Free and cheap family fun
Has the chill hit your wallet too? Here's some free and cheap ways to pass the time until it warms up around here:
If your kid likes to fly, let her try it out at the Young Eagles Free Flight Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Albert Whitted Airport, 480 Bayshore Drive SE, St. Petersburg. This program takes kids up for a 30-minute flight down to the Skyway and back. A parent or guardian must be present to sign a consent form for children ages 8-17 to participate. The consent forms can be found at Albert Whitted Airport Preservation Society Web site. www.awaps.org. If you can't make it this weekend, additional dates for the 2010 Free Flight events are June 12 and Sept. 18. For information, call Terri Griner at (727) 822-1532.
When’s the last time you took your dog on a date? Woofstock on Saturday is a ’60s-themed dog event with guide dog and obedience demonstrations, vendors selling pet accessories and contests for best costume, longest tail, best trick, a pet and owner lookalike contest and more. Show off your four-legged friend at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Best part? It's free.
Tampa Bay Downs is hosting a Family Day at the Races at the track with thoroughbred horse racing, carnival-style games, mini gold, bounce obstacle course, moon bounces, face painting and pony rides. Free admission starting at noon Sunday at 11225 Race Track Road in Tampa. tampabaydowns.com.
Check out the new Tampa Museum of Art for a “pay what you will” fee. It will be offered every second Saturday of the month (that’s this week) from 9 to 11 a.m. and every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. Renowned architect Stanley Saitowitz designed the $32.8 million museum and it’s a wonder to behold. General admission is normally adults $10; seniors, groups, military plus one guest $7.50; students $5; and children ages 6 and under free. tampamuseum.org.
See Tony Dungy, Michael Pittman and WWE stars at Nick Schuyler Men’s Flag Football Tournament on Saturday. Check-in is at 7 a.m. and games start at 8 a.m. at the Idlewild Baptist Church sports complex, 18371 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Team registration up to 15 players is $400 or $40 for singles. The event includes a kids' zone, raffle, silent auction, autographs, food and giveaways. To register, call (813) 777-2382 or visit Schuyler's foundation Web site.
Let Grandma take the kids to the aquarium before the month is over. The Florida Aquarium is offering some love to visitors 60 and older with $5 admission through Feb. 28. Up to six people can be admitted. The aquarium is at 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Regular prices are adults $19.95; children 12 and under $14.95; children 2 and under free. (813) 273-4000; flaquarium.org.
Check out the Lowry Park Zoo’s $5 Day at the Zoo. It’s from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. If the zoo parking lot is full, there’s more free parking at a lot next to the Tampa Greyhound Track. Call (813) 935-8552 or go to the zoo Web site for details. If you miss the February date, a few more dates remain. And remember that noon Friday is the last day to sign up for Valentine date night child care at the zoo.
Bring on the tiger! The Clearwater Chinese School will host a Chinese New Year Celebration on Sunday to welcome the Year of the Tiger. The Lunar New Year is one of the most celebrated holidays in Asia. This celebration, at 4600 78th Ave. N in Pinellas Park, will have Chinese classical music, martial arts demos, raffles, Chinese folk dance, red envelope blessings, New Year’s pastries and more from 1:45 to 4 p.m. It’s $5, $3 children, free for Chinese school students and their parents.
All’s fair till Monday.This the last weekend for the Florida State Fair. And if deep-fried butter doesn’t tempt you, maybe the Batcopter will. Yes, the original Batcopter used in the TV series Batman still works and will offer aerial tours of the fairgrounds for $30 per person (not covered by armbands). There will be Florida Championship Wrestling on Monday and Pepsi Armband Days Friday and Sunday and Monday. It’s at Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10 adults, $5 ages 6-11 at gate (Mon.-Fri.). $12 adults, $6 ages 6-11 at the gate (Sat.-Sun.). Ride tickets or armbands not included. (813) 621-7821. But remember, it's free admission for Hillsborough County students after 4 p.m. Friday and for Pinellas, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota on Monday. Go to the fair Web site for details. floridastatefair.com.
Mommas, if you're looking for a place for your husband to take your little princess, send them off to Chick-fil-A on St. Pete Beach on Saturday for Daddy-Daughter Date Night. White tablecloths will be spread out for a special pre-Valentine's Day meal. The restaurant will be decorated with flowers and restaurant staff will take orders and serve dinner tableside while father-daughter pairs get surprises throughout the meal. Guests may also select a complimentary dessert item. Seating will occur every half hour from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at 4623 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Food prices vary. Call (727) 367-7038 for details and to reserve a spot.
Go out and make it a great weekend. And Happy Valentine's Day!
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson