Last weekend we took a mini vacation to Daytona Beach, FL. With our September cruise being cancelled, thanks Covid, we knew we had to get away, at least for a long weekend. We haven’t vacationed in that area for 26 years, so I reached out to the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to find out what attractions and activities were open during this crazy time. One place they recommended, and offered us tickets to was the Museum of Arts and Sciences.
We chose to visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences on Sunday, we arrived around 11:45am. Our tickets included a Planetarium show, so we chose the 1:00pm Live “The Sky Tonight” show. Then we grabbed our museum map and planned our visit.
About Museum of Arts and Sciences
The Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS) is Central Florida’s premiere museum of art, science, and history. It is located on a 90 acre nature preserve in Daytona Beach. The 100,000 square foot facility houses over 30,000 objects including the finest collection of American Art in the southeast, a new planetarium, and a children’s museum. On the museum campus there is also the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art, a 26,000 square foot museum featuring the most extensive collection of Florida oil and watercolor paintings anywhere in the world.
MOAS is open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays 11am-5pm. Admission prices:
- Seniors and Students $10.95
- Adults $12.95
- Children ages 6-17 $6.95
- Children 5 and under are free
Admission includes 1 Planetarium show. Additional show tickets can be purchased separately $5.00 for adults $3.00 for children.
The museum is broken up into several different areas. We chose to start in the Early American Art and Furniture area. I grew up in New England and have a great fondness for the Revolutionary War era. Spending time in this part of the museum brought me back to all of the Boston area museums I had visited as a child. The furniture was gorgeous and my favorite was the circa 1850 piano with carved and inlaid rosewood with brass.
The next area was for changing exhibits. The current exhibit was Fragile Beauty: Masterworks of Porcelain and Glass. This exhibit highlights centuries of fine workmanship in porcelain and glass, bringing together some of the most beautiful pieces in this media.
Another changing exhibit. The current exhibit was another one that spoke to us because we are both musicians was Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar. Ron repairs guitars as part of his business so he really enjoyed inspecting the antique instruments including a lute and a charango, which is a South American lute type instrument made with the shell of an armadillo!
We also walked through the International Decorative Arts area and the very cool Visible Storage. Instead of having items that are not currently on display off in some warehouse, they are catalogued in visible storage, behind plexiglass walls where visitors can still get a peek at the items. It was now time for us to head to the Planetarium, We saw all the exhibits in the North Wing except the Chinese Art and Artifacts.
The Planetarium show was well done. It has been many decades since I’ve seen one. As a Creationist, I disagree with the millions and millions of years always touted in shows like these, so we usually skip them. This show was about the night sky for that night in Daytona so we decided to watch it and then see if we could locate any of the stars and planets we learned about that evening. Unfortunately, it rained from 7pm on well into the night so there was nothing to be seen in the sky except clouds.
The Root Family Museum near the Planetarium, hosts amazing Coca Cola and Railroad exhibits as well as some classic cars, amazing quilts, a wonderful teddy bear collection complete with a teddy bear house, and an old apothecary and soda fountain.
Lastly we headed to the L wing which housed another Gallery of Changing Exhibitions, currently The Healing Power of Art by Beaux Arts of Central Florida, as well as Cuban Art, Furniture, and History, African Art and Artifacts, the Armory, Prehistory of Florida, and the Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum.
While small, the children’s museum had several fun, interactive exhibits for adults and children to enjoy. I know my boys would have loved this area when they were younger. Ok honestly I think they still would enjoy it to this day. During our visit there were more adults playing in this area than children.
Health and Safety Precautions
At the time of this writing, Florida is in Phase 3 of its reopening. The use of masks is up to each individual business. The Museum of Arts and Sciences requires the wearing of masks while in the building. Each exhibit room has a posted occupancy limit to allow for physical distancing and there is hand sanitizer available throughout the Children’s Museum, the only area where touching is allowed. In the Planetarium we were seated one family per row and we were spaced throughout the room.
We enjoyed our visit to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach and I hope if you are in the area, you will enjoy your visit as well. Touring time varies based on how long you spend in each exhibit but I suggest planning on spending about 3 hours to see everything. Longer if you choose to visit the outside exhibits, walk the nature trails, or visit the separate art museum.