Tampa Convention Center – Things To Do With Your Team

Everyone knows Florida as one of the vacation capitals of the world. However, with over 10 convention centers located throughout the state, Florida is a popular destination for a variety of events as well.

The Tampa Convention Center is one of the finest in Florida, combining dazzling sunshine and sparkling waterfront views with a first-class convention center experience. Situated on the banks of the Hillsborough River in Tampa, the Tampa Convention Center boasts 600,000 square feet of space throughout its four levels. Inside the convention center is a 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 36,000-square-foot ballroom, and 36 meeting rooms.

Add to all that the variety of entertaining attractions and excellent dining options all within less of a mile radius of the facility and you and your team have got a convention center experience that will be unlike any you’ve had before.


Things to Do

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a chain of upscale bowling and dining complexes located in more than five cities throughout the U.S., including Cincinnati, Fairview, Miami, and Orlando.

The first-ever Splitsville location can be found at Channelside Bay Plaza only a 10-minute walk from the Tampa Convention Center. The Splitsville at Channelside Bay Plaza features 12 bowling lanes, seven billiard tables, shuffleboard, and live entertainment.

Best of all, after you and your team have had your fill of fun, you can fill up on some delicious food from their eclectic menu. On the menu at Splitsville you’ll find typical bowling fare like sliders, wings, and pizza, all with an upscale twist, as well as more exotic offerings like sushi rolls and rice bowls. Splitsville is closed to the public on Monday through Wednesday. 615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602


Glazer Children’s Museum

Glazer Children’s Museum is a three-story, 53,000-square-foot interactive museum in the heart of downtown Tampa. While the over 170 interactive exhibits that can be found at Glazer Children’s Museum were specifically designed to engage children in the process of discovery through play, you just might end up having some fun there as well.

At Glazer Children’s Museum your team can follow the cycle of a water drop, be the captain of a cruise ship, build a fort, design a house, explore engineering marvels, and much more. 110 W Gasparilla Plz, Tampa, FL 33602


The Florida Aquarium

While at the Tampa Convention Center you’ll be just a short walk from one of the most popular aquariums in the nation, The Florida Aquarium.

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During your visit to The Florida Aquarium you and your team will experience firsthand the journey of a drop of water as it is whisked away from one of Florida’s many freshwater springs out to the open water of the Gulf of Mexico, encountering more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals along the way, of course.

Your aquarium adventure will begin at the exciting Wetlands Trail exhibit. There you’ll see swamps where alligators wade, pass streams where otters play, and watch as free-flying birds soar overhead. As you and your team progress through The Florida Aquarium you’ll visit many other amazing creatures, from leaping lemurs and hissing cockroaches at the Journey to Madagascar exhibit to a juvenile green sea turtle at the Bays and Beaches exhibit. The Florida Aquarium is the place to go in Tampa to turn an everyday afternoon into an aquatic adventure! 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602


Tampa Bay History Center

A Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, the Tampa Bay History Center features three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space showcasing thousands of years of Florida history. As one of Tampa’s most popular attractions, the history center and its cutting-edge, interactive exhibits offer visitors of all ages a fun and memorable educational experience. While there, you and your team will learn about everything from the Tampa Bay area’s first native inhabitants and Cuban cigar rollers to Spanish conquistadors and Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.

Complete your group’s Tamp Bay History Center experience with a delicious meal at the Columbia Cafe and a visit to the museum store, where you’ll find a wide array of Florida-focused items. 801 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602


Tampa Firefighters Museum

Located just under 20 minutes from the Tampa Convention Center, directly adjacent to the Tampa Fire Rescue Station in the heart of the city’s downtown area is the Tampa Firefighters Museum.

Housed in the beautifully restored, 18,000-square-foot 1911 fire station, a visit to the Tampa Firefighters Museum will transport you and your team back in time as you explore its wealth of exhibits and stories. You’ll also learn some important life safety and fire prevention information along the way. Admission to the museum is free; donations are appreciated. 720 E Zack St, Tampa, FL 33602


American Victory Ship Mariners Museum

SS American Victory, one of only four fully-operational World War II ships in the United States, has been docked in Tampa less than a mile from the convention center since September 1999. It saw service not only during World War II but also during the Korean and Vietnam War as well.

While the SS American Victory may no longer serve as a part of the U.S. military fleet, it is now the main feature of the American Victory Ship Mariners Museum in Tampa’s Channel District. At this fascinating attraction you and your team can come aboard and witness the ship in its entirety, including its cavernous three-level cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, hospital, galley, weaponry, steering stations, flying bridge, signaling equipment, wheelhouse, mess halls, crew cabins, lifeboats, captain’s quarters, cargo equipment, and engine.

Throughout the nine decks of the SS American Victory you and your team will also find rare artifacts, exciting exhibits, uniforms, medals, documents, photographs, and more. 705 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602


Places to Eat

Champion Sports Bar

Catch the big game while enjoying a meal with big flavor at Champions Sports Bar, located at the Tampa Marriot Waterside Hotel & Marina near the Tampa Convention Center. The dining area at Champion Sports Bar features plenty of big screen TVs so you won’t miss a moment of the action and their menu is a playbook of classic crowd-pleasing bar food, pub food, and stick-to-your-ribs food.

You and your team can give your taste buds a pregame warmup with appetizers like chili cheese dip, BBQ pork sliders, and onion rings before tackling main event meals like their pork jam burger, topped with bacon jam, pulled pork, guava barbecue sauce, garlic dill pickles, and a crispy beer battered onion ring or a smoked turkey sandwich with provolone, Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, marinated tomato, and smoked chili aioli on a rosemary garlic roll. 700 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602


Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza

New York City pizza… in Tampa? It may sound crazy, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza. In fact, the pizza they’re serving at this renowned Tampa pizza joint is so authentic that they make it with water imported all the way from New York City. The minerals found in the water there imparts the crust of each pizza with a flavor that is unmistakably New York. So, whether you order a plain pie or one of their signature pizzas, every slice will taste like it came straight from the Big Apple.

The menu at Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza also features classic Italian dishes like cheese calzones, chicken parmigiana, and baked ziti, as well as heros, salads, wings, and more. 203 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL 33602


Holy Hog Barbecue

If there’s one kind of cuisine in particular that the South is known for, it’s barbecue. So, while you and your team are in Tampa, don’t pass up a great opportunity to get to sink your teeth into some real deal southern barbecue.

Lucky for you, some of the best barbecue in the area can be found less than 10 minutes from the Tampa Convention Center at Holy Hog Barbecue. All of the succulent barbecue staples on the menu at Holy Hog are made from only the finest cuts of meat and are smoked to perfection, ensuring that it’ll be delicious from your first bite to your last.

The menu at Holy Hog features everything from classics like tender brisket and smoked chicken to some more unique choices like Havana smokie sausage and burnt ends. In true barbecue fashion, Holy Hog also offers an extensive selection of savory sides that are the perfect complement to their decadent meats, like collard greens and ham, cowboy baked beans, fried okra, and their award-winning, homemade jalapeno mac ‘n cheese. 302 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602


Toscanini’s Restaurant

There’s something for everyone at Toscanini’s Restaurant, a casual, family-friendly eatery located just over a half mile away from the convention center in the downtown area of Tampa.

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While their specialty is Italian cuisine, Toscanini’s Restaurant also serves wings tossed in a variety of delicious sauces and rubs, as well as burgers, gyros, and more.

Just a few of the many Italian dishes that can be found on the menu at Toscanini’s Restaurant include brick oven pizzas, calzones, strombolis, lasagna, chicken fettuccine alfredo, and linguine with clam sauce.

If you and your team are in the mood for a hearty meal to start your day off right, Toscanini’s Restaurant also serves a variety of breakfast staples like omelets and breakfast sandwiches. 513 E Jackson St, Tampa, FL 33602


The Tampa Convention Center will most likely be one of the best convention centers you and your team visit. Not only because of how elegant and well-equipped the convention center itself is, but also because it happens to be just minutes away from some of the best dining and entertainment options that the city has to offer.

Make sure your team packs lightly when you visit Tampa; in addition to your luggage you’ll also be bringing home with you fond memories to be cherished for years to come.