I believe the Tallahassee Museum has the wrong name, but is exactly right if you want to find some family fun in this city. The Tallahassee Museum sounds like something featuring the history of Tallahassee, but it actually features the wildlife (and I’m not talking about the crazy college kids at nearby FSU or FAMU). There’s more than wildlife here, but that’s the part your family is going to remember most if they are anything like mine.
The tour of the Tallahassee Museum is a bit like a walk through a zoo and nature preserve all in one. It’s a living museum. It’s a walk back in time, as well, but I’ll explain that part later.
My family loved the nature paths and boardwalk that wind through the animal exhibits. We couldn’t easily spot the animals many times and decided it was more of a game of “Where’s Waldo” merged into “Where’s the Wildlife” and we were often pretty amazed when we found them—camouflaged into their environment.
You’ll see panthers, turkeys, gators and more. And you’ll also see dinosaurs—made out of old car parts. That’s right.
It’s a special part of the zoo for now. Created by Jim Gary, an artist who created an exhibit of extinct creatures out of old parts, an exhibit that has traveled the world. They’re massive—weighing up to 4,000 pounds and 43 feet high. He passed away in 2006 and his pieces now have a home at the Tallahassee Museum as part of the Jim Gary Foundation.
That’s just one part of the scene at the Tallahassee Museum. There are some amazing structures on display, too, including the Tallahassee home of Princess Catherine Murat, Bellevue. Murat was a descendant of George Washington and married a man related to Napolean Bonapart, and her life in Tallahassee was one of great interest to many at the time (1820’s on).
You’ll see Bellevue on the property, along with an old church building where you can hear a fold gospel recording, an 1890s school where you can sit at an old desk, or walk through several buildings that served as a plantation and hear recordings of stories of slave life that will move you to the core.
The Tallahassee Museum hosts events throughout the year, including a Jazz Fest that I hope to make it back to some day.
(Note to the reader: My family was invited by the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to visit Tallahassee. Some of our expenses were covered. My opinion of what we did and saw is my own and I was not compensated for the review.)