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Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum introduces Hospitality Weeks

By Staff | Aug 30, 2017

Daily tank talks are just one of the free activities offered at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. ASHLEY GOODMAN

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum will host the first of its Hospitality Weeks beginning Sept. 10-24. During those weeks, island employees and their immediate family members will get in the museum for free. The only things attendees need to bring are a name tag, pay stub or business card.

“We’re hoping to get on-island support from people who work here,” said Leigh Gay, outreach coordinator at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

Gay said the free one-day admission is perfect for those planning a day trip to Sanibel.

“If you do everything, it could take two or more hours to get through the museum. It’s a full day that you can spend here with your family,” Gay said.

Sme of the most popular exhibits at the museum are the daily tank talks which take place at 11 a.m., 12:30, 2:30 and 4 p.m. everyday.

“Our tank talks are really educational but they’re also really fun. They teach you how to find mollusks and what to do if you find a live one. You get to see a lot of live things that you wouldn’t normally get to see on the beach,” Gay said. “I think the tank talks help people connect with them more as animals. We try to get everyone who comes through the door to go to a tank talk because that’s where we really get the message of the museum across.”

Other activities at the museum include:

* Exhibits – The Bailey-Matthews has over 30 exhibits. Some of those topics include: shells from around the world, shells of Sanibel and Captiva, worldwide record-size shells, fossil layers, Florida’s fossils and original shell people, money cowries and a children’s learning lab.

* Family Shell Arts and Crafts – Family Shell Arts and Crafts take place everyday at the museum from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

* Movies – Educational movies about mollusks are on-tap all day at the museum.

All activities are included with the free admission. The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, go to shellmuseum.org.