1. The architecture is beautiful. If you have an affinity for the pyramids at the Louvre, you will love this building. (Apparently, the Dali Museum's architect worked with I.M. Pei on the Louvre's renovation).The bulbous glass-fronted site overlooks the water and makes the center atrium feel light and spacious. The central spiral staircase, referencing the golden spiral (and some snails and shells) you will spot through out the museum, makes kids excitedly anticipate the visit. In fact, I can not think of a child who would not react to the "wow" factor of this building.
2. The outdoor space is great. On the water, even in hot weather there is a breeze, so you can let kids blow off some steam before you head inside. A tree festooned with old wrist bands fashioned into garlands, a hedged labyrinth, a huge mustache sculpture and physical representations of Fibonacci numbers and Pi piques interest and offers a preview of Dali's integration of science, art, nature and theatricality that awaits the visitor indoors.
3. The art. Dali's surrealist art is fascinating and can lead to interesting observations and connections from kids. My one son loved looking for the bugs that are present in much of his art, my daughter really liked the hologram and sculptural work he did, and my other son enjoyed the amusing mustache photographs by Phillipe Halsman. There are small intimate portraits, detailed still lifes, massive, room-sized paintings with optical illusions, and films. The wide variety of Dali's oeuvre ensures that each visitor will find something to connect with and enjoy.
4. The food in the cafe is really good. Reasonably priced wine, tapas plates, and wonderful gazpacho made this a hit with our family. And as superfluous as it might seem, a great cafe can really make the visit so much more pleasant with children. One can fuel up before taking in the exhibitions or stop for a little break and let it all soak in between galleries.
5. The Dali Museum is very kid friendly. Perfect for a morning or afternoon museum jaunt, the Dali more than meets the needs of children museum goers. In addition to the above mentioned points, we were offered a fun scavenger hunt project that was just silly enough (with funny poems to solve) and easy enough (with generous hints and help from the friendly security guards) to keep my kids enthralled. The little prize they were offered at the end was good move too.
If you are in the central Florida area visiting the beach or a big mouse, you might consider taking a day for some cultural enrichment at the Dali. I highly recommend not only the museum, but the downtown St. Petersburg area in general. There are several other great museums and lots of fun places to grab some food.
If you are unsure about visiting museums with kids, I wrote a little guide here.