For over 60 years the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach has been providing an educational and entertaining resource to locals and visitors alike. The museum includes a vast collection of local Florida art, American and European fine and decorative arts, paintings, african artifacts and prehistoric fossils. The museum also features a 40’ domed Planetarium theater which houses various shows and includes a Minolta MS-10 sky projector, portraying what our Central Florida sky would look like under ideal weather conditions. With so much to explore, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach is a perfect destination for day of family fun and learning.
This non-profit educational institution was founded in 1955 and chartered by the State of Florida in 1962. The museum receives support for their research and exhibits from the State, Volusia county, and they are also affiliates of the Smithsonian Institute. But the real support, and their larger purpose, comes from the support and patronage of museum members and guests that visit this great asset of our community. While some exhibits change, there are some great fixtures of this museum that are “must-sees” for adults, children, history-lovers, and all other inquisitive individuals alike.
The Giant Ground Sloth display has been a staple of the Daytona Beach museum for 30 years. As the most complete and well-preserved ground sloth fossil in North America, this exhibit is both awe-inspiring and one-of-a-kind. The ground sloth species inhabited coastal Central Florida, and especially Volusia County, approximately 130,000 years ago and stood 20 feet tall, weighing three to five tons. But don’t worry, he may be huge, but this hairy-mammal was a herbivore so he won’t be snacking on any museum patrons.
Another integral part of the Museum of Arts and Sciences is the Charles and Linda William’s Children’s Museum which offers educational and fun interactive exhibits geared toward the kids. This exhibit is the first hands-on exhibit of its kind in Volusia County and consists of over 15 different stations designed to demonstrate to children various principles of science, physics, and engineering. With a sprawling 9,300 square foot area, this wing of the museum is ideal for families and large groups of children, where learning actually becomes fun.
Last, but certainly not least of the permanent fixtures here at the MOAS, is the 24,000 square foot Root Wing which houses the artifacts of the Root Family Museum. This exhibit displays the rise of technology in 20th century America as relates to a staple of this centuries culture: Coca Cola. This all-encompassing display of Coca Cola related items ranges from advertising displays, to over 800 teddy bears, and beyond. Explore this massive collection and discover a great story in American entrepreneurship as this family transformed a small glass company into the largest independent Coca Cola bottlers in the country. The collection is highlighted by two mid-century train cars that are fully restored and can be viewed from the outdoor train station pavilion.
Along with their many great exhibits, the MOAS also offers many special events, tours, children’s summer camps and much more as they continue to reach out to our Daytona Beach community. With the ever-changing schedule of both exhibits and events, it is important to check their well-updated website for the most current information and exhibitions. There are internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as membership opportunities that include free admission at the MOAS as well as other area museums among other benefits. The museum is located at 352 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Sundays from 11:00am to 5:00pm (closed Mondays). General admission for non-members is $12.95 with discounts for students, seniors, and children. At such an affordable price, there is no reason not to bring the family to explore this expanse of history, learning and fun in Daytona Beach.