SOUTH TAMPA – The Tampa Bay History Center will open its doors to children and adults for an annual trick-or-treat event, “A Night at the Museum,” that brings costumed historical figures back to life.
Jen Tyson, the assistant curator of education for the museum, said some of the highlights of the event that starts at 4 p.m. Oct. 27 include not only names from history books, but also the “Real Tampa Bay Ghostbusters,” and Star Wars characters from the fan group 501st Legion.
“People can trick-or-treat through the galleries and encounter characters from Tampa’s past,” she said. “We will have gangsters from Ybor’s past, immigrant cigar workers, explorers and Civil War (soldiers). People can see and experience our hands-on exhibits while they trick-or-treat.”
Tyson said the Star Wars characters are always a hit.
“They are stellar – kids and adults love those iconic characters,” she said.
She said some of the exhibits include a full-size pioneer cabin, cigar store and factory as well as the temporary exhibit, “Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps,” featuring 150 maps.
She said the family-friendly event also includes crafts, games and a costume contest for all ages.
“It’s old-fashioned fun,” said Tyson, adding people are invited to wear any costume as long as it’s not “over-the-top scary.”
“We have had toddlers come through who had a blast,” she said. “It’s spooky, but not scary. It’s all in good fun.”
Manny Leto, marketing director at the Tampa Bay History Center, said this is the third year for “Night at the Museum.”
He said people may also board the TECO Streetcar for a ride filled with spooky stories and ghosts from Tampa’s past. Although the streetcar tickets are not included in the price of entrance, they are available for purchase at the museum.
“Night at the Museum” is open to children of all ages with an adult companion. Cost is $9 per child and $14 per adult. The cost for TBHC members is $6 per child and $8 per adult. Tickets to “Night at the Museum” are available in advance and are on sale at the door until 5 p.m.
For more information, call the history center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa, at (813) 228-0097 or visit its website, tampabayhistorycenter.org.