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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap family fun for Oct. 23-25



Get into the holiday spirit with all the pre-Halloween events this weekend leading up to the big day next Saturday.But if that doesn't float your boat, there are plenty of other activities to keep you hopping.

At Green Halloween, families can try healthier, more environmentally friendly activities by bobbing for organic apples, making Halloween bags out of old magazines, a green costume contest and more. And you can do some good by dropping off old children's Halloween costumes to donate to the Alpha House of Tampa. Find it easy to be green from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Friday at the Old Hyde Park Village, 1622 Snow Ave. Tampa. Call (727) 403-5868 for more information.The best part: It's all free.

Mom_hogwartshat Find your inner Harry Potter at the Witches Masquerade at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, 11400 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa. This Potter-themed party will feature tarot card readings, dancing, a costume contest, fun house, food and drinks. It costs $5 but kids 12 and younger are free. Call (813) 988-8188.

And here's just one more Halloween event: Trick or treat with the fishes at Guppyween from 4-9 p.m. at the Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. The aquarium is transformed into a haunted mansion with trick-or-treat stations throughout the exhibits, kids activities, spooky creatures and tasty treats. Cost is $12 ages 12 and older, $2 for kids in costume. Limit four kids per adult. Call (813) 273-4000.

For more Halloween fun, check out these events throughout the bay area.

Want to have a little fun in the dark? The kids will love the Glow-In-The-Dark Party at the PinkCricket Center for Arts Education from 6-10 p.m. Friday. The PinkCricket is an organization that integrates and facilitates youth arts education into the local arts community. The party will feature a performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller by PinkCricket students. Students also will display their glow-in-the-dark-inspired art. There's live music, refreshments, glow-in-the-dark hands-on activities, including spin art, jewelry making and creating a collaborative mural. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and/or glow-in-the-dark attire. PinkCricket is at 534 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.Call (727) 320-2324.

There's plenty of action at the annual John's Pass Seafood Festival on Saturday and Sunday at the John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, 150 John's Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach. Find local seafood specialties, a juried Arts & Crafts Show with more than 50 local and regional artists, live music, a street dance, fishing expo, kid's area and a children's Halloween costume contest (3 p.m. Saturday only). There's5317763-2711x1805 also the John's Pass Shop of Horrors on Friday through Nov. 1 on the Village Boardwalk. Hours vary so visit the festival Web site to get the details. Hours for the seafood fest are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. It's free to get in but food and some activities cost extra. Call (727) 394-0756 for info.

Who can resist a puppy? Get all the puppy love you want at the Southeastern Guide Dogs Open House, from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at 4210 77th St. E,  Palmetto. Hug a puppy, learn guide dog training techniques from trainers, take a blindfold walk challenge and tour the school. This free event is best for  ages 5 and older. For details, call (941) 729-5665 or go to the guide dogs Web site.

It's that time of year when the weather is supposed to be cooler and we enjoy being outside. But even though the temps are not cooperating, we still can head outside for the Times Festival of Reading, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the St. Petersburg Campus at the University of South Florida, 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg. There will be more than 45 authors giving presentations and signing their books, a book market and refreshments. It's free to come but you won't be able to resist the books. Call (727) 892-2358 for details or check out the festival's Web site.

Although this isn't a Halloween event, little girls will probably want to put on their best ball gowns and tiaras for the Princess Tea Party from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Seedlings, 1530 S Dale Mabry, Tampa. Girls are encouraged to dress as their favorite Disney Princess for tea, finger foods and desserts. And for parents, they get to see Disney's new Precious Collection jewelry for girls. It costs $25 for one parent and one child. Call (813) 251-5111.

And if these events are exactly what you're looking for, go here for more family activities.

-- Sherry Robinson

[Buy Costumes; Jupiterimages]

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:03am]


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