Free and cheap family fun (and no garland here!)
There's so much going on in the holiday season that we've separated the free and cheap fun by holiday diversions here. Read on for the ways to be naughty or nice without busting the budget. Here's this week's list of cheap thrills:
Half price at Dinosaur World! See kitsch in its most glorious pristine state at the Plant City roadside attraction, which this week is celebrating its 10th anniversary (Wait, whaa? This place is only 10 years old? We could have sworn that place was a holdover from the '50s). It’s half-price admission of $6.37 for adults, $4.87 kids, for Florida residents through Sunday. Look for the giant orange T-Rex at the Plant City exit between Tampa and Orlando, or dig through the fossil remains at their web site.
There will be shopping, crafts, live entertainment and giveaways ranging from Webkinz to mommy swag at Kidapalooza at the South Town Shopping Center party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is one unwrapped toy for charity per family at 1503 S Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. (813) 391-4800; divinetampa.com. Free
There's a Small Craft Warning (as in teeny tiny crafts) at Brady’s Yappy Hour for Rescues at 7:30 Thursday night. A free bead-making demonstration will show you how to make pendant beads.There will also be raffles, refreshments, door prizes, silent auction and more to benefit Dachshund Adoption, Rescue and Education. It's at the Nature of Art Gallery, 1100 Fourth Street N., St. Petersburg.
Have you got a potential William Tell in your house? A free Introductory Archery Workshop will provide equipment and a demonstration to find out from 10 a.m. to non Saturday. Advance registration required at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at Chinsegut Nature Center, 23212 Lake Lindsay Road (County Road 476), in Brooksville. Free. (352) 754-6722.
The Florida State fairgrounds will be providing space for fans of horses and for cheerleaders. Ready? OK! The Hunter Jumper Horse Show and Driving Trials are free to watch starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. There's $3,000 in prize money up for grabs, plus a carriage driving event with dressage, cones and hazards and obstacles at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Use the Orient Road gate. Or you can watch the Cheer America Competitions with cheerleaders from nine counties, ages 5-15, competing from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Special Events Center of the fairgrounds. Tickets are $7 in advance; $10 at the door; children ages 3 and younger free. Parking: $5 per car; $10 per RV or bus. Enter via the MLK Jr. Boulevard entrance.
And for all your teens who like to play Wii and want a little more competition than dear old mom and dad, let them hang out at Wii Weekend at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive. The festivities in the Teen Room will be from 1 p.m. to midnight. That's a lot of Wii.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne