Arts Scavenger Hunt here


Originally published in the Bahia Studios Blog



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