Scents of the Season: Why Fairgrounds St. Pete Doesn’t Stink

December 19, 2023

What happens when you mix interactive art with scents of the holidays? At Fairgrounds St. Pete you can find out!

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A postcard style mural that says greetings from fairgrounds on the exterior of Fairgrounds St. Pete

What’s That Smell?

Ah, the holidays – a time for family, feasts, and the unmistakable scent of Aunt Mildred’s questionable fruitcake. *swoon*

We all know it’s these scents that trigger our most beloved memories of the season and Fairgrounds St. Pete, nestled in St. Petersburg, Florida has taken the festive season to new olfactory heights. The Scents of the Season exhibit ingeniously blends traditional holiday scents with a touch of Floridian flair because, well, it wouldn’t be Florida without a bit of eccentricity. Amirite?

THe neon Motel sign at the mermaid motel at fairgrounds st pete

Mermaids in St. Petersburg Florida?

Now, if you’re not familiar with Fairgrounds St. Pete, it’s a walk-through, living art installation that features exhibits designed to make you question your reality and think outside of the box.

Considering I’m always sniffing down the next hot spot, Fairgrounds St. Pete graciously extended an invitation for me to experience the holiday whimsy firsthand.

Your journey begins at the Mermaid Star Motel.

A leisurely coastal motel that seems to have a suspiciously absent check-in clerk and a Christmas tree that’s….being sucked through a portal? Hmm.

Kristin standing behind the abandoned check-in desk at the Mermaid Motel at Fairgrounds St. Pete

While you’re pondering why the Christmas tree has interdimensional travel plans, you can sign the guest book and flip through the pages of some intriguing remnants left behind by previous explorers. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the pamphlets for local attractions!

In a hurry to get to your room? No worries, it’s right across the hall. I hope you like the color pink.

Once you’re unpacked, you’ll twist and turn your way through a maze of room after room of oddities, sweet treats, and a feline-fronted spacecraft? I don’t want to ruin the fun but it’s paws-itively enchanting.

But Kristin, I thought you said there were smells involved with this Scents of the Season thing. Correct – 14 of them, to be exact.

The interior of a faux hotel room at the mermaid motel in Fairgrounds St. Pete

Sniffing Your Way Through Fairgrounds St. Pete

So, what exactly can one’s nose expect? Let’s just say that Scents of the Season is about as wild as a Florida man’s weekend plans. Don’t worry, it’s all totally legal 😉

From the classics like Chocolate Chip and Gingerbread to the exotic Tampa Bay Breeze and Swampy Marsh, Fairgrounds St. Pete has your olfactory senses sleighing through an array of holiday aromas.

For the completists in the room (consider yourself seen) I’ve got the full list of scents to give you a bit of a leg up on the competition.

  • Chocolate Chip
  • Citrus
  • Fresh Linen
  • Gingerbread
  • Holiday Spice
  • Ocean
  • Peppermint
  • Pine Tree
  • Rain Forest
  • Strawberry
  • Swampy Marsh
  • Tampa Bay Breeze
  • Tropical
  • & Waffle Cone

The interior of a feline driving space craft art piece at Fairgrounds St. Pete

Can your schnoz sniff out every seductive scent? Trust me, I thought I was pretty swell at sniffing smells until I was in this maze of olfactory overwhelm. Some rooms are more pungent than others turning it into a challenge that’ll leave you circling through the rooms, questioning if that hint of Pine Tree was real or if it had a touch of Rain Forest.

It gives you a great reason to explore the rooms again to take a second sniff (and look).

Oh, and don’t forget to watch out for the panthers! These fluffy fellas are all over the place causing a ruckus. One was even taking a poo right outside of the space shuttle!! That’s all the context I’m going to give you btw. You’re going to have to explore Fairgrounds St. Pete on your own to find out the rest.

A girl standing next to a giant martini glass that hosts an oversized shrimp cocktail art piece.

Beyond The Scents: Fairgrounds St. Pete All Year Round

The Scents of the Season installment is running until January 8th, 2024 – making it the perfect holi-day trip to St. Petersburg. However, You don’t need to let the fun end there, Fairgrounds St. Pete welcomes you year-round to experience the peculiar, the odd, and the mermaid-y.

Dive into the wonder, and let your senses revel in the unique charm of St. Petersburg, Florida’s hidden gem. Fairgrounds St. Pete awaits, ready to redefine your idea of holiday scents and interactive art!

A mural of a mermaid on the walls of Fairgrounds St Pete.

Have a hankering to get your sniff on? Find out more about visiting Fairgrounds St. Pete here or skip the fluff and buy your tickets here!

Have a suggestion for the next place I should explore? Shoot me a message.

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I love traveling and sharing the kick-ass spots I find...but I'm not all cocktails and chic hotels. I'm the best friend that's not afraid to give it to you straight, will invite you over for movie nights, and totally tell you about the new thing I bought because I was #influenced on TikTok

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