This May, ACE Pensacola invites arts & culture lovers to vacation artfully by celebrating International Museum Day with the destination’s renowned institutions. On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, residents and visitors to Pensacola can celebrate the holiday by expanding their cultural, historical, and artistic knowledge through vibrant representations of the city’s community and history at The Chappie James Museum, Pensacola’s Historic Village, the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Pensacola Children’s Museum and the National Naval Aviation Museum, among others.
The irreplicable Historic Village breathes life into Pensacola’s past with over 460 years of history to share. The reimagined self-guided museum experience encompasses eight and a half acres and 28 properties, 11 of which are open to the public. With a range of architectural styles including Mediterranean Revival, Renaissance Revival, Greek Revival, Classical Revival, French Creole, and Folk Victorian, strolling through Pensacola’s Historic Village is a step-through time. In addition to the architectural style, the properties are interpreted to represent a variety of time periods, such as Colonial, Victorian, and coming soon – 1920s Pensacola, through furnishings and other artifacts. Live interactions with living history interpreters fully immerse visitors into the stories of old Pensacola. Historic Village is also currently offering “One Ticket, Seven Days to Explore” ticketing that enables guests to visit all of the museums making up the village.
National Naval Aviation Museum
Established in 1966, The National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM) is the largest Naval Aviation museum in the world with a close history to the city it resides in. Boasting over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and 37 acres of outdoor grounds, the museum houses more than 150 beautifully restored one-of-a-kind aircraft. Guests can spot the latest aircraft at work right above the museum grounds during a Blue Angels practice flight, the official U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. Visitors can also experience the thrill of the sky at The Naval Aviation Memorial Giant Screen Theater which features 325 seats with the latest state-of-the-art motion picture projection that delivers stunning 4K resolution. The NNAM offers the knowledge of flight while delivering “the spirit of Naval Aviation” to each guest.
Pensacola Children’s Museum
With exhibitions developed for parents and children to explore and play together inside interactive spaces, the Pensacola Children’s Museum is a two-story playground for learning. Housed on the museum’s first floor is the Discovery Gallery, a miniature Historic Pensacola where young visitors can trade goods at the Post or sail a Spanish ship. The second floor holds exhibits including the Indigenous Americans exhibit, highlighting to the different tribes of the Florida region; the Brik’s Makerspace Gallery, complete with developing stations where kids can participate in STEM activities, tap into their imagination and construct engineering feats; and the Land and Sea: Wonders of the Gulf Coast, which explores the relationship between humans and nature. In addition, the Pensacola Children’s Museum offers “StoryTyme with Grandma Jenkins”, which aims to boost environmental awareness with the Keep Pensacola Beautiful program and hosts birthday parties.
Pensacola Museum of Art
Housed in a city landmark built in 1906, the Pensacola Museum of Art has brought fine art, traveling exhibitions, lectures, and other cultural presentations to the Northwest Florida region since 1954. The Pensacola Museum of Art delivers on its mission to build a dialogue between artists, community members, and students through the annual Members Show. Aiming to share artwork by longtime patrons, new museum members, and artists, this year’s Members Show highlights Into the Mirror: Carrie Ann Baade, an exciting exhibition that will be on display at the museum through May 29, 2022. The Pensacola Museum of Art also provides semester-long public programs including Next Generation Homeschool and Art Academy for Autism.
Pensacola Museum of History
The flagship museum of the coastal city, The Pensacola Museum of History, resides in a 1907 three-story Mediterranean Revival architecture building, formerly the Pensacola City Hall. The museum proudly houses over 460 years of the city’s history with current exhibits on display including the Finding 1821 Trail exhibit, where visitors can explore 1820s Pensacola using modern technology and newspaper stories from the 1800s. On the museum’s second story lives The City of Five Flags exhibit which tells the unique story of Pensacola’s origin through one-of-a-kind artifacts and immersive environments.
The Chappie James Museum
Born in 1920, David “Chappie” James was the first African American to become a four-star general in the U.S. Air Force. With a military career spanning three wars, including World War ll and the Vietnam War, James was a two-time recipient of the George Washington Freedom Foundation Medal amongst a host of other military and social honors. In dedication to the heroic Pensacola native, James’ childhood home was transformed into The Chappie James Museum to bring his life and legacy to the community and beyond.
Pensacola MESS Hall
Sparking curiosity and experimentation at every age, the Pensacola MESS Hall encourages exploration through math, engineering, science, and stuff (MESS). Museum meets hands-on workshop at the Pensacola MESS Hall with interactive experiments, self-guided experiences and monthly Curiosity Days. Each month brings a new focus for the designated Curiosity Day, like Plant Power this May, where visitors can dissect flowers and seeds, investigate how plants grow, learn about native plants and even assemble components to grow their very own mushrooms. This unique Pensacola destination is not to be missed.
For more information on Pensacola’s museums or how to vacation artfully in Pensacola, visit acepensacola.org.