Free and cheap family fun this week
Easter and Passover have lots of families getting together this week. Here's some ways to keep the brood busy without busting your basket
Easter means we not only get to wear white shoes again after Sunday, but there’s lots of egg hunts and festivities this weekend, including Eggstravaganza on Saturday at the Riverwalk at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Free breakfast and activities, including photos with the Easter Bunny and a petting zoo from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. You can also try the only-in-Florida innovation: underwater egg hunts like the free one at the St. Pete Beach Community Center pool at 10 a.m. Saturday. Look here for a longer list of spring celebrations.
Get your football fever started early at the free Bulls Tailgate Party on Friday. Bulls Heaven in Tampa is hosting a night of music, food, prizes and obsessive Bull chatter on Friday, the night before the spring USF football game. Rocky D. Bull will make an appearance, as will the USF spirit squad, so bring your camera. It’s from 6 to 9 p.m. at 14283 N Florida Ave. in Tampa. Call (813) 908-2827 for more info.
Chances are good you’ll see a gator or two at the Alligator Walk at Boyd Hill — where Lake Maggiore is crawling with the prehistoric eating machines (peek under the boardwalks). You’ll learn about gators’ habitat, history and eating habits on this hike at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Environmental Studies Area at Boyd Hill, 2900 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. It's cheap -- $3 adults, $1.50 children - and a different way to spend Easter. Registration is required. Call (727) 893-7326.
There will be live music all day on the main stage in front of the Gulfport Casino in honor of the funky beach town's celebration of Gulfport SpringFest. It's free on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Beach Boulevard area of downtown Gulfport. There will also be arts and crafts, food from area restaurants and other vendors.
If you've never heard of Galumpha, this may be the weekend to give it a try. Galumpha’s a three-person company from upstate New York that combines dance, acrobatics and physical comedy into something startlingly fresh, often very funny and just about impossible to dislike. Galumpha is set for two kids shows, at 2 and 4 p.m. at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Tickets for Galumpha are $8.50 to $12.50 plus service charge. TBPAC is at 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827; tbpac.org.
If you have a need for speed, then this sounds like the place to be. The Tampa Classic Easter Invitational Speed Skating Meet kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday. Hundreds of world-class speed skaters ages 5-75 ill compete in indoor and outdoor inline skating heats. The first three days will be inside at United Skates of America, 5121 N Armenia Ave., Tampa. Cost Thursday-Saturday is $5 each day. On Sunday, the action moves outside to the Raymond James parking lot. And best of all, it's free. There will be food for sale. And Sunday's action includes an egg hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny and kid's games. For more information, check out this Web site.
Your kids can test their skills at the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. This skills competition for boys and girls ages 7-14 lets them test their baseball abilities. Winners advance to the next round. The competition is free. Call (727) 518-3022 or go to MLB's site for more information.
Have a Happy Easter and don't forget to bite off the chocolate bunny ears first!
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson