On September 16, released readers’ choices for the annual “Best of the Islands Awards.” The “Best Museum” readers’ pick for the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, FL was the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.
If you’re new to Sanibel and Captiva, FL or you’re a long time resident who has somehow managed to miss the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, take the advice of local news readers and visit this exciting attraction. You can plan to tour the museum’s exhibits plus take part in special programs available throughout the year.
You can see and study over 30 exhibits at the Shell Museum devoted to mollusks from all over the world. Exhibits relate to everything from fossil shells and rare specimens to the role shells have played in art and history. You can also learn about shell habitat and shells commonly found on Sanibel Island and Captiva, FL. An on-site learning lab is a terrific attraction for kids, as it includes a hands-on play area, video, games and a tank containing mollusks indigenous to the area.
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum program schedule includes ongoing workshops such as live tank demonstrations and family beach walks focused on finding and identifying shells. Public programs relate to not only shells, but other local interests and environmental topics such as birding, ship wrecks and climate change.
Public programs coming up include the week-long “Celebrate Sanibel” celebration. This celebration will include programs related to Sanibel’s past, present and potential future. You can also join the “Adventures in Paradise Shelling Trip” on November 6, 2010. You can travel from Port Sanibel Marina to North Captiva, FL by boat and experience a variety of shelling opportunities, plus a lunch break.
If you’re interested in fossils, a special field trip to Rookery Bay hosted by Dr. Gary Schmelz will be a great choice. You can explore layers of shells on this exciting day-long fossil trip.
A more elaborate shelling trip to Guaymas, Mexico is being offered for December 3 – December 10, 2010. You can find out about this trip by contacting the Museum, but hurry. The sign up deadline is September 30, 2010.
Lecture series, children’s programs and additional field trips are among the other programs scheduled at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum in the coming months and in 2011. Residents of Sanibel Island and Captiva, FL can take advantage of the variety of programs arranged and publicized well in advance to make the most of all the Shell Museum offers.