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A first of its kind in the Tampa Bay area, MOSI, The Florida Aquarium and ZooTampa at Lowry Park will combine efforts to raise awareness for autism in the Tampa Bay community through Day of Discovery events. In addition, each attraction will “Light It Up Blue” on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2018.

Joined by the international community on World Autism Awareness Day, thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities including MOSI, The Florida Aquarium and ZooTampa, will illuminate their buildings in blue in honor of people living with autism. To foster worldwide support and increase understanding and acceptance, autism-friendly events and educational activities will take place the entire month of April, starting April 2nd.

The Autism Awareness Puzzle Logo is the most recognized symbol of the autism community and serves as the inspiration for our collaborative logo and tagline, “Our collaboration helps to complete the puzzle.”

Day of Discovery events in Tampa will provide special needs families with unique programming, special animal encounters, enrichment activities and the opportunity to enjoy artwork displayed from those in our community with special needs. Every event will make unique modifications regarding the environment setting, to ensure surroundings have been adapted for those individuals with sensory differences.

The first of these Tampa Day of Discovery events will be at The Florida Aquarium on April, 7th, from 8:00am – 9:30am. Presented by Outback Steakhouse, engaging experiences provided by the Aquarium will showcase amazing aquatic-themed activities. Plus, the 501st Legion and Rebel Forces and a surprise Tampa Bay Buccaneer player will join us for photo opportunities and fun. Your admission ticket from Day of Discovery enables you to stay for regular Aquarium operating hours, starting at 9:30 a.m.

“Teaming up with like-minded partners such as MOSI and Zoo Tampa to provide autism-friendly adventures aligns with our commitment to inspire and engage community participation for diverse audiences,” said Roger Germann, President & CEO of The Florida Aquarium.

Then, ZooTampa at Lowry Park will host there Day of Discovery sponsored by the Lowry Murphey Foundation on April 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

“We are proud to be a part of this collaborative event with The Florida Aquarium and MOSI to support autism-awareness in our community,” said Jennifer McLachlan, VP of Education with ZooTampa at Lowry Park. “We aim to provide unforgettable experiences for all guests, including those with special needs.”

MOSI will close out the series of Discovery events in Tampa on April 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

“We are very excited to collaborate with our friends from The Florida Aquarium and ZooTampa”, said MOSI Chief Operating Officer Rob Lamke. “These events are a great example of how our community works and helps to support each other. With Mayor Buckhorn’s vision of Autism Friendly Tampa, this type of collaboration not only makes sense here, it also potentially provides the collaborative example for other attraction venues in other cities to follow. ”

About the Museum of Science & Industry:

For more than 35 years, The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) has been offering programs to all in the Tampa Bay community that focus on a variety of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

About The Florida Aquarium:

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment. The Florida Aquarium is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals representing species from Florida and around the world. For more information about The Florida Aquarium, visit

About ZooTampa at Lowry Park:

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in conservation, education, recreation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours for select events. Parking is free. For more, visit or call (813) 935-8552. Also, find the Zoo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.[if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

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