Miami's highly-anticipated Frost Museum of Science finally opened Monday after it broke ground five years ago.
The 250,000-square-foot museum along the Biscayne Bay waterfront in downtown boasts a planetarium, aquarium and an interactive science museum.
"It's a really exciting day for Miami," Frost Science President Frank Steslow said.
The project suffered a number of financial setbacks and was in danger of not opening. After burning through $165 million in Miami-Dade County money for construction, the museum board was struggling to collect roughly $80 million in private pledges. A plan to use those pledges to get bank loans failed.
Instead, the county came through with about $45 million from a hotel bed tax earmarked for tourism and cultural projects. The museum also trimmed about $25 million in construction costs.
Pharmaceutical billionaire couple Patricia and Phillip Frost also contributed another $4 million to cover cost overruns.
"We are just very excited that it's going to live up to its expectations and much more," Phillip Frost said at Monday's opening.
The museum features a one-of-a-kind planetarium with advanced technology. And there are all kinds of animals to learn about from those native to the Everglades to the oceans, with a 500,000-gallon aquarium full of sharks and rays.
As part of the grand opening celebration the first 100 people in line were gifted a free family-level membership to the museum.
For more information on the museum including events, hours and ticketing, click here.