Free and cheap family fun for Oct. 16-18
We can’t bail out your checkbook, but we can bail out your day planner with these free and cheap things to do.
Maybe some free concerts in the park will bring on nice fall weather. The Florida Orchestra is doing its part by bringing back its hugely popular Pops in the Park with two shows, Friday at 7 p.m. at River Tower Park in the Sulphur Springs area of Tampa, and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Gerald Steichen, one of the most versatile young talents in music, will guest conduct all your favorites. (Tchaikovksy’s 1812 Overture, people!) Of course you should bring a picnic, and while you’re at it, bring canned goods to donate to Tampa Bay Harvest’s food bank services.
You have a couple choices this week to bring a blanket and catch a free movie outdoors. The St. Petersburg Pier will be showing The Gold Retrievers starring Steve Guttenberg. Costumes are encouraged (there will be prizes) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Over in Gulfport, they will be showing the 1960s classic Mad Monster Party at the point behind the recreation center at 5730 Shore Blvd. S at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Movie munchies will be sold to support the Gulfport Teen Council.
Take the kids on a Family Friendly Haunted Hike, a spooky one-mile walking tour through the St. Paul-Euclid neighborhood’s creepy alleys, old homes and landmarks where costumed characters tell spooky stories. It’s $5 adults, $1 ages 12 and younger; 2 and younger free at www.espna.org or on site on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Meet at the haunted address of 13th Street and 13th Avenue N in St. Petersburg. For more Halloween fun, much of it free or cheap, see this roundup.
Got a floating flea collar? Cool off with your pet at the Soggy Doggie Day at the Highland Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave., Largo, Saturday where they will have two two-hour sessions that will feature dog splashing, activities and contests. The sessions are divided for dogs 18 inches and smaller, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; dogs 19 inches and taller, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Remember to bring your dog’s proof of vaccination. Dogs are $5 but families are free (but no swimming for you).The Clearwater Jazz Holiday celebrates its 30th anniversary weekend with shows today through Sunday. on Saturday you can catch saxophonist Boney James followed by fireworks. It runs through Sunday and it’s all free at Clearwater’s Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. You’ll want to bring blankets or lawn chairs, but leave pets, coolers and all food and drink at home. See this detailed schedule for more information.
Ruth Eckerd Hall.
The Sweetwater Organic Community Farm will once again invite friends and fans to bring a covered dish and enjoy music by the Urban Gypsies at the Planters Ball on Saturday. The dining and dancing under the stars begins at 5:30 p.m. at the farm, 6942 W Comanche Ave. in Tampa. Fresh organic salad and bread provided; benefits Sweetwater Farm. Price: $10, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free.
Take the kids to Tampa’s fire station no. 20 on Saturday for Fire Safety Day, a free kid-friendly community event including fire truck tours, try on fire gear, K-9 dog demonstrations, helmet safety checks, chair massages, safety information from various vendors, snacks, water and more from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 16200 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Tampa.And for more fun family events, check out these listings. Get out and enjoy the beautiful cooler weather this weekend.