Free and cheap family fun for the weekend
We're just a couple days away from August and our minds are racing. Have we finished our back-to-school shopping? Can we squeeze in one more summer trip before school starts? Well, here's one thing you won't have to worry about -- we've got great ideas to keep you busy all weekend long. Maybe these can take your mind off school madness.
At the America’s Finest vs. America’s Bravest Benefit, we aren’t brave enough to say which team gets which title but police and firefighters will take to the ice for a rough and rugged hockey game to benefit the families of slain police officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab on Saturday. So be America’s Kindest and bring at least a $5 donation to the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex, 5309 29th St. E in Ellenton. The fun starts at 2 p.m. (the game is at 3:30) and there will be other events including a firefighter/police football tournament, a board breaking competition by Six “R” Martial Arts, a car wash, dunk tank, face painting, firetruck display, appearances by U.S. Olympic pairs skaters Mark Ladwig, Amanda Evora, Jeremy Barrett among others, clowns and various children’s activities. And here are other events this weekend to help the families of the officers.
Cinderella is a Patel Conservatory’s Youth Theater production that wraps up warmth and hilarity for a tale that touches children and adults alike. 7:30 p.m., The David A. Straz Jr. Center for Performing Arts Ferguson Hall , 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $10-20 advance, $12-$25 day of show. Call (813) 229-7827 for more details.
Andy Hillstrand is no stranger to these parts. The captain of the Time Bandit, a fishing vessel from Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, makes occasional appearances at boat shows and restaurants in the area. You can meet up with Hillstrand and celebrity chef Rick Tarantino from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Sweetbay Supermarket at 6425 County Line Road, Tampa. They’ll be spotlighting Alaskan salmon, so stop by for samples and seafood cooking tips. It's free. For details, call the store at (813) 907-2024.
While it's neither free nor cheap, there will be lots of freebies when the New York Yankees blow into town to face the Tampa Bay Rays for a pivotal three-game series this weekend at the Trop. Friday night, get a Carlos Pena inspired T-shirt. And after the game, stay to hear Los Lobos, the East Los Angeles quintet (whose name is Spanish for “the wolves”) blend rock, Latin music and howlin’ blues with a sense of arty playfulness. On Sunday, the first 10,000 kids ages 14 and younger get a Jeff Neimann growth chart and then can run the bases after the game. For tickets and more information, call toll‑free 1-888-326-7297.
Is it football season already? Well, the Bucs start here. Check out the Bucs in training camp Saturday through Aug. 7 at One Buc Place in Tampa. Watch practice, get autographs and keep an eye out for cheerleaders. It’s free, but you must sign up to receive (up to six) tickets per practice at buccaneers.com. The final session at 8 p.m. on Aug. 7 moves to Raymond James Stadium — no tickets are required, and there’s a fireworks show afterward.
Grease Sing-A-Long opens Friday at AMC Veterans in Tampa for a two-weekend engagement ending Aug. 8. Tickets, which cost the same as a regular movie, can be purchased online or at the box office. And if you’re taking your kids, be mindful that this is a PG-13 movie. Some of the lyrics, especially in Greased Lightning, are pretty raw.
Hey folks, Dora the Explorer is in town! Come on, vámonos! Everybody let’s go to the Straz Center in Tampa for the live show that also features The Backyardigans, The Wonder Pets and Ni Hao, Kai-lan at Storytime Live! (Secret parent translation: But I don’t want to cheer on the Spanish-spouting chica with the bowl haircut and jungle friends with dorky boots and a klepto problem. Where are her parents, anyway?) Toting their own smiley purple backpacks, your kids will love singing the songs they know by heart. You’ll grin and bear it, too, because Dora has a big heart with a can-do message. The smile she puts on little Suzie’s face will melt your heart. Plus, those Backyardigans and Wonder Pets are pretty cute. Showtimes are 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $15.25-$38.25. Call (813) 229-7827 for more info.