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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap family fun for the weekend

With May coming to a close that means the school year can't be too far behind. So, finishing school might cause you to want to sit home and ponder what to do with your summer.

Well don't! There are so many great events this weekend, staying home would be a big mistake. Instead, get out, enjoy the outdoors before it is too hot to move and find a great place to go with the family. Here are some ideas.

Of course, it's Memorial Day so it's pretty important to make your patriotic plans. Here's a list of all the events we were able to find in the bay area, including some great deals for veterans and those in law enforcement. Take advantage while the deals are hot. And pick through the list to find the family friendly events.

Is the Silly Bandz craze crashing yet? Can't you see kids going off to summer camp one day with five Mom_sillybandz bracelets and coming back with 15? Well, let them have fun while it lasts. Here's a great way to get the weekend started at the Silly Bandz Beach Bash at United Skates of America, 5121 N Armenia AVe., Tampa. The kid who wears the most Bandz will win a $25 prize. Imagine how many more bracelets he or she can get. It costs $8 and that includes skate rental. Find the fun at 8 p.m. Friday. Call (813) 876-5826 or go to the website.

Mommas, you can have some fun under the stars watching minor leaguers take the field on Ladies Night at the Dunedin Blue Jays game Friday night. You could win tickets to see Sex and the City 2 (although film critic Steve Persall says you may not want to). Of course, you can go see the major league players in action when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. The first 10,000 fans on Friday get a B.J. Upton T-shirt and can stay after the game for the We the Kings concert -- bonus! There's even fireworks that night. The next night, Hall & Oates will be in concert -- I dare them not to sing Kiss On My Lips. And on Sunday, as always, kids get to run the bases after the game and this week, get a Carlos Pena toothbrush holder -- wait, what? Oh well, it's a freebie. The big league games aren't free or cheap but the Rays are in first place so it's a good time to go out. And the giveaways are a nice extra to get you out to the stadium.

Mom_wildthings Here's an event that is certainly free: Take your little monsters to see Where the Wild Things Are on Friday at Largo Central Park's Movie in the Park. It's doggie date night, too! Bring blankets, chairs and your favorite pooch. The movie begins about 7 p.m. at 101 Central Park Drive in Largo.

Head out to Masaryktown this weekend to play in the giant sunflower maze. This is the last weekend for the maze and it will be open Memorial Day as well. Tickets are $8.50 for adults, $4.40 for children ages 3-11 and free for kids under 3. For more information, go to their website  or call (352) 279-0977. The farm, which also sells organic produce and plants and has a you-pick vegetable garden, is at 17250 Benes Roush Road, east of U.S. 41 and south of Ayers Road in Masaryktown.

Head on over to MOSI in Tampa to take in the last few days of da Vinci: The Genius. The exhibit is slated to end Monday. And while you're there Saturday, an all-day ride pass for your kids will cost just $5. Sweet! Ticket prices include the da Vinci exhibit, MOSI galleries and an IMAX Dome film: $25.95 ages 13 and up, $22.95 ages 12 and younger, $19.95 ages 60 and up, $7 MOSI members, special rates for adult groups and school groups. And for this weekend, all active and retired military personnel, EMTs, firefighters and police officers will get in free with ID. And additional family members will get $5 off admission.

Now we know that Mary Poppins is playing at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts through June 6.  Anniejr370 But did you know that there is another play that will be featured Thursday-Saturday with an all-kid cast. Annie Jr. will hit the Straz stage assuring that the sun will come out tomorrow. And these performances are put on by the kids in the Patel Conservatory Youth Theater.Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Avid anglers ages 5-15 are invited to attend the Young Anglers Inshore Fishing Tournament with prizes in such categories as biggest fish, smallest fish and most extraordinary catch. There are three divisions: age 5 and younger (entry fee $15); ages 6-10 ($25); and ages 11-15 ($25). Winners from each group will receive a rod and reel combo, trophy and additional prize. All registered anglers get a tournament T-shirt, bait bucket with shrimp, a bag filled with fishing goodies, lunch and a raffle ticket for additional prizes. Friends and families are welcome to attend and can purchase additional T-shirts, lunch and raffle tickets. There also will be face painting, kids games and activities. Fishing is from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Weigh-in is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with the awards ceremony beginning at 3 p.m. Hubbard's Marina & the Friendly Fisherman Restaurant are at 170 John's Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach.

Looking for a great date night option? Try the Sensual Side of Foods, a chef lecture series for mature adults over age 21. It begins at 10 p.m. Saturday at Urban Culinary Cuisine, 10016 Cross Creek Blvd., in New Tampa. It's $20 per person and that includes food. Call (813) 994-3800 for more information.

That's all for now. Go out and have a great long weekend with your family.

-- Sherry Robinson

[Photos: top -- AP; center -- Warner Bros. Pictures; bottom: Austin Cuervo and Shelby O'Brien from Annie Jr. from the Patel Conservatory]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:24pm]


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