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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFSP chapter.

This past weekend, I got the chance to explore a new museum called Fairgrounds St. Pete. Now, when I hear the word museum, I get a little bit worried. When I go to regular museums, I end up walking around and pretending to be excited about the art I’m looking at, but really, I am bored beyond belief. If you could not tell, I’m not the biggest fan of museums. However, the St. Petersburg Fairgrounds is a little bit different. Unlike every other art or history museum where exhibits are off-limits to touch, this museum facilitates the idea that if you can see it, you can touch it.

Fairgrounds St. Pete is an immersive art display that uses art and technology to explore original Florida stories. Various artists such as Adam Hutz, Adela Salas, and many more contribute to the array of visual designs that greet you as you walk in. This experience immerses many of your senses (sight, touch, and sound). There are several good places for taking pictures to either post on social media or to keep for memories.

One area that stuck out to me was a room designed to look out of this world, literally. Imagine this, you walk in, and there is a long hallway with many things to touch and look at, then you walk into this giant room with more items to investigate with a huge screen and some noises playing over speakers. As you explore more, you realize that each room you delve into branches from this one giant room. It was button galore; different types of buttons could be pressed, and switches could be flipped on or off in various locations depending on the room you entered. On the middle console of this spaceship-esque room, there were about 25 total switches on a panel, like you would see in the cock pit of an airplane. So, obviously, I walked up to the panel and flipped every switch I could see. To my surprise, each switch caused lights to flicker and the speakers to say a phrase as if I were in a real spaceship. 

But the funky rooms didn’t stop at the spaceship, there was one that had purely pink and white patterns on the floor, walls, and ceiling. The theme was shrimp with a big cocktail shrimp cup, shrimp all over the walls, and a shrimp disco ballThe room on its own is empty, but looking at the shrimp all over the place was hilarious.

The rest of the rooms had various art and light displays that made me feel like I was on another planet. Overall, I had an amazing experience at Fairgrounds St. Pete. Being able to touch everything without any repercussions was my favorite part. In my opinion, when I look at art, sculptures, or any historical artifact, I always want to touch and hold the pieces. However, that is usually frowned upon because the art pieces are priceless and breakable, or what I have heard so many times: “the oils on your hands will ruin it.” I totally understand this, but if you are like me and want to touch everything, this is the place for you: a sort of stim central.

It is not too expensive of an outing as it is $25 for college students, Florida residents, active duty (police, military, fire, and EMT), and 65 and older. I only got the general admission, but there are many different activities you can also purchase, including a scavenger hunt for an additional $7 onto the admission price. Other special events include Art After Dark on the third Friday of every month, where they have live music and drinks in the immersive art exhibits from 7 pm to 9 pmAlso, beginning October 6th until November 6th, they will be doing an immersive Halloween game where you get different goodies to wear as you play the eerie eyeball game.

What will your next adventure be? Will you immerse yourself in the artistic and technological world of Fairgrounds St. Pete?

Hello! My name is Dorian, I am a writer for Her Campus at USFSP and this is my second year as a college student but have junior standing. I am a psychology major with a criminology minor. I am from Goshen, New York; no I am not from New York City! I was a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor for many years which came from my nine years of competitive swimming. I love working with the kids and seeing them and their skills grow and flourish. My career goal is to do behavior research on children with disabilities. I am highly interested in how the brain works and how it works differently in different people. In my free time, I LOVE to hammock and soak up the sun in my photosynthesizing time. I usually bring a silly little book with me or just chill with my friends. One of my favorite activities is going on random adventures with my friends and just letting the wind blow us wherever it may go. I have also recently begun to learn how to long-board. I also enjoy going to the gym with my friends to get those big muscles. Another one of my favorite activities is getting tattoos; my goal is to cover myself in art.