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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap family events for the weekend



gasp.jpgWe can grumble that traffic is thicker because of all the snow birds but shouldn't we revel in why they are here? We aren't shoveling snow to get out of our driveways this week are we? Meanwhile, we have a ton of free and cheap things to do with kids this week from the bead-tastic Gasparilla parade to free days at local museums to awesome local events. Read on for more free and cheap things to do.

It's Tampa's Mardis Gras this weekend and we have a great list of insider tips on how to navigate the pirate invasion known as Gasparilla so you can snag some serious beadage,

The still new-ish Tampa Museum of Art has just launched a Friday treat, On the House, with admission to the museum “on the house” from 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays courtesy of the Hill Ward Henderson law firm. On exhibit now is the museum’s renowned collection of ancient world antiquities, as well as collections on American modernism and one on the realism movement. Admission is usually $10, $7.50 seniors, $5 students, with children 6 and under free.  The museum is at 120 Gasparilla Plaza in Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park.

Free on Tuesday at the Glazer Children’s Museum: Another museum freebie! Get there early if you want to take advantage of this deal, because the line gets long. We’re talking out the door and down the block long. Thanks to Target, you get free entry from 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at the 53,000-square-foot hands-on museum that allows children to experience numerous occupational roles, from becoming tugboat captains to following the journey of water and working as engineers. The museum is at 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, in Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park.

St. Petersburg College Planetarium does a great job lighting up the sky for these free Friday night shows, and its latest series  The Stars of Winter  explores the sights, stars and planets of the winter skies over Tampa Bay. The astronomy professor shows you the planets and stars as they look to the naked eye, by telescope and by the Hubble space telescope. Shows are at 7 and 8:15 p.m. Friday, followed by a look through the planetarium’s telescopes, weather permitting. Children must be 5 or older to attend. The planetarium is at 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

The Pinellas Folk Festival, which is Heritage Village’s annual collection of old-school crafts and entertainment, includes traditional folk, gospel, country and bluegrass music, as well as old-time games, storytelling, traditional craft demonstrations and a fiber arts show. This year you can also see the Native American Dance Society of Florida perform and an American Indian-style flute circle. It’s at 10 a.m. Saturday at the village, 11909 125th St. N, Largo. Suggested donation is $2, 11 and younger free.

For the Sunset Cinema at Pier 60, bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to plop on Clearwater Beach and watch free movies. Concessions for sale. No alcohol. Shows start around dusk. Features “Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore,” rated PG. 6 p.m., Pier 60, 10 Pier 60 Drive , Clearwater Beach.  Free. (727) 434-6060;

Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to plop on Clearwater Beach and watch "Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore" for free. That's Friday at dusk at Pier 60. On Saturday, it's Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Get details here on the Sunset Cinema at Pier 60 series.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Thursday, January 27, 2011 7:54am]


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