The 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, now a National Historic Landmark, is home to The University of Tampa and the Henry B. Plant Museum. During the 1880s, Henry Bradley Plant was building an empire of railroads, steamships and hotels. He wanted that empire to have a palace and that palace was the Tampa Bay Hotel – now referred to as Florida’s “first Magic Kingdom.”
Today, the Henry B. Plant Museum, located in the south wing of the original Tampa Bay Hotel, features original opulent furnishings and artifacts from the hotel collected by Mr. and Mrs. Plant on several buying trips to Europe and the Orient. The museum transports you through educational exhibits and events to the late Victorian period, the beginning of Florida’s tourist industry, and the early years of the City of Tampa. Learn the significance of the hotel during the early stages of the Spanish American War and how Tampa was thrust into the world arena in the summer of 1898.
The museum hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
Museum admission from January through November is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 4 - 12 years. Henry B. Plant Museum members are admitted at no charge. During the month of December there is special pricing for the Victorian Christmas Stroll.
Henry B. Plant Museum is located at 401 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Fl 33616. For general information, please call (813) 254-1891.
Book a Field Trip
Contact Heather Brown, Curator of Education, for dates and availability at (813) 258-7304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Adult Tours
Contact Lindsay Huban, Museum Relations Coordinator, for dates and availability at (813) 258-7302 or email@example.com.
Experience the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Victorian Christmas Stroll. Allowing visitors a glimpse of Christmas past, the event runs every day from Dec. 1–23, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily.
During the Victorian Christmas Stroll, visitors explore the museum transformed by Christmas trees ranging in height from a few inches to more than 14 feet, 40,000 lights and hundreds of feet of garland. Decorations include vintage fashions, antique toys, hand-painted ballet pointe shoes and fanciful ornaments. New to the festivities this year are A Red Cross Christmas complete with a tree decorated with miniature posters; a fanciful tree made of typewriters to inspire Richard Harding Davis and whimsical parasols fashioned into a Christmas tree complete with origami ornaments.
The Victorian Christmas Stroll celebrates the warmth and spirit of an old fashioned holiday. Complimentary cider and cookies will be served on the veranda each day while holiday music floats through the air. Guests can enjoy live music each evening from 6–8 p.m.
The museum will host a number of special performances during the Victorian Christmas Stroll. Included are:
- Dec. 1: Member Appreciation Day, Bay Voices choir 7 p.m.
- Dec. 12: Metropolitan Youth Orchestra 1 p.m.
- Dec. 13: Bits ‘n Pieces Puppet Theater 3 p.m.
- Dec. 17: Music in the Museum 11 a.m.
The Museum Store is a treasure trove of unique gifts, including elegant antique reproductions, artwork and beautiful holiday accessories. Enjoy shopping in a unique Victorian atmosphere. The Museum Store is also open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Proceeds from the Victorian Christmas Stroll fund museum restoration and preservation projects, as well as educational programming.