Free and cheap family fun Nov. 20-22
It's the most wonderful time of the year: The weather is fantastic and with the holidays just around the corner, there is plenty to do in the bay area. It's time to take advantage of the reason we like living here.
The Mirror Lake Complex is throwing a free Grand Re-Opening and Cookout celebration from 7-11 p.m. Friday at 559 Mirror Lake Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. A special recognition ceremony will be held at 7:15 p.m. The whole family, even the family pet, can attend the party that features an arts and crafts show, lawn bowling, badminton, volleyball, bocce ball, croquet, horseshoes, bean-bag toss, ping pong, billiards, chess, card and board games. Hot dogs, burgers and sodas will be available, and adults can buy beer and wine. For information, call (727) 893-7190 or go here.
Grab your water shoes for a Swamp Walk along the mangrove shoreline and tidal flats of Weedon Island. It’s suitable for ages 8 and older and runs 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. It’s free but registration is required at (727) 453-6500.
The annual Christmas extravaganza Symphony in Lights kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. The Alan Darcy Group will perform just a bit before 6 p.m. and then make way for a special North Pole visitor to arrive to spread some holiday cheer. Each night through Dec. 31, there will be a show at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The show features thousands of lights and the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It's free at the mall. Call (813) 994-2242 or go to the mall Web site.
Blinking lights and Santa should get you to stop griping about how it’s not even Thanksgiving yet when Seminole holds its Bright Before Your Eyes Illuminated Night Parade. Starting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, some 25 floats, cars and walking units will light the way for special guest Santa Claus. It begins at the Seminole Mall, 11201 Park Blvd., and moves north to the Seminole Recreation Center.
If you're looking for an event that has a little spirit, check out the Cheer and Dance Blast from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Entertainment Hall at Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Cheer and dance teams from schools, recreation centers, dance studios and Al-Star teams from across Florida compete to see who's best in the state. All participants are ages 5-18. Cost is $10 to see them bring it on. Okay? Okay! Call toll-free 1-877-852-4337 for more information or go to the cheer Web site.
Bring your pillows and jammies for the Family Flicks! Movies on the Waterfront at dusk Saturday at the Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. This month's film will be The Velveteen Rabbit projected onto an inflatable screen in the Waterside Courtyard. Call (727) 821-6443 for the details.
If these events don't float your boat, check out all the other activities happening this weekend. Get out of the house people because you know you'll be there all day on Thursday watching football and eating the bird.
-- Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne
[Special to the Times; The Velveteen Rabbit]