GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Buy your tickets now for the first events in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s three-year fundraising campaign to create a permanent and expanded “Discovery Room” family activity area. The events are scheduled for Oct. 15, Nov. 16 and Feb. 24, 2012.

The campaign will fund the planning and construction of a 2,000-square-foot innovative family-friendly experience that fosters critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.

The museum’s goal is to raise $100,000 by February 2012 for planning and design of the activity area. The total campaign goal is $1 million, with the remaining funds used to construct the exhibit.

“The Discovery Room provides a safe, fun and engaging place for families to explore and learn together about the natural world and more intimately connect to the museum’s collections” said Jaret Daniels, Florida Museum assistant director for exhibits and public programs. “It helps fulfill the museum’s mission—to inspire people to value the biological richness and cultural heritage of our diverse world and make a positive difference in its future.”

Activities and technologies included in the new Discovery Room will be determined during planning and design.

“The goal of a permanent Discovery Room will ensure that future scientists will have an opportunity to explore the natural wonders of our state’s rich ecological history; where young, as well as old will enjoy a lifetime learning experience with the latest in educational and scientific innovation,” said Carrie Lee, president of the Florida Museum Associates Board, which is leading the fundraising events.

“Morning at the Museum” will kick off the campaign from 8 to 10 a.m. Oct. 15 with a breakfast buffet, mimosas, coffee and other drinks supplied by The Flying Biscuit Cafe. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for ages 6-12 and children 5 and under are free. Visitors may explore the current Discovery Room and listen to performances by the “Strings for Things” quartet in the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

“An Afternoon at the Museum,” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16, features performances by the University of Florida Jazz Combo and No Southern Accent, a female a cappella group. Drinks and hors d’ourves will be provided by The Flying Biscuit Cafe. Tickets are 25 per person.

“A Night at the Museum,” from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 24, features a formal dinner and entertainment. Tickets are $100 per person.

For more information visit or to purchase tickets, contact Brittany Snipes,, 352-273-2086. To become a sponsor, contact Leslie Ladendorf, or 352-273-2047.

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Source: Jaret Daniels, 352-273-2022,
Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,