By Kathy L. Collins

For millions of Americans, it isn’t really Christmas until they have seen A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Tampa Bay History Center celebrates this holiday classic and the many other characters created by Charles Schultz in Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.

The exhibit is available for viewing now through January 11, 2015. The exhibit explores the making of the animated classic and celebrates the anticipation, joy and pitfalls of the holiday season. During the exhibit period, the Tampa Bay History Center will offer several events called “Kids, Cocoa and Crafts.” These will be offered on Saturday, December 6, 13, 27 and Sunday, December 28. The event is free with gallery admission.

During it’s nearly 50 year history, the Peanuts comic strip grew to have a strong connection with the winter season, especially Christmas. The Tampa History Center’s Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown celebrates the holiday season as explored in the comic strip. Fans of Charlie Brown will delight in the reproduction comic strips, quotes by Charles Schultz, photos from Schultz’ boyhood, artifacts from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and seasonal novelty items.

While at the Tampa Bay History Center, stop in their museum store and see all of the great vintage looking “Old Florida” knick knacks or the store’s huge selection of Florida focused books, prints and stationery.

The Tampa Bay History Center occupies 60,000 sq. ft. with exhibits that draw a path through time going all the way back to Florida’s first inhabitants almost 12,000 years ago.

The Tampa Bay History Center is located at 801 Old Water St. in downtown Tampa in the Channelside District. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. During the holidays, the museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27 and Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25. On Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24, the museum is open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

For more information, visit www.tampahistorycenter.org.