Free and cheap family fun
Are you in the holiday spirit yet? No? Well, use this weekend to get there. If you are one of the super-organized people who already has their gifts wrapped, cards mailed off and holiday decorating complete, we hate you! But you also can go out and take advantage of the many holiday happenings throughout the Tampa Bay area. There are a few that stand out for the family. And if you just want to do something other than the holiday thing, then there are other events to keep you occupied.
Straub Park in St. Petersburg gets the Festival of Lights going with Fire on Ice: Chanukah Extravaganza, which includes a “lighting” of a ginormous menorah carved from a 500-pound block of ice. There will also be music, a Bohemian fire show, freshly made doughnuts, hot latkes and crafts for kids. It starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at South Straub Park, Second Avenue and Bayshore Drive NE in St. Petersburg.
The rainy weather last week washed out several snow fests that where planned in Clearwater, Oldsmar and on the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin, so the forecast calls for snow this weekend instead. Play in the snow and slide on a toboggan Friday during the Miracle on Cleveland Street at the 500 block of Cleveland Street in Clearwater starting at 5 p.m. Friday. Oldsmar’s Christmas Wonderland, in which children can slide down slopes of ice at R.E. Olds Park, will be at 6 p.m. Friday, and Dunedin’s Old-Fashioned Christmas, will have machines sprinkling snow flakes onto the Pinellas Trail at 6 p.m. Saturday along Main Street in Dunedin.
Take a spin on the "Glice" in St. Petersburg's North Straub Park this weekend. “Glice” is a plastic material coated with silicone and that's what gives you the feeling that you are sorta, kinda on ice. Thank goodness it won't melt in the Florida heat. The rink is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on select dates through Dec. 23. It costs $5 for 30 minutes with skates provided at North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 893-7441 or go to the city's Web site.
Kids like hanging out in the kitchen so get them some skills at Let Them Eat Cake. This weekend, they can learn how to make some Cuban delights. Classes, which are $40, begin at 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday at Let Them Eat Cake, 3805 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Call (813) 480-5466 for details.
Get a little wild this weekend at Lowry Park Zoo's Wild Wonderland. You'll see snow, penguins, Santa and perhaps a reindeer or two. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 ages 3-11 and free for kids 2 and younger. Hours are 6-9 p.m. at the zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 935-8552 for more details or go to the zoo's Web site.
Donate your fat pants to Goodwill and get a free Boot Camp session in January at Lifestyle Family Fitness. Bring gently used clothing to fitness centers in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk counties between now and Dec. 23. Go to the Lifestyle Web site or call toll-free 1-800-543-3793 to find the nearest fitness center.
If you have a girl who likes princess costumes, Princess Tiana’s Holiday Ball skating party will feature a red carpet walk and a princess fashion show. It’s $5, which includes admission and skate rental from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at United Skates of America, 5121 N Armenia Ave. in Tampa. By the way, movie opens this weekend. That should really get the girls revved up for the skate.
McGough Nature Park at the Largo Narrows is offering a way to get outdoors and cook at the campfire. The Florida Pioneer Days Family Cookout lets you explore the park at night and enjoy crafts and games for the whole family. It’s 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at 11901 146th St. N in Largo. Call (727) 518-3047 to register.
Have fun all weekend as we continue to hurl our way throug h December. We'll see you out there.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson